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IDIA2014 Conference
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
3-4 November 2014

Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) research: the quest for a shared conceptual framework continue

Judy Van Biljon
University of South Africa
South Africa

Patricia (Trish) M Alexander
University of South Africa
South Africa

Full paper


The Information and Communication for Development (ICT4D) research landscape can be described as a dynamic, fragmented adhocracy and hence, predictably, attempts at producing a shared conceptual framework for the field have had mixed success. Given the multi-, inter- and trans-disciplinary nature of ICT4D it may be impossible to reach complete consensus on such a framework. However, many basic research activities, such as guiding novice researchers and structuring information sources for efficient access, necessitate a shared vocabulary and generally agreed concepts and hence the quest continues. The purpose of this paper is to propose a non-prescriptive, dynamic conceptual framework for ICT4D. An initial representation was developed based on a literature review and an informal expert interview and this was used to categorize the papers in the ICTD2013 conference proceedings. The results were then used to refine the initial framework from the Computer Science and Information Systems perspectives. This paper presents this framework as point of departure for an ongoing discourse with the purpose of structuring the ICT4D research domain.

Key words

ICT4D, ICTD, Development Informatics, Community Informatics, conceptual research