Governance in the Technology Era: Implications of Actor Network Theory for Social Empowerment in South Asia

Abstract : Information and communication technologies (ICT) have proven their value in delivering time-sensitive and relevant information to targeted communities. Information has been the key resource to social development. Social entrepreneurs have leveraged ICT to reach out to people who are marginalized from public discourse. Despite successes however, some ICT initiatives have failed due to underestimating the social requirements of technology and to relying more on information systems than on the information the system transports. How information is produced and applied to a social context to create meaning is more important than the means by which it is represented through portable monitors and mobile devices. The paper argues in order to take advantage of today’s ICT, it is critical that we understand how technology and society mediate within a socio-technical framework. Using the Actor Network Theory, the paper explains the process of mediation to highlight that the journey to technology-based solutions is not smooth. The Village Knowledge Center (VKC) project in India and the Access to Information (A2I) project in Bangladesh provide sound evidence of how ICT-led social development can be effective in the short run but meaningful long term changes will depend on the collaboration of social entrepreneurs and public administrators.
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Akhlaque Haque, Kamna Mantode. Governance in the Technology Era: Implications of Actor Network Theory for Social Empowerment in South Asia. InternationalWorking Conference on Transfer and Diffusion of IT (TDIT), Jun 2013, Bangalore, India. pp.375-390, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-38862-0_23⟩. ⟨hal-01467791⟩

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