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An ICT4D Research Network in the North of England

12 July 2017 1 comment

Are there any benefits to be derived from a regional network that would not readily emanate from a smaller institution-based or a wider global research network?

ICT4D Network Launch Group Photo (Credit to Felipe Gonzalez)

ICT4D Network Launch Group Photo (Credit to Felipe Gonzalez)

Colleagues from the Manchester Centre for Development Informatics (CDI) and the Sheffield Digital Technologies, Data and Innovation group (DDI) co-organised an inaugural workshop on the 23rd of June to launch such a regional network for ICT4D researchers in the north of England. Twenty-four participants, from six regional institutions[i], gathered in Manchester to share their research interests and build connections. Following this one day networking event, I have concluded that not all research networks are equal; unique benefits can be derived from a meso-level, regional research network. Here are my reasons :

CLOSENESS

Researchers in close geographical proximity can interact more frequently and benefit from the richer, in-person nature of meeting together. ICT4D researchers typically connect with colleagues globally through some of the mainstream conferences, such as ICTD and IFIP WG 9.4. Conferences, as network events, are useful to disseminate research to members and these events occasionally lead to research collaborations. However, close regional proximity allows for more frequent interactions with a wider range of activities, such as reading groups, workshops, training events, etc. Regional network interactions can take place with relatively little additional organisational burden compared to conferences.

COMPETENCE

ICT4D is a rather small field compared to other mainstream disciplines that focus on development (politics, sociology, economics, etc.). Home institution networks rarely reach double figures – only two of the participating institutions at our inaugural workshop have more than ten active ICT4D researchers. Such small groups lack critical mass and only bring together a small set of competencies that a researcher can draw on to augment their own work. This is a significant limitation at a time when calls for multi- and interdisciplinary research into ICT4D issues are more urgent than ever before; not the least of these wrung out from Geoff Walsham in his recent ICT4D research agenda-setting paper[ii]. A regional network, such as ours in Northern England, exponentially expands the potential for collaboration amongst scholars in close regional proximity.

It was tremendously interesting to hear (for the first time!) of the novel work done by researchers who live and work so near. Inspiring highlights that stood out for me were research projects on drones for development, ICT and mental health, and media for development. Synergies and complementarities were readily identified and sparked new conversations; just during this initial gathering, we saw a diversity of strong competence in healthcare, development, media, education and leadership, to name a few, that are not readily accessible at any one of the participating institutions.

CHEMISTRY

Collaborative research can be very rewarding, but many of us can testify that not all research partnerships are equally enjoyable; it can be really difficult to build productive collaborations without a critical mass of people to choose from. A regional network can fill this gap, perhaps better than global networks. The reason is simple: a regional network provides frequent opportunities to interact with a range of scholars (closeness and competencies) to “test” the working chemistry with potential collaborators. This enables researchers to find collaborators that they would actually enjoy working with, instead of taking a shot in the dark with someone less familiar from a loosely-connected global network, or being limited to ICT4D colleagues from their own institution. We have already seen an appetite for such collaborations amongst workshop participants and look forward to see the research that emerges.

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS

However, a regional network offers benefits beyond the 3Cs – Closeness, Competence, Chemistry – such as:

  • Providing isolated researchers with a connection to an ICT4D community, enabling them to become more involved and research active;
  • Enhanced responsiveness to research opportunities and funding calls that require stakeholder involvement beyond a single institution;
  • PhD supervision collaboration and potential teaching interactions;
  • Creating a point of connection to a network of active researchers for those that would want to bridge into ICT4D.

Turning a bit philosophical, from a social capital theory perspective we could conceptualise relationships with work colleagues at your own institution as “strong ties”, and those with colleagues in your global network as “weak ties”. Learning from Granovetter[iii] and Burt[iv], I would argue that we as ICT4D researchers would benefit from a balance of strong ties and weak ties. Disseminating research findings and gaining access to information about research opportunities often occur over a network of weak ties. However, collaborations leading to innovative and impactful ICT4D research are more likely to originate from strong ties. ICT4D research could benefit from regional networks, such as ours, to facilitate the development of more and stronger ties amongst active researchers. This proposition will be put to the test over the coming years.

THE FUTURE

How will our network function in order to realise these potential benefits? It is still early days, but so far it was decided that the network will be led, in the first instance, by a steering group comprising of representatives from all participating institutions. Our first objective will be to decide on a name and the second to create an online presence where members can engage and interested people can connect. Regular news bulletins will help maintain and enhance awareness of network activities. Local seminars, workshops, reading groups and other relevant events will be opened up to the network community and researchers will be supported in their endeavours to participate in cross-institutional activities. Finally, the network aims to host two network events per year: one general event that will bring everyone together and another aimed at the specific needs of ICT4D early career and doctoral researchers. So, stay tuned for all that’s to come!

Please contact Jaco Renken if you are in Northern England and would like to get connected.

[i] University of Manchester, University of Sheffield, Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Salford, University of Bolton, and University of Central Lancashire. Representatives from Sheffield Hallam University, the University of Lancaster, and the University of Liverpool could not make it to the event, but are part of the network.

[ii] Walsham, G. (2017). ICT4D research: reflections on history and future agenda. Information Technology for Development, 23(1), 18-41.

[iii] Granovetter, M. (1983). The Strength of Weak Ties: A Network Theory Revisited. Sociological Theory, 1(1), 201-233.

[iv] Burt, R. S. (2000). The Network Structure of Social Capital. Research in Organizational Behavior, 22, 345–423.

Discussing ICTs and the SDGs

5 January 2016 1 comment

Now the Sustainable Development Goals are with us, what are the implications for ICT4D?  A recent discussion held by members of the Centre for Development Informatics gave some pointers.

The MDGs have run their course, achieving a mixed bag of success. The post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – an ambitious set of 17 goals and 169 targets – take over the proverbial baton in the global race towards achieving, what has been described as “the world we want”. There are criticisms of the efficacy of these types of goals and the processes by which they are derived.  But they provide a starting point and framework around which actors with varied mandates can gather. Indeed, the SDGs have already begun to shape the development discourse, development models and development funding mechanisms.

The discussion was initially motivated by a blog post from Tim Unwin where he critiques the limited role of ICTs within the SDGs.  While several discussants sympathised with many of the points raised in Unwin’s article, others took an alternate view. Too great a presence for ICTs could risk re-kindling the ICT4D hype-cycles that generated unrealistic expectations in the 1990s and early 2000s. If the telecentre age taught us anything, it is that overemphasising the ability of ICTs to generate development outcomes is counterproductive for developing communities, as well as for donor and ICT communities.

