Towards a framework to guide the development of ICT4D: A South African Perspective

Coetzee, Lauren Lize (2019-12)

Thesis (MEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Masters

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4sD) has the capability of facilitating the flow of knowledge which offers developing countries opportunities to enhance systems that may assist in poverty alleviation and other developmental initiatives. Even though ICTs4D hold the potential of harnessing ICTs for social development, there still exists a significant percentage of ICT4D that fail to deliver the results they were developed for. Many ICT4D projects have made no difference and some have even caused harm in the communities they have been implemented. To determine how ICTs can be harnessed to serve as a catalyst and not as a hindrance for social transformation, one needs to consider the literature surrounding the topic of ICT4D. There is, however, an overall lack in the consistency of theory surrounding the process of development of ICT4D, and a lack of empirical evidence of appropriate methods regarding the development of ICT4D. To address this lack of evidence this study explores the best practices for the development of ICT4D in developing countries, specifically in South Africa (SA). The findings are used to develop a framework to guide the formation of ICT4D specifically within the Analysis and Design phases of development. An iterative seven-step process, by Jabareen (2011), the Conceptual Framework Analysis (CFA) process, was adopted to develop the ICT4D framework. These steps and thus the formation of the framework was accomplished within two overarching research phases, 1) a theoretical study and 2) an empirical study. The study is situated within three fields of literature, namely 1) Information System Development, 2) Human Development and 3) Information Communication Technologies for Development. The theoretical study investigated these three fields to understand the functioning of ICT4D from the perspective of all three of these fields and to develop a theoretical base of knowledge within each field. The exploration of these three fields formed part of the overview literature study and the Systematic Literature Review. The findings resulted in various analytical, design and functional concepts that were integrated to develop the preliminary Analytical and Design Framework. The empirical study followed by adopting a mixed methodology approach, comprising of two stages: 1) qualitative semi-structured interviews and (2) a quantitative framework-ranking exercise. The findings within this phase were applied to the framework to provide improvements and validation to develop the final framework. A positive response resulted from the empirical study and the framework was validated as needed, reliable, relevant and useful within the ICT4D domain. Even though the validity of the framework was established, further study is required to map the issues that may arise through implementation, and to confirm the usefulness thereof in real life situations. Since not one coherent approach exists for developing ICTs4D, but a combination of frameworks and tools are needed, the final framework is a contribution to the available tools and approaches that can be used to provide a guide to develop ICT4D within the Analysis and Design phases.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Inligting- en Kommunikasietegnologieë vir Ontwikkeling (ICT4sD) het die vermoë om kennisvloei deur alle sektore binne 'n gemeenskap te fasiliteer. Hierdie vermoë om kennisvloei te vergemaklik, bied aan ontwikkelende lande ruim geleenthede om stelsels te verbeter wat kan bydra tot armoedeverligting en ander ontwikkelingsinisiatiewe. Alhoewel ICTs4D die potensiaal bied om IKT's vir sosiale ontwikkeling te benut, bestaan daar steeds 'n beduidende persentasie van ICT4D wat nie die resultate lewer waarvoor hulle ontwikkel is nie. Baie ICT4D-projekte het geen verskil gemaak nie en sommige het selfs skade veroorsaak in die gemeenskappe waarin hulle geïmplementeer is. Om te bepaal hoe IKT's aangewend kan word om as katalisator te dien en nie as 'n belemmering vir sosiale transformasie nie, moet 'n mens die literatuur rondom die onderwerp ICT4D oorweeg. Daar is egter 'n algehele gebrek aan die konsekwentheid van die teorie rondom die proses van ontwikkeling van ICT4D en 'n gebrek aan empiriese bewyse van toepaslike metodes aangaande die ontwikkeling van ICT4D. Om hierdie gebrek aan bewyse aan te spreek, ondersoek hierdie studie die beste praktyke vir die ontwikkeling van ICT4D in ontwikkelende lande en spesifiek Suid-Afrika (SA). Die bevindings word gebruik om 'n raamwerk te ontwikkel om die ontwikkeling van ICT4D spesifiek binne die Ontleding- en Ontwerpfases van ontwikkeling te lei. 'n Iteratiewe sewe-stap proses deur Jabareen (2011), 'n Konseptuele Raamwerk Analise (CFA), is aanvaar om die ICT4D-raamwerk te ontwikkel. Hierdie stappe en dus die vorming van die raamwerk is bereik binne twee oorkoepelende navorsingsfases: 1) 'n teoretiese studie en 2) 'n empiriese studie. Die studie geskied binne drie literatuurvelde, naamlik 1) Inligtingstelselontwikkeling, 2) Menslike Ontwikkeling en 3) Inligtingskommunikasie Tegnologieë vir Ontwikkeling. Die teoretiese studie het hierdie drie velde ondersoek om die funksionering van ICT4D te verstaan vanuit die oogpunt van al drie hierdie velde en om 'n teoretiese basis van kennis binne elke veld te ontwikkel. Die verkenning van hierdie drie velde het deel gevorm van die oorsigliteratuurstudie en die sistematiese literatuuroorsig. Die bevindings het gelei tot verskeie analitiese, ontwerp- en funksionele konsepte wat geïntegreer is om die voorlopige Analitiese en Ontwerpraamwerk te ontwikkel. Die empiriese studie gevolg deur 'n gemengde metodologie benadering bestaan uit twee fases: 1) kwalitatiewe semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude en (2) 'n kwantitatiewe raamwerk-posisie oefening. Die bevindings binne hierdie fase is toegepas op die raamwerk om verbeteringe en validering te bied om die finale raamwerk te ontwikkel. Die empiriese studie het gelei tot 'n positiewe reaksie en die raamwerk is waar nodig, betroubaar, relevant en nuttig in die ICT4D-domein gevalideer. Alhoewel die geldigheid van die raamwerk vasgestel is, is verdere studie nodig om die probleme wat binne die implementering mag voorkom, neer te pen en om die bruikbaarheid daarvan binne werklike situasies te bevestig. Aangesien daar nie 'n logiese benadering tot die ontwikkeling van ICTs4D bestaan nie, maar 'n kombinasie van raamwerke en gereedskap nodig is, is die finale raamwerk 'n bydrae tot die beskikbare gereedskap en benaderings wat gebruik kan word om leiding te gee om IK4D te ontwikkel binne die Analise- en Ontwerpfases.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107136
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