Day 1 : Wednesday – 25 March 2020

12h00 – 13h30 (UTC) | Workshop

Improv is not just for comedy theatre. The concept of using applied improvisation for creative problem-solving (CPS) grew out of the 1990s from those who did human resources and talent development training. Improvisation also makes use of the CPS process in a very informal but explicit manner as performers create a story “out of nothing” to create a work of art that is both entertaining and thought provoking. One of the most common forms of long-form improvisation is called the Harold and it involves both divergent and convergent thinking at multiple stages of the show which allows the performers to create multiple-phase vignettes using just-in-time thinking which is a keystone of CPS as well.

The Osborn-Parnes Creative Problem-Solving process was developed in the 1950s. The CPS process involves four stages and explicit process steps within each stage that involves both divergent and convergent thinking. The Creative Education Foundation’s (CEF) Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) conference grew out of this work and has been held for more than 60 years. It is from this work that methodologies such as design thinking arose. In the 1980s, Min Basadur developed the Basadur Simplexity system which is an enhancement of original CPS process and includes the use of an innovation profile and challenge maps.

Activities proposed for this workshop will include an overview of the Basadur Simplexity CPS. This workshop will also teach participants some of the techniques of improvisation and ideas on how it can be used to develop better diverse teams that work together toward a common goal. There is research that supports the use of applied improvisation, including the work done by the Alan Alda Center for the Communication of Science at Stony Brook University which was the site of the Applied Improvisation Network 2019 Conference.

Day 2 : Thursday – 26 March 2020

07h15 – 07h30 (UTC) | Welcome

07h30 – 08h30 (UTC) | Session A.1 : Keynote

Radical cost reductions in data pricing and mobile phones in the Global South have brought the next billion users online, many from the lower socio-economic segment. Global tech companies are expanding their data empires with the next billion users fast becoming their biggest data producers and consumers. Governments and development organizations view the rise of these mobile platforms as a novel opportunity as they embark on building service applications to connect with and mobilize these long-neglected demographics. They are doing so by partnering with tech companies in what is seen as a win-win relationship. As data becomes the so called fuel that is meant to feed into the smart and AI (artificial intelligence) driven economy, there urgently needs to be a far more rigorous discussion on what constitutes as global privacy values. Also, we need to ensure that already disadvantaged populations do not become victims of data breaches, privacy violations and targets of unsolicited and misinformed content, amplifying their vulnerability.

The fact is that as of now, the concept of privacy continues to be viewed through a market-based and ethnocentric lens, disproportionately drawing from empirical evidence of perceptions and behaviors of Western-based, white, male, and middle-class demographics. Traditional development paradigms continue to view privacy as a luxury while they tackle what they see as the more urgent needs and wants of daily sustenance. We need to break away from these traditional constraints and radically rethink tech and development frameworks long dictating the global South. We need to channel our energies to pioneer privacy by design frameworks that optimize for civility, dignity, and pleasure, broadening the prevalent emphasis on optimizing for profit and efficiency. These pathways can pave the way for a global and ethical standard for privacy governance worldwide, particularly for the marginalized majority.

08h30 – 10h00 (UTC) | Session A.2 : Harnessing Frontier Technologies for Sustainable Development

