Lessons Learned: ICT4D

In Week 3 of this ICT4D class, we discussed the goals and interests of ICT programs. From that class, one specific point has stuck with me throughout the semester. The issue concerned the question of why ICT4D projects fail. In previous international development classes, I learned a great deal about non-governmental and non-profit organizations. I marveled at NGOs and non-profits’ ambitious goals and missions and all of the great work they were doing. However, when discussing the ICT4D projects, I never realized how few organizations were able to achieve those missions and goals.Instead, they were culprits of making various mistakes which weakened the effectiveness of the programs.

As someone who has considered working in NGO and non-profit sectors, this was an eye opening realization for me. As important as it is to learn about the successful organizations and projects, I think we can learn more from the mistakes people have made. For example, people have plenty of good ideas and good intentions. A person might decide to be generous and donate some computers to a school in a rural village in Africa. However, if that village does not have electricity those computers will be rendered useless.  It is very important for someone who desires to work in international development to understand fully the environment in which they hope to produce change. A development worker has to consider every factor and stakeholder involved in their project. Understanding the needs, desires, and situations of the stakeholders and working with them will result in higher success rates for the project. While these failures were specifically for ICT projects, I think they can be applied to all development projects. The lessons learned from Youtube video about the top 7 reasons ICT projects fails is something I will definitely utilize beyond this class.

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About tchowdh

I am Junior at Tulane University View all posts by tchowdh

One response to “Lessons Learned: ICT4D

  • jtriplet

    Although I didn’t mention the video in my post, it really was one of the most informative pieces from the whole semester. It does seem that people who enter the field of international development genuinely are interested in helping to improve the quality of life of other people. Good intentions, however, can only go so far. Someone may have the most brilliant idea for a development project, but unless that project fulfills a local need, has local buy-in, and is well designed and implemented, it will likely fail. This is discouraging, but, at the same time, it is very easy to learn from the failures of other projecs. The truly amazing thing is the number of projects which continue to be implemented seemingly without consideration of these 7 factors. Hopefully, having watched this video and learned from the case studies throughout the course, we will be able to assess future projeccts through this lens of lessons learned.

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