November 11, 2008 By News Report
The Internet will be the catalyst for advancement of programs promoting social justice over the next decade, according to new research from Harvard Professor Elaine C. Kamarck, PhD. The research paper, titled "Transforming the Fight Against Poverty: The Internet & Anti-Poverty Strategies," addresses how the Internet has enhanced productivity in government run anti-poverty programs and bridged physical and market isolation gaps prevalent in poor populations.
"We're well aware that high-speed broadband Internet spurs economic development and improves education, health care and environmental sustainability," said Bruce Mehlman, Internet Innovation Alliance co-chair. "Dr. Kamarck's paper further illustrates the critical need for a national broadband strategy, which would help provide access to important, life-changing programs for all Americans, especially those living in poverty."
Kamarck's paper examines how various organizations have utilized the Internet to reduce the cost of government overhead and creatively improve the scope of anti-poverty programs. It also brings to life how the Internet has been used as a tool for aiding the disadvantaged -- and those who help them -- in navigating complicated bureaucracies. Key examples include:
"Poverty has gone hand in hand with social isolation," said Kamarck. "The Internet holds enormous potential to break this trend, overcoming barriers such as distance and access to high-quality health care and education. While the Internet has helped reduce poverty, the transformation has only just begun."
"This research underscores how critical broadband is to improving life and commerce in America," said Larry Irving, co-chairman of the Internet Innovation Alliance. "It also makes apparent the steps that need to be taken by government leaders to support Internet technologies, advance social justice programs and address the gaps in the adoption curve that still remain."