Frontier technologies such as Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are hailed to improve decision-making by reducing and even mitigating human biases. The emergence and rapid adoption of these technologies, particularly in optimisation of services and provision of key analytics and insights, was justified by the widespread benefits of AI to democratise intelligent software for all. Yet, recent studies have brought to light cases where AI has perpetuated existing biases and deepened inequalities, contributing to the further marginalisation of specific groups in society. Despite the opportunities that AI offers, it also poses new threats to human freedom, fairness, non-discrimination, privacy, and security; leaving questions regarding the human rights implications of AI unaddressed. This paper proposes the use of international legal frameworks such as the International Bill of International Human Rights (including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) to assess the human rights impacts of AI system. To ground the discussion, we present a case study to assess the human rights implications of Apprise, a multi-lingual expert system for screening potential victims of human trafficking and forced labour, piloted in Thailand. Drawing on amplification theory, we highlight that AI systems are not deployed in neutral systems, and that pre-existing inequalities and “unfreedoms” can be aggravated if not addressed. We argue for a balanced view of the potential of AI systems, cognisant of both the positive and negative intentions of users of such technologies.
Blockchain is an archive of data records known as blocks with key functionalities that include validation, security and preservation. Blockchain has been applied in a wide range of industries, including the financial sector. However, little is known about its adoption and usefulness in industries operating within developing countries. Moreover, while some studies have focused on the financial sector, the Asset Wealth Management (AWM) industry remains relatively unexplored. This preliminary study has identified factors influencing the adoption of blockchain in the AWM industry in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Through a qualitative exploratory study, perceptions of AWM experts were gathered on how blockchain adoption is influenced by the technology’s compatibility, complexity and relative advantage. The influence of the South African context was also explored. A preliminary framework is being proposed that will inform an in-depth, longitudinal study on blockchain adoption and use within AWM organisations in South Africa.
Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) have diffused into almost every area of life for citizens living in the Global North. Data is seen as a key element in the fourth industrial revolution and is the foundation of In- formation, Knowledge and Wisdom. Knowledge has become the new “make or break” asset and an inability to access the world’s data and technologies that facilitate access, synthesis and interrogation of data place one at a disadvantage. In 2013 the Department of Communications in South Africa announced a new national broadband policy to promote the reduction of the digital divide and sup- port citizens and the economy in digital interactions. Thus far implementation has not been successful. Further, the Broadband policy does not address how South Africans are to access the Internet once available. The Siyakhula Living Lab (SLL) provides an example of computing infrastructure model for the introduction of ICTs into rural communities. Through the deployment of “broadband islands” and low-cost computing infrastructure to promote both knowledge creation and consumption, access to the proposed ubiquitous Internet connectivity can be unlocked. However, the initial computing infrastructure deployed to the SLL suffers from a single point of failure. In this paper we discuss alternative computing infrastructure configurations that were tested and deployed within the SLL in order to determine a more appropriate computing infrastructure model for the SLL and potentially other rural South African communities; such that learners, teachers and community members can be active contributors and consumers of data, information, knowledge and wisdom.

11h00 – 12h00 (UTC) | Session A.3 : ICT4D – Taking Stock

In this paper, we present the results of a contextual inquiry study in a community-based tourism (CBT) village. We investigate the influence of an enabling digital service platform for tourism that rural Tanzanians utilise to attract and host guests. Our interviews and observations show that hosting tourists delivers positive short-term livelihood outcomes (income, visitors), but the long-term impact (social, infrastructure) to the communities requires deeper consideration. We recommend that sustainable digital service platforms for CBT should be developed and assessed including their features addressing long-term impacts on livelihood. We propose following topics for consideration in future development of digital CBT platforms: the role of surrounding communities, rewards to platform contributors, enabling of indirect economic activities, understanding conflict-of-interest between communities and platform, empowering all of the users, and monitoring the local performance of the platform for its users.
Amongst educators, there is a consensus that constructivist forms of learning where teachers and students actively interact to co-create knowledge is valued over instructional forms, which prioritize the transmission of information from teacher to learner. Across the world, ICTs have been applied toward enhancing learning outcomes for school children. This paper analyses an ICT intervention in rural India to assess whether ICT interventions can improve interactions in the classroom towards constructivist learning. Our study of a teacher-focused ICT intervention finds that teachers working in a resource-constrained environment use ICTs as a time and effort saving commodity resulting in little change to classroom interaction. We also find that ICTs are used passively by teachers, without unlocking their interactive potential, as they lack the ICT capacity to do so. Students continue to have minimal say in the pace and outcome of classes. Future design of ICT interventions must strike a balance between addressing teacher’s constraints and providing students and teachers features that spark interaction.

