The ICT4D Jester questions, critiques, and sometimes lampoons the endeavor called “information and communication technologies for development.” (Its abbreviation, ICT4D, is a good place to start: Who are we… Prince?)

A jester because of his or her* lowly position as the fool in the royal court, could toss sarcastic zingers at the high and mighty when others wouldn’t dare. Wise monarchs kept jesters around to speak the uncomfortable truth, at least until they beheaded them.

For those who might find themselves on the pointy end of the Jester’s jabs, all is not lost. Even if you have the unfortunate fate, fancy, or funding to continue ICT4D activities, there are some things you can do to increase the likelihood of positive impact on the world. For example, you could transfer your time and budget to a non-ICT development project. Ha ha!

Actually, that was only partly a joke, but the Jester offers some other, possibly more palatable, ideas, as well.

The Jester is an ex-computer scientist, part-time Luddite, and full-time reforming ICT4D researcher (currently on Step 5 of the 12-step program). If it matters, here is the homepage of the puppeteer. To contact the Jester, mail him at ict4djester@hotmail.combutgetridoftheselasteightwords.

(*) Apparently, there were female jesters, too.

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