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Reflections on applying iterative and incremental software development methodologies to aid development

Having recently looked at Agile project management methodologies (Extreme Programming, Scrum and a little on Rapid Application Development, EVO and Rational Unified Process) – despite this material being focused on traditional, commercial software development and management, Matt Haikin has noted that the focus on starting small, not pre-planning everything from the start, and evolving software slowly through engagement with the ‘customer’, is strikingly similar to the practices recommended in various participatory approaches to development, and in socio-technical discussions around ICT4D projects.

In this article he thought it would be interesting to explore these similarities and see what Agile software-development methodologies might have to offer the ICT4D community – not just in terms of developing software but in the wider development context too.

HD PDF New Reflections on applying iterative and incremental software development methodologies to aid development (2056)

Why has the Peru One Laptop Per Child program failed to live up to its promise?

The One Laptop Per Child Foundation is a US-based charity established by Nicholas Negroponte in 2005 to “empower the world’s poorest through education”. OLPC set out to achieve this by designing a laptop computer specifically for the conditions in developing countries, and partnering with the governments in these countries to roll-out the laptops to all their schools and children.

Over 2,000,000 children and teachers in Latin America are part of an OLPC project, with another 500,000 in Africa and the rest of the world but how should such projects be evaluated? This paper uses the ‘Design Reality Gap’ framework to look at the OLPC project in Peru in more detail, demonstrating how delivery problems have obscured much of the potential of its innovative underlying approach. It concludes that radical changes are necessary for future phases of the project in order that the potential social impact of OLPC can be properly assessed and evaluated.

Author:Matt Haikin  

HD PDF New Why has the Peru One Laptop Per Child program failed to live up to its promise? (2890)

Achieving empowerment in ICT for Development through community participation

Community participation in ICT for Development is sometimes portrayed as a ‘magic bullet’, which will inevitably lead to better project outcomes and the empowerment of marginalised participants from the local community.

This research takes a critical approach to this participation, drawing on dual roots of participation in Development Studies and Information Systems, to explore the barriers that, in reality, prevent participation from achieving this potential and identifies factors that might ensure more success.

This work identifies issues and success factors relevant to participatory ICTD and its potentially empowering role for local communities; explores the relevance of these factors to the reality of ICTD projects in developing countries; and investigates the potential for producing an analytical framework or project design approach that could help practitioners in the field to produce more emancipatory and empowering participatory ICTD projects.

Author:Matt Haikin  

HD PDF New Achieving empowerment in ICT for Development through community participation (1907)

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