Third Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (VII). Thematic session 4: impact measurement

Notes from the IPID ICT4D PG symposium 2008, Mekrijärvi Research Station, Joensuu University, Finland. 8 and 9 September, 2008.

Raimo Haapakorpi, Tumaini University: Directing the IT department at Tumaini University in Tanzania

SWOT methodology to analyse the work of an ICT director in a Tanzanian university.

Some of the strengths/weaknesses are based on cultural issue. Sometimes highest (personal) commitment is not liked to the sufficient knowledge to achieve some specific goals. And while strong opportunities seem to be coming in the horizon because of the deployment of ITs and IT training, loss of key staff and the cost of management are threats to be seriously taken into account.

How to motivate IT professionals… and retain skilled ones in the country, avoiding them to get away to more appealing professional opportunities?

Ismael Peña-López, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya: From e-Readiness to e-Awareness. Design of and evidence from a comprehensive model of the Digital Economy

Henrik Hanson, Peter Mozelius, Florence N Kivunike: An analysis of Best and Worst Practices in Aid Projects

Jan Mosander (2008) Pengarna Som Förnsvann. The money that disappeared, abuse of the Swedish aid (SIDA).

Worst practices:

  • Investment in a local entrepreneur… that will take the production abroad.
  • Engage in the restoration of a building without the local community being aware of it
  • Telecenter with all facilities provided… but no means to maintain it (not even to pay the electricity)

Best practices:

  • Technology adapted to the local needs and possibilities
  • Clear business model, sustainable
  • Find synergies with other local initiatives (e.g. telecentre + healthcare centre)

Shilpa Sayura telecentres in Sri Lanka:

  • Enthusiasm
  • Commitment
  • Local ownership
  • Government support
  • Public-Private partnership

Conclusions

  • Bottom-up approach
  • In depth pre-study
  • Partner commitment
  • Local skilled coordinator
  • Communication strategy
  • Iterative monitoring
  • Openness and flexibility
  • Sustainability

Florence Kivunike, PhD Student, DSV-Stockholm University: ICT Implementation in Rural Communities in Developing Countries: Towards a Quality of Life Perspective

Rural communities in developing countries: majority of the population, poor, isolated and based on farming.

Generic ICT4RD model: to increase the impact in rural communities through ICTs, mainly to alleviate poverty and isolation.

Findings

  • Unintended, innovative use of personal/simpler ICT (mobile)
  • Limited or no use of externally motivated ICT (computers, internet)
  • Attributed to focus on the supply side, not in quality of life improvement

Need to go back to the roots and perfectly define what is quality of life: subjective, multidimensional:

  • Cummins: Subjective Well Being Homeostasis (SWB), quality of life is maintained at a level of stability — Cummins, R.A. (2001). The subjective well-being of people caring for a severely disabled family member at home: A review. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 26, 83-100.
  • Amartya Sen: capability approach, development as freedom

Methodology: description — qualitative approach to refine indicators and concepts — quantitative approach to get proper data and perform analysis.

Uduak Okon, Royal Holloway, University of London: Communicative Ecology in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria: Findings from the field study

Participatory Action Research combined with Ethnography.

What is a ‘sustainable community’? Existing and future residents meet their needs, are sensitive to the environment and contribute to high quality of life… a ‘western’ definition difficult to apply in developing countries.

Methodology: redefining ‘community’ and ‘sustainability’; understanding the communicative ecology; engaging communities in critical dialogue.

‘New’ definition of sustainability: equal opportunities, standards of living…

‘New’ definition of community: geography, language, culture, social norms and values, collective responsibility, shared leadership…

Communicative ecologies (Tacchi and Slater): the complete range of communication media and information flows in a community.

Postma Louise, North West University: Analysis of a Higher Education Virtual Learning Community in South Africa for the Emancipation of Faculty

How to empower faculty in a changing environment, where integration is needed?

The objective of the analysis will be how integration and debate can take place in virtual environments, heavily relying in Habermas in the sense that communication can be improved by avoiding distortions.

Textual and contextual analysis, to see how discourse is constructed — and distorted.

Third Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (2008)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2008) “Third Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (VII). Thematic session 4: impact measurement” In ICTlogy, #60, September 2008. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=970

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