Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Conference papers

Combining Pragmatism and Critical Realism in ICT4D Research: An e-Resilience Case Example

Abstract : ICT4D research is strongly oriented to practice but hardly ever explicitly uses the research paradigm of pragmatism. We argue that, though highly-relevant to ICT4D, pragmatism suffers some shortcomings in terms of its philosophy of the world, explanatory power, truth-testing, and values. We suggest that “pragmatist-critical realism” – a novel research paradigm combining pragmatism and critical realism – can address these shortcomings and provide a valuable foundation for ICT4D research; particularly action-oriented research. We outline a four-step operational methodology for pragmatist-critical realism based on a research project that created an “e-resilience” action plan applying ICTs to strengthen resilience of farming communities in Uganda. We hope other action- and design-oriented ICT4D researchers will be encouraged to assess whether pragmatist-critical realism could form a useful basis for their future research.
Document type :
Conference papers
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [35 references]  Display  Hide  Download
Contributor : Hal Ifip <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 9, 2019 - 9:28:01 AM
Last modification on : Monday, September 9, 2019 - 10:08:48 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, February 7, 2020 - 5:15:24 AM


 Restricted access
To satisfy the distribution rights of the publisher, the document is embargoed until : 2022-01-01

Please log in to resquest access to the document


Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License



Richard Heeks, Angelica Ospina, P. Wall. Combining Pragmatism and Critical Realism in ICT4D Research: An e-Resilience Case Example. 15th International Conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries (ICT4D), May 2019, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. pp.14-25, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-19115-3_2⟩. ⟨hal-02281318⟩



Record views