The Information Economy Report 2008 - Science and technology for development: the new paradigm of ICT, analyses the current and potential contribution of information technology to knowledge creation and diffusion. It explores how ICTs help generate innovations that improve the livelihoods of the poor and support enterprise competitiveness. The report examines how ICTs affect productivity and growth and reflects on the need for a development-oriented approach to intellectual property rights in order to enable effective access to technology. ICT has also given rise to new models for sharing knowledge and collective production of ideas and innovations, known as "open access" models, which often bypass the incentive system provided by intellectual property rights.
The Report presents a current cross-section of themes and analysis that aim to inform and enable governments to understand the policy challenges and opportunities. The analysis identifies important areas of concern and best practices necessary for the formulation of targeted policy decisions to support and accelerate ICT diffusion. In particular, the Information Economy Report 2007-2008 addresses the following issues:
- Trends in ICT access and use consisting of basic ICT indicators and an analysis of how ICTs impact on enterprises in developing countries;
- The ICT producing sector and the emerging South examines the role of the sector from the perspective of South-South trade, while exploring issues of the relationship between ICTs and employment, FDI and outsourcing;
- Measuring the impact of ICT on productive efficiency through a case study of Thailand confirms that developing countries can benefit as much as developed ones from increasing ICT use;
- ICT, e-business and innovation policies highlights the need for balance between policy stability and flexibility to meet the needs of evolving ICTs and feedback from policy implementation;
- E-banking and e-payments explains the potential of ICTs to improve overall business efficiency and assist in bringing SMEs and micro-enterprises into the formal economy;
- ICTs for the poor are discussed within the scope of the increasing use of mobile telephones and supportive policy measures and the potential of telecentres to promote livelihoods by providing access to relevant information and business opportunities to rural and poor populations.