What have we got to show for the billions invested in ICT4D projects?
By and large, we’re not sure because relatively little impact assessment of ICT4D projects has been undertaken; and what has been undertaken often lacks clear framing and rigour.
Impact assessment is therefore pushing its way up the ICT4D agenda. For example, a number of ICT4D agencies have IA programmes; perhaps the biggest being the joint Gates Foundation/IDRC IPAI programme.
As a feed-in to that programme, staff with the University of Manchester’s Centre for Development Informatics created a “Compendium on Impact Assessment of ICT-for-Development Projects”. IDRC – the sponsor for its creation – has given permission for this Compendium to be shared, and it is attached here (2MB .doc file): idrc-ia-for-ict4d-compendium
The Compendium is arranged into three parts:
· Overview – explains the basis for understanding impact assessment of ICT4D projects (including the ICT4D Value Chain), and the different assessment frameworks that can be used.
· Frameworks – summarises a series of impact assessment frameworks, each one drawing from a different perspective.
· Bibliography – a tabular summary of real-world examples of ICT4D impact assessment.
This is an ongoing work, and comments or pointers to similar resources are welcome.