While the role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in fostering socioeconomic development is generally accepted, the process through which this may happen remain unclear. In this paper, we take a social capital perspective and propose that ICT helps to create or strengthen social capital of communities which in turn leads to development. To illustrate our proposition, we conducted a qualitative case study in the Myagdi district in the mountain region of Nepal. We studied the Nepal Wireless Networking Project (NWNP) and examined its role in building social capital, and the consequences of extended social capital on socio-economic development process. Our findings indicate that the project is enabling the villagers to create, maintain, and extend their bonding, bridging, and linking social capital. Subsequently, this social capital assists them in developing and improving their education, healthcare, communication, and generating economic activities. We also identified several challenges such as, over dependency on single actor, high illiteracy rate, poor physical infrastructure, language, and lack of participation that may impede the social capital building process.
Thapa, Devinder and Sein, Maung K., "ICT, SOCIAL CAPITAL AND DEVELOPMENT: THE CASE OF A MOUNTAIN REGION IN NEPAL" (2010). GlobDev 2010. 1.