Editors: Jacques Steyn, Graeme Johanson
Prof (emiritus) Don Schauder
This chapter describes the field of Development Informatics as it has emerged in the past two decades, and highlights some of the strengths of its research and practices. It draws on the current literature and the expertise of the other authors of this book to help to define a set of basic terms. Any new intellectual domain is tied to some degree to the vagaries of its institutional alliances, to the perceived international status of its public forums, and to the criticism that on its own it lacks unique methodological rigour. These points are discussed candidly. Multidisciplinarity is the backbone of Development Informatics. The main virtues of Development Informatics are that it offers a platform for an evaluative critique to counterbalance the effects of relentless globalisation, that it comprises strong multidisciplinary teams, that it maintains an intellectual space to build on international momentum that has developed among theorists and practitioners, and that it opens up future imaginative possibilities for collaborative projects which involve communities in developing areas of participatory research and ongoing project evaluation in order to encourage self-sustaining entities.
Graeme Johanson began professional life as a librarian, moving into academia after a decade of work experience. ICTs were in their infancy. His first academic qualifications were in history and law. His PhD research dealt with the hegemonic cultural and economic exchange of books around the British Empire, and their contributions to particular forms of development. In different universities he has taught and researched about disciplinary territories, information management, knowledge management, community informatics, community networks, learning commons, knowledge preservation, development informatics, e-research, migrant diasporas, and related themes. He has worked in faculties of Arts, Humanities, Communications Studies, Business, Education, and Information Technology. Multidisciplinarity has become a way of life!
In this chapter I argue for a shift of paradigm in the field of ICT4D. Since the inception of aid for development in the late 1940s with the introduction of the Marshall Plan, development has been dominated by emphasis on economic development, while development of other human characteristics have been neglected. The standard argument in ICT4D literature is that economic "upliftment" will result in social "upliftment". It is assumed that economics is the primary cause for social change. I challenge this assumption, and propose that it is instead individual "upliftment" that influences social change that might (or might not) lead to economic change.
Even the so-called Post-Washington Consensus only went as far as shifting to socio-economics, by addressing poverty, but is still based on a particular ideological brand of economics. There is a need to move away from the economic approach to development, and from measuring success with economic metrics such as GDP. ICT4D projects have been deployed within this economic paradigm. An alternative approach would be to deploy ITC4D projects against a social and cognitive paradigm in which social networking and psychological enrichment would take priority over economic development. Within such a paradigm, the principle of least effort would be used for measuring success. The proposed new paradigm is a techno-utilitarian approach. In this regard Development Informatics could pave the way for designing new kinds of ICT systems that are socially relevant to remote communities (whether geographically or socially remote) by making life easier for individuals. It is envisaged that economic development would follow individual and social development. The focus on developing an individual by exposing such an individual to scientific knowledge, will enable that individual to make better choices, which will lead to changing that individual and his or her environment. As the individual changes, the surrounding society changes (which is not the same as progressivism). Social change may lead to a change in the components of society, one of which is economics.
The main focus of this chapter is on the dominant economic approach that seems to lead all contemporary ICT4D efforts, with reference to some components of an alternative paradigm that views ICT as a tool to make life easier, and focuses on the enlightenment of an individual within the social context such an individual lives, by facilitating the possible development of cognitive abilities.
Jacques Steyn holds a multidisciplinary PhD, and he received an award for excellence in science from the South African Association for the Advancement of Science (S2A3) for his Masters Degree.
In 1999 he developed the first XML-based general music markup language (http://www.musicmarkup.info). He was member of the international ISO/MPEG-7 standards workgroup on metadata for interactive-TV and Multimedia. He was also member of the ISO/MPEG-4 extension workgroup for music notation (i.e. symbolic music representation).
In 1999 and 2000 he was Associate Professor of Multimedia at the University of Pretoria. Since February 2005 he served as Head of the School of IT at Monash University's South African campus. Prior to that, for close to a decade, he was a consultant in the field of new media, web technologies and multimedia.
His interest in ICT4D began in 1999. In 2006 he established the International Development Informatics Association, which at the time of writing will have its 3rd annual conference.
The idea of this book was born from frustration with the scarcity of well-founded academic research in the field of ICT4D, where media hype seems to reign.
