Evolution of ICT for Development

To prevent failing, future ICT4D projects need a different approach and a change in the design process compared to ICT4D 1.0 projects. What do you think should ICT4D initiators consider most during project planning?

Future ICT4D projects

Future ICT4D projects - 2.0 projects - should take a different approach to be more sustainable than 1.0 projects. One of their philosophy might be:

Give a person a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a person to fish, you feed them until someone comes along with a better fishing technique, or until pollution wipes out all the fish, or until the government changes the law outlawing fishing or until war overtakes the family and they become refugees. Help a person to become a creative thinker and you feed them for life.
(S. Batchelor cited in  Information of Development Program 2003)

So where is ICT4D heading? Future ICT4D projects will be...

...using a bottom-up approach and

...therefore addressing people's needs and wants,

..‘practitioners and researchers would have to ask individuals about their own development priorities and let these guide the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of development projects and programs.’ (Kleine 2010)

...considering local differences and stopping ‘homogenising “the poor”’ (Heeks 2009),

...using existing technologies (radio, TV) and capacities,

...fostering innovation, creativity and peer-to-peer learning and teaching,

...choosing the right technology 

‘Simpler technology often produces better results.’ (Information of Development Program 2003)

...using open developmental systems,

...enabling new business models,

...including illiterate people,

...cost-efficient and hence sustainable.

People for development

Finally, it is important to be aware that technology brings its own values. The culture of local communities will be (and already is) influenced by these values in positive and negative ways.

Especially ‘open ICT ecosystems allow for the amplification and emergence of new socially detrimental activities.’ (Smith & Elder 2010)

Ushahidi.com, a highly praised Kenyan local violence tracker is a service that can be used to report local acts of (political) violence (Shirky 2010). This service depends heavily on its users honesty because no third-party oversight of reports is provided. False reports are a possibility and ‘are especially damaging to the documentation of human rights abuses, because just one falsifiable report can more or less permanently discredit an entire human rights operation.’ (Lehmann 2011)

After all, the access to information and the ability to communicate is a need of people in all countries. Technology might help to alleviate some of the great problems in the world but not without the help of non-technological solutions and only if it is integrated in everyday life in a sensible manner.

Watch the talk of Kentaro Toyama about the myth of scale and think about why people matter for ICT4D projects and other projects as well.

Kentaro Toyama - The Myth of Scale - 2010

ICT4D and the individual

This resource does not intend to discuss the usefulness of development aid. 

If you are interested in development aid and want to do something actively then the next question will be:

How can I help? What can I do?

As these questions are difficult to answer and many possibilities exist, I created a lino to collect ideas. Everyone is invited to post suggestions there about ICT4D and how individuals might support it. You will find the link here .

ICT4D collaborative map

I created a map on Google with some examples of mostly educational ICT4D projects. This map needs more interesting and inspirational examples!

Be creative and add an example of an ICT4D project to our ICT4D map!

Choose something interesting for people working in the educational field. You might want to use examples from the additional resources or you might want to search the Internet. Mark a location and label it with a short description of the project. Include a link and if available an image.

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