12h15 – 13h45 (UTC) | Session A.4 : The evolving global Souths

South Africa has seen research and development (R&D) efforts in Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) to provide rural schools with mobile technologies for improving the quality of teaching and learning. The challenge however is that most of the interventions fail when the project team withdraws from the beneficiary schools. The failure of the ICT initiatives in public rural schools has led to studies that aim to understand the problems related to the sustainability of these interventions, however, despite all that, ICT initiatives continue to fail in these schools. While sustainability studies focused on the ICT initiatives and factors around sustainability, in contrast, this study focuses on building resilience of the education system in a way that enables the school to thrive when using ICT’s. Using a Design Science Research Method, the overall study seeks to identify existing sustainability and resilience frameworks for the purpose of developing a resilience framework and guidelines for South African rural schools. This conceptual paper presents the theoretical building blocks for such a resilience framework
South Africa is currently plagued with destructive civic protests associated with a lack of service delivery and deteriorating local government operations. Digital citizen engagement (DCE) has globally been promoted as a game changer in these circumstances, as it is identified as an essential in facilitating two-way communication and evidence-based engagement between government and citizens. However, programmes in resource constrained municipalities struggle to align and integrate ICTs with existing service delivery operations. The paper proposes a framework to support the appropriation of digital citizen engagement in local government in South Africa. Adaptive Structuration Theory is applied to contextualize the study, using a pragmatist qualitative approach. The findings illustrate a holistic process needed and deduce that appropriation of DCE in a local municipality is a gradual process of complex learning which depends on the strength of the civil society context, the effectiveness of the enablers of social accountability, and inevitably political change.
Drawing from the Social capital concept, this study evaluated how Trust, Social cognitive and Social ties influence the explicitation and sharing of tacit knowledge through social networks by South Africa public healthcare practitioners. A model underpinned by the social capital concept was proposed and quantitatively tested with data collected from four South African public hospitals. A total of 146 healthcare practitioners responded to the survey. The results confirmed that Social cognitive and Trust had direct strong effects whilst Social ties had moderate effect on the explicitation and sharing of tacit knowledge by South African public healthcare practitioners. The findings of this study are valuable for they elucidate factors that influence the explicitation and sharing of tacit knowledge at public hospitals through social networks. The explicitation and sharing of tacit knowledge through social networks is valuable at South African public hospitals because it provides an interface for archiving organizational experiences.

14h00 – 15h00 (UTC) | Session A.5 : ICT4D discourse, methodologies, and theoretical reflections

ICT4D researchers believe ICTs to be a potential path to social and economic development. One of their key concerns is a human-centred approach to measuring ICT4D impact. Amartya Sen’s Capability Approach is a popular approach because it moves beyond the dominant economic growth perspective by focusing on individuals: what they value, and what they are able to choose. This study, through a systematic literature review, examines how researchers have applied and operationalized the capability approach in ICT4D studies through derivative conceptual approaches. Fifteen different theories or frameworks were uncovered and are discussed. The aim of this paper is to give guidance to prospective and current researchers or practitioners, looking for proven ways to guide ICT4D engagement using the capability approach.
e-Government is used to provide improved government services, greater public service efficiencies and cost containment, utilising the ever changing possibilities offered by ICTs. Little research is evident yet in providing e-Government theories and architectural artefacts that can facilitate the alignment between e-Government objectives and the information systems used to support them.

Using Design Science Research (DSR) methodology in the context of the researcher’s experience as a former government chief information officer responsible for e-Government leadership in South Africa, a theoretical view is proposed of e-Government in the form of a composite framework of design theory artefacts consistent with current IT policy and based on academic research, as well as architectural artefacts that may enable the practical attainment of these policy objectives. The twelve component artefacts composing this framework were evaluated within the limitations of this research work, using two semi-structured interview processes with subject matter experts, over a two-year period. Subsequent qualitative data analysis methodology was applied using a thematic approach. The proposed theory was further evaluated against the accepted criteria of a good design theory, a good e-Government theory as well as some guiding propositions in the field of enterprise architecture. The work addresses a recognized and urgent gap in knowledge of e-Government theory and reference architecture making both a scientific and technological contribution in the form of a composite e-Government framework artefact thereby offering improved support for e-Government implementations in South Africa and possibly internationally.

