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About this book

This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 10th International Development Informatics Association Conference, IDIA 2018, held in Tswane, South Africa, in August 2018.

The 20 revised full papers presented were carefully reviewed and selected from 61 submissions. The papers are organized in topical sections on ICT adoption and impact; mobile education; e-education; community development; design; innovation and maturity; data.

Table of Contents


ICT Adoption and Impact


An Investigation of the Government-Related Factors that Inhibit Small to Medium Enterprises’ Adoption and Effective Use of Information and Communication Technology in Developing Countries: The Case of Zimbabwe

The utilisation and adoption of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in small to medium enterprises (SMEs) around the world has had a significant effect on most economies, and has resulted in sustainable growth and prosperity. This has led most global governments to develop an interest in the development of SMEs; however, most SMEs in developing countries, including Zimbabwe, are still ages behind their counterparts in developed countries with regard to the application of ICTs in business processes. The reviewed literature for this study indicates that the Zimbabwean government has failed to stimulate the adoption of ICT and its use in Zimbabwean SMEs in recent decades. This paper seeks to reveal key government-related factors and strategies that can lead to the effective adoption of ICTs in the SME sector. A case study and qualitative methodology was employed for this investigation. This facilitated an all-encompassing view of the phenomenon under study. The approach utilised semi-structured interviews to collect data, and employed a thematic analysis method. The research findings revealed that key factors that impact on ICT adoption in Zimbabwean SMEs include a lack of government support, poor policy formulation, implementation and awareness, a lack of finances, and inadequate infrastructure. Key strategies outlined in this paper include the introduction of ICT import subsidies, tax rebates for SMEs, the formulation of SME-friendly policies, the expansion of electricity and Internet infrastructure to marginalised areas, and the establishment of government ICT centres to stimulate the adoption of ICT and its use in SMEs.
Peter Makiwa, Riana Steyn

It Should Be There, but It Is Hard to Find: Economic Impact of ICT in Sub-Saharan Economies

This study relies on a modified framework of the Networked Readiness Index (NRI) to investigate the presence of relationships between the impact of ICT on innovation and productivity and on micro- and macroeconomic outcomes. The context of the study is a 3-cluster sample of sub-Saharan (SSA) economies, and the time frame is 2012–2015. The results indicate that SSA economies, as a whole, are efficient in translating ICT capabilities into ICT impacts; however, the evidence of efficient translation of ICT impacts into micro- and macroeconomic impacts remains inconclusive. Furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest that higher levels of relative wealth of SSA economies are associated with higher levels of ICT capabilities. The results of the data analysis suggest that the framework of NRI should be supplemented by other constructs if an investigation targets micro- and macroeconomic impacts of ICT capabilities.
Sergey Samoilenko, Kweku-Muata Osei-Bryson

Domestication of ICTs in Community Savings and Credit Associations (Stokvels) in the Western Cape, South Africa

The stokvel economy is estimated to be worth R49 billion in South Africa, with more than 810 000 groups consisting of about 11.5 million members. This study aimed to discover how stokvel members domesticate information communication technologies (ICTs). Domestication theory was used as a theoretical lens for this study. The study used semi-structured interviews to collect data from a sample of 20 stokvel members from 20 different groups of stokvels in Cape Town. The qualitative data was analysed using thematic analysis. The findings revealed that stokvel members use ICTs such as mobile phones, spreadsheet applications (Excel), mobile banking, social media communications (mostly WhatsApp) and e-mail (for those who are employed) in the running of their operations. The members indicated that the use of WhatsApp enables them to reduce the amount of times they have to meet on a face-to-face basis as they did before. They also use technology to send money through mobile money transfer services and banks. Age influenced the adoption of ICTs among stokvel members – i.e. older members seem resistant to the use of technology. This study makes a contribution to the discourse on digital financial inclusion, as well as a contribution to practice by providing empirically grounded insights regarding ICT use behaviour patterns among members of informal savings and credit associations.
Nokwazi Biyela, Pitso Tsibolane, Jean-Paul Van Belle

Rethinking ICT4D Impact Assessments: Reflections from the Siyakhula Living Lab in South Africa