Others argued that the low profile for ICTs was encouraging because it reflected the times in which the SDGs were written: a recognition of the embeddedness and pervasiveness of ICTs within a progressively digital society. Consequently, not only are ICTs now seen as instrumental, they have become a platform through which development activities are increasingly mediated. For instance, even if not explicitly mentioned, it is impossible to conceive effective environmental monitoring that does not involve sensors, satellite imaging, and a solid infrastructure to handle the data generated. Additionally, ICTs are now raising development issues of their very own: digital identities, digital exclusion, privacy and security come to mind.

Another theme we tackled was the relationship between the SDGs and ICT4D research. The questions considered included: “Do we obtain our research agenda from the SDGs or from what we see happening in the world of ICTs? Should the engagement of the ICT4D academic community with our peers in policy and practice be informed by the SDGs?”.

There was consensus that, while the SDGs might not necessarily drive ICT4D research agendas, they can provide a vehicle and language through which we can make more explicit linkages between our research and the development issues of our day. Developmental progress is often seen to result from changes in behaviour. Identifying and fostering the factors that cause or inhibit behavioural change are, therefore, integral to development planning and policy-making. ICT4D researchers can improve the support we offer to policy, practitioner and entrepreneurial colleagues by providing better evidence of how ICTs impact behavioural changes that are aligned with the realisation of the SDGs. Therefore, we discussed the need for ICT4D researchers to become more adept at discerning issues of causality around human behaviour and ICTs.

As researchers motivated by global inequality and pressing social concerns, we felt our work should not just focus on addressing knowledge gaps but development gaps. Here, the SDGs provide guidance. Case in point, Goal 13 calls for urgent action against climate change and its impacts and a recent survey of ICT4D research identified significant gaps in our knowledge about ICTs, the environment and climate change. So, if you have a particular concern for the environment (perhaps we all should?) and are keen on starting a PhD, this might be an area on which to focus.

The example above highlights bigger questions about the relationship between knowledge gaps and development priorities and how knowledge gaps around particular development priorities, such as climate change, have remained scarcely addressed within our field. On this theme, we focused on how the SDGs can be used to bridge these gaps and priorities. One practical approach for academics and anyone interested in addressing development priorities within the ICT4D space – practitioner, policy maker, entrepreneur or combination – is to use the SDGs as a stepping stone to find that unique point where the wider social concerns of development, our desire to make a difference (personal actualisation), and sustainable mechanisms (through business, NGO, public agency, etc) intersect.

ICT4D Brown Bag Priorities

On Addressing Development Priorities through­ ICT4D

These are just a few ideas. We are curious to hear what others have to say and welcome your thoughts in the comments section below.

Written by Ritse Erumi, Juan Gomez and Ryo Seo-Zindy (CDI PhD Researchers)

ICT4D Research Priorities from the Post-2015 Development Agenda

25 March 2014 6 comments

What should be the future priorities in researching ICT4D?

The post-2015 development agenda will be the single most-important force shaping the future of international development.  In planning our priorities for development informatics (DI) research – the academic study of ICT4D policy and practice – we should therefore pay close attention to the post-2015 agenda.

In previous blog entries, I have discussed: the process by which the post-2015 agenda is being created; its importance; its content; and the way in which it reflects changing trends and priorities in international development.

In this blog, I summarise the findings from a recent working paper: “Future Priorities for Development Informatics Research from the Post-2015 Development Agenda”.  This presents results from a content analysis exercise which compared the content of the post-2015 development agenda against the content of 116 recently-published papers researching ICT4D.

The basic comparison is shown in the figure below.  It provides a measure of research gap by plotting the extent of difference between the post-2015 text and the development informatics papers; aggregated into a set of development issues.  Issues above the line are more highly represented in DI documents than in the post-2015 agenda; issues below the line are less highly represented.  The larger the indicator the greater the over- or under-representation.

DI Research Gaps Chart

Figure 1: Measure of “Research Gap” Between Development Informatics Research and Post-2015 Agenda

 

This chart plus a whole set of other analytical data (see online paper for details) produce the development informatics research priority map shown below.  Laterally, it sorts research issues in terms of their relation to development.  Mainly by type of goals – environmental, economic, social, political, or cross-cutting – but also including mechanisms of development.

DI Research Priorities Map

Figure 2: Map of Post-2015 Development Informatics Research Priorities

 

Vertically, it sorts research issues in terms of gap.  The higher up the diagram a topic appears, the greater the gap between its presence on the post-2015 agenda and its presence in current DI research.  The larger the gap, the greater the need for additional development informatics research on this topic in future.  Put another way – if you are planning what ICT4D-related topic to research in future, there is a logic in starting your search at the top of the figure.

Further details about the topics identified in the research map can be found in the online paper.

Analysing the Post-2015 Development Agenda

30 January 2014 3 comments

In two earlier posts, I outlined the current process of creating the post-2015 development agenda, and analysed how important it will be to development practice and research.

But what will that agenda be?  The best guide at present appears to be four key documents that emerge from the totality of post-2015 activity as previously summarised:

  • The foundational “Realizing the Future We Want for All” document and its update “A Renewed Global Partnership for Development”: these are the products in 2012 and 2013 respectively of the UN System Task Team; the core of the post-2015 process.
  • As part of that process a High-Level Panel was set up based around the leaders of the UK, Indonesia and Liberia, which produced a report, “A New Global Partnership” in mid-2013.
  • The Open Working Group, and High-Level Political Forum, and Expert Committee associated with Rio+20 and the Sustainable Development Goals are all in mid-process, so the best guide as yet is the outcome of the Rio+20 conference; a UN General Assembly resolution of 2012 entitled, “The Future We Want”.

Textual analysis of these documents was undertaken.  A simple approach to this was the creation of tag clouds: the cloud for the combined post-2015 documentation is in the figure below.

PTDA TagCloud

Tag Cloud for Combined Core Post-2015 Documentation

 A more detailed analysis was then undertaken via word counts within the documentation.  In all, roughly 200 terms were analysed.  The term list was developed via:

a)   selection from the top 500 words counted in the document using Wordle, which also produced the tag cloud; eliminating all non-discriminatory terms (both simple terms like “and”, “the”, “of”, etc, but also those which relate to development but do not provide any particular guide to a development agenda such as “development”, “developing”, “countries”, etc), plus

b)   similar selection from the top 500 words within the MDG documentation (see future posts), and

c)   cross-checking with terms used in a set of other current development reports and journal paper titles.

The frequency of all terms was normed to a mean count per 10,000 words.

All meaningful terms which appeared more than 10 times per 10,000 words (i.e. with a frequency of more than 0.1% of the text) are shown in the table below.

Term

Freq. per

10,000 Words

Term

Freq. per

10,000 Words

Term

Freq. per

10,000 Words

Sustainab*

94.6

Women

19.9

Water

14.8

System*

38.2

Implementation

19.5

(In)equalit*

14.0

Partnership

36.1

Food

18.7

Security

14.0

Environment*

33.9

Education

18.6

Communit*

13.5

Social

31.5

Rights

18.2

Trade

13.3

Economic

31.2

Growth

17.6

Particip*

13.1

Finan*

29.3

Energy

17.5

Business

12.5

Poverty

28.8

State/States

17.5

Local

12.3

Policy/Policies

23.7

Public

17.1

Income

11.7

Health

21.3

Inclusi*

17.0

Transform*

11.7

Technol*

21.2

Accountab*

16.7

Job

11.5

Government

21.1

Process*

16.1

Information

11.0

Cooperation

15.7

Private

10.8

Child

15.5

Agric*

10.6

Institution

15.5

Impact

10.6

Most Frequent Development Terms in Post-2015 Documentation

 Detailed discussion of the dynamics of the post-2015 development agenda will be undertaken in a future post.  Here, I note the following ten conclusions:

  1. The importance of sustainable development as a core model, of course arising particularly because of the presence of the Rio+20 track within the post-2015 process; with some recognition of the role of inclusive development.
  2. Poverty and environment being the two most important individual development issues on the agenda.
  3. Perhaps, a reasonable parity between three of the main domains of development: environmental, social, and economic.  But a question mark over the place for political development: “politic*” scores just 8.3 and so does not appear; but “govern*” would score 31.2.
  4. A strong presence for items related to MDGs 1 to 6: e.g. poverty, health, women, food, education.
  5. A strong recognition of the importance of technology within development.
  6. A strong presence for what one might term the mechanisms or processes of development: the need for partnerships and cooperation and participation, the role of policies, but also of processes and implementation and impact.
  7. Despite moves towards a more multi-stakeholder perspective on development and the presence of business and communities; still a dominant role for the state in its various guises: state, government, public sector.
  8. Some sense of a systems perspective on development.
  9. Maslow’s shade – or at least the importance of basic needs – stands over the agenda given the presence of poverty, health, food, energy, water, security.
  10. The recognised importance of data (just outside the list at 9.2) and information as the foundation for decision-making and action in development.

Readers are encouraged to make their own analysis of the findings presented in the table, and to draw any other big picture conclusions.

How Important Will The Post-2015 Agenda Be For Development Research And Practice?

19 December 2013 1 comment

In an earlier post, I outlined the current state of the post-2015 development agenda (PTDA) process.  Later posts will look at the content of that agenda and its implications for development – particularly development informatics – research.

Before getting to that, though, it is appropriate to ask a couple of foundational assumption-checking questions.

Question number 1: “How important will the PTDA be to international development?”.  If it is just going to end up gathering dust on a shelf, or if it is just  a side-show, then there is little point using it to shape our research priorities.  We will not know the answer to that question until something like 2020 at the earliest but we have two current guides.

The first is how important the post-2015 agenda is currently perceived to be.  One set of evidence is the extent of participation in the consultation process.  There have been nearly 100 national, six regional and eleven thematic consultations, with each of these typically involving many hundreds of organisational participants[1] plus thousands of online contributions[2].  It is hard to benchmark this against other activities but it must represent one of the most substantial exercises in global consultation.  Other evidence comes from polling perceptions: for example, of more than 100 civil society organisations surveyed in 27 developing countries, 87% wanted a post-2015 development framework[3].

A second guide is historical: investigating how important the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have been to international development, given they are by far the closest historical phenomenon to the PTDA.  There is a generalised assumption about the MDGs’ importance: “the MDGs … have an incontestable strength”[4]; “the Millennium Development Goals … have unified, galvanized, and expanded efforts to help the world’s poorest people”[5].  However, in the complex field of influences that exists within international development, attribution is problematic: “the direct development impact of the MDGs is difficult to determine”[6].

Those who have sought to study this come up with differentiated conclusions depending on the area of influence investigated.  For example:

  • Debate/Discourse: “There is widespread agreement that the MDGs have placed broad-based poverty reduction at the center of the development agenda at least in international discussions and policy discourse”[7]; “There is plenty of evidence of the influence of the MDGs on policy discourse, if this is measured by mention of the goals or their presence in donor policy documents, PRSPs and developing country government goals”[8].
  • Aid Flows: “The MDGs have mobilized government and business leaders to donate tens of billions of dollars”[9]; “We argue that the MDGs may have played a role in increasing aid”[10].
  • Policy: “For better or worse, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have constituted the longest standing paradigm that has ever emerged in development thinking. The goals have been an organising framework for international aid over the last ten years. At the core of countless policy documents, plans and announcements”[11]; “policy statements of major bilateral donors align with the MDG priorities only partially and in varying ways … there is a considerable adoption of MDG priority areas, however there is equal or higher adoption of priorities not in the MDGs”[12].
  • Outcomes: “the most powerful impact of the MDGs appears to have been on aid flows, but the impact of that aid on outcomes is difficult to assess and plausibly muted”[13]; “In some areas, such as vaccination or primary education enrolment in sub-Saharan Africa, the links between the MDGs, the mobilisation and focusing of additional aid, and subsequent impacts seem convincingly close. But in others, the links seem less plausible”[14].
  • Practice: “The research shows that in the organisations studied [small number of faith-based NGOs], the extent of influence of the MDGs has been minimal upon development activities in a direct sense, although some indirect influence due to donor funding requirements has been reported”[15].

Drawing on these sources and others[16], a subjective summary assessment of MDG impact can be drawn up as shown in Figure 1.

MDG Development Influence

Figure 1: Relative Impact of MDGs on Differing Aspects of International Development

Question number 2: “How important will the PTDA be to development research agendas and funding?”.  Again, we can look at current evidence about PTDA activity, plus also historical evidence relating to the MDGs.  At the time of writing, many of the major development research institutes – those with a majority focus on international development and lying at the top of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program rankings[17] – have post-2015 initiatives underway.  This seems much less true of US-based institutes, probably reflecting the lower levels of US engagement with the MDGs and the post-2015 agenda[18]:

  • Center for Global Development: has a number of blog posts on post-2015 and some publications on the MDGs which include thoughts on post-2015, but no main topics or initiatives.
  • Kennedy School Center for International Development: has no apparent research programmes or specific activities related to the post-2015 agenda.
  • International Food Policy Research Institute: has its own 2020 agenda but no major post-2015 research activity.