Day 3: Friday – 27 March 2020

07h00 – 08h30 (UTC) | Session B.1 : ICT4D discourse, methodologies, and theoretical reflections

This paper presents a case study of an ICT4D project in rural Bangladesh, and examines the emergence of new practices connected through a theoretical lens. Social Practice Theory and different concepts of place provide a middle-range theory frame for interpretation. Two groups of 100 women living in different remote villages took part in the project and received smartphones and training. The project also established a call center and delivered timely agricultural information by voice, apps and SMS. A mixed design was used to evaluate the project progress. A baseline survey was completed in the two areas before the project started. After one year, the two groups of women involved in the project and two control groups completed a questionnaire on smartphone use practices. Episodic interviews were also conducted with a subsample of 40 participants. Project participants developed new skills and meanings associated with smartphones, which contributed to enhanced communication practices. The new practices and the emerging proto-practices at a micro-level also resulted in new perceptions of time and place and new locations for personal presence and interaction. The use of Social Practice Theory in conjunction with insights from theories of place provides a transferable framework with which to identify and emphasize what is meaningful to individuals and communities in the relationship between skills, materials and ideas with respect to different social-technical initiatives. In this regard, Social Practice and theories of place provide new insights into the integration of ICTs in development projects.
Information and communication technology (ICT) has been widely used in attempts to address the diverse range of socio-economic challenges in Africa. Included in these initiatives is the establishment of public access computing (PAC) venues. PAC venues are spaces where the general public has access to computers and/or the internet and are established to address ICT access in underserved and marginalized communities. Despite the good intentions of such interventions, the success and sustainability of PAC initiatives remain a challenge. A systematic literature review (SLR) is performed to determine the common challenges faced by PAC initiatives in Africa as well as the recommendations based on PAC success stories. These challenges and recommendations are subsequently evaluated against the Access, Capacity, and Environment (ACE) framework for PAC developed by Gomez. It is shown that the recommendations for PAC in Africa do not necessarily correspond to the identified challenges. In addition, a number of challenges and recommendations are identified that are not represented in the ACE framework. It is suggested that the ACE framework is extended to incorporate these factors in order to make it more relevant for PAC in Africa.
In recent decades, various authors have studied the digital divide not only between territories (countries, continents, etc.) but also between social groups (ethnicity, age, education, etc.). The purpose of this article is to review the relationship between the digital divide and gender in Colombia. The literature discusses the inequalities that women have in terms of interaction with ICT. However, this interaction (digital divide) is usually understood exclusively by material access or use. In this study, the relationship between ICT and gender are evaluated for four dimensions, according to the process of digital technology appropriation (motivation, physical and material access, digital skills and usage) proposed by Van Dijk. Based on the analysis of over 5800 surveys conducted during 2017, where each dimension was modeled through an item response theory model, linear regression and multiple correspondence analysis were carried out to search for evidence between the gender relationship. The results indicate that for all four dimensions there is a significant relationship with gender (P<0.001) and women have a lower score than men. Likewise, it suggested that the dimensions with a greater difference are digital skills and usage with a delta of -0.2 concerning a normal distribution. This approach is expected to contribute to the understanding on how the gender issues are reflected in ICT access and use and the need for more in-depth national research about the social outcomes of gender inequalities on technology appropriation.