Cristina Kiomi Mori
Governments, societies and communities all over the world are involved in initiatives for bridging the digital gap, aiming economic and social development. In Latin American and Caribbean countries, these efforts are generally called “digital inclusion” policies and projects. “Digital inclusion” is an expression that combines defining terms such as “digital divide” and “social inclusion”, together with the assumptions, ideologies and value systems carried by them. However, the comprehension of this expression varies among different agents involved. Identifying defining terms and analyzing their correspondent views is essential for improving scientific approach to any theme. The purpose of this article is to bring and debate definitions on “digital inclusion” and related topics from specialized and academic bibliography, as well as from the field , in order to contribute on qualifying academic and policy making debates.
Cristina Kiomi Mori is Ph.D. student in Social Policy (2007-2010) at University of Brasilia (UnB), with Bachelor (1994-1998) and Master's (1999-2003) degree in Media at University of São Paulo (USP). Since 2005, works as program manager for Digital Inclusion Policies at the Secretariat of Logistics and Information Technology in the Ministry of Planning, Budget and Management of Brazil. That includes coordinating public initiatives such as Computer for Inclusion Project, a national equipment refurbishing network that provides qualification to young people; Digital Inclusion National Observatory, a set of information organized for multiple uses at www.onid.org.br; Workshop for Digital Inclusion, annual event for public policy debate and improvement; and Telecentros.BR, a national program that supports digital inclusion in communities. From 2003 to 2004, worked in digital inclusion for local development in Amazon Forest communities, as project manager for the non-governmental organization Health and Happiness Project (Projeto Saúde & Alegria). From 2000 to 2003, worked for Cidade Escola Aprendiz, in São Paulo, as journalist, editor, project manager and youth educator. Also worked at Sydney Olympic Games, in year 2000, as press assistant. Previously, had worked for the web edition of Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, and as editor in websites and news agencies.
In this chapter I call for participatory monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of? the benefits of information and communication technology for development? (ICT4D). I illustrate my arguments with examples of ICT initiatives designed? to improve livelihoods in rural and remote communities. I disaggregate the? ICT4D acronym by reflection on the role of information, on the different? meanings of technology, and on the power of communication for development. I ?acknowledge fundamental challenges to ICT4D M&E: multiple stakeholders are? involved, and they each perceive benefits in unique ways. No ?single indicator or index is appropriate for all of those involved. Second, ?the benefits of ICT4D are best explained in terms of their contribution to? improved livelihoods, rather than by a direct attribution. This means that? the theory of change is non-linear; it is systemic. Third, system thinking? embraces the notion of emerging properties. This means that we can only? predict some of the benefits and drawbacks of ICTs, but others will emerge as ?they combined with other factors beyond our control. These three basic? attributes constitute the rationale for an M&E approach that is negotiated? from the start, where all parties explore their theories of change and arrive? at a shared one. One where participation is needed from the start, as each ?actor agrees on the possible dimensions that merit to be tracked. Emerging ?approaches like Outcome Mapping and Most Significant Change are gaining? prominence in the M&E field. The ICT for Development sector is beginning to? take notice. I explain the achievements and opportunities to harness these? complementary, qualitative approaches. I highlight some of the practical? considerations needed to combine the approaches with conventional results ?based management ones. The chapter closes with a reflection on the steps ?necessary for an alternative M&E paradigm to gain acceptance in the ICT4D? field.
Ricardo Ramirez is a freelance consultant based in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. He has worked in communication for development for 25 years. His evaluation work in the field of information and communication technology (ICT) emphasizes participatory action research. He has worked with ICT projects by First Nations in remote communities in northern Ontario where applications like telemedicine are being implemented by Aboriginal organizations. Ricardo has worked with communication as a component of rural development projects through NGOs, universities, consulting firms and the United Nations. He was associate professor of Capacity Development and Extension in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph. He remains an Adjunct Professor of the same school. He has collaborated with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Ottawa in applied research on M&E of ICT projects. In particular, he has been exploring the role of participatory and developmental evaluation approaches including Utilization Focused Evaluation, Most Significant Change and Outcome Mapping into the ICT world. Ricardo has written about the promise of these methods in light of the unpredictable dimensions of ICT-induced change. He advocates for multi stakeholder negotiation around what to measure to capture benefits as perceived by different actors. Ricardo was born and raised in Mexico. His Canadian university education began in agriculture, then moved to adult education and finally to information and communication technology for rural community development.