The picture is very different for development research institutes outside the US.  Listing these in descending TTCSP rank order:

Alongside this snapshot of current activity, we can look at historical impact of the MDGs on research agendas and funding.  Data on the output side is not particularly clear.  A review was undertaken of articles in the three top development studies journals – World Development, Development and Change, and Journal of Development Studies – published during 2008-2013.  This suggested that 1-2% of articles had a specific engagement with the MDGs (mentioned in the title or abstract), and 10-15% mentioned the MDGs somewhere in the main text.  In the absence of other benchmarks, not much can be concluded from this data.

A stronger sense of the importance of the MDGs comes from the input side; from analysis of funder research strategies.  For this activity, analysis was undertaken of the research strategies of three key development research funders – Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) – during the period 2002-2012.  This suggested a continuum of MDG influence as summarised in Figure 2:

  • IDRC: research strategy documents have just one or two passing references to the MDGs, and the MDGs do not frame research strategy.  For example: “Although not explicit nor an underpinning of IDRC’s health programming, there is an implicit interest in the health-related Millennium Development Goals”[19].
  • SIDA: the MDGs are one among a number of components that have shaped research strategy.  For example, a core overview[20] lists three foci for research: matters of relevance to low-income countries; research issues arising from international commitments as defined by the MDGs and UN conventions; and cooperative arrangements that identify new research of relevance to developing countries.
  • DFID: “The current effort is … using the Millennium Development Goals as the main framework for determining research strategies and priorities”[21].  “All DFID’s efforts are directed towards achieving the targets set by the world community in the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. They are the basis for choosing research topics”[22].  “The purpose of DFID’s research is to make faster progress in fighting poverty and achieving the MDGs”[23].

MDG Development Research Influence

Figure 2: MDG Influence on Development Research Strategies

Taking together all of the evidence, it seems reasonable to conclude that – whatever its absolute strength and with acknowledgement to local variations – the post-2015 development agenda will be the single most important force shaping the future of development and of development research.  It is certainly of sufficient importance to take very seriously in the planning of future development-related research agendas.  If our own future research is in synch with post-2015, at the least we can use that to boost the credibility and perceived relevance of our research; at the most, we will gain greater funding and a wider audience for our research.  Future posts will explore this further.


[1] e.g. TWWW (2013a) Global Thematic Consultation on Governance and the Post-2015 Development Framework,The World We Want http://www.worldwewant2015.org/governance/finalreport; and TWWW (2013b) Health in the Post-2015 Agenda, The World We Want http://www.worldwewant2015.org/health

[3] Pollard, A., Sumner, A., Polato-Lopes, M. & de Mauroy, A. (2011) 100 Voices, CAFOD, London http://www.cafod.org.uk/Media/Files/Resources/Policy/100-Voices

[4] Prammer, E. & Martinuzzi, A. (2013) The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Post-2015 Debate, Case Study no.13, European Sustainable Development Network, Vienna

[5] McArthur, J. (2013) Own the goals: what the millennium development goals have accomplished, Foreign Affairs, March/April http://www.brookings.edu/research/articles/2013/02/21-millennium-dev-goals-mcarthur

[6] Higgins, K. (2013) Reflecting on the MDGs and Making Sense of the Post-2015 Development Agenda, The North-South Institute, Ottawa, ON

[7] Kenny, C. & Sumner, A. (2011) More Money or More Development: What Have the MDGs Achieved?, Working Paper 278, Center for Global Development, Washington, DC http://international.cgdev.org/files/1425806_file_Kenny_Sumner_MDGs_FINAL.pdf

[8] Lockwood, M. (2012) What have the MDGs achieved?  We don’t really know, From Poverty to Power, 31 Aug http://www.oxfamblogs.org/fp2p/?p=11498

[9] McArthur 2013

[10] Kenny & Sumner 2011

[11] Pollard et al. 2011

[12] Kenny & Sumner 2011

[13] Kenny & Sumner 2011

[14] Lockwood 2012

[15] Dore, M. (2011) Keeping Faith with the MDGs, MSc Dissertation, University of Edinburgh

[16] e.g. Gore, C. (2009) The Global Development Cycle, MDGs and the Future of Poverty Reduction, European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes, Bonn http://www.eadi.org/fileadmin/MDG_2015_Publications/Gore_PAPER.pdf; and Manning, R. (2010) The impact and design of the MDGs: some reflections, IDS Bulletin, 41(1), 7-14 http://www.humanitarianforum.org/data/files/impactanddesignofmdg.pdf

[17] McGann, J.G. (2013) 2012 Global Go To Think Tanks Report and Policy Advice, Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA http://gotothinktank.com/dev1/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/2012_Global_Go_To_Think_Tank_Report_-_FINAL-1.28.13.pdf

[18] e.g. Hulme, D. (2009) The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): A Short History of the World’s Biggest Promise, BWPI Working Paper 100, Brooks World Poverty Institute, University of Manchester, UK http://www.bwpi.manchester.ac.uk/resources/Working-Papers/bwpi-wp-10009.pdf

[19] IDRC (2009) Innovating for Development Strategic Framework 2010-2015, IDRC, Ottawa http://www.idrc.ca/EN/AboutUs/WhatWeDo/Documents/12614275681Strategic_framework_2010-2015.pdf

[20] Regeringskansliet (2010) Research for Development, Regeringskansliet, Stockholm http://www.government.se/content/1/c6/14/60/03/eab96d0b.pdf

[21] Surr, M., Barnett, A., Duncan, A., Speight, M., Bradley, D., Rew, A. & Toye, J. (2002) Research for Poverty Reduction: DFID Research Policy Paper, DFID, London http://www.idee.ceu.es/Portals/0/Actividades/Doc_Reduccion_Pobreza.pdf

[22] DFID (2004) DFID Research Funding Framework 2005-2007, DFID, London http://globalgrn.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/dvidresearch-framework-2005.pdf

The Post-2015 Development Agenda

28 November 2013 8 comments

This is the first of a number of related blog entries that will look at the post-2015 development agenda and its implications.  This entry describes the process of setting that agenda.

In theory, the origins of the post-2015 process could be traced back many years to the setting of the Millennium Development Goal deadline.  It was obvious then that there would be a post-MDG world from 2015.  However, it seems more appropriate to date the timeline (see Figure 1 below, and more detailed timeline in Table 1 at the end) from September 2011, with the formation of the UN System Task Team: the body charged with overseeing the post-2015 process.

