Scholars in Information Systems are investigating societal impacts of ICTs on people, data and things, research in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT4D) is becoming increasingly diverse. Current innovative uses of blockchain technologies to track refugees, offer new identification mechanisms, healthcare tracking for epidemics and the use of cryptocurrencies to offer payment systems are offering new ways for people to bring about improvements in their lives. Digital innovations are offering financial inclusion, health and wellbeing to those who were previously left out of opportunities to improve their lives from the global economy.
While drawing upon theories that help understand these emerging phenomena, research in ICT4D and IS also requires attention to the contextual challenges facing practitioners in the field. There have been attempts to develop theories that enable these challenges to be understood. An interesting and significant issue is whether ICTs can play a sustaining, value-adding role that enables societies to move beyond the conditions that cause mass discontent to beneficial development for all. Such a role may include supporting social groups in: identifying and defining achievable goals, acquirable resources, and constraints to be acknowledged and if possible overcome; supporting sustainable & secure collaboration, offering health and wellbeing; and financial inclusion.
Kweku-Muata Osei-Bryson, Virginia Commonwealth University email@example.com
Arlene Bailey, University of the West Indies at Mona firstname.lastname@example.org
Sajda Qureshi, University of Nebraska Omaha email@example.com
Blockchain for Development
Blockchain is a promising technology. It is based on a shared, distributed ledger, where transactions are registered by consensus in a network of peers, using cryptographic mechanisms that render the records virtually immutable. This enables transparency, auditability, and resilience. Additionally, Blockchains can also enforce smart contracts, further reducing uncertainty and promoting confidence among stakeholders and dispensing with middlemen.
There are innovative experiments in high profile areas, such as financial services, healthcare, value chains, intellectual property rights, or crowdfunding. In addition, Blockchain also holds a huge potential for development. It can foster more democratic mechanisms and help fight corruption. It can enable secure and lean ID mechanisms, reduce the number of unbanked, prevent voting fraud and tax evasion, improve management of public benefits, reduce commissions on remittances, or ensure integrity of public records. Using Blockchain, the opportunity exists to address afflicting areas and even leapfrog established solutions in developed countries.
Paulo Rupino da Cunha firstname.lastname@example.org
Piotr Soja email@example.com
Marinos Themistocleous firstname.lastname@example.org
Digital Innovations for Development
Socio-economic development is not possible without digital innovation, especially in crisis situations such as pandemics. The development of information and communication technologies (ICT4D) is a necessity for the modern economy. Innovative ICT solutions support countries in the development of their business competitiveness, socio-economic, and political development. A particular challenge of ICR4D is to help poor, socially excluded, marginalized communities. The objectives of this mini-track focus on how digital innovation opportunities such as cyber-physical systems, blockchain, or data analytics can support the overcoming of crises, support socio-economic growth including human capital development, social well-being, promoting social development. We are interested in ICT4D effects in overcoming crisis situations in management, marketing, customer relationship management, enterprise resource planning, business intelligence, human resource management, alternative trading system, or innovative management systems. Transdisciplinary innovations bridging the digital divide and ensure fair and sustainable access to technology as a factor in international development are particularly desirable.
We are seeking papers dealing with digital innovation for development in their various facets, such as business, technical, social, political, cultural, economic, legal, and educational. Possible topics of interest to this mini-track include but are not limited to the following five issues:
- The transdisciplinary approach to digital innovation, artificial intelligence and sustainable development (CPS, smart cities, smart grid, intelligent systems, mobile money, etc.)
- Data, ethics and digital inclusion (Blockchain, analytics, social inclusion/exclusion, information literacy, etc.)
- Digital technologies, work, identity and dignity
- Communities, connectedness, digital platforms, and the self
- ICT innovations for Customer relationship management
Jolanta Kowal email@example.com
Pamela Abbott firstname.lastname@example.org
Juho Mäkiö email@example.com
ICTs in Asia
Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have long been associated with a country’s innovativeness and development. Asia, as one of the fastest growing regions in the world, benefits a lot from its fast development in country-level ICT infrastructures. With the recent initiative of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road (the Belt and Road initiative for short, from Asia to Europe and Africa), Asian countries will tighten the economical relationships among the countries on the paths of Belt and Road. In this process, ICT will play an important and critical role in the international trade, collaborations and communications. This mini-track targets on the ICT impacts on country/organizational/user level collaboration and developments as well as how ICT affects economic and market performance in the countries/regions in Asia. Topics related to ICT development for Asia and in the context of new normal of COVID-19 influence are all welcome.
Xusen Cheng firstname.lastname@example.org
Kai Li email@example.com
ICT4D Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities
Sustainability of ICT4D programs is essential to maximize its long-term impact and maintain stakeholder support (Heek et al., 2009). Although literature identifies many ICT4D prototypes and pilot studies, issues and challenges related to their long-term viability and sustainability have not been sufficiently explored. Equally important is impact assessment (Weiss, 1995) at all stages of an ICT4D initiative, short of which progress evaluation, program institutionalization, and articulation of development impact will remain unaccomplished (Heeks 2017).
