Track chairs/Associate editors
- Terje Aksel Sanner ([email protected], University of Oslo, Norway)
- Vincent Shaw ([email protected], HISP South Africa)
- Sundeep Sahay ([email protected], University of Oslo, Norway)
- Ime Asangansi ([email protected], CEO eHealth4everyone.com)
Overview of the research area
The focus of this track is not on technology per se but on the socio-political dynamics that constitute the environment of ICT4D projects and shape the governance of such projects (see e.g., Winschiers-Theophilus et al, 2015) We welcome studies that highlight the interplay between various actors in the field, and how different agendas shape the outcome of the projects and the long-term development of local institutions.
In many countries international organizations play a large role in financing public services, and play a disproportionally large role in the implementation of ICT4D projects. Their direct involvement can create local disruption as well as progress, for instance in drawing well qualified personnel away from more long-term local institutional roles. At the same time, global initiatives have been shown to influence local agendas also without direct involvement, such as in priority setting and pushing for certain global agendas, like the Millennium Development Goals and now the Sustainable Development Goals (Fukuda-Parr et al, 2015). The changing funding mechanisms, priorities and evaluation criteria of the large international development organizations directly influence research and practice associated with ICT4D projects all over the world.
ICT4D projects also engage with domestic challenges, such as changing political alliances and competing interests groups. Technology acquisition continues to be done in opaque processes. All these issues make governance of ICT4D challenging.
Topics relevant to this track would include ICT4D project dynamics related to
- Procurement and tendering processes
- Performance monitoring and project evaluation (see for example Jensen and Winthereik, 2013)
- Incentive structures (see for example Sanner and Sæbø, 2014)
- Role of influential foreign actors, such as international donors, technology companies, and universities
- Inter-donor coordination of projects
- Strengthening intra and inter-sectorial governance
- Techniques and practices of project management
We welcome both papers that point to best-practices and solutions to some of these challenges, and papers that critically examine these and other challenges of governing ICT4D projects.
Fukuda-Parr, Sakiko, and Alicia Ely Yamin. The MDGs, Capabilities and Human Rights: The Power of Numbers to Shape Agendas. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2015.
Jensen, Casper Bruun, and Brit Ross Winthereik. Monitoring Movements in Development Aid: Recursive Partnerships and Infrastructures. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013.
Sanner, Terje Aksel, and Johan Ivar Sæbø. “Paying Per Diems for ICT4D Project Participation: A Sustainability Challenge.” Information Technologies & International Development 10, no. 2 (2014).
Winschiers-Theophilus, Heike, Tariq Zaman, and Alvin Yeo. “Reducing White Elephant ICT4D Projects: A Community-Researcher Engagement.” In Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Communities and Technologies, 99–107. ACM, 2015.