Global Development

The last decade has seen a resurgence of interest in the application of information technologies to address problems in global development. Information is an important factor in the delivery of many basic services—including finance, health care, governance, agriculture and access to markets. It is compelling to believe that information technology could play a role in improving the efficiency and accessibility of such services in developing countries, thereby contributing to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Over the past several years, numerous projects worldwide have sought to apply innovative technology-based solutions to deliver education, financial, health, business and governmental services.

global development

Much of this work has remained on the fringes of mainstream Computer Science. CS researchers have also found a tension between pursuing technical research and addressing real problems. The more successful forays have been in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), itself an interdisciplinary area at the boundary of mainstream CS. HCI values the engineering process of problem definition, solution development and evaluation, which is the most important part of pursuing applied Computer Science research that seeks to address and impact upon real problems. A CCC-funded visioning workshop addressed the role that academic Computer Science can play in meeting the challenges of global development; and to establish values, methods and metrics of evaluation that can unite research in this area, and/or create bridges to existing sub-areas of Computer Science research.


Computer Science and Global Development Workshop

August 1-2, 2009

Approximately fifty participants gathered in Berkeley to discuss the future of Computer Science research supporting global socioeconomic development. Over a rich two days of discussion, deliberation and decision-making, we arrived at major decisions, identified contentious points for further discussion, and decided on next steps for the community.