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Perceptions of the role of ICT on quality of life in rural communities in Uganda
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.
, .
2011 (English)In: Information Technology for Development, ISSN 0268-1102, E-ISSN 1554-0170, Vol. 17, no 1, 61-80 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The role of information and communication technology (ICT) in enabling various development goals including the millennium development goals and ultimately human development is no longer disputed. Emphasis is now being placed on optimizing ICT benefits on the quality of life (QoL) of people, especially in developing countries. To address this need, this paper reports a study that applied Sen’s capability approach to explore how individuals in rural communities in Uganda perceived the importance of ICT toward their QoL and how this perception influenced ICT adoption. It was established that while perception was inclined to social benefits, ICT uptake and use toward improved QoL is still limited. One reasonable conclusion is therefore that state and policymakers should adopt a pluralistic approach to ICT provision: one that does not only focus on availability and affordability, but also considers expanding people’s awareness and agency for development benefit. ICT investments otherwise have a high risk of being severely underutilized.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 17, no 1, 61-80 p.
Keyword [en]
ICT4D, Sen’s capability approach, quality of life, millennium development goals, rural communities
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-70563DOI: 10.1080/02681102.2010.511698ISI: 000299344200005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-70563DiVA: diva2:482010
Available from: 2012-01-23 Created: 2012-01-23 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. A Structured Approach for Evaluating ICT Contributions to Development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Structured Approach for Evaluating ICT Contributions to Development
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There is considerable on-going research aimed at devising means of evaluating the contribution information and communication technology (ICT) makes towards development, of which this thesis forms a part. It specifically seeks to investigate how a structured approach can support the evaluation of the ICT contribution to development. The need to demonstrate that ICT actually contributes to development is a concern for all those involved in policy and implementation of ICT for development (ICT4D). This research therefore adopted a broad perspective in developing the evaluation approach, particularly applying it to initiatives in Uganda as a test bed. The research further embraced an interdisciplinary approach to accommodate the complex ICT interactions. It merged concepts from information systems, development studies and applied decision theories to devise an evaluation approach. The design science research paradigm facilitated the understanding of what constitutes ICT-related development as basis for developing and testing the approach. Both case study and survey research strategies were applied to facilitate data collection at the different stages of the research.

This thesis proposes a model and criteria for the evaluation of ICT-related development. Qualitative indicators are proposed, validated and tested for various dimensions including research and education, healthcare, economic opportunities, political freedoms and psychological wellbeing.

Findings confirm the multidimensional and complex nature of the interactions of ICT in development. For instance, ICT benefits may not be restricted to specific goals, severally characterised by unintended benefits. This corroborates the essence of multidimensional evaluations to ensure a more meaningful understanding and establishing of ICT4D benefits. The majority of the proposed indicators could appropriately evaluate the ICT contribution to development. Notably, the quest by decision-makers for quantitative measures in evaluating development benefits is still apparent. Therefore, it is imperative that qualitative and quantitative approaches complement each other in the evaluation of the ICT contribution to development, a subject that can be addressed in subsequent studies. Furthermore, ICT4D benefits can be categorised in terms of significance to an initiative, for example primary and/or secondary contributors to development. For instance, while cost reductions and savings represent an important benefit, this research established that they were secondary to several others, such as providing a timely service in as far as improved access to healthcare is concerned. This is another aspect that would benefit from further investigation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2015. 124 p.
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 15-002
National Category
Human Aspects of ICT
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113218 (URN)978-91-7649-070-9 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-03-16, Lilla hörsalen, NOD-huset, Borgarfjordsgatan 12, Kista, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-02-23 Created: 2015-01-26 Last updated: 2015-03-06Bibliographically approved

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