We welcome engaging discourse on the variety of issues, challenges, and opportunities related to sustainable ICT4D programs and impact assessment. Suggested topics include, but not limited to:
* Issues and challenges in transitioning from prototypes and pilot studies to sustainable long-term solutions.
* Institutionalization of ICT4D initiatives to achieve long-term development impact.
* Role of government agencies, NGOs, NPOs, and local organizations in fostering sustainable capacity building.
* Approaches to assess long-term viability and sustainability of ICT4D initiatives.
* Business models for revenue generation and funding of ICT4D programs and related challenges.
* Novel strategies and cross disciplinary approaches for the assessment of immediate, intermediate, and long-term ICT4D goals.
Heeks, R. (2017) Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D). London and New York: Routledge.
Heeks, R., & Molla, A. (2009) Compendium on impact assessment of ICT-for-development projects Development Informatics. Manchester, UK: Development Informatics Group.
Weiss, C. H. (1995) Nothing as practical as good theory: Exploring theory-based evaluation for comprehensive community initiatives for children and families. New approaches to evaluating community initiatives: Concepts, methods, and contexts, 1, 65-92.
Manoj Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org
Yan Li email@example.com
ICT Innovations Driving Development in Emerging and Transition Economies
Emerging economies are characterized by a low but growing per capita income and an ongoing process of institutional transformation and economic opening. Transition economies are a particular case of emerging economies which have abandoned the communist-style central planning system and committed to substantial reforms to adopt a free market approach. These fast growing emerging and transition economies play an increasingly significant role in the global market, with information and communication technology (ICT) being a key driving force in this process.
The objective of this mini-track is to encourage more research on ICT innovations driving development in emerging and transition economies by providing a forum for interested authors to disseminate their research, compare results, and exchange ideas. We especially invite researchers from Eastern Europe, as well as from BRIC countries, i.e. Brazil, Russia, India and China to submit their papers.
Grażyna Paliwoda-Pękosz firstname.lastname@example.org
Piotr Soja email@example.com
Paulo Rupino da Cunha firstname.lastname@example.org
ICT Collaboration in Cross-Organizational, International, and Global Settings.
It is appreciated that when properly implemented and managed, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have the power to transform organizations and even nations. This mini-track seeks to extend the research to other domains such as ICT collaborations in cross-organizational, international, and global settings. We seek to explore factors that could enhance or impede the benefits of ICT in the settings above. For example, how do government regulations in a given country impact the eco-systems for Mobile Virtual Network Operators? What cross-organizational nuances need to be managed for ICT initiatives to yield the desired outcomes for telehealth partners across multiple countries?
Hoon Seok Choi email@example.com
Philip F. Musa firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Xiong email@example.com
Femi Ekanoye Oluwafemi.firstname.lastname@example.org
ICT4D and Data Justice
Research on data justice, meant with Taylor (2017) as “fairness in the way people are made visible, represented and treated as a result of their production of data”, stems from the increasing availability of digital data for populations worldwide. While used for purposes ascribable to “development” goals, such as provision of better public services, inclusion of vulnerable populations and humanitarian management, such availability of data can result in injustices that are widely documented in literatures across media and communications, human geography and critical data studies. Against this backdrop, it is surprising to see limited explicit engagement of ICT4D with issues of data justice, which – with notable exceptions – is underrepresented in the literature of our field. Such underrepresentation emerges in the limited engagement with data justice in ICT4D journals, conference tracks and symposia, leaving an important gap to fill in this respect.
Against this backdrop, this minitrack invites papers that explicitly engage the theme of data justice, dealing with topics that include, but are not limited to:
– Theorisations of data justice in ICT4D,
– Studies of just or unjust data practices in developing countries, e.g. use of data in public services or social protection for the poor,
– Studies of data use in the management of refugee or internally displaced people,
– Studies of data use towards inclusion or reduction of vulnerabilities,
– Intersections of digital identity with data justice or injustices,
– Data justice implications of COVID-19 tracking practices in developing nations.
Silvia Masiero email@example.com
Soumyo Das firstname.lastname@example.org
Digitalization of Supply Chain in Sub-Saharan Africa
The aim of this mini-track is to discuss the importance of digital transformation (DT) in supply chain interconnectivity and interoperability and its effects on firm performance in the SSA region (Asamoah et al., 2020). We invite high-quality and original contributions investigating the development and application of cutting-edge technologies and techniques of digital connectivity in logistics and SCM, from both researchers and practitioners. The expected methodological approaches include but not limited to case studies, large-scale surveys, industry studies, field, and laboratory experiments, and interventionist approaches including design science and action research are also welcome. Potential topics include but not limited to:
o How DT enables players in the supply chain to enhance organizational performance
o How DT influences the flexibility and responsiveness of logistics service providers
o How DT influences responsiveness to consumer demands
o How AI, big data are used in operations management and supply chain decisions
Francis Kofi Andoh-Baidoo email@example.com
David Asamoah firstname.lastname@example.org