PTDA Timeline

Figure 1: Post-2015 Process Outline Timeline

The MDGs were an integration in 2001 of two rather separate processes: the OECD Development Assistance Committee’s work on International Development Goals, and the UN’s work to develop the Millennium Declaration[1].  This added to the time and effort required to produce the MDGs, yet the same is happening again with the post-2015 process, as summarised in Figure 2 below (adapted from an original by Claire Hickson[2]).

PTDA Structures

Figure 2: Post-2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals Process Map

The timeline shown is therefore a single representation of multiple strands.  The post-2015 development agenda process is relatively well-advanced.  Following the UN System Task Team’s formation, a series of thematic and national consultations on the agenda have already been conducted, with two key reports produced in 2012 (“Realizing the Future We Want for All”) and 2013 (“A Renewed Global Partnership for Development”).  A High-Level Panel was set up by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.  Chaired by the Presidents of Indonesia and Liberia and the UK Prime Minister and involving 24 other “eminent persons”, this produced its report mid-way through 2013.  These documents were placed before the UN General Assembly when its 68th session began in September 2013; a session which included special meetings and events on the MDGs and after.

At the time of writing, the sustainable development goals (SDGs) process was not quite so well developed.  Emerging from the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (“Rio+20”) and its General Assembly resolution in July 2012, this led to formation of a UN Open Working Group.  The Group has been supported by a UN System Technical Support Team, which provides a link to the post-2015 activity since it works under the UN System Task Team.  It has also been supported by an “Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing” and a “High-Level Political Forum” that provides political momentum for the process.  The Open Working Group has a series of eight sessions being run during 2013-2014, and structured along thematic lines.  This will report towards the end of 2014.

At that point – during 2015 – an integration of the two processes and political negotiation of the final post-2015 agenda should occur, leading to a new post-MDG framework to run from the start of 2016.  It is worth just asking whether such a framework might not emerge.  Present signs are that this would be extremely unlikely: process, timeline and structures are all in place; and significant political capital – plus other resources – has already been invested.  It would take something huge and unexpected to derail the process.  We can therefore work on the assumption that there will be a post-2015 agenda.

Table 1: The Post-2015 Process Schedule

Sourced largely from Hickson (2013)

Date Activity
Sep 2010 UN MDG Summit
Sep 2011 UN System Task Team established to lead post-2015 process
May 2012-Apr 2013 Post-2015 thematic global consultations
Jun 2012 Rio+20 summit; working group on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set up
Jun 2012 UN System Task Team “Realizing the Future We Want for All” report
Jun 2012 National post-2015 consultations begin
Jul 2012 Rio+20 “The Future We Want” resolution to UN General Assembly
Aug 2012 High-Level Panel (HLP) set up by Ban Ki-moon
Sep 2012 HLP convened
Nov 2012 HLP first substantive meeting (London)
Jan 2013 SDG Open Working Group created
Feb 2013 HLP second meeting (Monrovia)
Feb 2013 EU post-2015 communication “A Decent Life for All”
Mar 2013 UN System Task Team “A Renewed Global Partnership for Development” report
Mar 2013 HLP third meeting (Bali)
Mar 2013-Feb 2014 Eight sessions of SDG Open Working Group
May 2013 Draft SDG report
May 2013 HLP “A New Global Partnership” report
Jul 2013 Progress report of SDG Open Working Group to UN General Assembly
Sep/Oct 2013 New UN General Assembly session and MDG Review Summit
Sep 2013 First session of High-Level Political Forum on sustainable development
Sep 2014 SDG Open Working Group to report to UN General Assembly
Jan 2015 MDG deadline
Jan-Dec 2015 Intergovernmental negotiations via UN General Assembly on Post-2015 Agenda
Sep 2015 High-Level Political Forum Meeting
c.Jul-Sep 2015 UN General Assembly Post-2015/MDG Review Summit
Jan 2016 New Post-2015 framework in place

[1] Hulme, D. (2009) The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): A Short History of the World’s Biggest Promise, BWPI Working Paper 100, Brooks World Poverty Institute, University of Manchester, UK http://www.bwpi.manchester.ac.uk/resources/Working-Papers/bwpi-wp-10009.pdf

[2] Hickson, C. (2013) Post-2015 development goals process and timeline, Trio Policy, 11 Jul http://www.triopolicy.com/post-2015-development-goals-process-and-timeline/

Development Informatics Research Must Stop Ignoring ICT’s Downsides

The dominant narrative within ICT4D associates digital technologies with positive impacts, and has tended to underplay negative impacts.  What are the implications for development informatics research?

Jessops Amazon

There has been a recent cluster of global evidence about negative impacts:

We can begin to understand this via the ICT impact/cause perspectives diagram shown below.

ICT Impact Cause Diagram

Unless we adopt an extreme perspective, we can recognise that in terms of impacts, it would have been equally easy to pull out a set of positive evidence about ICT.  But it is positive and negative together that tell the whole story.  And in terms of causes, there is no simple relationship between the technology and the impacts identified above but, instead, a socio-technical foundation.

This leads to a number of implications for the academic field of development informatics:

Balance: are we balanced enough in terms of the impacts we associate with ICTs in our work?  Pushing a largely positive narrative can have the effect of making our work seem like hype; a relentless monotone buzz to which those working in development become habituated, and start to ignore.

Preparation: are the policy makers and practitioners who use our work prepared for what’s coming?  Development informatics research needs to engage with the negative impacts, providing research users with an understanding of those impacts and, where possible, some strategies for amelioration.

Analytical Tools: do we understand what is behind these ICT trajectories?  ICTs are not the direct cause of the impacts outlined above; they are an enabler of particular economic and political interests.  Development informatics needs to ask the age-old question: cui bono?  Who benefits when high street shops close?  Who benefits from cyber-repression?  Who benefits from printed guns?  Who benefits from pornography?  Cui bono is answered by the analytical tools of political economy.  We need to be answering those questions and using these tools a whole lot more in development informatics.

Advocacy: how do we engage with ICT4D innovation trajectories?  Even as it becomes more open and more decentralised, the trajectory of innovation can still be shaped by debate, by advocacy and by activism.  Development informatics has always been an engaged area of academic endeavour, not stuck in the ivory tower.  We have often worked with those seeking to deliver the positive impacts of ICT4D.  The challenge now is to work more with those seeking to avoid the negative impacts of ICT4D.

If you see other implications, then let us know . . .

The Research Agenda for IT Impact Sourcing

So, what is “impact sourcing” and why is it important?

