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Learning to Be Sustainable in ICT for Development: A Citizen Engagement Initiative in South Africa

Abstract : The uncertainty and complexity of ICT4D projects call into question the suitability of conventional approaches to project management that are imposed exogenously, particularly in relation to the challenge of supporting sustainability and resilience. Attempts to transfer knowledge or ownership to local stakeholders or other responsible bodies fail, and consequently many worthwhile initiatives become unsustainable. The problem is particularly acute in the case of citizen engagement projects, where diverse stakeholders are involved and perspectives need to merge when identifying and realising the benefits of the initiative. Borrowing from literature on project management, knowledge management and organisational learning, this paper draws on experiences from a citizen engagement initiative for basic service delivery in a local municipality in South Africa, by reflecting on the learning processes that can contribute to ongoing sustainability in such projects in the global South. The findings highlight the value of emergent learning and negotiation rather than rigid processes linked to pre-determined success factors that are typically adopted in project-based ICT4D initiatives.
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Caroline Pade-Khene, John Lannon. Learning to Be Sustainable in ICT for Development: A Citizen Engagement Initiative in South Africa. 14th International Conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries (ICT4D), May 2017, Yogyakarta, Indonesia. pp.475-486, ⟨10.1007/978-3-319-59111-7_39⟩. ⟨hal-01650095⟩

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