Problems of introducing computers into development programmes

The article identifies some of the problems in information technology in developing countries, and is based on field research into the use of computers in health programmes in East Africa and Nepal. The visits were part of an ODA-funded project to design guidelines on the selection, use and maintenance of computers in a developing country. The article focuses on the current state of the technology, problems of selecting hardware and software, the training and retention of staff and access to information and support services. It suggests reasons for the current situation and offers some practical solutions.