Since the conclusion of World War II, efforts to develop the so-called Third World have taken a variety of paths. In light of a number of intriguing but competing approaches – modernization, post-structuralism, and dependency, to name just a few theories – the field of development is in a state of confusion. Consequently, it has been difficult for development informatics specialists to understand how best to harness the power of Information Communications Technology (ICT), as there is no clear goal in sight which ICT is supposed to be supporting. The following chapter provides a brief historical overview of the field of development, with a special interest in the role technology has been understood to play in this context. A discussion of relevant scholarship points to the dual notions that the next wave of development informatics work will prize attention to cultural particularities, and as such, will necessitate a degree of participative technology design. By extension, a dynamic relationship between power and knowledge is affirmed, in line with scholars such as Foucault (2000) and Schech (2002). Various strands of thought are ultimately synthesized into what is termed the mirror meta-principle, which stresses that culturally sustainable development informatics requires ICT to be participatively designed so as to support developing societies’ economic and socio-cultural well-being and congruently “mirror” the economic and socio-cultural exigencies and traditions of developing societies. In this paradigm, the economic and socio-cultural patterns embedded into ICT need not be in line, or need to be moved into line, with the traditional Western ideology of modernization. With Heeks (1999), it is asserted that development informatics specialists’ approach to the participatory process must be grounded in a steady attention to reality.
Chase Laurelle Knowles is currently earning a Ph.D. at Claremont Graduate University (CGU), where her research interests include the intersection of social psychology, religion, politics, culture, and new media technology. She previously studied at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), where she participated in a number of transdisciplinary research projects focused on the social implications of ICT. These included REMAPPING LA, the flagship project of the UCLA Center for Research in Engineering, Media and Performance, as well as an independent research initiative in which she tracked Islamist web activity. She is preparing herself for a career in academia, research, and consulting. All opinions expressed in her work are hers alone, and are not meant to be understood as representative of the views of any organization(s) she has been, or is currently, affiliated with.
Jasmine M. Harvey
The emergence of new information and communication technologies has generated much debate both in and out of academia in relation to theories ranging from economic advancement to imperialism. In the context of the Majority world (low-income countries), a dominant discourse associated with ICTs persist. This is the discourse of development, where it is predicted that nations which have joined the global market will use ICTs to harness global knowledge that shall enable them to be competitive and therefore attain development. This has led to change in policy from international to local as ICTs are embraced as next big development tool. Recently however, there have been reports of more failures of ICTs initiatives than success as professionals in the industry complain about unsustainability of the systems. A problematic issue is that so far analysis of this discourse has tended to be economically or technically deterministic with little attention paid to the social and cultural perspectives. In order to understand how the role of norms, practices and politics of people in particular communities play in this discourse in the Majority world, over 1000 semi-qualitative questionnaires were analysed from five geographical locations in The Gambia. A key conclusion that has emerged from the research is that, there are different attitudes towards the ICTs in the different locations, which vary from cultural acceptance to rejection of ICTs, and this diversity is underpinned by the secularism of the people’s information ecology in which gender plays a critical part. This result challenges the ICTD agenda, and can directly be applied to reports of unsustainable ICT initiatives in especially Africa.
Jasmine Harvey is a social, cultural and development informatics professional specialising in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and their communities of practice. She has studied and worked in the ICT field for about 13 years and her particular areas of interest include ICTs for development, globalisation, the information society, and policy. Professional experience include ICT research, ICT training, database management, desktop publishing, web design and administration.
Jasmine is currently a Research Fellow in the School of Community Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham working on a project that is evaluating ICT's impact in healthcare communities such as community pharmacies and general practices. She has also worked on a range of other ICT-related jobs including field work project management and coordination, Loughborough university; teaching and assessment of undergraduate degree students, Loughborough university; consultancy work on displaced peoples’ needs with UNICEF Uganda; teaching basic software programs; database management and IT related duties for The Workshop conferences, Loughborough; and web design and authoring, Indygo New Media Ltd, London.