08h45 – 10h15 (UTC) | Session B.2 : The evolving global Souths

This research makes a longitudinal analysis of development tendency of double-layer digital divide (access and usage) in mainland China by using data from CGSS (Chinese General Social Survey) over the period of 2005 to 2015. Results indicate that double-layer digital divide is narrowed in mainland China from 2005 to 2015 on the whole while varies among different groups. First, the access gap between the western region and others in China is further widened. Second, although there is still a significant double-layer digital divide between male and female, the probability gap of accessing the Internet between them is gradually declining. Third, communist party members have higher probability of accessing the Internet compared with those non-communist, while there is no significant difference on the usage of the Internet between communist members and non-communist. Last but not least, the double-layer digital divide between the young and the elderly shows the opposite tendency. As time goes by, digital divide among the young with different characteristics tends to be narrowed, while that among the elderly tends to be widened. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
As bureaucratic organizations enter social media spaces for public outreach, the organization of their communication assumes forms more suited to the needs, requirements and tastes of a digital society. Successfully interacting with new media users requires that the organization shed bureaucratic formality and appropriate a social media personality, with its language and viral digital artifacts. The study examines the digital approach of the Kerala Police in its use of memes based on popular Malayalam cinema, a sub-literacy that the bureaucracy shares with the public. Using a mix of interpretive examination of memes and interviews with the police, we examine this using a carnivalesque frame and find that the Kerala Police subverts the negative discourses related to police identity and police-public interaction through comic memes. We propose that the choice of a means of outreach that has a greater affective impact on the middle-classes, rather than the poor, offers insight into a specific moment in state-citizen relations where a bureaucratic organization’s use of technology becomes the means of defining its approachability.
One of the key deficiencies in many marginalized rural communities is the lack of linkage to local as well as larger metropolitan area opportunity structure, including financial, technical, social and political resources. The primary reason behind this is the knowledge asymmetry between them and the urban marketplace and associated agencies, which often disallows rural artisans to sustain profitable entrepreneurial ventures. Knowledge asymmetry occurs when one party (the artisans) in an economic transaction possesses lesser market knowledge (or, lesser understanding about the market context in which a business operates) than the other party (urban marketplace and associated agencies). The resultant market separation derivative of knowledge asymmetry necessitates dependence on middlemen and resultant lack of autonomy for the rural artisans, which often impedes the rural community in achieving workable levels of self-sufficiency. This paper proposes building an online virtual community of purpose to mitigate knowledge asymmetry and market separation of Indian rural artisans. The community of purpose is defined as a community of people, who are going through the same process or are trying to achieve a similar objective. The paper concludes by providing an architectural framework of a Community Information System (CIS), through which we have attempted in building a virtual community of purpose for rural Indian artisans by connecting them digitally with other relevant actors in the craft production system.

11h15 – 12h45 (UTC) | Session B.3 : ICT4D discourse, methodologies, and theoretical reflections

This paper reports on a technology stewardship training program to promote ICT leadership development with agricultural extension practitioners in Sri Lanka. Technology stewardship is an approach adapted from the communities of practice literature that recognizes the importance, practically and ethically, of guiding change from within a community. The technology steward’s role in development is not to impose ICT solutions on a community of practice but instead to empower members as part of a “change through choice” strategy, with the end goal of improving the informational capabilities of the community. Researchers assessed the training program using a multimethod approach with a single embedded case study. Data were collected using a pre-course survey, formal course evaluation, classroom observation, and semi-structured interviews with participants. Findings from this study show a positive response to technology stewardship training among agricultural extension practitioners in the course, that learning objectives of the course are achievable when offered as an in-service training program, that self-confidence with ICT is improved, and that some participants applied their learning in a post-course activity. This study contributes to a better understanding of the role of social learning to foster change in ICT practices among communities of practice in agricultural extension services, and in contributing to effective use of ICT for development more broadly.
Access to information is one of the ways to assist farmers to improve their agricultural output, gain access to markets and generate income. The ad-vancement of mobile phones and the high adoption levels by developing coun-tries has made them one of the ideal means of disseminating information. Mo-bile phone adoption by not only the farmers receiving the information but also the organizations supporting them by improving the means of engaging with farmers. This paper looks at the effect of communication with farmers via on the farmers and organizations supporting the farmers. The study follows the Design Science Research approach to develop a communications module for a project working with smallholder farmers. Two iterations of the design of the messaging platform are discussed along with future plans to improve on the work that has already been done.
With the launch of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations (UN) presented their self-declared ambitions for the years until 2030. These new goals therefore present a new point of reference for the UN’s work on Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) as well, meaning the use of ICTs in support of the international development agenda. Despite a growing amount of research regarding the potential of ICTs to accelerate progress towards individual SDGs, the actual link between ICTs and the underlying principles of the SDG agenda remains rather opaque. In this paper, we focus on the SDGs’ principle of integrated development and the resulting need for policy coherence. Based on an analysis of 120 ICT-related publications by different UN entities, we explore to what extent this principle is being applied in their work on ICT4D. This allows us to identify best practices, challenges and gaps in implementing the SDGs in ICT4D, and to discuss how future research can contribute to bridging these gaps.

12h45 – 13h00 (UTC) | Closing