An interesting chart from the ICTD conference reflecting the theme of papers submitted in the years 2006-2010 (minus 2008). Mobile has grown massively in the past couple of years–particularly surprising given that in 2007 the number of papers had actually shrunk.
This reflects the impact of the mobile phone on the developing world in the past couple of years, as well as perhaps a slowly dawning realization that for many people in these regions the mobile phone is not only their first telephone, it’s their first computer and first Internet device.
It’s also intriguing that radio has disappeared from the equation. A mistake, in my humble view. It’s still important in a lot of regions. I’m not quite sure what ‘network’ means here, but that seems to have disappeared too. Finally, note how the number of papers mentioning PCs has shrunk as well.