Fourth Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (III). ICT4D Research Workshop

Notes from the Fourth IPID ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium 2009, held in the Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, United Kingdom, on September 11-12th, 2009. More notes on this event: ict4d_symposium_2009.

ICT4D Research Workshop
Chairs: John-Sören Petterson

Issues in ICT4D research

  • Low acceptance of the field in Computer Science
  • How to plan?
  • How to deal with statistical significance? How to be statistically significant? Can one be significant without using stats?
  • Objectives of ICT4D research?
  • “4D” is only in developing regions or is it possible to deal with ICT4D in a much broader sense? Can we make research “for” developing regions while based in developed ones? Where has research to be located?
  • How to replicate research results in other scenarios? What kind of research design allows for replication (e.g. what to do if done research in Ghana and want to replicate it in Afghanistan?
  • How to cope with the speed of change of ICTs if research has a slower path?
  • Lack of research to back ICT4D implementation projects. How to do research that helps in practical application?
  • How do you collect data?
  • What is science/research and what is not (i.e. falls in the practitioners’ side). How to bridge research and practice? Is ICT4D an applied science? Or could it be performing, as a discipline, basic research?


Is ICT4D a science? What’s ICT4D research?

In ICT4D, you want to have some idea of the impact or the implications of your research.

Research has to be generalizable.

If the whole research is threatened by a single change of technology, maybe we should reshape our research goals.

We should have a clear methodology relying on a strong theoretical basis to back the results and the decisions arising from them.

Sometimes we will find that what we did was not research, but knowledge transfer of acknowledged knowledge to places where this knowledge was either unknown or just not applied.

What are the goals of ICT4D research?

ICT4D research necessarily needs a multidisciplinary approach.

Research should be “demonstration” focused. Indeed we could begin with an existing practical issue and do the research it requires.

Funding research is easier if problem-solving aimed.

ICT4D research should provide evidence of what works and what does not work.

We focus too much in the “T” of ICTs, and very few in the Information and Communication part.

Update: Via twiter by @shikohtwit: Goals: Empowermnt thru appropriation existing ICTs and Creation of New ICTs to cater for challenges facing devlpmt.


Fourth Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (2009)

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

Peña-López, I. (2009) “Fourth Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (III). ICT4D Research Workshop” In ICTlogy, #72, September 2009. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from

Previous post: Fourth Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (II). Governance and Nation Building

Next post: Fourth Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (IV). Thecnologies and mobile technologies

2 Comments to “Fourth Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (III). ICT4D Research Workshop” »

  1. Some good points here, many I’d like to comment on – and frankly I think this session deserved a whole conference! ;-)

    Without too so focus on the “T” there wouldn’t be the concern that a “single change in technology” would threaten research.

    To me the great conundrum lies in that ICT impacts livelihoods, but few of us have the time, interest, expertise, funding, etc. to want to look at this. It’s much easier to compartmentalize discrete facets of a social unit (individual, village, etc.), or easier yet, to focus on a tool, and then relate an intervention to that.

    Thanks for these blogs. They are great for those of us who are not in attendance.

  2. “Without too so focus on the “T” there wouldn’t be the concern that a “single change in technology” would threaten research.”

    100% agree! :)

RSS feed RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Your comment: