Different spaces for e-development: What can we learn from the capability approach?


Work data:

Type of work: Article (academic)


Development | ICT4D


“e-Development” is often pursued with a lot of thinking on the ‘e’ and little on the ‘development,’ rendering the link between them ambiguous and fragile. It is important to explicate what kind of “development” is being pursued, and how information and communication technology (ICT) can contribute to this goal. This article draws on Amartya Sen’s capability approach to provide some theoretical reflections on e-development. It is argued that the capability approach, being a normative and evaluative approach, provides us with a different “space” to assess e-development and allows us to sensitize and take into account a variety of important issues surrounding ICT adoption for development. This article first provides an introduction to key concepts of the capability approach, which are then drawn on to generate implications for e-development research.