It is part of a continuum of approaches that clients can take when they outsource IT-related work to bottom-of-the-pyramid suppliers, summarised in Figure 1, adapted from a previous blog entry on IT sourcing from the BoP:

  • Exploitative outsourcing seeks to bear down on wages and working conditions in order to minimise costs and maximise profits.
  • Commercial outsourcing is a mainstream approach that reflects the steady diffusion of outsourcing from cities to large towns to small towns and beyond.
  • Ethical outsourcing (also known as socially-responsible outsourcing) takes commercial outsourcing and requires that it meets certain minimum standards; typically relating to labour practices but also starting to include environmental issues.
  • Social outsourcing (also known as developmental outsourcing) differs from ethical outsourcing as fair trade differs from ethical trade.  Ethical outsourcing involves existing commercial players with either a commitment to or measurement of adherence to standards.  Social outsourcing involves new non-market intermediaries who sit between the client and the BoP supplier.

Figure 1: BoPsourcing Approaches

As shown in the diagram, “impact sourcing” is a rather loose agglomeration of a number of these models, defined as “employing people at the base of the pyramid, with limited opportunity for sustainable employment, as principal workers in outsourcing … to provide high-quality, information-based services to domestic and international clients” in order “to create sustainable jobs that can generate step-function income improvement”.

Impact sourcing received a significant fillip in 2011 when the Rockefeller Foundation released its report on “Job Creation Through Building the Field of Impact Sourcing” which suggested that this activity was already well established in countries like India, South Africa and Kenya.  (The definitional quotes above are taken from p2 of that report.)

Report authors Monitor estimated that impact sourcing was already a US$4.5 billion market employing 144,000 people and “has the potential to be a $20 billion market by 2015, directly employing 780,000 socio-economically disadvantaged individuals”.  Rockefeller has subsequently set about funding and encouraging significant growth in this market.

The various terminologies can be confusing and, personally, I prefer the more immediately-meaningful “BoPsourcing”.  However, this new model is clearly already sizeable, and likely to be growing fast in future.  It also – despite the absence from the name – has IT as a foundation: all these types of outsourcing are IT-based and IT-focused whether they involve data entry, digitisation, back-office processing, search engine optimisation support, etc.

In that case, where is the research on impact/BoP sourcing?  The answer is: almost entirely absent as yet.  The journal article on “Social Outsourcing as a Development Tool” is a rare exception, which traces the developmental impact of one initiative using this new model.

In that case, what research should we be doing: what is the impact sourcing research agenda?

A helpful guide comes from two articles recently published in the Journal of Information Technology by Mary Lacity and colleagues: “A Review of the IT Outsourcing Empirical Literature and Future Research Directions” and “Business Process Outsourcing Studies: A Critical Review and Research Directions“.  These papers review the literature to date on IT outsourcing overall, and on BPO specifically, summarise that literature in an overview model, and propose a future research agenda.

Figure 2 – from the first article – summarises the review of IT outsourcing research (including overlaps with BPO research), which boils down to the factors which affect outsourcing decisions by client firms (e.g. whether to outsource or not; or what type of contract to use), and the factors which affect the outcomes of outsourcing (typically the outcomes for the client firm or its relationship with the supplier).

Figure 2: Review of IT Outsourcing Research

Given the lack of existing work on impact sourcing, all these relations are yet to be investigated, so Figure 2 already sets a sizeable research agenda.  However, we can tease out more in three ways.

First, because Lacity et al lump rather a lot together into the “outcomes” category.  The nature of the client-supplier relationship is better understood as part of the process by which outcomes are achieved.  From this, we can identify a set of outsourcing process research that could be applied to impact sourcing – from the “COCPIT” approach to maximising client-supplier relations in IT outsourcing, to work on the development of intermediaries in IT outsourcing relations.  Treating decisions as key inputs, the research agenda can be shaped around an Input – Process – Outcome structure.

Second, because the Lacity et al map is of past research.  Their papers also identify generic IT outsourcing research priorities for the future that will apply equally to impact sourcing, including the effect of broader environmental factors on client decisions, such as public attitudes; the capabilities required within suppliers; and the different financial and business models being used.

Third, because impact sourcing is different from mainstream outsourcing: it involves different suppliers, often different intermediaries, different business models, different objectives, etc.  This adds a set of additional research agenda items not previously identified, such as:

  • Needs and means for building capabilities within BoP suppliers.
  • A broader typology of business models that spans the boundaries of traditional business and traditional development.
  • The requirement to judge business models in terms of their accessibility (to lower-income groups), ethicality (e.g. providing a decent income for the suppliers involved) and sustainability (for BoP suppliers, their clients and the intermediaries).
  • Understanding that clients may want more than just a financial bottom-line outcome from impact sourcing.
  • Analysing the developmental outcomes of impact sourcing, including the effect on the livelihoods of individual suppliers.

Putting all this together, we get the research agenda summary shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3: Impact Sourcing Research Agenda

If this research is to be done well, in a way that adds lasting knowledge, it must be well-theorised.  Dealing fully with this issue would require pages of text, but we can identify some examples:

  • Inputs and Processes: transaction cost economics can provide a quantitative basis for exploring decisions and business models; resource-/capabilities-based perspectives on organisations offer a more qualitative route (see Mahnke et al 2005).
  • Outcomes: the livelihoods framework or Sen’s capability approach can be used to assess the developmental effects of impact sourcing.

Beyond these initial pointers, though, there are many other theoretical foundations waiting to be used.

If you identify some gaps here – i.e. some other priority research issues that need to be addressed, or some other theoretical models that will be appropriate to apply to impact sourcing – then do add your thoughts.

The First e-Government Research Paper

30 April 2011 4 comments

Who wrote the first research paper about e-government?

I’m going to nominate W. Howard Gammon writing in Public Administration Review in 1954.  Please comment with earlier nominations, but otherwise, W. Howard Gammon becomes the godfather of e-government research.

Of course Gammon’s review article: “The Automatic Handling of Office Paper Work” doesn’t mention e-government: according to Heeks & Bailur’s “Analyzing e-Government Research”, “The term ‘electronic government’ seems to have first come to prominence when used in the 1993 U.S. National Performance Review, whereas ‘e-government’ seems to have first come to prominence in 1997.”

However, Gammon is writing about the use of ICTs in the public sector: which is a common definition of e-government.  Hence, his is an article about e-government, even though computing was just in its infancy with, as he notes, some technical literature available but very little written for a management audience and nothing – until his review article – for a public management audience.

