Discourses on ICT and Development

This article reviews the multidisciplinary literature on ICTD and identifies two perspectives regarding the nature of the ICT innovation process in developing countries—as transfer and diffusion and as socially embedded action—and two perspectives on the development transformation toward which ICT is understood to contribute—progressive transformation and disruptive transformation. The paper then discusses the four discourses formed by combining the perspectives on the nature of IS innovation and on the development transformation. The review suggests that ICTD research, despite its remarkable theoretical capabilities to study technology innovation in relation to socioeconomic context, remains weak in forming convincing arguments about IT-enabled socioeconomic development.

Chrisanthi Avgerou
© Information Technologies & International Development Journal, 2010