Her education history includes a PhD in Human geography on: "Cyber and cellular cultures in the Gambia: socio-spatial perspectives on globalisation, development and the digital divide", Department of Geography, University of Loughborough; a Master’s degree (MSc distinction) in Global transformations in Department of Geography, Loughborough University; and, a Bachelor’s degree (BSc 2:1) in Information management and computing – Department of Information Science, Loughborough University. She also has two computing diplomas in Computer Programming; and, Computer Systems Design from West African Computer Science Institute (WACSI) and West London College (WLC) respectively.
|Andrew Thatcher||Mbongi Ndabeni|
The digital divide is often conceptualised as inequalities of access in terms of patterns of demographic variables such as race, language, education and social class disparities or attributed to geographical location (e.g. urban vs. rural). While access is obviously a precursor to technology use, research consistently shows that the digital divide is not explained only by access to technology. This is apparent in the evidence of digital divides within communities of equitable wealth or within the same geographical location. The field of psychology recognises that there are psychological as well as socio-economic factors at play in the adoption of technology. In this chapter, we look at building a model of e-adoption for understanding the digital divide by building on the neo-Vygotskian approach to activity theory (Engstrom, 1987), that looks at the interplay between task, tool, and technology within a particular context (the contextual variables being those that are traditionally implicated in the digital divide). Within this approach we build a model based on the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) from Davis (1989), the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) from Ajzen (1991), Hofstede’s (1980) culture framework, and the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) from Bandura (1986; 1997). While some aspects of these individual theories have been applied to understanding the digital divide, this chapter builds a more complete model that incorporates aspects from all these theories to provide a more comprehensive psychological model of e-adoption than currently exists in the literature.
Prof. Andrew Thatcher is an Associate Professor in Psychology in the School of Human & Community Development at the University of the Witwatersrand where he is also Deputy Head of School. He holds a BSc, MSc and PhD in Psychology from the University of the Witwatersrand. His principal teaching interests are in the area of Industrial/Organisational Psychology (Engineering Psychology, Cognitive Ergonomics, Psychometric Assessment, Organisational Theory and Research Design). Andrew strives to integrate his teaching with his research interests and subsequently was the recipient of the 2004 Vice-Chancellor's Individual Teaching Award and the 2007 University e-Learning Award. He is currently the School Graduate Studies Chair overseeing postgraduate issues in the departments of Psychology, Speech Pathology and Audiology, and Social Work. His research interests are in the domains of the psychological influences of technology adoption, the cognition of technological devices, and computer supported cooperative work systems. His current research projects are looking at the feasibility of online conference systems and the psychological, cognitive aspects of technology adoption in illiterate people, moral disengagement mechanisms in software piracy, and attendance patterns in large class tertiary education classes. Andrew is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa as an Industrial Psychologist and is also a member of the Human Factors & Ergonomics Society and the Ergonomics Society of South Africa. He was the Chairperson of the Fourth International Cyberspace Conference on Ergonomics (CybErg 2005, he was also Chairperson of the Third CybErg Conference, and a member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee for the Second CybErg Conference), and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel of HCII2009, IEA2009, and CybErg 2008. He is the Chair of the Dvision of Engineering Psychology and Human Factors for the 30th International Congress of Psychology to be held in cape Town in 2012. He was an Associate Editor of the 'South African Journal of Psychology' until 2007, and is currently a Co-editor of 'Ergonomics SA'. He has reviewed for the journals Behaviour & Information Technology, International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, Ergonomics SA, CyberPsychology & Behaviour, Computers in Human Behaviour, Information & Processing Management, The Open Ergonomics Journal, South African Journal of Industrial Psychology, Ergonomics, and the South African Journal of Industrial Psychology. He is also a member of the editorial boards of the journals Behaviour & Information Technology, Ergonomics, and The Open Ergonomics Journal.
Mbongi holds a Masters degree in industrial psychology from Wits University. In his masters thesis he invesistigated the moderating effect of self-efficacy in the relationship amongst perceived competence, job stress and career commitment. Since graduation, he has been in involved in running a small business, part of which was community internet services in a rural town in the Eastern Cape (and has therefore a practical exposure to some elements of e-adoption from the perspective of rural communities). During this same period, he has been involved in short research projects - including human factors and mental models. Mbongi is currently lecturing HR, Org Behavior, Org Theory and Consumer Psychology at Rhodes University. He and is curently reading for for his PhD in industrial psychology looking at the concept of technology usability among illiterate communities. His research interests include: self-efficacy as it relates to learning and acquisition of organisational skills, career and organisational commitment, technology and usability amongst illiterate communities.
|Suely Fragoso||Denise Cogo||Liliane Dutra Brignol|
This chapter addresses the discussion about the success or failure of initiatives aiming to provide access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as a means of promoting social inclusion. We believe that there is often a disparity between the supposed and the true needs and desires of the minority groups at the receiving end of digital divide initiatives. Observation of practices towards ICTs spontaneously developed by a minority group indicate that important achievements are being overlooked by evaluations of digital divide projects and policies. The observed practices were organized in six categories and a change of paradigm is proposed for further actions.
