Computer Science is not Enough

  • John Bennett University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Revi Sterling University of Colorado at Boulder
Keywords: ICTD


Despite huge investment, and the best of intentions, most development projects fail. This is particularly true of Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICTD) projects. We contend that a significant contributor to this failure is the lack of breadth in project design and implementation, and in the training of project implementers. Successful ICTD interventions, in addition to being based on the best computer science research has to offer, must be guided by the relevant social, cultural, political, economic and gender factors that underlie the interaction of the technology with the community into which it is being placed. We therefore argue that efforts to distance computer science from the broader context of ICTD scholarship and practice are misguided. ICTD should be recognized as a truly interdisciplinary area of research and practice. We further argue that ICTD as a discipline has a particular need for academic practitioners. We close with a compilation of current known ICTD academic efforts worldwide.
Special Issue: ICTs and Society - A New Transdiscipline?