Towards the emancipation of the ICT4D researcher: reflecting on a case study in deep rural South Africa
Type of work: Communication
In this paper, the authors contend that if the outsider-researcher involved in ICT for development really wants to make a difference and honestly address the emancipatory interests of the developing community according to local understanding, assumptions, needs and realities, that emancipation will have to occur on both sides of the “development divide”. Using a critical theoretical underpinning, the paper discusses ways in which the outsider researcher and practitioner require emancipation in order to ensure more sustainable ICT for development. By relating to three narratives on an ongoing community engagement project in deep rural South Africa, the authors reflect on particular instances that facilitated self-emancipation. Lessons learnt include the value of cultural interpreters as research partners, tactics for community entry and a self-critical approach for doing data collection and research.