Second Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (IX): e-Health and eGovernment

Akeh Lucas Kunen & Zigo Morfaw Damien
E-Health Africa: Overcoming the Barriers to its Implementation. A case study of Sub Sahara Africa

Intend to identify the barriers to e-Health implementation in sub-saharan Africa and see how can these barriers be overcome.

  • Political barriers
  • Economic barriers
  • Socio-cultural factors
  • Technical barriers

Solutions to Political barriers

  • Leadership
  • Leadership
  • Leadership

Solutions to Economic barriers

  • Infrastructure development
  • Poverty alleviation
  • Assistance from donor organizations

Solutions to Socio-Cultural barriers

  • Education
  • Digital divide
  • Use of ICTs in public institutions
My Comments
  • During the debate, issues arise about citizenship awareness (on e-Health) and overriding (corrupt) governments, which reminds me of some good hints Francisco Lupiáñez about ICTs and e-Health in some cases not empowering but disempowering people, e.g. the distrust on online information about Health in general thus strengthening the link/dependence physicist-patient. Thus, overriding governments with the required awareness might by a tricky issue.

Marije Geldof
ICT for low-literate youth in Ethiopia: the usability challenge

The instruments of literacy create a demand for literacy (Lewis)

Explore current role & future opportunities of ICTs in the live of low-literate (limited reading and writing skills) youth (1o to 20 y.o.) in Africa

Methodological challenges

  • Sampling
  • Phrasing questions
  • Visual representations
  • Answering behaviour
  • Translation
  • Research setting

Preliminary results

  • Divide urban and rural
  • Gender differences
  • Main ICT use: communication long distance; information about country
  • Mobile phone popular
  • Technology for the educated only
  • English necessary for using ICT
  • Reading and writing for education, letters, obtaining knowledge, job perspectives
  • Impact video
  • Imitating
  • Low sustainability


Second Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (2007)

Second Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (VIII): Creativity and e-learning revisited

Andrea Burris
Creativity in the Information Economy: China Case Study

Andrea begins her session with an introduction to Economics fundamentals: relative advantage, surplus, etc. The question being: in the Information Society, how does surplus, the production function, etc. have changed respect to agricultural and industrial economies?

Technological change shifts the production function (see reference to Max H. Boisot at the end), but also makes that the level of chaos, that evolved from an “ordered” regime, through a complex regime, to a chaotic regime, drops back to an ordered regime again. The difference being that, normally, analyzes focuses on changes on end products and not on changes on processes.

Creativity is about going beyond the established frontiers of the actual technology/possibilities, about pushing the limits.

Mikko Vesisenaho
Developing contextual higher level introductory ICT education in Tanzania

Local vs. global approach to education moving further and further away from one another. Need for more contextualization. Efficiency, effectiveness, impact and sustainability situated in relation to dimensions of contextual relevance and standardized performance.

Research questions

  • What kind of framework is feasible for understanding ICT transfer in developing country like Tanzania?
  • How was contextualization taken into account into the Contextualized Programming?
  • What were the meaningful contextual outcomes of the Contextualized Programming?

David Hollow
Assessing Education and ICTs

Highest importance of evaluating projects: if we do not carry on any impact assessment, are we making any difference at all?

What to focus in an assessment?

  • indicators
  • baselines
  • relationships

Educational levels

  • Bloom: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation
  • Anderson: remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating, creating

And we usually evaluate at the first level, at the knowledge/remembering levels, instead of evaluating e.g. creating

My comments
  • David talks about what and how we can assess but I wonder whether the where the assessment takes place is also relevant: (only) in the classroom? also assessing the students output i.e. the portfolio? under a “digital natives” train of though, also their digital identities and creation (e.g. uploads to MySpace, YouTube, Flickr, and so.)?

More info


Second Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (2007)

Second Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (VII): Sustainability and partnership

Kaire Holts
ICT4D Best practice transfer

Look@World project in Estonia

  • Public Internet Access Points
  • Equipment
  • Training

How to collect best practices? Universal kwnoledge, transferable core vs. specific country knowledge/context. How can we extract the universal, transferable part of the best practice?

