What Are the Ethics of ICT in Development?

Technology Salon

We have often discussed the ethics of data collection and its use, and the need for information security in previous Technology Salons. However, the recent revelation of USAID's Cuban Twitter program (and the possibility its not alone) should make us all reconsider the role of ICT in development as a whole.


The Associated Press says USAID intended to use Cuban Twitter to foster political unrest, while USAID maintains it was meant to give Cubans a platform to discuss whatever interested them. Regardless, the program had serious flaws and has become an issue with Congress.


Cuban Twitter is an issue for us too. As technology and development professionals, we need to be asking ourselves deep philosophical questions about the ethics of ICT4D.


Please RSVP now for the next Technology Salon to debate issues like:

  • When does national sovereignty and self-determination trump digital freedoms and technology standards?
  • Where is the line between building civil discourse and advocating outright regime change?
  • Is using the tools of technology to foster (peaceful) political revolutions even part of development?
  • And should USAID, best known for its humanitarian work, be doing any of this?
  • If so, how should implementing partners change the way they design and implement programs?

Please RSVP now to join us for what promises to be a spirited conversation at the nexus of technology and development. We are going to forgo naming lead discussants, as each of us has an equal say and equal responsibility in forging the ethics we should all abide by.


What are the ethics of ICT4D?
DC Technology Salon
Tuesday, April 22nd 8:30 - 10:30 a.m.
Downtown, Washington, DC

We’ll have hot coffee and catered breakfast treats for a morning rush, but seating is limited. So RSVP ASAP to be confirmed for attendance: once we reach our 35-person capacity there will be a waiting list!