Suely Fragoso is Ph.D. in Communications (Institute of Communications Studies, University of Leeds, England, 1998); Master in Communications and Semiotics (Pontifícia Universidade Catolica de Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1992) and Bachelor in Architecture and Urbanism (Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1987). Professor at Universidade do Vale do Rio do Sinos, Unisinos, Brazil and sponsored researcher of The National Council for Scientific and Technological development (CNPq). Executive Coordinator of the Postgraduate Programme in Communications (Master and Doctorade levels) in the same University in 2005-2006, Coordinator of the Special Interest Group in Information and Communication Technologies of the Brazilian Association of Postgraduate Programmes (Compos) in 2004-2005, Founder and Coordinator of the Research Group Midias Digitais (http://www.midiasdigitais.org). Consultant for research sponsoring agencies (CNPq, CAPES, FAPERGS), scientific associations and journals.
Denise Cogo is Ph.D. (2000) and Master (1995) in Communications (School of Arts and Communications, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Brazil) and Post-Doctoral Fellow at Department of Publicidad y Comunicación Audiovisual (Universidade Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain, 2007-2008), and Bachelor in Journalism (1985) and French (1989) (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul). Professor at Universidade do Vale do Rio do Sinos, Unisinos, and researcher of CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico), Brazil and Visiting Lecturer at Universidade Autônoma de Barcelona (Spain, 2004-2008). Co-coordinator of the Brazil-Spain Cooperation Programme (Comissão de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, CAPES, Brazil & Ministerio de Educacion y Ciencia, MEC, Spain, 2004-2008) (www.intermigra.unisinos.br ) and Coordinator the Media, Culture and Citizenship Research Group (http://midiaculturaecidadania.wordpress.com). Coordinator of the Special Interest Group in Communication for Citizenship of the Brazilian Association of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communications (Intercom, 2001-2006). Counsellor of CNPq (Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico), CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior) and Fapergs (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul).
Liliane Dutra Brignol is Ph.D. student at the Postgraduate Programme in Communications in Universidade do Vale do Rio do Sinos, Unisinos, Brazil, sponsored by CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior) (2006-present). Master in Communications (2004, Unisinos, Brazil) and Bachelor in Journalism (2001, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria, UFSM, Brazil). Researcher of the Brazil-Spain Cooperation Programme (Comissão de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, CAPES, Brazil & Ministerio de Educacion y Ciencia, MEC, Spain, 2004-2008) and of the Media, Culture and Citizenship Research Group (http://midiaculturaecidadania. wordpress.com/). Lecturer of Centro Universitario Franciscano (Unifra, Brazil, 2004-present).
Peter A. Kwaku Kyem
There is a considerable debate about how the technological gap between rich and poor countries of the world can be bridged or eliminated. Technological optimists argue that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can bring accelerated development to poor countries. Others question the viability of relying on ICT for development in low income countries. The ensuing debate has masked the digital divide problem and prevented a true discussion of how ICT can be deployed for the benefit of low income countries. On the otherhand, confronted with the persistent failures of one-size-fits-all economic development models, low income countries can no longer treat modernization as the pivot towards which all ICT-related development efforts must gravitate. There is a need to drop the singular vision of development which is premised on the experiences of Western developed nations and rather restore local actors and their cultures into the actual roles they play in development processes that occur within localities. Accordingly, this chapter reviews the perspectives that currently shape the ICT for development discourse and offers the multiplicity theory to bridge the gap in development theory and promote a development strategy which incorporates activities of both local and global actors in the development of localities.
