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Literature Review

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This paper aims to review what type of research has been done on public access to ICTs, including issues investigated, methods used, main findings, and gaps in the literature. This document summarizes our preliminary findings. This review is based on approximately 80 journal articles and reports on public access to ICTs. It focuses mainly on electronically accessible research articles and on research published after 1999. The documents were derived from database searches as well as directly from members of the Global Impact Study community.

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are widely acknowledged as important resources for socio‐economic development. Due to resource constraints, shared access forms the dominant mode of access to these technologies in most developing countries. Governments, non‐governmental institutions and business entrepreneurs have invested significant amounts of human and financial resources in public libraries, telecenters, internet cafés, and other forms of public access, without clear evidence on what the ultimate outcomes will be and the actual costs.

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