Major SIG GlobDev Initiatives

The first objective of SIG GLOBDEV will be to develop an understanding of how ICT can be applied and scaled to enable capacity building and economic development under the extreme conditions found in many areas of the world such as Sub Saharan Africa and parts of Asia and South America. We envisage two major activities under this objective:

  • Collecting and systematically cataloging the available information and case studies on the numerous development projects that have been undertaken to date by governments, corporations, and NGOs (such as the World Bank and the UNDP). This effort will focus on the role of technology in these projects and will develop critical success factors and best practices.
  • Participating as researchers in field studies of on-going development projects and engaging in action research as project participants. Again, the emphasis will be on generalizing the insights obtained to develop ideas about best practices – what works and what does not work.

With high disease levels and the migration of large numbers of professionals, countries in the economically developing world face serious challenges in maintaining a functional society. The need for teachers, social workers, community development professionals, agricultural extension workers, and competent civil service employees to staff government jobs is growing. Recognizing this need, a second major objective of SIG GLOBDEV will be to contribute to capacity building through leveraging the knowledge and skills of the AIS community to advance IS knowledge and skills in selected regions of the world. SIG GLOBDEV members will lend their support and energy to two initiatives under this objective.

  • Founded in 2006, by AIS members Richard Watson and Don McCubbrey, the Global Text Project aims to create electronic textbooks and case studies for undergraduate university programs that will be freely available from a Web site. Distribution will also be possible via paper, CD, or DVD. Similar to the One Laptop per child project, Global Text aims to eliminate the cost of textbooks as major barrier to education in the developing world. The Global Text Project relies on ICT to create and deliver books.
  • SIG GLOBDEV will actively engage in educational programs to develop trained ICT professionals and raise the level of IS literacy in selected parts of the developing world. As noted previously, the attrition rate of teachers is high and exacerbating a bad situation so a strategy of “training the trainers” will be a major part of this effort.  This initiative will rely heavily on local universities. Initiatives will include Ph.D. exchanges with local universities, and delivery of education in the form of short seminars and web-based programs.