Global Impact Study compendium on impact assessment of ICT-for-development projects

Abstract

While there has been an increase in the investment in information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) projects, little is understood about the actual impact of such projects. This, the authors of this compendium argue, reflects a lack of knowledge about how to undertake impact assessment of ICT4D projects. The paper seeks to fill this gap by providing guidance on how to undertake impact assessment of such projects. The guidance here is not so much in terms of specific data-gathering methods, but in terms of ’frameworks’: ways of understanding ICT4D projects and organising knowledge about them.

The Compendium is arranged in three sections:

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.

The authors classify impact assessment frameworks into six categories:

Generic: general frameworks usable in assessment of any development project
Discipline-Specific: assessment drawing from a particular academic discipline
Issue-Specific: assessment focused on a particular development goal or issue
Application-Specific: assessment focused on one particular ICT4D technology
Method-Specific: assessment centred on a particular approach to data-gathering.
Sector-Specific: assessment centred on an individual development sector.

This set of frameworks can be used by ICT4D practitioners, policymakers and consultants to understand the impact of informatics initiatives in developing countries.

Recommended Citation

Heeks, Richard and Alemayehu Molla. (2009). Compendium on impact assessment of ICT-for-development projects. Manchester, UK: University of Manchester Centre for Development Informatics.