In some ways things were very different then.  Even by around 1990, there were more than 1 million computers in use across the US federal government.  Back in 1954, there were roughly forty computers installed in total, half “large-scale” such as the UNIVAC I (weight 13 tonnes, c.2,000 operations per second, memory <1kb; cost c.US$10m in today’s terms) and half punch-card-based “baby computers” such as the IBM-604 (c.100 cards per minute, program of up to 40 steps, monthly rental cost c.US$5,000 in today’s terms plus a shift team of 2-10 supervisors and operators).  Most were in the Department of Defense with a few in the Atomic Energy Commission, Census Bureau and Bureau of Standards.  There was a pilot application to automate selection of optimum procurement bids, and plans to apply computers for use in air traffic control, taxation and weather forecasting.  These applications were part of a broader expenditure (in 1952) of more than US$1.5billion (c.US$12billlion in today’s terms) on “adding, accounting and other business machines” within US public and private sectors combined; by 2008, total spending on ICTs in the US was roughly US$1.2trillion annually – a one hundred-fold increase in spending on ICTs.

However, the more striking thing that echoes across the decades is not how different but how similar the issues in the 1950s were to those we still face today.  The following examples illustrate:

a) Skill Set: E-Gov Needs Systems Skills More Than Technical Skills: “…it is not necessary to know how to make, or even to repair, these machines in order to make use of them.  For the public administrator … the emphasis needs to be placed on how and when to use these new devices” (p63).  Just so, for those learning today about e-government, understanding technical aspects is of relatively limited importance; much more important is to understand the application of the technology.  Put another way, e-government must be approached from an information systems not an information technology perspective: “it is a systems job which depends more on knowledge of what must be done, and why, than on knowledge of what makes electronic computers tick.” (p73).

b) Skill Set: E-Gov Needs Hybrids: a socio-technical approach is required that combines understanding of the ‘business’ of government with knowledge about the application of technology.  Such a combination could be undertaken within a team: a “joint effort between the business managers and the engineers, so that engineers may learn enough about the businessman’s problem to translate the requirements of the job into machine procedure and so that management staff may learn enough about the capabilities and limitations of electronic machines to allow management staff to visualize how the new devices can be applied and how the … organization must be changed to take full advantage of the capabilities of the new equipment.” (p67)  Such a combination might also be effected within a single person to create a socio-technical “hybrid” individual.  But in that case, it will be far easier to hybridise a mainstream manager than an IT person: “As the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company found in its study, it is far easier to teach company management specialists what they need to know about the possibilities and limitations of electronic data processing than it is to teach electronic engineers about the internal operating problems of the life insurance business.” (p73).  The exact same findings were reported in the 21st Century for e-government in Chapter 12 of Heeks’ book “Implementing and Managing eGovernment”.

c) Implementation: E-Gov Needs Re-Engineering Not Just Automation: More than thirty-five years before Hammer’s exhortations to stop “paving the cowpaths” and stop “automating the mess”, Gammon had already identified the limited gains to be made from automation, and the need to start improvements by re-engineering the business processes of govenrment: “One quick generalization may be made: the introduction of an electronic information processing system is not like buying a new adding machine which can be plugged in as part of an existing established clerical routine. It would be foolish and wasteful to make the large investment required to install electronic methods without first conducting a careful study which begins with considering the basic objective of the operation” (p73) … “The effective application of electronic methods in a given organization requires a rethinking of its organization and procedures. When electronic methods are applied, many of the intermediate reports and steps in the transmission of information become unnecessary and should be eliminated.” (p72)

d) Implementation: E-Gov Needs Top Management Support: “Rapid progress can be made during such an investigation only if the management representatives are high enough in the organization to make the broad decisions regarding the methods of operation” (p67).  In the same way, more recently, top management support is still identified as a key necessity in successful e-government projects and its absence as a key cause of e-government project failure.

e) Implementation: Politics Matters in E-Gov: “there are organizational, procedural, economic, and social problems which must be resolved before automatic operation of … an office can be realized.” (p63).  Some of these problems relate to internal politics given the danger that ICTs in government will cause “the disturbance of established bureaucratic empires” (p72), thus making political factors an important cause of e-government failure.  This further explains why top management support is needed in implementation of e-government: “It also requires a broad point of view which looks to the good of the organization as a whole without being too much concerned about the effects of changes in methods on particular vested interests in the agency.” (p73).

f) Impact: E-Gov Affects Clerical Not Professional and Managerial Jobs: for lower-level clerical jobs, ICT brought the threat of “lowered prestige, relative decrease in real income, threat of unemployment, and routinization of many office skills” (p66).  That has come to pass: around 25% of federal white-collar employees were in clerical/typing work in 1952.  By the mid-2000s that had fallen to roughly 7%, largely as a result of new technology[1].  Meanwhile, skilled professionals would either be upskilled: “our accountants will then be free to do the more important job of analyzing and interpreting financial reports for management.” (p66) or unaffected: “there is no real possibility that the executive or the top administrator will become obsolete as the result of foreseeable advances in the use of electronic equipment.” (p73).  And there were already signs that shortages of ICT professionals would slow the rate of e-government: “the shortage of qualified experts to design, build, program, and service these electronic data processing systems will keep this possible revolution from taking place rapidly.” (p67).  More than fifty years later, Heeks (2006:101) still writes “The dearth of competencies is a major brake on the spread of e-government”.

g) Impact: E-Gov Impact Assessment Fails to Account for Total Cost of Ownership: there have always been ambitious claims for ICT in government e.g. that it “can make substantial savings and render better service” (p63).  But on the savings side, e-government impact calculations often focus just on cost savings (e.g. of labour) but fail to include the costs of ICT.  When the latter are taken into account, overall gains can disappear.  Gammon’s paper is suggestive of this: he reports a case where preparation time for monthly reports fell from forty person-days to six/eight hours.  Given clerical costs (in 1954 prices) of around US$200 per month, that would represent savings of about US$400 per month.  Yet according to P.B. Hansen in “Classic Operating Systems” the IBM Card Programmed Calculator on which this saving was achieved cost US$1,800 per month in rental to which would have to be added the costs of calculator operations staff.  Government’s tendency for lavish spending on ICTs was also already in evidence with reference to a Navy-organised symposium on “moderately-priced” computers; that criterion being defined as those costing (in today’s terms) less than US$1million.

Gammon’s paper is as much a review of then-current ideas about computing, drawn largely from the private sector, for a public sector audience as it is about computing in the public sector.  However, this focus means it still stands eligible for recognition as the first e-government journal article.

