After waiting for several months for my professors to review my final thesis in my studies in political science, I finally received my certificate yesterday! This means I can now freely distribute my thesis to everyone who is interested.
The thesis examined the connection between common development theory approaches and ICT for Development (ICT4D), based on the observation that most development projects in this field seemed to be somehow disconnected from theory-based development research. Projects often were developed according to various assumptions which have never been proved before - such as the idea that development countries would be able to 'leapfrogg' various stages of development by transforming form agricultural societies straight to information societies. The character of these considerations where inspired by a rather practical and pragmatic approach, asking rather what actually could work than how this would connect to the research in development theory of the years before. The guiding question of the thesis therefore was if ICT4D was actually done without development theory at all. Where there any connections to developmeng theory approaches of the last 20 years and if, which role does ICT4D play in these different approaches?
The study was conducted in cooperation with InWEnt – Internationale Weiterbildung und Entwicklung (Capacity Building International, Germany) gGmbH and in particular with the support of Balthas Seibold (http://www.webwort.de/). The InWEnt project IT@COOPS (http://www.it-coops.org/) in this regard served as a case study to illustrate how the different development approaches implicitely or explicitely feed into one concrete ICT4D project.
Unfortunatley, the study is only available in German language, which was a concession to the fact that I had to complete the writing solely on weekends during the first months of my new position at UN Volunteers. However, if you like to learn more about the study and its context, feel free to contact me personally.
Download the study