Integrating ICT into Value Chain Development

Using ICT to increase value chain competitiveness
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This briefing paper describes current trends in information and communication technology (ICT), practical uses for ICT in value chain development, lessons learned from the field, and special considerations for conflict-affected environments. The paper describes trends that can contribute to increased accessibility to ICT for poor and remote populations. These include:
  • Expansion of mobile phone networks;
  • Easier and cheaper access to Internet in previously unserved areas;
  • Development of business models that are geared towards individuals with low cash flows;
  • Evolution of different forms of technology to perform similar tasks. 
 ​In value chain analysis, development practitioners should consider whether ICT-based solutions can help improve competitiveness. The paper makes the following suggestions for effective ICT use in value chains:
  • Facilitate ICT services delivery to maximize the potential for sustainability;
  • Use the lowest-cost and simplest technology that can address the identified constraint;
  • Build on ICT already in use;
  • Encourage sharing of application development and operations across users to reduce costs;
  • Consider  legal and regulatory environment for telecommunications;
  • Plan an exit strategy when using grants, subsidies and pilot projects.

About this Publication

By Payne, J., Kearns, L. & Schiff, H.