Peter A. Kwaku KYEM is a Ghanaian who currently resides in the USA. Peter is a Professor of Geography at Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, Connecticut, USA. He holds a Ph.D. in Geography (1997) from Clark University, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. He obtained an MA in Geography (1991) from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, and a Post-graduate Diploma in Applied Geomorphology from International Institute for Aerospace Survey and Earth Sciences, ITC (1987) Enschede, the Netherlands. Dr. Kyem attended the University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, in Ghana for his BA degree in Geography and concurrently obtained a Diploma in Education in 1982. At Clark University, Peter worked in different capacities at Clark Labs (best known for its flagship product, the IDRISI GIS and Image Processing software). He was among the team of scholars at Clark Labs whose combined effort resulted in the development of Comprehensive Decision Support Tools in Idrisi GIS in 1993. Dr. Kyem followed this research with several publications on GIS and conflict management, Participatory GIS, and Information Communications Technology (ICT). His articles appear in books and reputable peer-reviewed journals such as the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Cartographica - the International Journal of Cartography, and Transactions in GIS. Others journals include Applied Geographic Studies, the Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries and the Journal of Planning Education Research. He has also presented a number of papers at various national and international conferences on Participatory GIS applications. Dr. Kyem’s current research focuses on ICT adoption in Africa, the Digital Divide, Participatory GIS, and GIS applications in conflict management.
|Duncan Timms||Sara Ferlander|
Although Sweden is generally considered to be at the forefront of the ICT revolution and to have high levels of social capital – interpersonal trust and participation - there remain areas and categories which are relatively disadvantaged. In this chapter we examine a number of efforts which have attempted to make use of ICT to enhance social capital in a Stockholm suburb which has been stigmatised in the press and which contains relatively high proportions of immigrants, single parents and the unemployed, all groups which are relatively excluded. An initial effort, based on the installation of a local community network, largely failed. A second effort, based on a locally-run Internet café was more successful, with the café operating as a Third Place, both on-line and off-line, bridging many of the divisions characterising the community. Following the end of project funding and despite its apparent success, the café was unable to continue. The factors accompanying the success and failure of the Swedish undertakings provide lessons for other efforts to use ICTs in attempts to enhance social inclusion and community.
Duncan Timms is Emeritus Professor of Applied Social Science in the University of Stirling and holds BA and PhD degrees from the University of Cambridge. He was Deputy Principal of the University of Stirling between 1978 and 1984, Acting Principal & Vice-Chancellor 1981-2 and Dean of the Faculty of Human Sciences from 1999-2006. From 1998-2006 he was Director of the Centre for eLearning Development. Earlier appointments included Senior Lecturer in Anthopology and Sociology in the University of Queensland and Professor of Sociology in the University of Auckland. His main research interests are social inclusion and social capital, the social implications of information and communications technologies and the sociology of mental health. He has directed a number of research and development projects, including SCHEMA (Social Cohesion through Higher Education in Marginal Areas ), an EC-funded project under the auspices of the Telematics Applications Programme (1998-2001), and ODELUCE (Open and Distance Learning in University Continuing Education, funded under the EC MINERVA Programme 2001-2003. Research grants have included funding from the ARC, the ESRC and the Wenner Gren Foundation for research into urban social structure and the mental health and family background of a Swedish cohort and from the ESRC , the Swedish NFR and the EC Human Capital & Mobility fund for a series of international schools on comparative social research.Publications include books and papers on urban social structure, IT and social inclusion, and family background and mental health.
Sara Ferlander is a researcher and lecturer at the Stockholm Centre on Health of Societies in Transition (SCOHOST), in the School of Social Sciences, Södertörn University. She holds a BA in sociology from Stockholm University and a PhD in sociology and psychology from the University of Stirling. Prior to taking up her position in Södertörn University she was a research assistant at the Centre for eLearning Development in the University of Stirling. Her publications include papers on social inclusion, community and ICT and on the relationship between social capital and health in Russia.
|Nitika Tolani-Brown||Meredith McCormac||Roy Zimmermann|
The American Institutes for Research (AIR), in collaboration with infoDev and the World Bank, is conducting a comprehensive analysis of reliable research undertaken to date on the deployment of low-cost and other ICTs to support education goals around the world with an emphasis on the developing world. The purpose of the study is to increase understanding of the impact of ICT on educational outcomes in children and adults and, ultimately, to generate an innovative research agenda to address salient issues. We are examining rigorous research that has been conducted to determine issues such as impact, efficacy, return on investment, and total cost of ownership. Through an open call via the web site www.ICTimpact.org, AIR will review and analyze reports that are submitted, conduct inverviews with stakeholders, and post an initial working document for community comment, critique, and conversation. Comments and the latest iteration will later be pulled down and refined for academic review and distribution. AIR is an international leader in research of the behavioral sciences. With research and development projects in more than 30 countries around the world, AIR has spent the last 60 years working at the intersection of research and practice.