How, overall, should we read it?  I invite you to choose from its reflecting:

– “La plus ça change, la plus c’est la même chose”

– The failure of e-government practitioners to take note of key lessons known right from the start of IT in the public sector, given the continuing absence in e-government projects of many of the skill and implementation factors identified all those years ago.

– The failure of e-government researchers to find much new to say: you can see these same issues still in the conclusions of many of today’s e-gov journal articles.

Click here to link to a blog entry on the first application of e-government in a developing country.


[1] Though total US federal employment in 2009 – just under 2.1 million – was almost exactly what it was in 1952; albeit with a near-halving in DoD numbers.

Development Studies Journal Ranking Table

17 June 2010 17 comments

The following represents a first attempt at a “league table” for development studies journals.

Rank Journal Citation Score
1 World Development 6.04
2 Journal of Development Studies 4.90
3 Oxford Development Studies 4.06
4 Development Policy Review 3.20
5 Studies in Comparative International Development 2.40
6 Sustainable Development 2.39
7 European Journal of Development Research 1.90
8 Development and Change  1.89
9 Information Technology for Development 1.58
10 Information Technologies and International Development 1.55
11 Journal of International Development 1.46
12 Development 1.33
13 Third World Quarterly 1.30
14 Public Administration and Development 1.21
15 Development in Practice 1.03
16 Progress in Development Studies 0.88
17 Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries 0.81
18 African Development Review 0.79
19 Gender and Development 0.58
20 Enterprise Development and Microfinance 0.45
21 Canadian Journal of Development Studies 0.45
22 IDS Bulletin 0.40
23 Information Development 0.37
24 Forum for Development Studies 0.17
25 Journal of Third World Studies 0.11
     
  Comparator Journals  
  Journal of Development Economics 10.90
  Human-Computer Interaction 4.06
  Environment and Planning D 3.42
  Information Systems Journal 2.89
  The Information Society 1.64
  Mountain Research and Development 0.91

Basis

– Selection was on the basis of development studies journals that appear in various other tables or lists.  However, development economics journals (inc. Economic Development and Cultural Change, Journal of Development Economics, Review of Development Economics, and The Developing Economies) were not included.  If you have suggestions for additions (or deletions), then let me know.

– Citation score is calculated by taking papers published in each journal in 2008 and identifying how many times each paper is cited in Google Scholar.  The average number of cites per paper was then divided by the average number of years since publication.  Very roughly, then, the score equates to average number of GS citations per paper per year.

– All papers published in 2008 were used if less than 20 were published; a sample of at least 20 building outwards from the mid-year issues was used if more than 20 were published.

– One anomalous paper, with over 10 times the citations of any other (a pattern not seen in any other journal), was omitted from African Development Review.  Had this been included, ADR would place seventh.

– This exercise will be repeated and expanded in future years.  What is presented here should only be seen as a first, fairly rough-and-ready set of figures.  The original data used for the calculations can be found here.

Notes

– The raw figures shown here should not be compared with the impact factor scores under Planning and Development provided in ISI’s Journal Citation Reports.  The rankings can be compared.

– Different disciplines have different citation habits and norms.  Specifically, if economists cite more highly, then those development studies journals that include a greater proportion of development economics papers may gain a greater overall citation score.

– Conversely – and requiring further investigation – in compiling the figures, I got some sense that papers in special issues tend to receive fewer citations.  Journals that have a lot of special issues may receive a lower overall citation score.

Reflections

– These average figures provide no guidance on whether your individual paper would be cited more highly if published in one journal or another.  However, the rankings could be used to provide guidance or evidence on the general impact of a selected journal.  (Of course recognising that overall impact is about more than just citations.)

– The figures suggest that, beyond the obvious top two of JDS and World Development, there may be some mismatch between previous subjective ratings and actual impact.  For example, Oxford Development Studies and Development Policy Review rank 3rd and 4th here, yet are unrated by most other journal rating schemes.

– There is a moderate mismatch with the ISI JCR 2008 impact factor ranking.  Most notably, four of the top ten journals here do not appear at all in the ISI list including the two top-cited ICT-for-development journals.

Other Data

– The table below gives details of other ranking and rating data on development studies and some development economics journals.

High->Low Aston 2008 (4->0) CNRS 2008 (1*->4) Ideas 2010 (/731) SJR 2010 (/118) WoK 2010 (/43) ABDC 2010 (A*->C) ABS 2010 (4->1) SoM 2010 (4->1) Heeks 2010 (/25)
African Development Review       65 43     2 18
Canadian Journal of Development Studies       78 42       21
Development     666 28         12
Development and Change 2 2   15 19 B 2   8
Development in Practice       32         15
Development Policy Review     270 10 8       4
Economic Development and Cultural Change     117   24 A 3 4  
Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries                 17
Enterprise Development and Microfinance                 20
European Journal of Development Research     438 48         7
Forum for Development Studies                 24
Gender and Development       73         19
IDS Bulletin       70 37       22
Information Development                 23
Information Technologies and International Development                 10
Information Technology for Development                 9
Journal of Development Economics     43   36 A* 3 4  
Journal of Development Studies 2 2 152 2 26 A 3 4 2
Journal of International Development 1 3 292 22   B 1 1 11
Journal of Third World Studies       86         25
Oxford Development Studies     192 58       1 3
Progress in Development Studies       30         16
Public Administration and Development       62 39 A 2 2 14
Review of Development Economics     129 26 32     1  
Studies in Comparative International Development       23 31 A     5
Sustainable Development       9 11       6
The Developing Economies     474   35 B      
Third World Quarterly   2   29 30 A 2   13
World Development 3 1 134   9 A 3 3 1
High->Low Aston 2008 (4->0) CNRS 2008 (1*->4) Ideas 2010 (/731) SJR 2010 (/118) WoK 2010 (/43) ABDC 2010 (A*->C) ABS 2010 (4->1) SoM 2010 (4->1) Heeks 2010 (/25)


Key
 
– ABS – UK Association of Business Schools: http://www.the-abs.org.uk/?id=257

– Ideas – citation data from RePEc project of paper downloads: http://ideas.repec.org/top/top.journals.simple.html (economics and finance research)

– SJR – Scopus-based citation ranking: http://www.scimagojr.com/journalrank.php?category=3303&area=0&year=2008&country=&order=sjr&min=0&min_type=cd (development journals)

– SoM – Cranfield School of Management: https://www.som.cranfield.ac.uk/som/dinamic-content/media/SOM%20Journal%20Rankings%202010%20-%20alphabetical.pdf

– WoK – 2008 impact factor in ISI Journal Citation Reports under Planning and Development

– All other data from Harzing’s Journal Quality List: http://www.harzing.com/jql.htm

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