Unfolding ICT4D: Part-I

The notion of ICT4D has been started around 1950s and progressing towards ICT4D2.0. Technology-wise, it progresses through radio, television, internet, mobile, and web 2.0. Consequently, the role of technology transformed from pro-poor to para-poor. The dimension of ICT applications proliferates across social, political, physical, environmental, human, and financial sectors. During its transition from version ICT4D1.0 to version ICT4D2.0, in tandem, the millennium development program (MDG) was born. The core objectives of MDG is to reduce poverty, improve healthcare, provide better education, and foster gender equality in developing countries. It is broadly agreed that ICT can play a central role on achieving MDG’s national development goals. However, the challenges lying ahead with information and communication technology for national development (ICT4D) projects are its proper implementation, systematic impact evaluations, scalability and sustainability.
Although plethora of research works is done on these issues, they are mostly snapshot case studies. The scholars are trying to understand the phenomenon of linking ICT to 'D' through fragmented case studies. The fragmented case studies can create a problem in synthesizing and theorizing ICT4D researches. In addition, interdisciplinary nature of  ICT4D research makes it more complex and obscure. One could easily perplexed with terms, such as implementation, impact, scalability, and sustainability. Likewise, research terms, such as methodologies, theories, artifacts, context, etc., additionally enhance their difficulties. Above all, the concept of development is still a subject of discourse both in academia and practice. Thus, researchers, including me, are finding it very difficult to understand a relation between technological change and national development, in the context of developing countries. The objective of this article, therefore, is to demystify the notion of ICT4D and elucidate the terms to provide a basis for developing research agendas.

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