How does ICT empower people?

In the research article you examined, the tools used for Obama’s campaign are social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. These were used to disseminate information and build Obama’s image. Messages like “change,” “hope,” and “making a difference” were the topics in his campaign posts. As stated in the article, Obama’s social media campaign is now considered “the legacy of one of the most effective. Internet marketing plans in history, where social media and technology enabled the individual to activate and participate in a movement.”

Empowerment is a strategy that aims to give individuals the tools and resources necessary to take initiative, as well as gather and analyze information or situations, thus making informed decisions to solve problems and improve services or performance. In the context of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), empowerment requires being information literate and technology literate.

In 2000, the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education enumerated the competencies for information literacy:

  1. determines the nature and extent of information needed;
  2. accesses the needed information effectively and efficiently;
  3. uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose;
  4. understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and accesses and uses information ethically and legally; and
  5. evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.

In 2002, the International ICT Literacy Panel defined technology literacy as “the ability to use digital technology, communication tools, and/or networks to define an information need, access, manage, integrate and evaluate information, create new information or knowledge and be able to communicate this information to others.”