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IDIA2010 Conference

Exploring Success and Failure in Development Informatics:

Innovation, Research and Practice


3-5 November 2010

Cape Town, South Africa


1. Call for Papers

The 4th International IDIA Conference will be held in Cape Town, South Africa. The conference is aimed at researchers, policy-makers and reflective practitioners. It will be managed and hosted by the Information Systems (IS) department at the University of Cape Town (UCT), in partnership with Faculty of IT at Monash University. The IS department at UCT has been actively pursing research in development for many years through its research unit – The Centre for IT and National Development (CITANDA) and takes great pleasure in planning this event.

The Conference Committee calls for papers on the following themes. Papers will be peer-reviewed. Selected papers will be published in either (1) a special issue of African Journal of Information Systems or (2) a special issue of the Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Development Countries. Conference proceedings will be distributed at the conference.

The Development Informatics space is a dynamic, complex, morally challenging and altruistic area to intervene or undertake research. The 3rd international development informatics conference held in October 2009 at the Kruger National Park in South Africa gave an account of these realities. One of the key themes emerging form the conference was to improve the rigor with which we understand and explore the successes and failures of the various initiatives in innovation, research and practice. The 4th annual conference hopes to progress in this direction and calls for papers in any of the following themes:


1.   What is positive development?

1.   How appropriate are development indicators?

2.   Must development be equitable?

2.   What right do DI researchers and practitioners have to intervene?

1.   Who defines development goals?

2.   When is intervention justifiable?

3.   How can success or failure in DI be measured?

1.   What are the goals of DI research and practice?

2.   Who defines goals and measures success or failure of DI initiatives?

4.   How may success in DI be achieved?

1.   The value of assessing and managing expectations

2.   How can the links between development and ICTs be explained?

3.   What methods can be adopted to improve positive impact of DI research and practice?

4.   Theories and models of successful DI initiatives

5.   Scaling up DI initiatives

6.   Sustaining DI initiatives

7.   Connecting research, innovation, and practice

Describing the project ethos of development projects

5.   What are the risks/ dangers in DI?

1.   How are ICTs impeding development?

2.   How may risks in DI be mitigated?

6.   Reflections on success or failure in DI practice

1.   Case studies of DI failure and success

2.   Reports on the adoption or rejection of ICTs at a global and national level

Development informatics covers a broad range of fields relevant to developing countries and marginalised communities such as health informatics, e-governance, e-learning. Papers may be relevant to one or more of these topics and the above themes.

Candidates may also put in proposals for a panel discussion.

2. Submission of Abstracts and Proposals

Full papers may be submitted via the electronic submission system

For relevant themes see the Call for Papers above. Full paper formatting instructions are indicated on the conference website at

Paper submission deadlines:

1 June 2010

Full papers due for blind peer review

1 August 2010

Peer review results

1 September 2010

Final version of papers due

3. Keynote speakers

·       Prof Geoff Walsham, Judge School of Business, University of Cambridge

·       Prof Victor Mbarika, The University of Information and Communication Technology

·       Prof Francis Nyamnjoh, Department of Social Anthropology, University of Cape Town

4. Registration Information

Registration information will be posted on the conference website.

5. Conference Committee

Wallace Chigona, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Kosheek Sewchurran, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Jacques Steyn, Monash South Africa

Graeme Johanson, Monash University, Australia

Irwin Brown, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Michael Kyobe, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Salah Kabanda, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Maureen Tanner, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Paul Plantinga, Monash University, Australia

Agnes Chigona, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Rangarirai Matavire, University of Cape Town, South Africa



CITANDA is a research unit at the University of Cape Town that focuses on creating knowledge by pursuing research relating to the use of ICTs for socio-economic upliftment in Africa.

About IDIA:

IDIA, the International Development Informatics Association, is an association serving as a forum for international cooperation between organisations focusing on research into the use of ICTs by developing economies and societies (ICT4D). IDIA was founded in 2006 and has held national workshops on Development Informatics, as well as three international conferences. IDIA2009 was held in October 2009, attracting papers from 12 countries. IDIA2010 is the 4th International IDIA Conference.

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