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A Structured Approach for Evaluating ICT Contributions to Development
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences. Makerere University, Uganda. (ICT4D)
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There is considerable on-going research aimed at devising means of evaluating the contribution information and communication technology (ICT) makes towards development, of which this thesis forms a part. It specifically seeks to investigate how a structured approach can support the evaluation of the ICT contribution to development. The need to demonstrate that ICT actually contributes to development is a concern for all those involved in policy and implementation of ICT for development (ICT4D). This research therefore adopted a broad perspective in developing the evaluation approach, particularly applying it to initiatives in Uganda as a test bed. The research further embraced an interdisciplinary approach to accommodate the complex ICT interactions. It merged concepts from information systems, development studies and applied decision theories to devise an evaluation approach. The design science research paradigm facilitated the understanding of what constitutes ICT-related development as basis for developing and testing the approach. Both case study and survey research strategies were applied to facilitate data collection at the different stages of the research.

This thesis proposes a model and criteria for the evaluation of ICT-related development. Qualitative indicators are proposed, validated and tested for various dimensions including research and education, healthcare, economic opportunities, political freedoms and psychological wellbeing.

Findings confirm the multidimensional and complex nature of the interactions of ICT in development. For instance, ICT benefits may not be restricted to specific goals, severally characterised by unintended benefits. This corroborates the essence of multidimensional evaluations to ensure a more meaningful understanding and establishing of ICT4D benefits. The majority of the proposed indicators could appropriately evaluate the ICT contribution to development. Notably, the quest by decision-makers for quantitative measures in evaluating development benefits is still apparent. Therefore, it is imperative that qualitative and quantitative approaches complement each other in the evaluation of the ICT contribution to development, a subject that can be addressed in subsequent studies. Furthermore, ICT4D benefits can be categorised in terms of significance to an initiative, for example primary and/or secondary contributors to development. For instance, while cost reductions and savings represent an important benefit, this research established that they were secondary to several others, such as providing a timely service in as far as improved access to healthcare is concerned. This is another aspect that would benefit from further investigation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University , 2015. , 124 p.
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 15-002
National Category
Human Aspects of ICT
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113218ISBN: 978-91-7649-070-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-113218DiVA: diva2:783559
Public defence
2015-03-16, Lilla hörsalen, NOD-huset, Borgarfjordsgatan 12, Kista, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-02-23 Created: 2015-01-26 Last updated: 2015-03-06Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Investigating Universal Access from a Human Development Perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Investigating Universal Access from a Human Development Perspective
2009 (English)In: Proceedings of the IADIS International Conference on ICT, Society and Human Beings / [ed] Gunilla Bradley, Piet Kommers, International Association for Development of the Information Society , 2009, 58-66 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Association for Development of the Information Society, 2009
National Category
Human Aspects of ICT
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113326 (URN)978-972-8924-82-9 (ISBN)
Conference
IADIS International Conference ICT, Society and Human Beings, Algarve, Portugal 21-23 June 2009
Available from: 2015-01-28 Created: 2015-01-28 Last updated: 2015-01-28Bibliographically approved
2. Perceptions of the role of ICT on quality of life in rural communities in Uganda
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Perceptions of the role of ICT on quality of life in rural communities in Uganda
2011 (English)In: Information Technology for Development, ISSN 0268-1102, E-ISSN 1554-0170, Vol. 17, no 1, 61-80 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The role of information and communication technology (ICT) in enabling various development goals including the millennium development goals and ultimately human development is no longer disputed. Emphasis is now being placed on optimizing ICT benefits on the quality of life (QoL) of people, especially in developing countries. To address this need, this paper reports a study that applied Sen’s capability approach to explore how individuals in rural communities in Uganda perceived the importance of ICT toward their QoL and how this perception influenced ICT adoption. It was established that while perception was inclined to social benefits, ICT uptake and use toward improved QoL is still limited. One reasonable conclusion is therefore that state and policymakers should adopt a pluralistic approach to ICT provision: one that does not only focus on availability and affordability, but also considers expanding people’s awareness and agency for development benefit. ICT investments otherwise have a high risk of being severely underutilized.

Keyword
ICT4D, Sen’s capability approach, quality of life, millennium development goals, rural communities
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-70563 (URN)10.1080/02681102.2010.511698 (DOI)000299344200005 ()
Available from: 2012-01-23 Created: 2012-01-23 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
3. Towards an ICT4D evaluation model based on the capability approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards an ICT4D evaluation model based on the capability approach
2014 (English)In: The International Journal on Advances in ICT for Emerging Regions, ISSN 1800-4156, Vol. 7, no 1, 1-15 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Undoubtedly Information and communication Technologies (ICT) contribute to development; however there is need to know how and the extent to which development occurs. Moreover the evaluation of the ICT contribution to development has been challenged by theoretical, ethical and methodological issues. This paper addresses some of these challenges by proposing a model that enables systematic evaluation of the ICT contribution to development. The proposed model is conceptually motivated by the capability approach that defines development as freedom. Development is a process that involves the provision of opportunities (capabilities) from an ICT resource, as well as actually exploiting the opportunities to realize development outcomes. The conversion of resources to opportunities and opportunities to development outcomes is facilitated or inhibited by various contextual factors. Development from the capability perspective is both people-centered and multidimensional. This requires considerations of both instrumental effectiveness and intrinsic importance. Consequently five evaluation dimensions in which social and economic development are proposed; i.e. education, health, economic facilities, political freedoms and psychological wellbeing. ICT4D evaluation indicators are suggested for each dimension and a Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) structured evaluation process is proposed to guide the evaluation. The application of structured evaluation approach is illustrated through the evaluation of an online learning environment at a University in a developing country. Future research seeks to further apply and validate the model in practice.

