Centering ICT4D on real needs, not on ICT trends

ICT4D researchers and practitioners seem to continuously run after the latest trends in ICT to fulfill funding calls,  forgetting the real needs of the communities which are supposedly empowered by ICT4D activity. In this manner, ICT4D becomes an endless series of solutions in search of a (badly) defined problem, with results often unsatisfactory.

"ICT4D becomes an endless series of solutions in search of a (badly) defined problem, with results often unsatisfactory. " Click To Tweet

The problem is also exacerbated by the fact that many ICT4D practitioners are based at, or strongly influenced by, institutions and organizations of the global north. Can we break this pattern? If so, then the conversation should focus on advising on how to break it in practice in different contexts and scenarios.

Issues in the global-south, by the global-south, for the global-south

In order for ICT4D to have an impact in the global south, it has to be viewed from a domain perspective first – e.g. health, government, migration, finance, etc. In this context, the domain and all its complexities define and determine the implementation and success of ICT4D projects. A social development problem is not a technology problem, but rather a domain problem. Addressing the domain challenges in conjunction with technology as only a fraction of the solution is fundamental.

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