"The Unbearable Lightness of ICT4Development" and Dadamac Foundation

This year I'm scaling up the work of Dadamac by extending the reach of Dadamac Foundation. This post from Smart Monkey TV newsletter touches on some of the reasons why Dadamac needs to be more visible and influential in the ICT4D arena.

I won't explain the connection here. I just offer the link to the full post, and some highlighted extracts. (Hint - Dadamac is about on-the-ground realities, needs-led integrated community development, relevant use of ICTs, and effective use of resources.)  

The Smart Monkey post

The Unbearable Lightness of ICT4Development – Picking the flies out of success and failure in Uganda (full post)


So why do so many ICT4D projects fail? (snip)

If it’s donor funded, all too often Ministry officials take the per diems for having it in their space but accept little or no responsibility for it. Another sign of a successful “sustainable” project would be when the Ministry “signs its own cheques” for a project which means against all other competing pressures, they understand its value.

Funders and pilot project promoters collude in failure and lack of rigorous judgment. It’s easier to keep funding a project on a pilot basis than strangle it if it doesn’t make it. Those looking for funds are inevitably sucked into selling their project as successful as any discussion of its shortfalls or how it might be pivoted to something else could throw funding into question.


There are still too many people developing ICT4D applications whose primary skills are technical. Relatively few organisations have a deep and rooted understanding of their core audiences and not many conduct real tests on their user interfaces and make changes to them.


From The Unbearable Lightness of ICT4Development – Picking the flies out of success and failure in Uganda (full post)

From where I'm standing

I'm not in a position to say things like the above. I don't connect with any "powers that be", and I don't see close up what happens. I simply see reports of ICT4D projects where the rhetoric seems far removed from the realities I know. I read about tech-driven projects that are not responing to real needs. I see good grass roots projects sturggling and delivering results with minimal resources. I struggle to undersatnd how resources get directed the way they do. What I read above makes a lot of sense from where I'm standing.