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Assessing the impact of ICT4D

07 September 2009

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Global Impact Study’s guidebook Compendium on Impact Assessment of ICT-for-Development Projects provides a comprehensive impact assessment framework for ICT4D projects. The document is useful for practitioners and policy-makers in assessing various informatics initiatives undertaken in developing countries.

Compendium on Impact Assessment of ICT-for-Development Projects

Publisher: Global Impact Study, 2009

Billions of US dollars are invested each year by the public, NGO and private sectors in information-and-communication-technologies-for-development (ICT4D) projects.

The guidebook by Richard Heeks and Alemayehu Molla, helps as a valuable guide that facilitates choosing and applying ICTD impact assessment methods. It includes:

  • An overview of ICTD impact assessments methods, approaches, and frameworks.
  • Descriptions of eleven impact assessment frameworks.
  • A bibliography summarizing 150 works on ICTD impact assessment, many drawn from case studies.

The document also presents an overview of Impact Assessment for ICT4D which can be based around six questions:

  • Why: what is the rationale for impact assessment?
  • For whom: who is the intended audience for the impact assessment?
  • What: what is to be measured?
  • How: how are the selected indicators to be measured?
  • When: at what point in the ICT4D project lifecycle are indicators to be measured?
  • How: how are impact assessment results to be reported, disseminated and used?

It also identifies and quantifies the costs and benefits of ICT4D projects and offers a logical and consistent framework of data analysis that facilitates assessment, decision-making and cross-project comparison. By making explicit link between inputs and outcomes including assumptions, it adds rigour to impact evaluation.

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