Internet Geographer

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New course on ICT and Development offered at the OII

I recently put together the outline of an MSc/DPhil course on ICT and Development that I will be teaching at the Oxford Internet Institute in Hilary Term 2011.

A brief outline is below, but follow this link for the full course description. I’d be happy to hear any thoughts on how to improve it.

This course will introduce students to the debates and practices surrounding the uses of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in both the Global South and Global North. It will draw on resources from Anthropology, Development Studies, Economics, Geography, and History in order to examine the theoretical and conceptual frameworks that underpin development (as a practice, as a subject of research, and as a discourse). The course will also draw heavily on case-studies in order to ground theory in practice and will introduce students to a range of projects that have employed ICTs as a solution to problems in Africa, Asia and the Americas.

ICTs have the power to fundamentally transform the economic, social and political relationships in poorer parts of our planet. However, potentials often do not translate into realities, and it is important to be aware of not only the promises, but also the perils of the transformative nature of communication technologies. As such, this course will provide an opportunity to reflect on local appropriateness, social inclusion and the range of arguments for and against any ICT for development project in a variety of contexts.