Information and communication technology (ICT) is rapidly evolving, changing rich and poor societies alike. It has become a powerful tool for participating in the global economy and for offering new opportunities for development efforts. ICT can and should advance economic growth and reduce poverty in developing countries. It has been 20 years since the first telephone operator was privatized, a little over 10 since the World Wide Web emerged, and 5 since the telecommunications bubble burst. How have the ICT sector and its role in development evolved? What have we learned? How can we move forward? 'Information and Communications for Development 2006: Global Trends and Policies' contains lessons from both developed and developing countries. It examines the roles of the public and private sectors, identifying the challenges and the benefits of adopting and expanding ICT use. The report first assesses topics essential to building an information society, including investment, access, diffusion, and country policies and strategies. It then introduces the new World Bank ICT At-a-Glance tables for 144 economies, which show the most recent national data on key indicators of ICT development. The tables enable assessments and comparisons both over time and across economies, so they help gauge ICT capacity, performance, and progress. Assessing what has worked, what hasn't, and why, this report is an invaluable guide for understanding how to capture the benefits of ICT around the world.