ICTD Evaluation 20/20: Voices from Around the World

On April 18, 2009, TASCHA participated in a panel at ICTD2009 — ICTD Evaluation 20/20: Voices from Around the World — that highlighted evaluation issues and sparked debate among experts representing practice, technology, academia, and funders.

Over 300 people attended the panel, which was facilitated by Ricardo Gomez. Panelists included:

  • Akhtar Badshah (Microsoft Corporation)
  • Rich Fuchs (Enterprise Network, Inc.)
  • Karen E. Fisher (University of Washington Information School)
  • Richard Heeks (Centre for Development Informatics, University of Manchester)
  • Balaji Parthasarathy (International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore)
  • Teresa Peters (Kickstand Consulting)

The conversation touched on three topics:

  1. ICTD evaluation studies have been conducted for years and yet a common criticism is that these seem to be done infrequently, in poor quality, and are little used. How much of this do we owe to various stakeholders’ goals in seeing certain outcomes from the research? Has this changed?
  2. Explain your favorite ICTD evaluation model (and why) in one minute. Alternatively, explain/critique your least-favorite model.
  3. Academic studies reflect the ICT needs and uses of communities. However, top-down, deductive, blueprint evaluation measures impact but is not truthful. Bottom-up, inductive, process evaluation is truthful but does not measure impact.

Additional ideas from the audience and panelists were also discussed.