Keyword
ICT4D, Capability Approach, ICT4D Impact evaluation, Multi-criteria decision analysis
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-111862 (URN)
Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2015-01-08 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
4. Criteria for the evaluation of the ICT contribution to Social and Economic Development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Criteria for the evaluation of the ICT contribution to Social and Economic Development
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of SIG GlobDev Sixth Annual Workshop, Special interest group on ICT and Global Development , 2013Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Typically the evaluation of the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) impact (or contribution) to development is an in-depth descriptive exercise, at micro level and within a specific context (e.g. projects). This provides a rich understanding of the benefits the initiative(s) enables. However such evaluation approaches are seldom appropriate for contexts at a macro level of analysis such as those involving multiple projects, or specific development sectors. This study proposes and evaluates a set of outputs and outcomes criteria for appraising the ICT contribution to development. Survey research is applied to evaluate the proposed criteria with practitioners involved in the implementation of ICT for development initiatives. The general finding is that the proposed indicators are appropriate for evaluating ICT4D. The study further confirms the multidimensional, and complex interaction between ICT and development. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Special interest group on ICT and Global Development, 2013
Keyword
ICT4D evaluation, ICT contribution to development, indicators, Sen’s Capability approach
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97211 (URN)978-0-9826068-6-5 (ISBN)
Conference
SIG GlobDev Sixth Annual Workshop, Milano, Italy, December 14, 2013
Funder
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation AgencySwedish Research Council, 2011-3313-20412-31
Available from: 2013-12-05 Created: 2013-12-05 Last updated: 2015-02-11Bibliographically approved
5. Quantitative scenario-based assessment of contextual factors for ICT4D projects: design and implementation in a web based tool
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Quantitative scenario-based assessment of contextual factors for ICT4D projects: design and implementation in a web based tool
2014 (English)In: New perspectives in information systems and technologies, Volume 1 / [ed] Álvaro Rocha, Ana Maria Correia, Felix . B Tan, Karl A. Stroetmann, Springer, 2014, no 1, 477-490 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The success of a development intervention is primarily defined by its longer-term results. Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) projects are no exception. In particular, the external context in which such projects are to be deployed plays a crucial role for achieving better development results. Thus, an analysis of contextual factors is essential for decision-makers at the project proposal screening and evaluation. Guided by the results-based management framework, a tool for influence assessment of contextual factors is designed and presented in this paper. The tool comprises a suggested model for common ICT4D contextual factors and a complementing method for their assessment. The method employs a scenario- based judgments elicitation process for data extraction together with Monte- Carlo simulation for data processing and aggregation. While the tool is not intended for comprehensive and deep analysis, the underlying streamlined process along with the easy to interpret assessment results arguably ensure further wide adoption.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2014
Series
Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, ISSN 2194-5357 ; 275
Keyword
Project evaluation, risk analysis, opportunity analysis, decision support system, sensitivity analysis, contextual factors, ICT4D.
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-108644 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-05951-8_45 (DOI)978-3-319-05950-1 (ISBN)978-3-319-05951-8 (ISBN)
Available from: 2014-10-31 Created: 2014-10-31 Last updated: 2015-01-28Bibliographically approved
6. Using a Structured Approach to Evaluate ICT4D: Healthcare Delivery in Uganda
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Using a Structured Approach to Evaluate ICT4D: Healthcare Delivery in Uganda
2015 (English)In: Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, ISSN 1681-4835, E-ISSN 1681-4835, Vol. 66, no 8, 1-16 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Using a case from the healthcare delivery sector, we demonstrate how a structured evaluation approach can facilitate the measurement of actual ICT contributions in various contexts. Typically, such are intricate due to the complexities inherent in the environments, making it difficult to evaluate the relationship between ICT and the benefits it intends to achieve to a reasonable degree. The approach suggested in this paper tries to partly remedy some of these complications, by facilitating qualitative data elicitations, aggregation, analysis and evaluation. To make this computationally meaningful, a decision support tool for handling numerically imprecise information is used for the data analysis and evaluation details. The results of this indicate that such an approach makes at least some meaningful input for practitioners and policymakers. In comparison to the qualitative in-depth approaches this approach facilitates a one-point in time assessment, which is less resource intensive, but provides prompt and substantial insight on the development performance of ICT4D initiatives. A similar approach would also be applicable to different sectors, and can utilize a broader scope of criteria, as well as incorporate views from several categories of stakeholders.

Keyword
ICT4D, Evaluation, Impact, Healthcare delivery, decision analysis, MCDA
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113335 (URN)
Funder
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
Available from: 2015-01-28 Created: 2015-01-28 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
7. Validating a Structured ICT for Development Evaluations Approach
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Validating a Structured ICT for Development Evaluations Approach
2015 (English)In: e-Infrastructure and e-Services for Developing Countries: 6th International Conference, AFRICOMM 2014, Kampala, Uganda, November 24-25, 2014: revised Selected Papers / [ed] Amos Nungu, Bjorn Pehrson, Julianne Sansa-Otim, Heidelberg: Springer, 2015, Vol. 147, 251-260 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Heidelberg: Springer, 2015
Series
Lecture Notes of the Institute for Computer Sciences, Social Informatics and Telecommunications Engineering, ISSN 1867-8211
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-111864 (URN)978-3-319-16886-9 (ISBN)
Conference
AFRICOMM 2014 - 6th International Conference on e‐Infrastructure and e‐Services for Developing Countries, Kampala, Uganda, November 24–25, 2014
Available from: 2015-01-08 Created: 2015-01-08 Last updated: 2015-05-11Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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Language
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  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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More languages
Output format
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