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Development, information and social connectivity in Côte d'Ivoire

Thu, 22 Jan 2015 22:07:32 GMT

Understanding human socioeconomic development has proven to be one of the most difficult and persistent problems in science and policy. Traditional policy has often attempted to promote human development through infrastructure and the delivery of services, but the link between these engineered systems and the complexity of human socioeconomic behavior remains poorly understood. Recent research suggests that the key to socioeconomic progress lies in the development of processes whereby new information is created by individuals and organizations and embedded in the structure of social networks at a diverse set of scales, from nations to cities to firms. Here, we formalize these ideas in terms of network theory—namely the spatial network of mobile phone communications in Côte d’Ivoire--to show how incipient socioeconomic connectivity may constitute a general obstacle to development. Inspired by recent progress in the theory of cities as complex systems, we then propose a set of tests for these theories using telecommunications network data and describe how telecommunication services may generally help promote socioeconomic development.

Development, information and social connectivity in Côte d’Ivoire
Clio Andris and Luis MA Bettencourt

Infrastructure Complexity 2014, 1:1

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