ICT4D Course Lessons

I think that in ICT4D, it is always important to remember that context is everything. With that being said, in certain areas it is important to consider how current/existing technologies could be used in innovative ways rather than looking to new ICTs for the solution. Richard Heeks’ ICT4D 2.0 model is useful to think about ICTs because of its focus on making the best use and practices out of what is available and making those applications as effective as they can be, such as the phone.

As a framework for implementing ICT4D I see the Human Centered Design approach as highly effective along with using Heeks’ ICT4D 2.0. Instead of using a top-down model or pilot projects, this framework is more about effective planning and taking into consideration local needs while designing ICT projects. It places importance on input from locals while conducting a needs assessment. This enables collaboration with the target population and induces them to take more active roles in all stages of the project, thus making the project more effective and sustainable while using minimal resources. This framework should be used more in all development projects, not just ICT4D, because after all – if a school in rural Africa has just one outlet for the entire school, it’s probably not a great idea to hand out laptops to all the students. Know local needs=more chances for success.



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