Exploring the Link between ICT and Development in the Context of Developing Countries: A Literature Review


The article contributes to the ongoing discussion on relating information and communication technology (ICT) to development (D). The quest to relate ICT to D is a topic of open deliberation and critical scrutiny in ICT4D research communities. To enhance the understanding in this regard, we conducted a literature review. The review examines 80 articles to identify various development theories and the role of technologies in the development process. While scanning the articles, Sen’s capability approach (CA) emerged as a suitable framework with which to explore the link between ICT and D. To show the relevance of the link, we used the CA as a guiding framework, and reanalyzed ten empirical case studies focusing on projects in remote and rural areas. Furthermore, the article suggests six gaps in the current research, and, accordingly, six areas for future research.

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Building educational capabilities through information technology in developing countries: it takes a village

There is one aspect of globalization of IT work that appears only in fleeting glimpses in the mainstream IS literature and is sidelined in the discourse in general. If global IT work is painted mainly as outsourcing IT-infused work from developed countries to poorer countries (euphemistically referred to as "low income countries"), shouldn't the development of capabilities in these very same less-developed countries be a vital cog? Simply put, if these countries do not have a capable workforce, IT work, or any other work for that matter, cannot be outsourced to these countries. The question then is how can capabilities be developed in developing countries? In this research-in-progress paper, we address this question by examining a case of an activist-led initiative in Nepal called "Open Learning Exchange" (OLE in short) that used the capabilities of ICTs to deliver quality education to remote mountainous regions of Nepal. We collected data through interviews and group sessions as well as observations and document analyses. We are currently analyzing the data at both the micro and macro levels. At the micro level, we are using models from the IS training literature to gain an understanding of how training concepts developed in the West can explain the success of the initiative. Then we move to the macro level by shifting our interpretive gaze to the concept of "eco-system" in order to understand the role of the society and the surroundings in the implementation of capability building initiatives in developing countries and sustaining them.

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Rethinking the Information Security Risk Practices: A Critical Social Theory Perspective

There is a lack of theoretical understanding of information security risk practices. For example, the information security risks related literatures are dominated by instrumental approach to protect the information assets. This approach, however, often fails to acknowledge the ideologies and consequences of risks practices. In this paper, through critical analysis, we suggest various perspectives to advance the understanding in this regard. In doing so, we present our argument by reviewing the security risk literature using Habermas's concept of four orientations: instrumental, strategic, communicative and discursive. The contribution of this paper is to develop conceptual clarity of the risk related ideologies and its consequences on emancipation.

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Multi-casting in Mountainous Regions of Developing Countries: Analysis through ICT, Institutions, and Capabilities Perspectives

Overcoming shortages of teachers or teachers with required skills and experience is a major challenge in rural schools in the global south. We investigate a classroom video conference multi-casting project under development by the Nepal Wireless Networking Project. Our case study draws on one-to-one interviews and focus group discussions from three areas and 10 village research sites in Nepal. An analytical framework which combines the capability approach, institutions theory and ICTs is used. We found that multi-casting projects in the health domain (eHealth projects) focus on capacity building for rural health workers. Despite concerns about the quality of health outreach workers, they were central to eHealth project design. In contrast, teachers were not afforded such a central role in the classroom multi-casting project. Teachers were being sidelined or replaced, rather than being seen as an essential asset to the project. The main contribution of this paper is to enhance understanding of how multi-casting projects can enable or inhibit educational capabilities with regard to health and education in mountainous regions of developing countries.

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