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See no evil? ethics in an interventionist ICTD

By Andy Dearden


This paper considers some of the ethical questions that arise in conducting interventionist ICTD research, and examines the ethical advice and guidance that is readily available to researchers.\ud Recent years have seen a growing interest from technology\ud researchers in applying their skills to address the needs and aspirations of people in developing regions. In contrast to much previous research in Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD) which has sought to study and understand processes surrounding technologies, technology researchers are interested in finding ways to change the forms of these technologies in order to promote desirable social aims.\ud These more interventionist research encounters raise distinctive ethical challenges.\ud This paper explores the discussions that have been presented in the major ICTD journals and conferences and major development studies journals as well as examining codes of conduct from related fields of research. Exploration of this literature shows that the quantity, quality and detail of advice that directly addresses\ud the challenges of interventionist ICTD is actually very limited.\ud This paper argues that the there is an urgent need for the ICTD research community to investigate and debate this subject

Publisher: IEEE / Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Incorporated.
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