I cannot speak from experience about what it's like to live in Sub-Saharan Africa, or Yugoslavia, or Chile, or any of the other "third-world" countries, because I grew up in a middle class house, on a middle class street, in the suburbs of Chicago. What I can speak from experience about is technology, and I can also speak of the knowledge I've gained in talking to people who have lived in, and often surmounted, the difficult conditions in some of these locales.
Laying fiber throughout Rwanda is not going to stop the killing, and no one can eat fiber cable either. Boating in loads of wheat isn't the entire answer either, nor is setting up medical tents for as long as the money will last. Helping these countries is an evolutionary process, not a one step fix.
A situation like this must be dealt with in the same way a doctor handles an emergency patient. Symptoms and causes must be evaluated quickly and efficiently before the situation worsens too badly with these symptoms being ranked in order of importance. That order of importance should place the most immediate dangers at the top, and the smallest issues at the bottom. Then you deal with them on a symptom level first, and a root cause level second. As you march down the list each problem will be easier than the one previous, and this will accelerate both because the problems themselves are easier, and because progress builds on itself.
Take hunger for example, intially you have to provide food for people to eat, because starving people can not take advantage of anything else. Once you've got the "right now" hunger out of the way you can begin building a farming infrastructure, providing machinery and training for things like irrigation and harvesting to boost efficiency. It's been proven that you can farm virtually any landy with enough determination and elbow grease. If you don't believe that, visit Israel.
Education is one of the longest lasting, highest impact relief forms we can provide to any country, but it alone will not solve anything. Education must be written onto a fairly clean slate, or it gets lost in the clutter of more immediate problems like armed conflict or starvation.
One other major point, in my mind, is that we cannot dictate to these people what they're going to get, and how they're going to use it. Instead we have to send people there who're willing to make a long term commitment to getting to know the local culture, the people, the situation as a whole and working with the people towards a solution they, as a majority, are interested in.
Shoving democracy down their throats isn't the way, because not every group wants a democracy. If, for example, the Rwandans want a philosopher-king then let them have it. We can still work within that system to better the lives of as many people as possible.
"Its like someone opened my mouth and stuck a fistful of herbs in it." - Tamio Kageyama, Iron Chef 'Battle Eggplant'