Latest Digital Development Outputs (China, Platforms, Transformation, Water) from CDD, Manchester

Image by <a href="">Gerd Altmann</a> from <a href="">Pixabay</a>Recent outputs – on China digital; Digital platforms; Digital transformation; Digital water – from Centre for Digital Development researchers, University of Manchester:


China’s Digital Expansion in the Global South: Systematic Literature Review and Future Research Agenda” by Richard Heeks, Angelica V Ospina, Christopher Foster, Ping Gao, Xia Han, Nicholas Jepson, Seth Schindler & Qingna Zhou, identifies from a review of literature what is already known about China’s digital expansion in the global South and, from this, outlines a future research agenda.

The Effects of R&D and its Different Types on Firm Productivity: Evidence from China” by Yuanyuan Guo, Ping Gao & Daojin Cheng, estimates the effects of R&D and its different types, including research activity and development activity, on productivity using panel data consisting of 1,808 Chinese listed manufacturing firms from the period 2006-2015. Our empirical evidence implies that firms need to optimize the composition of R&D expenditure in order to realize sustained productivity growth.


Gaming the System: Tactical Workarounds and the Production of Antagonistic Subjectivities among Migrant Platform Workers in Italy” (open access) by Gianluca Iazzolino & Amarilli Varesio, examines how migrant food delivery couriers in Italy react to and hijack gamification techniques designed to increase productivity and control. It describes the sharing of accounts among workers and recasts “gaming the system” as a form of everyday resistance.

Gendered Implications of the Waves of COVID-19 and Economic Upgrading Trajectories in Digital Value Chains: Insights from Kenyan Agro-Platforms” (open access) by Aarti Krishnan, Monica Nganga & Tim Foster, attempts to unpack economic upgrading through the different regimes of COVID-19, illustrating the dynamic effects experienced by women living through the shock.


Organisations Lead Digital Transformation for Development: So What?” (blog) by Jaco Renken argues that organisations sit at the heart of Digital Transformation for Development (DX4D) in practice, and a better understanding of their role – their visions, the requisite competencies and the processes they follow – should be included in a future DX4D research agenda.

Technology for Resilience amid COVID-19 Pandemic: Narratives from Small Business Owners in Kenya“ (open access version available) by Joshua Rumo, Leah Mutanu & Christopher Foster, explores claims around transformative digital technology adoption by firms during the pandemic. Using research amongst Kenyan SMEs, the reality of technology adoption involved “frugal innovations” and adaptation for resilience and survival.


Smartening Up: User Experience with Smart Water Metering Infrastructure in an African City” (open access) by Godfred Amankwaa, Richard Heeks & Alison Browne, finds that smart water metering in one African city has been characterised by an incremental and utility-centric approach.


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