Special Section

Networking the Developing World

Pamela Spence Richards, Guest Editor

The four articles in this special section of the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science were adapted from papers delivered at the 1997 ASIS Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, at a session sponsored by the ASIS Special Interest Group on International Information Issues (SIG/III), the winner of the l997 ASIS SIG-of-the-Year Award. I served as organizer and moderator of the session.

This section begins with "The Reconfiguration of International Information Infrastructure Assistance Since 1991," my outline of the former Soviet Union's assistance in the development of information systems and services offered to less developed countries and the decline in interest and aid in this area since the end of the Cold War.

In "International Assistance for Networking in Less-Developed Countries: The IDRC Example," Marjorie Whalen of Canada's International Development Research Center (IDRC) discusses some of the Center's initiatives that leverage their limited resources through partnership with other programs. The IDRC has long been a leading player in promoting the development of information services in the developing world.

Wendy White of the National Research Council then catalogs and describes many current networking initiatives now under way in Sub-Saharan Africa in "International Assistance for Internet Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa." Finally, Michel Menou looks at "Networking Initiatives in the French-Speaking Countries and Current Trends in International Assistance" for information systems and services.

Pamela Spence Richards
Guest Editor,
Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science