There is still little consensus among scholars on what development means, who and what needs to be developed, and for what purpose. This raises fundamental questions about the future of Development Informatics research and brings to mind Geoff Walsham’s question, ‘Are we making a better world with technology?’ (Walsham, 2012).

ICTs have not delivered on the promise of making a better world for all; and there is evidence that technology has increased inequality in many cases (Toyama, 2015). As such, the focus of the IDIA2018 conference is on Making ICT Research Locally Relevant. We seek to understand and respond to how politicians, NGOs, scholars, and citizens make sense of how ICTs can be used to improve the human condition.

The predominant perspective is that ICTs can support the development, promotion and realization of a model of development that is holistic, inclusive, just and sustainable, which will lead to an appropriate quality of life for each individual on the planet. The 10th IDIA conference, however, offers an opportunity to look back, take stock and debate the way ahead. Given the interdisciplinary nature of Development Informatics we recognize that the debate would not be complete without industry and government representation or without a renewed emphasis on quality research education.

Inevitably, we ask questions about how to better understand these problems and challenges. However, the aim is to go beyond understanding, to also offer context-rich, evidence-based theories, methodologies or actionable guidance to researchers and practitioners on how the employment of ICTs can meet local needs sustainably and appropriately.

Call for Full Papers

In a keynote at the 3rd IDIA conference, Ron Weber reflected on how our rhetoric can be sustained by the research findings we present: Is the field of ICT4D research still driven too much by rhetoric and not enough by rigor and have we been able to gain reasonable levels of consensus about the realities we face (Weber, 2009). As such, we believe that our review processes should not be divorced from what we seek to interrogate with our conference theme.

We therefore invite papers that reflect on the local relevance of the research undertaken. Authors may argue for locally relevant ICT4D research in different ways, for example; they may argue for locally relevant practical contributions, theoretical contributions, or methodological contributions; papers may represent data-driven reasoning, indigenous theorizing or theory, local narratives or cases that offer nuanced descriptions of research realities or practice-led research; and so forth.

Full Papers will be evaluated according to their novel research contribution, methodological soundness, theoretical framing and reference to related work, quality of analysis, and quality of writing and presentation. Manuscripts that consider novel designs, new technologies, project assessments, policy analyses, impact studies, theoretical contributions and social issues around ICT and development will be considered. Well-analyzed results from which generalizable or relevant conclusions can be drawn are also sought. Authors are encouraged to address the diversity of approaches in their research by providing context, implications, and actionable guidance to researchers and practitioners beyond the researchers’ primary domains.

Only Full Research papers, between 4000 - 6000 words will be considered for acceptance. More details to follow …

Only original, unpublished, research papers in English can be considered. Longer submissions not in the template format, not related to the conference themes, and/or not meeting a minimum standard of academic research writing may be rejected without full review.

Details about formatting, paper requirements and the submission to the URL: will follow later.

Call for Postgraduate Symposium

We are aiming to develop promising young researchers and support them with their research in progress, to improve papers for submission to other conferences or journals. Notably the IFIP 9.4 conference in 2019 or specialist ICT4D tracks. We hope to receive submissions based on extracts from Masters and PhD work-in-progress. Postgraduates are required to submit a paper note of a maximum of 4 pages (excluding references in the page count), as well as a Poster for the poster session during the main conference. The paper note formatting guidelines are similar to the prescribed format for a full research paper.

A paper note is a more focused and succinct contribution, that can be an extract from the full thesis, or a research paper proposal. The notes will be evaluated by at least two reviewers, and assessed according to research contribution, methodological soundness, quality of analysis, and quality of writing and presentation. The aim is to present the research to the panel and peers to receive feedback and guidance towards the development of a Full Paper. The paper note should have the following components: Abstract and Keywords, Background/Literature Review, Research Purpose & Question/s, Research Design/Methodology, Findings and Discussion (preliminary is also sufficient), and Conclusion.

Postgrad Attendance requirements: The registration fee for the postgraduate symposium attendance is R500. If you opt to attend the main conference, a separate registration fee will be charged for the main conference. The postgraduate symposium is open to postgraduate students only.

Important Dates

Main Conference

Full Paper Submission Deadline: March 15, 2018

Notification to Authors: May 30, 2018

Deadline for Final (Camera-Ready) Papers:July 30, 2018

Postgraduate Symposium

Paper Note Deadline: April 30, 2018

Notification to Participants: June 30, 2018

Final (Camera-Ready) Papers & Poster: July 20, 2018

Postgraduate Colloquium Date: August 22, 2018

Download Information

Click here to download the submission information in pdf format.


La'Wiida Lodge & Conference Centre

Nestled in the foothills of the majestic Schurveberg Mountains, a mere 20 minutes drive from Pretoria & Johannesburg and easily accessible by tar road.


Walsham, G. (2012). Are we making a better world with ICTs? Reflections on a future agenda for the IS field. Journal of Information Technology, 27(2), 87–93.

Kentaro Toyama, (2015) Special for USA TODAY, May 29, Can technology offer solutions to inequality?, Available online at:

Weber, R., 2009. Research on ICT for development: some reflections on rhetoric, rigor, reality and relevance. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International IDIA development informatics conference. 28-30 October 2009.