The need for more ICT4D theorizing from the South

As editor of EJISDC, I see a lot of manuscripts. A key concern that I have is that far too many authors do little more than test a well-worn ‘Northern’ theory in their particular part of the South with no attempt to localize the research in any meaningful way. The most popular of these Northern theories is the Technology Adoption Model (TAM). These studies add very little to our knowledge of how ICT creates value for people in the South, and so I try very hard to discourage this kind of research. But still, it keeps flooding in! I hope that this blog post may reach a few eyeballs, and, as a result, perhaps a few people will not submit such papers. What I would love to see more of is indigenous theorization of ICT in local contexts. Don’t borrow theories from elsewhere. Build your own! Make sure that you incorporate some indigenous concepts into the theory so that we can learn new things. Naturally you will have to follow appropriate procedures for theorization, validation, etc. but this is valuable work that is publishable. We need to learn from the South!

Don’t borrow theories from elsewhere. Build your own! Make sure that you incorporate some indigenous concepts into the theory so that we can learn new things. Click To Tweet