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Important aspects in ICT4D projects: towards a model for quality assessment
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2009 (English)In: Revista de investigaciones UNAD, ISSN 0124-793X, Vol. 8, no 1, 29-42 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) is an approach adopted to improve the socio-economic situation in poor countries. It includes e-learning, open and free software, e-democracy, digital media, e-government, capacity building and infrastructure development. Billions of dollars are invested in such programs financed by international aid organizations, state funded aid agencies and multinational private companies. Well known problems are poor infrastructure, crime and poor adaptations to the socio-cultural context. It is a complex multidisciplinary, multi stakeholder and multimedia field with an emerging theoretical framework. This paper identifies and examines important quality aspects of ICT4D projects and provides empirical ICT4D examples illustrating each aspect. The overall research question in this study is: What makes some ICT4D projects more successful than others? Based on the authors own experience of projects in Sri Lanka, Uganda and Vietnam as well as analysis of other projects, the following quality aspects are considered as crucial for successful implementation of ICT in development projects: 1) Authentic local needs, 2) Local ownership, 3) Realistic limitations, 4) Competence network, 5) Communication strategy, 6) Planning horizon, 7) Documentation/measurable results, 8) Resources and sustainability and 9) Fun/Motivation. The relevance of these aspects are discussed and exemplified in the article. The thematic areas identified provide a basis for an emerging model, intended to be useful in the design and planning phase as well as in monitoring and evaluation of ICT4D projects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 8, no 1, 29-42 p.
Keyword [en]
ICT4D, development projects, success aspects, quality assessment
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-33452OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-33452DiVA: diva2:283126
Note

Spanish title: Aspectos importantes de los proyectos ICT4D, hacia un modelo para la evaluación de calidad.

Available from: 2009-12-23 Created: 2009-12-23 Last updated: 2014-11-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Education for All in Sri Lanka: ICT4D Hubs for Region-Wide Dissemination of Blended Learning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Education for All in Sri Lanka: ICT4D Hubs for Region-Wide Dissemination of Blended Learning
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

ICT4D, here defined as the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in developing regions, can be seen as one of the most powerful and cost efficient ways to improve the standard of living in the developing world. Many regions in Asia have shown a rapid but heterogeneous development where information technology had a drastic impact on development but often with the problems related to ICT4D 1.0: lack of sustainability and lack of scalability.

This study analysed the Sri Lankan infrastructure for region-wide dissemination of blended learning in the 21st century based on the exploration of some selected ICT4D hubs and educational initiatives. The overall aim of the research was to observe, describe and analyse how the selected ICT4D initiatives and the creation of ICT4D hubs in Sri Lanka might support region-wide dissemination of blended learning and local development. A longitudinal case study has been the overall approach where a number of embedded thematic units were explored in long-term fieldwork conducted between 2006 and 2012. Data has been collected from a combination of observations, interviews, group discussions, surveys and document analysis.

Findings showed that several of the studied ICT4D hubs have contributed to the general development but the country’s internal digital divide has in fact grown, as urban growth has been so much faster than the growth in rural areas, leaving the country with geographic as well as socio-economic gaps. Some of the former war zones have definitely been left behind and there is a need for further support of the Eastern and Northern regions of the island. Sri Lanka has had an outcome that must be classified as better than average compared to other developing regions with increased opportunities for education and with some ICT4D hubs as multipurpose meeting points. Contributing factors to the successful development are the high literacy rate, the chain of ICT4D projects rolled out in the right order and a committed implementation of educational eServices. On the other hand there were other, more negative findings indicating that sustainability, knowledge sharing and inter-project cooperation and coordination have often failed.

The identified strength in the Sri Lankan model, which can be recommended for other parts of the world as well, is the way top-down management of infrastructure sometimes is combined with bottom-up grass-root activities. Other recommendations, that also are global, are to extend existing ICT4D hubs and upgrade them to more intelligent, autonomous and multi-service ICT4D routers that could also handle the future need for eServices in the fields of eHealth, eFarming and eGovernance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2014. 120 p.
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 14-017
Keyword
ICT4D, ICT4D hubs, Digital divide, Sri Lanka, Blended learning, Education for All
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-109061 (URN)978-91-7649-042-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-12-11, Lilla hörsalen, NOD-huset, Borgarfjordsgatan 12, Kista, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2014-11-19 Created: 2014-11-10 Last updated: 2014-11-13Bibliographically approved

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