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Rethinking ICT4D Impact Assessments: Reflections from the Siyakhula Living Lab in South Africa

  • Hafeni MthokoEmail author
  • Caroline Khene
Conference paper
Part of the Communications in Computer and Information Science book series (CCIS, volume 933)

Abstract

The approach to outcome and impact assessments of ICTD has often relied solely on identifying project effects in relation to project baseline data; however, such an approach limits the potential learning that could be occurring throughout a project’s lifecycle. Impact assessments should be conducted in a comprehensive manner, taking into account the evaluation data that has been captured from the initiation of the project through to its implementation, and beyond. This study sought to reflect on the implementation of an impact assessment framework that is based on a comprehensive approach to evaluation. The framework was implemented in the Siyakhula Living Lab to assess for its outcomes and impacts on the community. A pragmatic approach was applied through a reflective process, to assess the utility of the framework within this context. Semi-structured interviews with project stakeholders were conducted to further gain insight into the comprehensive approach to conducting impact assessments. It was found that a comprehensive approach to assessing impacts provided a meaningful way to understand the effects of the ICTD initiative, and provided an overview of project areas that required improvement. However, it was found that the proposed assessment framework required a customisation component in order to modify it to better suit the project context. The way in which future impact assessments are conducted can draw on the lessons gained from following a more comprehensive approach to evaluation, and thus improve learning over time.

Keywords

Impact assessment Evaluation Learning Living lab Sustainability 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa
  2. 2.Rhodes UniversityGrahamstownSouth Africa

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