Network Weaving to Foster Resilience and Sustainability in ICT4D

08/22/2021 ∙ by Mario A. Marais, et al. ∙ 0

A number of studies in Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) focus on projects' sustainability and resilience. Over the years, scholars have identified many elements to enable achievement of these goals. Nevertheless, barriers to achieving them are still a common reality in the field. In this paper, we propose that special attention should be paid to communities' relationships, self-organizing, and social capital - and the people's networks that enable them - within ICT4D scholarship and practice, as a way to achieve sustainability and resilience. Building on Green's work (2016) on social change as a force that cannot be understood without focusing on systems and power, we claim that ICT4D would benefit from intentionally growing social capital and fostering networks within its systems. We propose "network weaving" (Holley, 2013) as a practical approach, and we explore its potential to complement and advance existing ICT4D frameworks and practices, including the sense of community of the researchers themselves.

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