Designing ICTs for development. A Delphi study on problem framing, approach, and team composition

Stephen Smith, Rico Lie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Many ICT4D projects fail. Researchers attribute this failure partly to the mismatch between the context in which ICTs are designed and the context of their use. This study aims to understand the interplay between design and ICT4D by (1) making an inventory of design principles across three themes: problem framing, design approach, and team composition, and (2) assessing design statements (distilled from the list of design principles) through a two-round Delphi study with a group of ICT4D researchers and practitioners. The results show that while there is a general awareness of the importance of design in ICT4D, a consolidated effort to investigate how design principles can be more effectively integrated with ICT4D is missing. The study further concludes that there is a shift towards co-designing, that it is difficult to design without pre-determined ideas of using ICTs/emerging technologies and that transdisciplinary collaboration has not yet flourished.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-557
JournalInformation Technology for Development
Issue number4
Early online date14 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2023


  • design
  • development
  • ICT
  • transdisciplinarity


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