Dr. Nitika Tolani-Brown is currently a Research Analyst with the American Institutes for Research (AIR). Her main interests lie in program management, monitoring and evaluation within the social welfare, education and health sectors. Over the past ten years, she has developed programs and lead large-scale, policy-relevant mixed methods studies investigating the effects of persistent socioeconomic disadvantage and psychosocial traumas on cognitive, behavioral and psychological outcomes in children and adults from the desert villages of Rajasthan to the inner-city communities of New York. Dr. Tolani-Brown has also served as a technical advisor for a range of interventions in educational development, teacher professional development, psycho-social and emotional learning, youth empowerment and life skills, distance learning, and program evaluation (including quantitative and qualitative techniques). She received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology (with a concentration in International Educational Policy) and her M.A. in Applied Psychology from Columbia University. She received a B.A. in English and a B.S. in Psychology from Santa Clara University.
Meredith McCormac is currently a Project Specialist at the American Institutes for Research, where she manages large-scale education development projects in sub-Saharan Africa and conducts research on various education policy issues. Specifically, she is interested in the impact of both formal and non-formal education programs on the resiliency of marginalized or vulnerable youth, as well as the impact of state fragility on education and the possibilities for educational programs to mitigate fragility. Prior to joining the American Institutes for Research, Ms. McCormac coordinated student exchange programs on human rights education in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and conducted research on post-conflict transitional justice mechanisms for the Jennings Randolph Senior Fellowship program at the United States Institute of Peace. Ms. McCormac holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Oklahoma, a M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University, and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in International Education Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park, where her research focuses on education policy in post-conflict environments as well as measurement and evaluation.
Dr. Roy Zimmermann is currently the Director of Programs at Higher Education for Development (HED) and has nearly two decades of experience working in education and international development programming. Dr. Zimmermann oversees HED’s partnerships that link U.S. based colleges and universities with those in developing countries to build capacity and promote development. He has managed and worked on international development projects funded by USAID, UNICEF, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank. In his previous position as Deputy Director of Global Initiatives at the American Institutes for Research, Dr. Zimmermann managed successful projects that improved education systems at all levels using his strategic planning and technical skills, particularly his implementation of information communication technologies (ICT) solutions. His keen interest in and research of ICT has led him to prepare papers and presentations that examine the role and impact of ICT in education and international development. He holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in education from the University of California, Los Angeles. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in history and education from Emory University. Zimmermann was a Peace Corps volunteer in Papua New Guinea. He is fluent in Spanish and Melanesian Pidgin
The chapter is about the importance and the added value of networking activities in international development cooperation programmes and actions, and their central role in building successful and sustainable development cooperation experiences. The chapter starts from the paradoxical consideration that, while society is going through a deep change process (both in developed and in developing countries) and is somehow moving towards a network model (the so-called network society), despite of some innovative visions and practices of development that seem to follow this change, international development cooperation still seems to adopt models and practices which were conceived for an industrial society. We are convinced that one of the causes of this slow adaptation of the development thinking and practices to the new international setting stands in the low importance assigned to the networking dimension of development, and the difficulty of “networking for development studies” to find their place both in academic and in non-academic research and to be listened by policy makers. Even if all major development donors (from the United Nations to the European Commission to the World Bank) seem to agree that the networking dimension is key in development actions and do devote some – limited – funding to this specific kind of activities, they seem to do so not starting from sound research evidence on the benefit of networking, but rather from the common place that networking is a good thing as such. The chapter will analyse the phenomenon of networking for development from different angles: first, a review of the most recent networking studies will be resented and applied to developemtn settings, followed by a reasoning on the relevance of the issue in a number of donors strategy, by a definition of the important aspects of networking in development settings, and by a collection of short cases where networking had an impact in terms of sustainability, replicability, efficiency. Some key concepts such as "hyperhead" and "networking added value" are presented and analysed.
Fabio Nascimbeni has a Degree in Economics, with an international business management specialisation, and is finalising a PHD on ICT for Development in the Knowledge Society. In his actual position of Director of the MENON Network (www.menon.org), he is in charge of research coordination, business development, coordination of international working groups, policy advisory and strategic consultancy. He has been coordinating, in collaboration with the European Commission, a number of international collaboration actions, such as the International Stakeholders Component of the @LIS Programme, focusing on the cooperation of Europe and Latin America in the fields of e-learning, health, e-government, e-inclusion, the SINCERE Network, focusing on the collaboration of Europe, Latin America and South East Asia on Educational Research, the WINDS-LA project, focusing on Euro-Latinamerican and Caribbean collaboration in ICT research, and the VIT@LIS Network.
