October 2014


In this issue

“Only connect,” E.M. Forster’s plea to readers not to live their lives in fragments, could just have easily been uttered by a telecom company in 2014 as it was by Forster in 1910. But today, connectivity — the theme of this issue — connotes the physical networks that allow people to communicate as much as it does the ability to interact with another person or the services one receives from an institution or organization.

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can connect us in all of these ways. Just as important, it can connect those who are still unconnected, and might remain so without intervention.

Throughout this issue, as we see how transformative ICT has already been in the developed world, we acknowledge how far there is to go until everyone is given the same digital resources to succeed. We hear first-hand from the head of Facebook’s new initiative, which has launched its campaign to bring free Internet access to the base of the pyramid. Other articles and interviews demonstrate how PPP-powered ICT successes advance the economy, improve peoples’ health, promote gender equality, and provide educational tools.

No government can afford to ignore technology, and the momentum behind ICT is unrelenting. The public sector must adopt a strategy for managing it. Smarter infrastructure is better infrastructure, and technology partnerships will deliver better value for money over time.