An Exploratory Study of ICT for Developmental Impact in Rural Areas of Bangladesh

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Ashraf, Mahfuz, Grunfeld, Helena, Harris, Roger, Alam, Nabid, Ferdousi, Sanjida and Malik, Bushra Tahseen (2011) An Exploratory Study of ICT for Developmental Impact in Rural Areas of Bangladesh. Media Asia, 38 (1). pp. 22-31. ISSN 0129-6612


The interest of the World Bank, various agencies of the United Nations and other donor organisations, which in the past supported information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) initiatives under the broad telecentre umbrella, seems to be waning somewhat. There are several reasons for this lack of interest. With the increasing ubiquity of mobile services, those who considered telecentres useful, mainly because of the connectivity they provided, may no longer see a need for them. Many initiatives were considered failures, as they were not financially sustainable beyond the initial funding period. There was also a lack of adequate evaluations to show whether and how these centres had contributed to development objectives. While there are several evaluations of shared facilities, there is no generally recognised framework for such appraisals, which exhibit various approaches, derived from different disciplines, mainly from information systems and to a more limited extent from development studies. Approaching an evaluation of an ICT4D project in a rural setting in Bangladesh from a development perspective, this study, which is informed by the seminal work of Amartya Sen (2001), “Development as Freedom” (DaF), adopts an interpretive qualitative research style and illustrates the importance of understanding the local context. Our findings demonstrate that the two ICT interventions studied in this research had significant impacts on the five freedoms espoused in DaF.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > Centre for Strategic Economic Studies (CSES)
Historical > FOR Classification > 1402 Applied Economics
Historical > SEO Classification > 970114 Expanding Knowledge in Economics
Keywords ResPubID24412, World Bank, information and communication technology for development, ICT4D, Development as Freedom, DaF, Bangladesh
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