This chapter reports on the results of a study of 25 rural communities across the U.S. who have deployed broadband technology for at least five years prior to the study. Using key informant interviews and secondary sources to examine the process used and its impacts, it was determined that the technology decision itself had little impact on the nature of development in the community. Leaders treated the technology as just another piece of the necessary infrastructure to be competitive in attracting large employers. Few communities had been able to translate the capability of the technology into a broader strategy. the research also tests the effects of other factors determining that one of the most impactful was the social capital in the community, expressed as "entrepreneural social infrastructure" in previous research. It would then be expected that future developments in those communities with sufficient amounts of social capital would be able to transform strategies for development in ways that make the deployment of broadband more efficacious.
Kenneth Pigg is Associate Professor of Rural Sociology at the Univ. of Missouri. He has been involved in the analysis of technological impacts on communities, especially rural communities, for 35 years. Recently his interest has turned to community informatics and the adoption process in rural communities with a concern for the factors that contribute to success in this process of adoption, deployment and use by local communities. He has recently completed a national study of this process and is currently advising several dissertations in related areas of research.
|Saeed Moshiri||Somaieh Nikpoor|
Recent developments in information and communication technology (ICT) have affected all economic activities across the world. Although there is ample evidence for the direct impact of ICT on productivity, the spillover effect of ICT has so far not been sufficiently investigated, especially in the international context. This chapter discusses ICT and its spillover effects on labour productivity using an empirical growth model and panel data for 69 countries over the period 1992-2006. The results show that ICT and its spillover have positive impacts on productivity worldwide, but the effects are much stronger in developed countries than those in the less developed countries.
Dr. Saeed Moshiri is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics, STM College, University of Saskatchewan, Canada. He received his BA and MA in Economics from University of Allameh Tabatabaie and University of Tarbiat Modarres in Iran and his MA and PhD from University of Toronto and University of Manitoba in Canada. He has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in macroeconomics and econometrics in university of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg, Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada and University of Allameh Tabatabaie in Iran. Saeed’s research interests are applied econometrics, macroeconomics, economic growth, technological change, and energy economics. He has published 24 papers in refereed journals such as Journal of Forecasting, International Review of Applied Economics, Energy Journal, Iranian Economic Review, Information System in Developing Countries, Economic Journal, and Quarterly Iranian Economic Review in the areas of forecasting, energy, macroeconomics, and the effect of technological change on productivity and growth.
Somaieh Nikpoor is a PhD candidate in University of Ottawa, Canada. She received her BA and MA from Shahid Beheshti University and University of Allameh Tabatabaie in Iran, and now working on her PhD dissertation in University of Ottawa
Information and communication technologies are thought by some to offer a firm solution to world poverty. It is argued that ICT will allow poor countries to 'leap-frog' the current resource gap and become engaged within the 'new economy'. Such an optimistic position requires appropriate government policies to facilitate this shift. Interventions required would include improving access levels and quality of telecommunication and electricity infrastructure, improved quality of education and numbers of those accessing education, and providing both direct and indirect support to encourage local firms to become engaged with the global economy. Ironically, these policies are consistent with current orthodox development policies currently pursued within the 'old' economy. This chapter therefore considers what exactly is new about ICT in terms of its potential impact on the poor.
Associate Professor Matthew Clarke is Deputy Head of the School of International and Political Studies and Course Director of the International and Community Development postgraduate program at Deakin University, Australia. Associate Professor Clarke has published or presented over eighty academic journal papers, book chapters and conference papers. He has also authored or co-authored five books and edited or co-edited another 4. These publications have address climate change, the Millennium Development Goals, aid effectiveness, HIV/AIDS, sustainability and ICTs in development. Dr Clarke undertakes regular evaluations of community development projects in the Pacific and South-east Asia for various non-government organisations, with a particular interest in HIV/AIDS and health-related projects. Prior to working within the tertiary sector, Associate Professor Clarke worked with the international aid agency, World Vision, where he was responsible for designing and monitoring community development projects in the South-east Asian region.
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