Analysing an ICT4D Project in India Using the Capability Approach and a Virtuous Spiral Framework

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Grunfeld, Helena, Guddireddigari, S, Marian, B, Peter, J and Kumar, V (2011) Analysing an ICT4D Project in India Using the Capability Approach and a Virtuous Spiral Framework. In: Frameworks for ICT Policy: Government, Social and Legal Issues. Adomi, Esharenana E, ed. Information Science Reference, Hershey, Pennsylvania, pp. 50-75.


The field research covered in this chapter represents the first wave of a longitudinal study, aimed at testing a framework for evaluating the contribution to capabilities, empowerment and sustainability of information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) projects. Key features of the framework are: it is conceptually informed by Amartya Sen’s capability approach (CA), uses a participatory methodology and longitudinal timeframe, and considers the micro-, meso-, and macro- levels in understanding the role of ICT in development. Despite the longitudinal nature of the framework, each stage of the research is designed to be a case study in its own right. The research, conducted at a computer centre in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, centred on the perception of participants with respect to whether the centre had played a role in any improvements in the community and whether they could see a role for it in changes they would like to see, or aspirations they may have for their communities. A key finding of the field research was that participants valued the centre mainly for its contribution to education of their children. Education was appreciated beyond its instrumental utility and included intrinsic value, i.e. value that exceeds its potential as a path to higher incomes. Participants frequently referred to how a higher level of literacy would empower them to deal with government officials without intermediaries. This finding is consistent with the CA’s emphasis on development as a process facilitating capabilities that enable people to lead lives they have reason to value.

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Item type Book Section
DOI 10.4018/978-1-61692-012-8.ch004
ISBN 9781616920128 (print) 1616920122 (print) 9781616920135 (online)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 0806 Information Systems
Historical > SEO Classification > 970114 Expanding Knowledge in Economics
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES)
Keywords ResPubID24194, ICT4D project analysing, capabilities, empowerment, sustainability, ICT development
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