ICT4D with Special Focus on Web 2.0 and Mashups of Existing Services

Some days ago I got back my (diploma) thesis with a good grade – so I am confident to share it with the public now.

Its title is “Information And Communication Technologies For Development (ICT4D) With Special Focus On Web 2.0 And Mashups Of Existing Services” and as I started working on it already more than a year ago not everything is perfect, things are outdated or not correct anymore.

One of the first things I would change if I wrote it again is the terminology of developed vs. developing vs. less developed countries. As I learned in several discussions, these terms are simply not applicably and express a quite patronizing view of the world. So sorry for that.

However, in my thesis I tried to give an overview of some aspects of the research area of ICT4D, present innovative projects (ok – Global Voices Online, Ushahidi and Tradenet may not be the most surprising choices) and I hope it might provide interesting views and insights. Especially the combination of ICT4D with Web 2.0 services and Mashups deserves a closer look and generally more research I think.

From the abstract:

Since the early 1990s, access to worldwide-created information and possibilities for world-wide communication have become easier and easier – at least in the Western world.

In this “age of information”, the gaps between developed and less-developed countries do not only consist of the large differences in infrastructure and society, but also of the difficulties for developing countries to access these means of information and communication, which in fact are freely available.

But why in the first place would people living in areas where there is not even enough food or water require internet access, let alone the possibility to make long-distance calls?

Some years ago the research area “Information and Communication Technologies for Development” (ICT4D) emerged. This area of research is based on the claim that contemporary technologies enable economic and social change in such countries which are provided with access to these technologies. Hence, that could help less developed countries to catch up with the Western world.

Since not every technology has the quality to deliver benefits in less developed countries, the next two chapters will deal with two technologies which, as is claimed here, have certain advantages in the context of ICT4D.

The first technology is web 2.0, whose participatory services are substantial tools for fostering development in the information sector, and, therefore in the economy as a whole, since a key element in sustainable development of services is the involvement of local stakeholders in projects and content creation.

The second technology is mashups, which – in essence – are combined and connected services provided to users in the internet. These mashups do not require much knowledge about programming, which is a substantial benefit as there are few people with programming skills in less developed countries.

Under the following link you can download the thesis “ICT4D with Special Focus on Web 2.0 and Mashups of Existing Services“. I make it available under a creative commons (attribution, share alike) license.

On this way I would like to thank my supervisors Thorsten Hampel (Universität Paderborn) and Renate Motschnig (Universität Wien).

Tags: , , ,
ICT4D with Special Focus on Web 2.0 and Mashups of Existing Services
was published on 27.02.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
3 Comments AddThis Feed Button

3 Responses to “ICT4D with Special Focus on Web 2.0 and Mashups of Existing Services”

  1. ismael Says:

    Great you made it available, Florian!!

    I do have to find some quite time to read it calmly and in depth.

    BTW, congrats for the diploma and the good marks!!


  2. Florian Sturm Says:

    Thanks a lot Ismael!

    Wish you all the best that you’ll finish your thesis soon – 106 500 words sounds already really impressive; looking forward to read that then

  3. ICT4D.at » Blog Archive » Presentation: Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) with special focus on Web 2.0 and Mashups of existing Services Says:

    […] I presented my Master thesis “Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) with special focus on Web 2.0 and…” to examiners at the Faculty of Knowledge and Business Engineering at the University of […]