ICTs and hope for development: a theoretical framework

Track DIC - Development and ICT-enabled Well-Being

Abstract: Hope is a core part of what it means to be human, and has long been recognised as foundational in driving people to make changes in their lives and contexts. Yet this importance of hope is not reflected in academic research, with little work being undertaken on hope and development, and none on hope and the application of ICTs-for-development (ICT4D). This paper makes a start on closing this knowledge gap by exploring the different meanings of hope within existing literature. It synthesises these meanings into a new multi-dimension content model of hope that looks at the subject, object and enaction of hope. This model is then linked to ICT4D initiatives by taking into account the hopes of different stakeholders, which are seen – via a modified ICT4D value chain framework – to be both an input to and an output from ICT4D adoption and use. The paper then undertakes a preliminary application of this framework to a case study using multiple sources of secondary data from the One-Laptop-per-Child initiative. This provides preliminary validation for the models of hope, and offers a foundation for future research seeking to understand the connection between ICT4D and this key human belief.