Assignment and goals: In this assignment you will write a short (~ 1,000 words) essay integrating knowledge gained in the readings on the Global Innovation Index, AI and Global Health, education in China, agriculture in Africa, and media.
Through your essay, you will demonstrate your analytical skills by drawing on the readings as well as other literature and/or websites. There is no right answer. You will need to present one or more thesis statements and make a case for your position using examples from the readings.
These are not ‘opinion pieces.’ They are also not simple reiterations of the papers, but rather critical assessments and analyses of the topics presented. The audience is the professor, so please write appropriately. This includes avoiding statements that seek to define basic terms or technical content already covered in the lectures. Also, avoid sweeping statements such as ‘The internet has changed our lives.’ To avoid such statements, ask yourself if your writing reflects the knowledge you have acquired to date in your major/minor or is something you could have written prior to your IST coursework. Also, being a relatively short paper, you have to make the most of every word!
Each paper should include citations to the relevant readings as well as one additional article from outside those assigned. In text citations and your references in your bibliography should use APA format, include URLs in your list of references, and do not include references in your word count.
Through this assignment you will demonstrate your ability to conduct an international analysis, connecting concepts across the readings, developing skills in synthesis, making comparisons across sectors and across nations. You will also practice critical thinking, by reflecting, through your own words, an understanding of the biases various authors/organizations bring to the subject. Finally, through your essay you will demonstrate an understanding of the current state of IT use in sectors in various countries, its benefits and limitations, trends and trajectories, and factors leading us to the current state.
Length: Please note, while not lengthy, the assignment represents a significant portion of your semester grade -15 points (15%). It is our expectation that you will write the essay, edit, and revise, in order to make the most of your ~1,000 words.
Delivery: Submit your essay via Canvas. Please be sure to identify which prompt you chose at the top of the document.
Write a response to one of the following three essay prompts:
Prompt 1: Innovation in low income countries
Unlike with open data infrastructures, where we read that even poor countries can participate, the Global Innovation Index paints a bleaker picture for low income countries when it comes to innovation. What are the challenges to innovation discussed? Given what you read across the four sectors (health, agriculture, education, and media), what do you think about this prognosis? What factors does the GII report suggest hinder innovation? Do you find evidence to support GII’s analysis or to the contrary in our reading and analysis of the sectors? Draw on data or examples from at least two of the four sectors to support your position. In the end, what is your assessment of the GII’s position concerning innovation in low income countries?
Prompt 2: Government and Government Policies
In analyzing the use of IT in the sectors, what role do governments or government policies play in successful use of IT? Choose two of sectors and draw on information from the readings to support your position of the role of government. Is the role one of supporting or hindering use? What is the relative impact compared with other factors, such as user readiness, infrastructure availability, market forces? Give specific examples from specific countries or regions.
Prompt 3: End users
What role do or might end users play in the successful uptake of technologies across the sectors? Choose two of the four sectors and discuss how end users are conceptualized. Giving specific examples within particular countries/regions, do end users help or hinder IT uptake within the sector? What recommendations are provided that target end users?