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Communities in control of their own integrated technology development processes


  • Johan Breytenbach
  • Carina De Villiers
  • Martina Jordaan


This article studies technology-driven, development-focused initiatives (information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) projects) at a community level in South Africa. This study forms part of the existing debate on ICT4D project success and suggests answers toward accelerating ICT4D projects' growth toward maturity and sustainability. Concerns that receive attention include the level of ownership and control taken by members of benefiting local communities in ICT4D projects, the level of social embeddedness of ICT4D projects, and a revision of the concept of sustainability within the ICT4D context. A detailed case study that compares two similar ICT4D projects influencing four local communities, focusing on educational institutions within the communities in South Africa, provides the foundation for this article. Adjustments are made to the Five Stages Maturity Model for ICT projects (Leem et al., 2008) and then used to guide our critical discussion regarding each community's relationship with the information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) projects currently running within each society, and how these relationships can be matured and sustained. Findings include a discussion of the importance of direct and diffused increases in freedom resulting from an ICT4D project and the often discounted role of recognition, celebration of achievements within the local community, and media involvement in the maturity, and hence sustainability, of ICT4D projects.

Suggested Citation

  • Johan Breytenbach & Carina De Villiers & Martina Jordaan, 2013. "Communities in control of their own integrated technology development processes," Information Technology for Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 133-150, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:titdxx:v:19:y:2013:i:2:p:133-150
    DOI: 10.1080/02681102.2012.714348

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    Cited by:

    1. Simplice A. Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2018. "Recent finance advances in information technology for inclusive development: a systematic review," Netnomics, Springer, vol. 19(1), pages 65-93, October.
    2. Asongu, Simplice & Anyanwu, John & Tchamyou, Vanessa, 2017. "Technology-driven information sharing and conditional financial development in Africa," MPRA Paper 79640, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Simplice A. Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2017. "Recent finance advances in information technology for inclusive development: a survey," Research Africa Network Working Papers 17/009, Research Africa Network (RAN).

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