  • How to collect and “conserve” the best practices?
  • How to extract the country specific aspect?
  • How to manage the knowledge Institutionalisation?
  • Methodologies, approaches?

Uduak Okon
ICTs and Sustainable Communities Development. The case of the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria

How ICTs may contribute to the sustainable development of communities in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.

Incorporate Ethnography into the Participatory (Action) Research framework

Engage in a dialog between the researcher and the target population of the research, sharing findings, reshape theoretical models, test them back again with the target group, etc.

My commntents
  • Stress/focus in the “communicational sphere” and not in the whole “devolpment” sphere. Uduak agrees and states that, in fact, she is already focusing in the social part, letting aside the economy, etc.
  • What is “sustainable”?
  • Match categories of findings with corresponding categories of “ICT solutions”
  • Bring inside the methodology Web 2.0 applications as perfect companions to build community (i.e. social software) and their quite low power demanding needs

Gudrun Wicander
SIF — the Sustainability ICT Framework — and beyond

3 dimensions: resource, space, time
5 capital: human, social , physical, financial, material

Include institutional and political capital into the 5 capital model, to focus on Public Financial Management. Then use the extended SIF as an analytical tool applied to Tanzania in the administration of primary education andor tracing funds to rural schools.

Research questions

  • Attitudes among teachers
  • Attitudes among administrators
  • Mappnig of mobile…
  • Mapping of information flows

More info


Second Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (2007)

Second Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (VI): Assessments and evaluation

Ismael Peña-López
Unpeeling the layers of the digital divide: category thresholds and relationships within composite indices

The goal of this research is to add reflection and knowledge to the belief that there is an important lack of tools to measure the development of the Information Society, specially addressed to policy makers aiming to foster digital development. We believe there is still an unexplored point of view in measuring the Information Society which goes from inside-out instead of outside-in. In other words, the main indices and/or reports focus either in technology penetration or in the general snapshot of the Information Society “as is”. There is, notwithstanding, a third approach that would deal with working only with digital-related indicators and indices, thus including some aspects not taken into account by the technology penetration approach (i.e. informational literacy), and putting aside some “real economy” or “analogue society” indicators not strictly related to the digital paradigm. Relationships between subindices would also provide interesting insight for policy makers on which to ground the design of their initiatives.

Presentation as a mental map:

Unpeeling the layers of the digital divide
Unpeeling the layers of the digital divide
[click to enlarge]

Working bibliography

Some comments/suggestions I got:

  • The importance of context when designing indices and how this context might challenge the accuracy, objectivity, suitability of these indices
  • The importance, beyond infrastructures, of international services broadcasters such as BBC or Voice America
  • Analyzing what the (real) goal, purpose of the indices is. How and, over all, why are they built the way they are
  • The importance of not only looking at what worked (e.g. projects and policies to foster the information society), but also what has failed, what and how many are the failed projects
  • The opportunity to develop different indexes according to the different countries, contexts, etc.
  • context, context, context

Florence Nameere Kivunike
Measuring the Information Society: An Explorative Study of Existing Tools

Why assess the Information society

  • Current status
  • Comparison
  • Tracking progress
  • Policy, decision-making
  • Research-related
  • Value-judgment

What is assessed

  • Social
  • Economic
  • Institutional

Temporal concept

  • Readiness
  • Intensity
  • Impact


  • Focusing mainly on infrastrucutre
  • Relationships among features
  • Limited consideration of context in terms of the enabling factors e.g. social or cultural setup and flexibility
  • Oversimplified methods characterized by subjective approaches

Challenges of IS Assessment

  • Dynamic and complex nature of the IS
  • Data constraints especially in development countries
  • Challenge of measuring transformation

More info

  • Menou, M. & Taylor, R. (2006) A “Grand Challenge”: Measuring Information Societies. 22, The Information Society p 261-267


Second Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (2007)

Second Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (V): Erkki Sutinen: Can an ICT professional be trained to spark innovation? Background for a contextualized ICT undergraduate program at Tumaini University, Iringa, Tanzania

Erkki Sutinen
Can an ICT professional be trained to spark innovation? Background for a contextualized ICT undergraduate program at Tumaini University, Iringa, Tanzania

EdTechΔ research group, focusing on educational technology creation, under these premises:

  • Making a difference in action
  • Triangulation in research
  • Multiple perspective in development
  • Bidirectional partnerships

How come does our education system train professionals who can design an architecture to meet the needs written in a specification, for making existing processes more efficient, but not experts who can creatively, critically and supportingly talk with their customers and identify their real needs?