The approach to outcome and impact assessments of ICTD has often relied solely on identifying project effects in relation to project baseline data; however, such an approach limits the potential learning that could be occurring throughout a project’s lifecycle. Impact assessments should be conducted in a comprehensive manner, taking into account the evaluation data that has been captured from the initiation of the project through to its implementation, and beyond. This study sought to reflect on the implementation of an impact assessment framework that is based on a comprehensive approach to evaluation. The framework was implemented in the Siyakhula Living Lab to assess for its outcomes and impacts on the community. A pragmatic approach was applied through a reflective process, to assess the utility of the framework within this context. Semi-structured interviews with project stakeholders were conducted to further gain insight into the comprehensive approach to conducting impact assessments. It was found that a comprehensive approach to assessing impacts provided a meaningful way to understand the effects of the ICTD initiative, and provided an overview of project areas that required improvement. However, it was found that the proposed assessment framework required a customisation component in order to modify it to better suit the project context. The way in which future impact assessments are conducted can draw on the lessons gained from following a more comprehensive approach to evaluation, and thus improve learning over time.
Hafeni Mthoko, Caroline Khene

Supporting the Identification of Victims of Human Trafficking and Forced Labor in Thailand

We present results from a mixed methods study, involving survey data collection and focus groups, to understand the current processes of identifying victims of human trafficking in Thailand. Participants represent a broad spectrum of inter-governmental organizations, regional and local NGOs, Thai government officials, translators, and previously exploited migrant workers. Across these different stakeholders, participants identified key problems of lack of trust, communication issues, and differences in understanding of the key indicators of human trafficking between parties. The study also highlighted participants’ perceptions on the role that technology can play to address the problems they face in identifying victims. It identifies the use of a smart phone application on the NGO or frontline responder’s own device as a potential facility to enable workers in vulnerable situations to self-identify and seek help, allowing them to bridge the communication and skills divide with the channels of help that already exist.
Hannah Thinyane

Mobile Education


Youth Unemployment in South Africa and the Socio-economic Capabilities from Mobile Phones

Unemployment is a significant global challenge with major social and economic implications. Unemployment has however not prevented the youth from owning and using mobile devices nor other Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). This exploratory paper investigated the mobile usage patterns among 104 participants in an effort to contextualize mobile and ICT strategies that target unemployed youth. The exploratory findings suggest that contrary to the assumption of most ICT for development literature to target youth in rural areas, ICT strategies targeting youth unemployment may be more effective when targeted at youth in urban areas. The strategies may also need to be adjusted as the youth tend towards the age of 35 where they become apathetic about job opportunities. Two capabilities, ‘individual’ and ‘interpersonal’, emerged uniquely as the job related economic capabilities of ICT. The paper contributes to practice and theory in suggesting recommendations for further research for ICT skills development programmes targeted at youth.
Hossana Twinomurinzi, Joshua Magundini

Smartphone Paradoxes in Working Mothers’ Pursuit of Work-Life Balance

Technology has led to the intertwining of work and life, with persistent debates as to whether they facilitate better Work-Life Balance (WLB) practices or not. It is argued that while smartphones may provide capabilities that foster WLB, they may also contribute to negative outcomes that challenge the very pursuit and intention of WLB. The research adopts an interpretive, qualitative approach, using the paradoxes of technology to understand what conflicts the use of smartphones present to working mothers in their pursuit of WLB. A total of 15 participants were selected, through convenience sampling, to study a variety of experiences and views regarding smartphones, as experienced by working mothers. The sample differed in terms of age, marital status, type of employment, industry and income level. We used semi-structured interviews to collect data. The data were analysed using thematic analysis. The results indicate that though smartphones provide capabilities that potentially support WLB, their very use results in paradoxical experiences for mothers that challenge their very quest of WLB.
Karen Sowon, Olga Sikhwari, Mphatso Nyemba-Mudenda, Wallace Chigona



Development Outcomes of Training for Online Freelancing in the Philippines

Impact sourcing focuses on training and hiring people who would otherwise not be able to land a job in the outsourcing business. The Philippine Government has initiated a training program to prepare people for online freelancing in socio-economically disadvantaged areas in the country.
We lack knowledge about the impact such training programs might have on marginalized individuals. Thus, this paper adds to previous research on impact sourcing by analyzing whether government-initiated training enables people in socio-economically disadvantaged areas to obtain online freelancing jobs. We analyze data from a survey and interviews with the Choice Framework.
We used an explanatory, mixed-methods approach. We used a survey to gather information from the trainees about their perception of the training. We also conducted interviews with trainees in selected locations.
The findings indicate that the trainees gained both technical and personal skills that enabled them to target jobs for which they were previously not qualified. However, structural challenges remained, such as a lack of a stable Internet connection in some areas.
This paper adds to previous research about impact sourcing, by examining how training can help marginalized people to obtain online freelancing jobs.
Karsten Eskelund, Richard Heeks, Brian Nicholson

