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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2010

Towards a Learning Model of ICT Application for Development : Lessons from a networked dialogue in Sweden

Klocker Larsen, Rasmus; Powell, Stina; Sriskandarajah, Nadarajah; Peterson, Tarla

Abstract

This paper reports on a two-day workshop held in Sweden (7-8 April 2008) to bring together researchers and professionals to share insights and experiences in the application of information and communication technology (ICT) to sustainable development (SD). The third in a series of events sponsored by the Swedish Program for Information and Communication Technology in Developing Regions (SPIDER), this workshop was aimed at fostering experience sharing among participants, creation of opportunities for formulating new project and research ideas, and enabling the formation of new partnerships. The focal point of the workshop was the conjunction of ICTs, environment, and development. Beginning with pre-workshop conversations via a blog page, the workshop promoted involvement of participants in active exchanges and dialogue through the use of open space processes. Workshop discussions revolved around questions of power and equity, poverty reduction, collective learning, and private sector involvement. The workshop was intended to encourage development organizations to explore alternatives to the traditional deployment approach to ICTs. Workshop participants reflected on the challenges and opportunities of shifting to a systemic learning approach for applying ICTs to SD. A systemic learning model is outlined as a means to enable more effective use of ICTs by balancing technical knowledge with insights into the context and history of the stakeholders and their field of application.

Keywords

environment; communication studies; social networking; ICT deployment; sustainable development; systemic learning

Published in

Information, Communication and Society
2010, Volume: 13, number: 1, pages: 136-150
Publisher: ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD