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Technology related employment and human development : a social impact assessment in Phnom Penh, Cambodia O’Neill, James

Abstract

The growth of interest and applications of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to provide new possibilities for developing countries have spurred the need for greater scrutiny regarding the role ICTs play in development. This research explores the relationship between ICTs and impacts on human development within the organizational culture of Digital Divide Data (DDD), a computer employment centre in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It takes a micro-level inductive case study approach and asks: what role does ICT play in the human development of employees at Digital Divide Data? Conducting a social impact assessment, the research utilizes seven sets of output indicators in order to assess the impact at DDD. Through in-depth personal accounts with employees, the research determines that there are significant positive contributions to human development in the areas of income and employment generation, access to education, providing skills and training, and improved health security. However, it ultimately finds that the source of the contributions to human development is not solely attributed to the use of ICTs, but rather DDD's social enterprise model provided additional benefits which also contributed to the human development of employees. The research concludes by discussing issues that can be learned from the case study in order to strengthen the strategic and practical contributions to development.

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