If information technology (IT) is to have a mass impact on those living in rural areas of developing countries, it cannot occur on the basis of ownership (as it does in rich countries). Instead, it is to institutional innovations in and for developing countries, that one needs to look at. Two basic forms of innovation are identified: one which allows use of IT without ownership and the other which permits the benefits of IT to reach those who make no individual use of it. Either way, however, successful institutional innovations require a thicket of interactions between local actors, rather than interventions from foreign agencies (at least in the initial phase). Three case studies were used to illustrate these components of what I feel is an emerging paradigm of IT and rural development.
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