The main aim of this report is to summarise the evidence available on
the effects of ICT4D partnerships on poverty reduction.
A protocol was developed to guide selection of studies
for inclusion in the review.
From across different regions of the world, literature searches
identified 156 publications on ICT4D partnerships that reached the
initial inclusion criteria. Searches missed two studies which were
identified by the panel of experts. The experts recommended 2 studies
for exclusion. After further scrutiny, in accordance with the criteria
in the protocol, 53 studies were selected for inclusion in this review.
Summary evidence came from both successful and less successful
partnerships in delivering ICT4D initiatives involving governments, the
private sector and civil society. Key conclusions emerging from these
studies were the importance of attention to the local context and
preferably involvement of the local community in the partnership and the
need for a clear focus on the intended development outcomes about which
all partners agree, preferably in a formal partnership agreement. Better
results were evident when a clear action plan was present, particularly
when this plan had a long-term focus relating to sustainability and
scalability. Partnerships that fostered trust, honesty, openness, mutual
understanding and respect, and prioritised relationships between
partners and had a supportive technological environment, in terms of
infrastructure as well as policy reported more successful outcomes.
Challenges in the review process included categorising differing
interpretations of the term ‘partnerships’, the need to include and
synthesise qualitative as well as quantitative research, a lack of
studies focusing explicitly on the direct impact of ICT4D partnerships
on poverty reduction and the tension of ensuring that the review
minimised the bias of the reviewers whilst capturing important issues.
The review highlights the need for more studies that use identifiable
models of partnership and report on outcomes relating directly to the
impact on development goals.
Royal Holloway, University of London, Egham, UK, 89 pp.