A Qualitative Analysis of an E-education Initiative in Deep Rural Schools in South Africa: A Need to Build Resilience

The Information Communication and Technology for Rural Education Development (ICT4RED) initiative in South Africa which was aimed at the introduction of ICTs into schools in disadvantaged communities, was coordinated by a government agency (the Meraka Institute). The initiative was supported by a number of government stakeholders, namely the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Basic Education, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, and the Provincial Department of Education. Often, ICT4E projects fail once the implementation team and the funder withdraw, especially in rural schools where the only technological resources available at the school are those provided through the project or intervention. Although there are multiple reasons for this, the problem often lies with integration of the project into the day-to-day institutional arrangements of the education system. This puts pressure on the school environment, especially the teacher – who often receives little support from the District and Provincial departments. The researchers conducted semi-structured interviews with eleven teachers from five project schools that were selected for an evaluation at the time, in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Findings on the paper were generated by way of content analysis. The content of the interviews was finally analysed with Heeks’s Resilience Assessment Benchmarking and Impact Toolkit (RABIT). The research showed that these schools are unable to sustain the change introduced, without support from their formal support system; therefore, this indicates that schools are required to be more resilient, in order to develop capacity to absorb the intervention, and to successfully implement it at the school level.
Sifiso Dlamini, Abraham van der Vyver

Community Development


Global Standards and Local Development

Substantial investments are made in ICTs to support socioeconomic growth in developing countries. As a side-effect of this, the public health sectors in developing countries are commonly challenged by the proliferation of multiple and parallel information systems. Investments are made, but not in a coordinated manner. Based on a case study of OpenHIE, a global community of practice supporting the development of ICT standards within health, and the implementation of these standards in Tanzania and The Philippines, we discuss the relation between global standards and local development. We do so by conceptualizing the global standards offered by OpenHIE as fluid standards and standards as composed of a package of the different components necessary to make them globally and locally relevant. Theoretically, we contribute to the standardization literature by applying and expanding the concept of fluid standards within this particular context of global initiatives to reduce fragmentation of health information systems locally in developing countries. We also contribute to the development literature by exemplifying and critically discussing how the fluid nature of standards, and the networked nature of standardization processes, promote local development.
Simon Pettersen Nguyen, Petter Nielsen, Johan Ivar Sæbø

Enablers of Egalitarian Participation: Case Studies in Underserved Communities in South Africa. Processes of Creativity “Not for the Sake of it”

Although ICT4D impacts peoples’ lives, drivers for change are often from a self-serving perspective, and not sustainable, due to lack of buy-in in the affected communities. To overcome this, ICT4D must move from laboratory approaches and collaboration to grassroots innovation, with communities designing their use of ICT. This study presents three cases of ICT4D projects in underserved communities in Cape Town, South Africa, with the aim of determining enablers of egalitarian participation to support grassroots innovations. Egalitarian participation encourages acquiring self-confidence and empowerment, while remaining motivated to be part of the process. In the processes analysed, an emergent approach, characterised by openness, relaxed rules and flexibility, allowed participants to work on their skills to increase confidence in their capabilities, and to evaluate new opportunities. The primary outcome of an approach based on relationships, and not on design rules, promoted inclusive participation. Collectives engaged in processes, and developed self-determined behaviours and cohesion in supporting their communities. The social goal of the activities, where creativity developed ‘not for the sake of it’ backed the main aim of the egalitarian approach, involved the community and created ownership. Analysis of the cases highlighted methodological patterns that could potentially be replicated, and which are presented as enablers for egalitarian participation in underserved communities. In contrast to the approach of purely supplying solutions, a reflexive approach, permeated by the principles of mutual learning and solidarity, was observed, which evolved into grassroots innovations.
Maria Rosa Lorini, Wallace Chigona, Malcolm Garbutt

The Role of Local Bricoleurs in Sustaining Changing ICT4D Solutions

This paper problematizes the way ICT4D projects are rarely equipped to anticipate for the longitudinal and organic nature of ICT4D processes. As such, it aims to explore how these ever-evolving processes may be met with adaptive solutions that are responsive to their changing environments. Our analysis concentrated on uncovering the change processes of a particularly successful ICT4D implementation over time. Based on these findings, we developed a process perspective of bricolage-driven change in ICT4D in which bricolage practices move through 3 different stages we identify to be ‘opportunity based’, ‘locally owned’ and ‘locally driven’ in nature. These insights are aimed at aiding researchers as well as practitioners in the ICT4D domain in the implementation of long term ICT4D solutions.
Elisabeth Fruijtier, Wilfred Senyoni



