E4C EDITORS: Jen Ventrella, Expert Fellow; Mariela Machado, Program Manager; Grace Burleson, Research Manager
PARTNER COLLABORATOR: Mustafa Naseem, University of Michigan School of Information
Full report coming soon.
Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD) is a young interdisciplinary field that encompasses both the practices and experiences of using ICT, that is computers and similar technologies, for development purposes, that is improving people’s lives at different levels; as well as the study and analysis of such practices and experiences, from a professional and academic research perspective. To gain an insight on the current state of affairs in ICTD, Engineering for Change partnered with the School of Information at the University of Michigan to hold interviews with ICTD experts from academia, and public and private sectors using an online card sorting activity as a means to guide conversation. When we began to analyze the findings from these interviews, we found a wide wide range of opinions regarding relevant terminology, direction for the sector, and an overall lack of agreement on a shared agenda.
This article outlines the history of how the field has evolved, highlight the challenges that have arisen as a result of the growth over the past 10 years, and recommendations for what can be done to steer a course to create a shared vision and unify the field in the coming decade.