Building collective capabilities through ICT in a mountain region of Nepal: where social capital leads to collective action


In this paper, we explore how ICT can lead to development specifically human development in Sen's capability approach. In answering to the critique that Sen views capabilities as the individual, we incorporate the societal level by adding collective capabilities. We propose that ICT helps to create or enhance SC of communities which in turn can lead to development by building collective capabilities through collective action. To illustrate, we conducted a qualitative case study of an ICT initiative in a remote mountain region of Nepal. We found support for our proposition and further that developing collective capabilities also simultaneously enhanced individual capabilities. We contribute to theory building by showing that not just the characteristics of SC, but also its form can promote collective action. We further illustrate that the SC and the capability perspectives are compatible and it is possible to read the two streams both simultaneously and complementarily.

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