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Towards an ICT4D evaluation model based on the capability approach
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.
2014 (English)In: The International Journal on Advances in ICT for Emerging Regions, ISSN 1800-4156, Vol. 7, no 1, 1-15 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Undoubtedly Information and communication Technologies (ICT) contribute to development; however there is need to know how and the extent to which development occurs. Moreover the evaluation of the ICT contribution to development has been challenged by theoretical, ethical and methodological issues. This paper addresses some of these challenges by proposing a model that enables systematic evaluation of the ICT contribution to development. The proposed model is conceptually motivated by the capability approach that defines development as freedom. Development is a process that involves the provision of opportunities (capabilities) from an ICT resource, as well as actually exploiting the opportunities to realize development outcomes. The conversion of resources to opportunities and opportunities to development outcomes is facilitated or inhibited by various contextual factors. Development from the capability perspective is both people-centered and multidimensional. This requires considerations of both instrumental effectiveness and intrinsic importance. Consequently five evaluation dimensions in which social and economic development are proposed; i.e. education, health, economic facilities, political freedoms and psychological wellbeing. ICT4D evaluation indicators are suggested for each dimension and a Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) structured evaluation process is proposed to guide the evaluation. The application of structured evaluation approach is illustrated through the evaluation of an online learning environment at a University in a developing country. Future research seeks to further apply and validate the model in practice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 7, no 1, 1-15 p.
Keyword [en]
ICT4D, Capability Approach, ICT4D Impact evaluation, Multi-criteria decision analysis
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-111862OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-111862DiVA: diva2:776817
Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2015-01-08 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically 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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