The history of IDIA and previous papers can be found at : http://developmentinformatics.org

IDIA 2018 Description

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. The future of ICT4D research lies in multidisciplinary interaction between researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers (Walsham, 2017). Therefore, 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.


Toyama, K. 2015. Special for USA TODAY, May 29, Can technology offer solutions to inequality?, Available online at: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/05/29/kentaro-toyama-guest-column-inequality-zuckerberg-braff-clinton/28034093/

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. https://doi.org/10.1057/jit.2012.4

Walsham, G. 2017. ICT4D research: reflections on history and future agenda, Information Technology for Development, DOI: 10.1080/02681102.2016.1246406

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.