Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (2000)
Jan. 4, 2000 to Jan. 7, 2000
Roger Harris , Unversiti Malaysia at Sarawak
Robert Davison , City University of Hong Kong
Doug Vogel , City University of Hong Kong
Gert-Jan de Vreede , Delft University of Technology
Why should a conference on information systems and technology feature a track on IT in developing countries (ITDC)? The developing world, where more than 80% of the world's population live, currently owns a mere 4% of the world's computers. Moreover, more than half of humanity has never made a telephone call. Thus, a wide variety of implementation issues exist that are different from those experienced by more developed countries.In developing countries, an information famine of sizeable proportions exists, yet this is seldom recognized in developed countries. Although the information overloading of the digital age brings its own set of problems, it sits in stark contrast to the emaciated state of the information resources available to most of mankind. The IS profession often claims that the discipline is global in nature, but for this to be true, the importance of addressing the issues connected with ITDC must be recognized, while researchers and practitioners from the developing world need to play a more significant role in the IS mainstream.Increasingly, awareness is growing among IS professionals, and others, of the disparities in information access. The UN is greatly concerned about the imbalance in access to communication facilities, expressing its "profound concern" at the "deepening mal-distribution of access, resources and opportunities in the information and communication field". Following its beginning at HICSS-31, interest in IT in Developing Countries surged at HICSS-32. The numbers of papers submitted to HICSS-33 is slightly down and a recurring problem of finance has emerged.Although we originally accepted six papers for this minitrack, three have had to withdraw very late in the day due to a lack of funds. Academics and practitioners in developing countries are seldom able to receive the very considerable funds required for a flight to Hawaii, quite apart from conference fees and hotel bills. To pay for this out of their own pockets would represent several months salary. This unfortunate situation means that the appropriateness of running a minitrack on IT in Developing Countries in venues like Hawaii must be scrutinized carefully.
R. Davison, G. de Vreede, D. Vogel and R. Harris, "Information Technology in Developing Countries," Proceedings of the 33rd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences(HICSS), Maui, Hawaii, 2000, pp. 7025.