Representing Participation in ICT4D Projects

J. P. Singh, Mikkel Flyverbom

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    Abstrakt

    How do the discourses of participation inform deployment of information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D)? Discourses here mean narratives that assign roles to actors, and specify causes and outcomes for events. Based on the theory and practice of international development we identify two dimensions to participation and ICT4D: whether participation 1) is hierarchical/top-down or agent-driven/bottom-up, and 2) involves conflict or cooperation. Based on these dimensions we articulate four ideal types of discourse that permeate ICT and development efforts: stakeholder-based discourses that emphasize consensus, networked efforts among actors collaborating in network arrangements, mobilization discourses that account for contestation over meanings of participation, and oppositional discourses from ׳grassroots׳ actors that also include conflict. We conclude that ICT4D efforts, depending on the context of their implementation, are permeated by multiple discourses about participation. Our four ideal types of participation discourses are, therefore, useful starting points to discuss the intricate dynamics of participation in ICT4D projects.
    OriginalsprogEngelsk
    TidsskriftTelecommunications Policy
    Vol/bind40
    Udgave nummer7
    Sider (fra-til)692-703
    Antal sider12
    ISSN0308-5961
    DOI
    StatusUdgivet - 2016

    Emneord

    • ICT4D
    • Participatory development
    • Development discourse
    • Developing world
    • Information infrastructure

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