ICTDX Roundup

In early January, TASCHA Director Chris Coward attended the 10th annual International Information and Communications Development (ICTD) conference. As the 10th conference in the series it offered an occasion to reflect on what we have accomplished as a community, where we have fallen short, and what changes may be necessary to respond to broader changes in the environment. Together with Georgia Tech, TASCHA co-organized a session on “Whither ICTD” to discuss some of these issues. For instance, while ICTD has traditionally focused on “developing countries,” we debated whether a north/south distinction is relevant, intellectually or practically. We also examined our disciplinary orientations, questioning the degree to which we’ve succeeded in creating a multidisciplinary community (we think we have) versus undertaking truly multidisciplinary research (we have a ways to go). There will be a write-up of the session, to be shared at a later date.

One exciting development at the conference was the introduction of a Minimum Ethical Standards for ICTD, something that had been in the works for a number of years. Importantly, conference attendees adopted this as a tool to be used in reviewing submissions for future ICTD conferences. What this will mean in practice is that reviewers will check to make sure authors have incorporated these minimum standards in their research, and if they haven’t (or don’t have a legitimate reason for not adhering) then this would be grounds for rejecting a paper. Without teeth, the standards risk becoming just another reference document, and so it was heartening to see the enthusiastic response to this.

To view full footage of keynote sessions and papers presented, follow the link below!

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