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Information Technologies & International Development
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1544-7529 - ISSN (Online) 1544-7537
Published by Georgia Institute of Tech Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Redesigning Agricultural Hand Tools in Western Kenya: Considering
           Human-Centered Design in ICTD

    • Authors: Susan Wyche, Jennifer Olson, Mary Njeri Karanu
      Abstract: Human-centered design (HCD) is a creative approach to technology design that prioritizes users’ needs in the design process. It is characterized by three phases: understanding, ideation, and evaluation. Enthusiasm for using HCD persists among ICTD (information and communication technologies for development) researchers; funding agencies continue to support efforts to use the approach in development projects. However, published studies documenting each phase of the approach are few. Here, we present one such case study that documents our use of HCD to understand farmers’ hand tools in Kenya and to explore their ideas for new tools—designed to make weeding easier. We also present an evaluation of three redesigned tools, which were manufactured by jua kali (local metal workers). Our findings suggest that HCD resulted in improved tools. These findings motivate a discussion that elaborates on using HCD in ICTD. We suggest that the most significant impacts of HCD may come from using the approach to understand diverse local conditions as they relate to design, and from jua kali integrating the approach into their design practices. Finally, we consider how HCD supports (and challenges) conducting ethical research.
      PubDate: 2019-10-10
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2019)
  • Collective Behaviors in Mobile Internet Access: An Exchange-Based Approach

    • Authors: Carleen Maitland
      Abstract: Collective behaviors such as sharing a mobile phone or receiving assistance with a social media account play a significant role in information and communication technology (ICT) access and use, particularly in low-resource environments. Yet to date, few studies provide quantitative comparisons of these behaviors. We establish common ground for such a comparison by viewing collective behaviors as exchanges, using a framework combining social exchange and transaction cost theories. Our research compares sharing and assistance primarily through secondary analyses of survey data collected from Syrian refugees in Jordan. Our results demonstrate the role of both relational dimensions and asset characteristics in explaining collective behaviors. Importantly, we provide quantitative evidence of differences in the effects of sharing and in assistance for men and women. Further, our findings suggest collective behaviors are important for extending women’s access and use. We conclude that the exchange perspective provides a helpful framework for deepening our understanding of collective behaviors.
      PubDate: 2019-08-11
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2019)
  • Empowering Rural Youth for Socioeconomic Development: A Skill Development
           Approach in Sarawak, Malaysia

    • Authors: Wan-Tze Vong, Patrick Hang Hui Then
      Abstract: This study investigated how skills development training can empower rural youth to improve their socioeconomic status. An online questionnaire (n = 41) and semistructured interviews (n = 10) were conducted with graduates who joined a six-month information and communication technology (ICT) training program in Sarawak, Malaysia. The online survey discovered that the trained youth were likely to use the Internet to participate in socioeconomic activities such as information searching, communication, and e-commerce. Additionally, those who used computers and the Internet frequently were found more likely to be engaged in higher-paying occupations and industries than non-users (p < 0.05). The interviews revealed that the trained youth were empowered with knowledge and skills to move into the labor market and to provide ICT-related services to their communities. The overall findings suggest that skills development training helps facilitate the adoption and use of technologies by rural youth and improves their ability to serve their rural communities
      PubDate: 2019-08-01
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2019)
  • Why Some Well-Planned and Community-Based ICTD Interventions Fail

    • Authors: Suzana Brown, Alan Mickelson
      Abstract: Despite being community-based and well planned, some ICTD interventions fall short of expectations. The present analysis seeks to advance the understanding of the effectiveness of the ICTD initiative by exploring some of the reasons for failure. In this article three such case studies were identiªed and issues with their outcomes analyzed. Each project enjoyed some successes, but also suffered from some anomalous outcomes. A common characteristic of the projects is that the people who executed the program were not included in the program design. The goal of this article is to advance the debate about the effectiveness of ICTD initiatives and dispute the notion that community-based interventions carried out in conjunction with local partners assure success. The main lesson is that even a nearly imperceptible deviation from the full inclusion of all relevant parties in every aspect of the project can result in large deviations from the expected outcomes.
      PubDate: 2019-07-20
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2019)
  • What Are the Drivers of ICT Diffusion' Evidence from Latin American

    • Authors: Matteo Grazzi, Juan Jung
      Abstract: It is generally recognized that information and communication technologies (ICTs) have radically changed how modern business is conducted, benefiting firm performances through several channels such as increasing the efficiency of internal processes, expanding market reach, or increasing innovation. However, most related literature refers to developed countries, and evidence for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is scarce and fragmented. Our article contributes to filling this gap by identifying the drivers of ICT diffusion in LAC firms. We find evidence of the presence of both epidemic and rank effects, where larger, older, skill-intensive, and exporter and urban firms are more likely to adopt ICTs. However, once adopted, size and location lose importance. The availability of novel empirical evidence specific to the LAC region offers useful insights to policymakers for the design and implementation of initiatives aimed at fostering productivity by increasing ICT adoption and intensive use.
      PubDate: 2019-02-26
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2019)
  • How Much Evidence Is There Really' Mapping the Evidence Base for ICT4D

    • Authors: Annette N. Brown, Hannah J. Skelly
      Abstract: To identify impact evaluations on the effectiveness of ICTD interventions, we conducted a systematic search and screening that identiªed 253 studies. We present our results in an evidence map that shows the amount of evidence
      for each of 11 intervention categories across nine development sectors. We ªnd large amounts of evidence for some intervention categories and little to no evidence in others. Roughly 80% of the ICTD impact evaluations use randomized
      assignment, suggesting a relatively low risk of bias across the evidence base. At the same time, roughly 80% evaluate pilot implementations instead of programs, raising questions about how useful the evidence is for informing programs at scale. Less than 20% of studies report costs, limiting our ability to assess cost effectiveness. We make four recommendations to improve the evidence base.
      PubDate: 2019-02-20
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2019)
  • 1688 Participation 2.0' Crowdsourcing Participatory Development @ DFID

    • Authors: Anke Schwittay, Paul Braund
      Abstract: Through an empirical analysis of Amplify, a crowdsourcing platform funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), we examine the potential of ICTs to afford more participatory development. Especially interactive Web2.0 technologies are often assumed to enable the participation of marginalized groups in their development, through allowing them to modify content and generate their own communication.  We use the concepts of platform politics and voice to show that while Amplify managers and designers invested time and resources to include the voices of Amplify beneficiaries on the platform and elicit their feedback on projects supported via the platform, no meaningful participation took place. Our analysis of the gaps between participatory rhetoric, policy and practice concludes with suggestions for how ICTs could be harnessed to contribute to meaningful participatory development that matters materially and politically.
      PubDate: 2019-01-10
      Issue No: Vol. 15 (2019)
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