Strengthening EU policies in support of ICT for development: Results from a survey of ICT experts

GianLuca Quaglio*, Theodoros Karapiperis, Giovanni Putoto, Laura Delponte, Giorgio Micheletti, Helmut Brand, Luigi Bertinato, Goran Tomson, Laurent Bonnardot, Paolo Zanaboni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: There is scarce and fragmented evidence of the European Union's policies and strategies being employed in the area of ICT in support of development in LMICs. Methods: An online survey was conducted to collect feedback from experts evaluating past EU initiatives in ICT for development, and the type of approach EU institutions should pursue in ICT for LMICs in the future. Structured interviews were also carried out with ten of the respondents. Results: One hundred and twenty-one experts responded to the survey. About 30% of the respondents believe that the EU institutions' support to ICT for development has improved in the last decade. However, a similar percentage indicated that the EU's support has not improved or has even worsened. The evaluation of the EU's cooperation with international organisations was considered good or sufficient by nearly 31% of respondents. Regarding priorities to be pursued by EU policies towards the use of ICT for development, the EU should focus on reducing health inequalities and the digital divide. Concerning the approaches to promote ICT within EU development cooperation, the EU should carry out a mix of top-down and bottom-up approaches. Almost 70% believe that it is better to support an approach that integrates ICT into different areas of action, rather than having ICT as a specific priority area. Health and education were indicated as priority sectors where the EU should increase the use of ICT. Conclusions: The results of this survey can support decision-makers and ICT managers to better plan and implement ICT deployment in LMICs, making a better use of European human and financial resources in this field.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-340
JournalHealth Policy and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • Communications technologies
  • European union
  • Developing world
  • Development


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