New project in the ICT undergraduate program at Tumaini University, Iringa, Tanzania, to make the students re-link their new skills and knowledge to the needs of that society where they have come from

Principles of the ICT program

  • Contextualization, local problems as starting points for projects
  • Practical and interdisciplinary orientation
  • International recognition
  • Continuous research for the program’s formative development

Which color is ICT professional’s collar when mining a problem? Is it blue? Should it be white?

ICT program in the light of ICT4D dialectics

  • exogenous vs. endogenous? to culturally discover meaningful entry points to ICT, in the spectrum between practical needs and theoretical models of computaion
  • top-down or bottom up? gaining ownership to emerging vs. guaranteeing access to given
  • open source or proprietary software? garage mentality
  • partnership or delivery? I4D, VISCoS, Knowledge Management journal, Vol 3, No 1: monographic about Stewarding technologies for collaboration, community building and knowledge sharing in development


Second Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (2007)

Second Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (IV). Peace building, democracy and gender empowerment

Keynote speech: Khalid Rabayah
ICT as an enabling tool to ease tension, relief hardship, and resolve conflict: application within the Palestinian case

Despite the decreasing GNP and GNP per capita, the instability of the region, etc. the literacy rate in Palestine is 92% and the computer literacy is 51.2%. The explanation seems to be that precisely education seems to be the way out of the situation the region is immersed. So, the background seems appealing for ICTs for Development… but some failing projects seem to bring evidence on the contrary. The question being: can ICT work without a leading body?

NGOs provided most services before the establishment of the Palestinian National Authority. The difference being since the establishment of the PNA is that, even if it is now the PNA who supplies most of these services, it does not have financial stability, while NGOs do — depending on foreign policies. So, how to build one’s own IT policy?

The brain drain (more Palestinian IT experts in the Gulf than in Palestine) has done nothing but worsen things.

Two E-Government projects… we don’t even have a Government on our own!. Palestine Educational Initiative (PEI)… was fully halted when the PNA composition changed.

The ICT centers of Excellencies, built besides main universities, has or is being a successful project. The idea is to have the business community to interact through the centers with the academic community.

Lessons learnt

  • Despite of ups and downs and minor government role, progress has continued (ICT indicators continue rising)
  • Government failed to lead the sector
  • NGOs played a major role increasing capacity, raise awareness
  • Private sector lobbies to open market, defends the sector interest
  • Importance of people centered development
  • Politically motivated initiatives strongly affected the ICT environment
  • ICT in some scenarios provided the only solutions
  • The demand driven are the most successful

Jonatan Stanczak
Teaching information, communication and technology to empower children in a low intensity conflict area: a case study from Jenin refugee camp, West Bank, Occupied Palestenian Territories

How performing arts can be combined with ICT to empower children and how to assess/evaluate this?

One important problem to overcome is the researcher’s background and the biased language of “development” issues.

On the other hand, when uncertainty and security are such big issues, working with ITs is not really easy.

So, the goal is to occupy oneself by creativity, engagement, how to enable… and what’s the role of ICTs in this? It’s a very important tool, such as sports or theater, but it surely has a more special role.

Salma Abbasi
Role of Telecentres in Gender Empowerment: do they really work for women?

Despite everyone saying that telecentres are “so good”, why do they sometimes/often fail to achieve social goals?

  • “North knows best”
  • No consideration to community needs
  • Exclusion of marginalized
  • Irrelevant information
  • Lack of localized content
  • Illiteracy
  • Inaccessibility by community
  • Insecure locations
  • Donor funding
  • Expensive services

requirements to ensure women’s access to ICTs

  • Overcome Technophobia
  • Fight Discrimination
  • Conduct active outreach
  • Ensure financial accessibility
  • Ensure physical accessibility
  • Relevant content

More Info


Second Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (2007)