Towards a Comprehensive Evaluation Framework for ICT for Development Evaluation -an Analysis of Evaluation Frameworks

Pade-Khene, Caroline; Sewry, Dave
January 2011
Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Manag;2011, p360
Conference Proceeding
Information and communication technologies (ICT) can support rural development activities through providing supportive information and knowledge, and creating essential interconnectivities between rural areas and more developed regions. However, rural ICT for development (ICT4D) is still at best a 'working hypothesis', faced with barriers and challenges associated with implementation and use in the rural environment; which threaten the success, sustainability or relevance of ICT interventions in developing countries. The evaluation of rural ICT projects is indispensable as it determines the need, effectiveness, impact, sustainability and extent of the awareness of the contribution such projects or programmes can make in poverty alleviation and development. Even so, existing ICT for development evaluations are confronted with shortcomings and challenges which influence the reliability of evaluation conclusions. These shortcomings highlight the need to embark on a more comprehensive evaluation approach, sensitive to the rural environment. The paper adopts a theoretical multi-method approach to determine the multiple variables and components associated with rural ICT evaluation, and then to determine how these variables interrelate. The approach is founded on programme evaluation, ICT for development evaluation, and information systems evaluation. Programme evaluation informs this research study of the fundamental domains of evaluation and the structure that shapes an evaluation. An analysis of ICT for development evaluation frameworks and information systems frameworks compares and contrasts key characteristics that form the structure of a comprehensive evaluation that can be applied in ICT for development projects. The analysis and a review of programme evaluation enables the development of a Rural ICT Comprehensive Evaluation Framework (RICT-CEF) that encompasses the key components essential for a comprehensive evaluation of rural ICT projects. The theoretical framework aims to inform ICT intervention to improve and support rural development, through the application of fundamental and interconnected evaluation domains sensitive to the rural environment, throughout the project's lifecycle.


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