Information, Technology and Development (ICT4D) Study Group
ICT4D (information & communications technology for development) broadly refers to the application of technology toward social, political, cultural, economic, and environmental development in low-income and low-resource settings. The emphasis is on helping poor and marginalized people and communities, primarily in the Global South. Amongst the main aims of ICT4D are the use of technology to deliver a greater good, to improve healthcare provision, to provide more equitable access to ICT, and to aid international development by extending the benefits of technology more widely in society to mitigate the negative effects of the digital divide.
The ICT4D study group aims to establish an ICT4D community comprised of academics, researchers, development practitioners and anyone else interested in the field. The aim is to provide a focal point for discussion, learning, debate, collaboration and the sharing and dissemination of research. One of the main benefits of the study group is the bringing together of researchers and practitioners who are working in close geographical proximity on the Island of Ireland. This will allow us to interact more frequently, develop relationships, and benefit from a wider range of activities such as reading groups, workshops, summer schools, and conferences. This is particularly important in the field of ICT4D where researchers and practitioners typically meet only once or twice a year at one of the mainstream ICT4D conferences.
Another aim of this study group is to create a strong base for practice and research which should enable members of the group to become more research active. This would include stimulating, facilitating, and providing feedback on new research in the field. The hope is that this research would evolve to a level appropriate for the DSAI working paper series or presentation at the ICT4D stream of the DSAI annual conference. This should also allow us to enhance our responsiveness to research opportunities and funding calls that require stakeholder involvement beyond a single institution, individual, or project.
The ICT4D study group is open to all members of DSA Ireland. If you are interested in joining the study group please contact the group convener PJ Wall (Twitter: @pj_wall) with your name, institution/NGO affiliation, contact details and research/practice interests.
PJ Wall is a final year PhD candidate at the School of Computer Science and the Centre for Global Health in Trinity College Dublin. His research explores the wider implications of technological innovation in the Global South, with specific focus on the adoption of mobile technologies in Africa. His current research is based in Sierra Leone where the social, cultural and political aspects associated with the implementation and use of mobile phones in healthcare are being examined.
PJ also has over 20 years’ experience teaching in a variety of 3rd level institutions including TCD, the University of Manchester, Institute of Technology Carlow and the National College of Ireland. PJ currently co-ordinates and lectures the Health Informatics & ICT4D module for the TCD MSc in Global Health. In addition, he lectures the Issues in the Management of Information Systems module for the University of Manchester MSc in Management & IS: Change and Development. He also supervises a number final dissertations from these MSc programmes.
Over the past 20 years PJ has worked with a variety of national and international organisations, governmental bodies and NGO’s where he has gained extensive in-country development experience in a variety of countries including Sierra Leone, India, Nepal, Kenya, Tanzania and Guyana. PJ holds a Master’s Degree from the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, and a Batchelor’s degree in Accounting from the Institute of Public Administration (UCD).