Building Empathy for Design Thinking in e-Health: A Zimbabwean Case Study

The challenges of healthcare delivery in Africa are well documented. Advances in technology present an opportunity to address some of these challenges in a cost-effective manner. Notwithstanding these advances, many initiatives fail to deliver the desired benefits, with a lack of citizen engagement cited as one of the reasons for this failure. Design thinking is an approach to innovation that places human needs at the centre of design by gaining empathy with those for whom the designs are initiated. This paper reports on the empathy building conducted in trying to understand the needs of mothers seeking post-natal care in a low-income neighbourhood in Zimbabwe. Through interviews, observations, journals, and using service-dominant logic theory to analyse the output, a picture emerges of the lives of the mothers and babies, and their interaction with the healthcare system. Working in teams with mobile application developers and nurses, the mothers participate in a workshop that produces points of view that define problems the teams would like addressed, using technology in a design thinking exercise.
This paper reports on the work of hospital midwives, and chronicles the lives of several mothers in the eight weeks after giving birth. It also sets out four design challenges based on the points of view derived from the design thinking workshops.
Masiya Alex Marufu, Alta van der Merwe

Coming to Terms with Telemetry: A Scoping Review

mHealth solutions, in resource constrained public healthcare settings, are often an extension of the reach of the government health system. As such, mHealth is subjected to demands resulting from not only restrictions due to constrained health service offerings, but technically constrained limitations inherent in the provisioning of said services as well. Telemetry may be able to offer a workable strategy in mitigating some of these technical constraints. Telemetry, in various guises, has been in use since 1912. The term is used in Information Systems to refer to a conceptual understanding of remote monitoring and control. The concept morphs from its initial concept of Supervisory, Control, and Data Acquisition (SCADA), to often become synonymous with more evolving trends such as machine-to-machine (M2M) and the Internet of Things (IoT). Where there is a clearer understanding of the domain differences between the latter two, Telemetry, in contrast, is poorly expanded on and is predominantly used to denote the features in and of a system. As such, the agreement of what constitutes the components of a telemetry system, or a telemetry framework, is implicitly referred to from within reports and case studies. It follows that the notion of a telemetry framework or, telemetry perspective, is inferred by its context, and changes as its conceptual application changes. This paper aims to articulate the components for a Telemetry implementation from literature, and to suggest design criteria that could be considered for an mHealth telemetry implementation.
Martin Weiss, Adele Botha, Marlien Herselman

Towards a Provisional Workplace E-learning Acceptance Framework for Developing Countries

Using the available literature and existing critical success factors models and frameworks as bases, this paper proposes a provisional workplace e-learning acceptance framework for developing countries. The intended outcome was to evaluate whether or not the framework appropriates employee acceptance of current e-learning initiatives. The study was conducted by means of a survey questionnaire that was distributed to three South African organisations that already make use of e-learning. Categories User characteristics, Technology influence and Instructor influence returned an average median that reflected a general agreement with positive statements about e-learning initiatives offered. Respondents were, however, less enthusiastic about the category Support influence, which returned a lower average median. Whereas several individual tensions were identified across categories, these did not have a pronounced impact on the category Overall acceptance of e-learning. The latter finding provided preliminary evidence that the proposed framework, at minimum, established priorities that may in time contribute to the establishment of a validated framework for developing countries.
McDonald van der Merwe, Gavin Armitage

Localize-It: Co-designing a Community-Owned Platform

One of the most difficult, yet undocumented, aspects of information and communications technologies and development (ICTD) projects is that of establishing partnerships around which researchers’ interventions will develop, be tested and grow. Constraints on timing and funding usually lead to short-term projects, in which benefits are biased towards researchers rather than the partner community. In order to avoid empty and unethical promises and to increase the potential benefit for the community, we consider the process of developing participatory partnerships in ICTD projects. The objective is to make the project community owned, allowing the participants to develop what they value as important. Using the case of a township-based wireless community content sharing network, we describe the potential and some of the challenges with this approach. The paper highlights building blocks, such as ethical behaviour and trust, to avoid recreating the dichotomy between research and practice, and building a constructive collaboration.
Maria Rosa Lorini, Melissa Densmore, David Johnson, Senka Hadzic, Hafeni Mthoko, Ganief Manuel, Marius Waries, André van Zyl

Innovation and Maturity


The Role of the Marginalized and Unusual Suspects in the Production of Digital Innovations: Models of Innovation in an African Context

