ICT4D: ICTs and Sustainable Development Minitrack

In 2012 Walsham published an article with the question “Are we making a better world with ICTs?”. Walsham encouraged the information systems community to explore how ICTs could help improve individual capabilities and opportunities to use technology to improve their lives. These questions are at the core of the Information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) field that focuses on the use of ICT to foster positive changes for individuals, communities or nations. The focus is on the lives of the poor and marginalized by improving their economy, health, security, education and so on. The field is multidisciplinary and often includes theories from fields such as information systems, development studies, business and political science.

That ICTs can foster a positive development is now widely accepted in the research community. The question now is rather how ICT can contribute to the betterment of the poor and marginalized. The mechanics and processes by which ICT lead to development is not fully understood. There is also a shortage in the understanding of the role of different stakeholders in development efforts using ICT. International donor agencies, national government and non-government organizations (NGOs) all play an important role. But we need a clearer understanding on the effectiveness of different development efforts undertaken by the different actors, and the role that different actors can and should have in the development process. We welcome theoretical and conceptual discussions as well as empirical studies. The papers should strive to provide future guidance to the field. We do not only look for success stories; criticism of the field and of existing approaches may be just as insightful as guidance for future efforts.

Minitrack topics include, but are not limited to:

  • The role of government and NGOs in ICT4D
  • The role that the international community should play
  • The role of national ICT policies for development
  • The role of social media in ICT4D
  • The role of champions and mediators
  • Cases of government-led ICT4D implementations in developing countries
  • What are the theories that should be used in the assessment of ICT4D projects
  • What are the theories that should guide ICT4D research and practice
  • What are the theories to understand the role of technology in development
  • How ICTs can enable people participate in political discourses to encourage change
  • How ICT4D interventions can be measures and assessed
  • How ICT can be instrumental to facilitate sustainable development

Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Devinder Thapa (Primary Contact)
University of Agder, Norway
Email: devinder.thapa@uia.no

Mathias Hatakka
Dalarna University, Sweden
Email: mht@du.se

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