ICT Evaluation: Are We Asking the Right Questions?

Ricardo Gomez, Shaun Pather

Abstract


The evaluation of information and communication technologies (ICT) in development activities has metamorphised through different phases in the last 30 years. In this paper we explore the experiences of ICT evaluation in the broad business environment and draw parallels with the ICT for development (ICTD) environment. The paper motivates the need for a fundamental paradigm shift in ICTD evaluation. We argue that it is not sufficient to focus on the easily measurable tangible and quantifiable benefits of ICT. We motivate that the intangible benefits of ICT on development such as empowerment, self-esteem and social cohesion are more important from a developmental perspective. Consequently, a more detailed exploration of the theoretical and methodological implications of this shift in the ICTD field is warranted.

Keywords


ICT; evaluation; paradigm; intangible; impact

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The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries. ISSN: 1681-4835 www.ejisdc.org