In Africa in general, there is limited research on the role of ICTs in or their impacts on socio-economic development at the individual, community and national levels. Most of the research is being carried out by researchers outside of Africa, although this is gradually changing with IDRC's investments in ICT research over the past decade. There is thus inadequate human capacity in ICT4D research within the region. Furthermore, although universities in the region have recently started Masters and Ph.D. programs they have very limited resources to carry out meaningful research nor support students to purse ICT4D as a career.
This project is to run a research grant to enable registered students in universities within the Eastern and Southern Africa countries to carry out research on different aspects of ICTs and development based on IDRC's Acacia programme priorities. The grant will sponsor four Masters students on a full-time basis (24 months) and enable eight registered Ph.D. students who do not have any funding for their field work to carry out their field work for periods not exceeding 12 months.
The key outcome is increased human and research capacity in the host universities in the ESARO region. The key indicators of change to be evaluated include the number and quality of Masters graduates who successfully complete their programs; doctoral research projects successfully carried out; acceptance of publications in refereed conferences and journals; the number of doctoral research award holders who get their Ph.D. degrees a few years on; the institutionalisation of ICT4D research in the host universities; and, the promotion of intra-africa partnership amongst these institutions.
The outcomes of the project will be disseminated through project reports as well as through academic publications disseminated through papers in seminars, conferences, books or journals.