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Using a Structured Approach to Evaluate ICT4D: Healthcare Delivery 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. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis - IIASA.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2015 (English)In: Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, ISSN 1681-4835, E-ISSN 1681-4835, Vol. 66, no 8, 1-16 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Using a case from the healthcare delivery sector, we demonstrate how a structured evaluation approach can facilitate the measurement of actual ICT contributions in various contexts. Typically, such are intricate due to the complexities inherent in the environments, making it difficult to evaluate the relationship between ICT and the benefits it intends to achieve to a reasonable degree. The approach suggested in this paper tries to partly remedy some of these complications, by facilitating qualitative data elicitations, aggregation, analysis and evaluation. To make this computationally meaningful, a decision support tool for handling numerically imprecise information is used for the data analysis and evaluation details. The results of this indicate that such an approach makes at least some meaningful input for practitioners and policymakers. In comparison to the qualitative in-depth approaches this approach facilitates a one-point in time assessment, which is less resource intensive, but provides prompt and substantial insight on the development performance of ICT4D initiatives. A similar approach would also be applicable to different sectors, and can utilize a broader scope of criteria, as well as incorporate views from several categories of stakeholders.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 66, no 8, 1-16 p.
Keyword [en]
ICT4D, Evaluation, Impact, Healthcare delivery, decision analysis, MCDA
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113335OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-113335DiVA: diva2:784071
Funder
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
Available from: 2015-01-28 Created: 2015-01-28 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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