Compendium on Impact Assessment of ICT-for-Development Projects

Billions of dollars thoughout the world are invested each year by the public, NGO and private sectors in information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) projects such as telecentres, village phone schemes, e-health and e-education projects, e-government kiosks, etc. We all feel that these are good things, and yet we have very little sense of the effect of that investment. I know of some that failed because they were too "top-down". I know of others that were a resounding success (e.g., e-Bario) because they used a community development perspective from the start. But these anecdotes do not satisfy funders or governments. Put simply, there is far too little impact assessment of ICT4D projects.

In part that reflects a lack of political will and motivation. But in part it also reflects a lack of knowledge about how to undertake impact assessment of ICT4D. The "Compendium on Impact Assessment of ICT-for-Development Projects" by Richard Heeks and Alemayehu Molla, IDRC & CRDI, 2008, aims to address that lack of knowledge.

"It presents a set of frameworks that can be used by ICT4D practitioners, policy-makers and consultants to understand the impact of informatics initiatives in developing countries.

The Compendium is arranged into three parts:
• Overview – explains the basis for understanding impact assessment of ICT4D projects, 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."

Citation details:
Heeks, R. & Molla, A. (2008). Compendium on Impact Assessment of ICT-for-Development Projects. Manchester: IDRC. Retrieved January 09, 2009 from http://idrc-ia-for-ict4d-compendium.doc

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