The rapid proliferation of innovation concepts addressing experiences in the Global South raises crucial questions about the relevance of this phenomenon for development. In an effort to bring conceptual clarity, this paper reviews several related understandings of innovation and related approaches to, firstly, map overlaps and differences, and secondly, understand how they are situated within the development discourse. This study uses a literature review and applies thematic analysis in identifying the various innovation concepts, and the extent to which they include the marginalized in their framing and operationalization. In particular, this study evaluates whether these innovation concepts are framing innovation as something developed outside of poor communities but on behalf of them, whether innovation is designed alongside poor communities, or whether it is designed by and within poor communities. The findings of this study revealed that in most cases, these concepts are pro-poor, with very few exceptions of innovations done in collaboration with the poor, in a per-poor process.
Paul Mungai, Andrea Jimenez, Dorothea Kleine, Jean-Paul Van Belle

Investigating Business Intelligence (BI) Maturity in an African Developing Country: A Mozambican Study

The term ‘Big Data’ has placed renewed focus on the untapped value of data in organizations. Despite the hype of Big Data and the obvious benefits associated with it, organizations often battle with dealing with ‘normal’ transactional data, obtained from various information systems to make vital business decisions. The objective of this qualitative study was to investigate the extent to which Business Intelligence System (BIS) were implemented in a developing country such as Mozambique through the lens of organizational maturity. Maturity assessment is a popular method for assessing the readiness of organizations by means of processes, people and data toward the adoption of a particular approach. In this instance, the Business Intelligence maturity model (biMM) developed by Dinter [1] was adopted to establish the BI maturity in the Mozambican organizations for the purpose of comparing results. The study found that high maturity levels were achieved in the integration between technological production and development infrastructure and the availability of BIS in organizations; however, huge challenges were faced in the area of metadata management, master data management, low level access, and support of analytical information to operational business processes.
The findings make an important contribution towards understanding the BIS maturity level of Mozambican organizations for the purpose of future data related technological adoptions.
Sunet Eybers, Marie J. Hattingh, Osvaldo M. P. Zandamela

The Project Management Information System as Enabler for ICT4D Achievement at Capability Maturity Level 2 and Above

Current trends in project management promote Agile as a solution for challenges around project delivery, focusing more on individuals and interactions than on processes and tools. This paper postulates that any project method, especially agile, if undertaken with limited process focus below Capability Maturity (CM) Level 2, may well result in project delivery failures, despite best intentions from the project team. With dynamic Internet growth in developing countries, and advancements in virtual collaboration, projects ought to involve tailoring jointly-agreed project management processes at Capability Maturity level 2 and above. In addition, the utilisation of a Project Management Information System (PMIS) emplacement is essential for project management success. The use of a PMIS is in line with a process-driven approach to ICT4D, and will facilitate the ICT value proposition for a developing economy. Following a comprehensive literature review, the paper asserts that Capability Maturity Level 2 will remain relatively unattainable, unless the PMIS emplacement becomes a strategic driver for success. To this end, we propose a PMIS CM Improvement Framework to the PMBOK Process Group and Knowledge Area matrix, and establish the value proposition for ICT4D.
Mark Jonathan Corrigan, John Andrew van der Poll, Emmanuel Samuel Mtsweni



Identifying the Constructs and Agile Capabilities of Data Governance and Data Management: A Review of the Literature

Data has become an invaluable asset to organisations. However, it is evident from the existing literature that despite the increased awareness of the importance of their data assets, many organisations fail to manage and govern these assets with the agility required in a highly competitive and volatile business environment. For data governance to be effective and sustainable in a turbulent, increasingly regulated and competitive organisational environment, all of the elements of data governance should enable and support agility in the organisation’s management of its data and information assets. As a result of increased local and global data regulations, a high reliance on technical skills, and economic constraints, organisations in developing countries have experienced challenges with implementing data governance programs. Governance within an organisation comprises the internal processes and policies that enable human capital performance, legal and regulatory compliance, and organisational alignment. There is no single approach to achieving successful data governance, and factors pertaining to the organisation’s strategy, structure, business requirements and culture need to be considered. In this study, a systematic review of existing academic literature was conducted to investigate (1) the scope and constructs of data governance and data management, (2) the agile capabilities that are required in data governance and data management for the timeous delivery of useful data to business, and (3) the need for African organisations to establish agile capabilities in their data governance and data management functions. The results of this review should be helpful with assisting organisations in African countries to achieve agility in the governance and management of data, that supports business requirements and organisational agility.
Theresa Lillie, Sunet Eybers


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