Taking technology to the field: hardware challenges in developing countries
Hosman, Laura J.
Armey, Laura E.
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A great deal has been written about the various socio-political, economic, and cultural reasons that information and communications technologies (ICTs) fail to achieve the potential they represent. Far less attention has been paid to the technology itself, and the role that the hardware plays in the success or failure of ICT4D. Along these lines, we find a disconnect between much of the scholarly ICT4D research and many of the needs and concerns of practitioners and intended beneficiaries. Using interviews and surveys, this article asks ICT4D practitioners and end-users about the technology and hardware needs and challenges they face in the field. These practitioners consistently suggest that electricity is the most important hardware-related concern, followed closely by cost, robustness/ruggedness, and ease of maintenance/repair. We argue for the inclusion of hardware and technology considerations in the planning and implementation of ICT4D projects. Failure to address these concerns may account for the underperformance of many technologies in the development context.
The article of record as published may be found at https://doi.org/10.1080/02681102.2017.1363028
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