After reading Richard Heeks’s article ICTs & the MGDs: On the Wrong Track? for class this week, I became curious to learn more about his ideas regarding the success of ICT4D. During my search, I came across a blog post he wrote last year titled “Can a Process Approach Improve ICT4D Project Success?”. While we have recently focused on the measurement of ICT in developing countries, I thought this blog post offered refreshing insight into the conceptual how of ICT4D.
In this blog, Heeks offers the five points to the “Process Approach”:
1. Beneficiary Participation
2. Flexible and Phased Implementation
3. Learning from Experience
4. Local Institutional Support
5. Sound Project Leadership
Heeks chose these five points because they are among the most common themes that are lacking in failed ICT4D projects. He highlights the role that these factors play with one another in the process – referring it to a system similar to the wheel:
I agree with Heeks’s analysis of the Process Model. Each of the five points seems not only helpful, but necessary in order to successfully implement an ICT project in a developing region. In relation to the article mentioned above, “ICTs and the MDGs”, and his criticism of the usefulness of ICT in the MDG process, I think the Process Model would significantly impact the achievement of the goals. In this article Heeks criticizes donors dumping money into seemingly hopeless projects that will not hold. However, if a project had a strong base and follow through with the Process Approach, it seems as though success rate would be significantly higher.