Friday, April 24, 2015

ICT4D: U.S.-Korea Cooperation in Overseas Development Assistance

The Center for Strategic and International Studies recently convened a meeting on the topic of  "The United States, South Korea and Civil Society Cooperation in Global Humanitarian Development."  That meeting and the YouTube video embedded in this post caught my attention for many reasons, including the following.

  • I was a Peace Corps Volunteer (University TESOL Program at Kangwon National University) back in 1971-72 when Korea was a developing country and international aid recipient.
  • I subsequently studied for the Ph.D. in Communication at Stanford University during a period when the Institute for Communication Research had a large program in communication (at that time "mass media") for development.
  • Upon returning to Korea as a Fulbright scholar at Yonsei University prior to the Seoul Olympics, and later working as an administrator with the Korea Fulbright Commission, I personally witnessed many of the dramatic changes that took place as this country made the transition from an aid recipient to that of an economically and technologically advanced aid donor country.
  • In 1992, the major focus of my research shifted to the study of digital technologies and networks, and the manner in which Korea leveraged the digital network revolution for socioeconomic development.  My first book on the topic, The Telecommunications Revolution in Korea, was published in 1995.
  • Last year I joined the faculty of the Department of Technology and Society at SUNY Korea in Songdo and in January of this year became its chair.  In collaboration with industry, government, citizens and international organizations, we are sharpening our research, teaching and training focus on the ICT sector and especially its role in sustainable development (ICT4D).
Given the above and more, I was pleased to view the video of the recent event at CSIS, hosted by my friend and colleague (a former Korea Fulbright grantee), Victor Cha.   I commend it to you.

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