How to contact us

Department of Management
London School of Economics and Political Science
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE



Silvia Masiero

PhD student in Information Systems and Innovation


I am a PhD Candidate in Information Systems at the LSE Department of Management. I am also a Bagri Fellow at the LSE Asia Research Centre, and a former Affiliated Researcher at the Centre of Development Studies (CDS) Trivandrum, India.

I have a degree in Economics of International Markets and the New Technologies, awarded with honors by Bocconi University (Milan), and a Master of Science in Development Management, awarded with Distinction by LSE. My PhD work is on the impact of digital technologies on the Indian Public Distribution System (PDS), the biggest food security net in the Indian subcontinent. Bridging the spheres of information systems and development management, I have assessed the role of ICTs in reforming the PDS at the state level, and the mechanisms through which state-citizen interactions in this food security scheme are reshaped and reconstructed by new technologies.

My broader research focus is on the use of ICTs in the design and implementation of anti-poverty programmes, as well as in the management of humanitarian emergencies. As a member of the LSE Conflict Research Group, I focus on the digitalization of accountability structures in war zones: my work on service provision in the refugee camps of the West Bank is recounted in the book “The Palestinian Dilemma”, published in September 2012. The same research interest brought me to Sierra Leone, to study the role of ICTs in the construction of participatory state-citizen interactions after conflict. Underpinning my research is a focus on capability enhancement through ICTs, and on the use of digital technologies in the development of governance and accountability structures.


Title: Imagining the State through Digital Technologies: A Case of State-Level Computerization in the Indian Public Distribution System

Abstract: My thesis focuses on the role of public sector ICTs in reconstructing the image of the state, as conceived by developing country citizens. Drawing on contemporary readings of the Gramscian politics of the governed, I look at the Indian Public Distribution System (PDS), a food security net based on subsidization of foodgrains to the poor, as it is locally computerized in the state of Kerala. My results, derived through an in-depth case study, confirm and dismiss theory at the same time: on the one hand, the state uses new technologies for reshaping its image, and indeed the very nature of its service provision. On the other hand, though, the loci of image formation that are found in citizens (direct experience, social networks, and political circuits) systematically escape control by governmental action, and seem to be only marginally touched by the ICT-induced reinvention of government. It seems, therefore, that the capacity of the state to reconstruct its image, through the usage of new technologies, is limited by the nature of the spaces of image formation which citizens experience in their daily lives.


Prof Chrisanthi Avgerou|

Dr Shirin Madon|



Masiero, S. (2013) Reconstructing the State through ICTs? A Case of State-Level Computerization in the Indian Public Distribution System. Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development – ICTD 2013, Cape Town, 7th-10th December 2013.

Masiero, S. (2013) Innovation and Best Practice in Mobile Technologies for Development. Helpdesk Review at Economic and Private Sector – Professional Evidence and Applied Knowledge Services (EPS-PEAKS), LSE Enterprise, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

Masiero, S. (2012) Getting It Right: The Importance of Targeting Structural Causes of Failure in E-Government. In: Hercheui, M., Whitehouse, D., McIver, W., and Phahlamohlaka, J. (eds.) In ICT Critical Infrastructures and Society: Proceedings of the 10th IFIP TC 9 International Conference on Human Choice and Computers, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 27th-28th September 2012. , Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 27-28 September 2012.

Bailur, S., and Masiero, S. (2012) The Complex Position of the Intermediary in Telecenters and Community Multimedia Centers. Information Technologies and International Development, 8(1): 27-42. , 8(1): 27-42.

Masiero, S. (2012). Design-Intentionality Gaps: Explaining Expectation Failure of Information Systems in Developing Countries. Newsletter of the IFIP Working Group 9.4., 22(1): 7-12.   ., 22(1): 7-12.   | |

Masiero, S. (2012) Politics of the Ungoverned: Accountability Structures for the Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon. Journal of Internal Displacement, 2(1): 79-97.  , 2(1): 79-97. 

Masiero, S. (2011). Conceptualizing Accountability in ICT4D: Complementary Perspectives of Information Systems and Development Management.  African Journal of Science, Innovation, Technology and Development, 3(3): 202-225. , 3(3): 202-225.

Masiero, S. (2011) Reframing Empowerment: a New Paradigm for ICT4D. iSChannel, 6(1): 6-13. , 6(1): 6-13.

Masiero, S. (2011) Financial vs. Social Sustainability of Telecentres: Mutual Exclusion or Mutual Reinforcement? Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries (EJISDC), 45(3): 1-23. , 45(3): 1-23.

Masiero, S. (2010) Book Review - E-Governance for Development: A Focus on Rural India. African Journal of Innovation, Science, Technology and Development, 2(3): 253-258.


Masiero, S. (2012) The Palestinian Dilemma: A View on UNRWA’s Work in the West Bank. London: LAP Lambert Academic Publishing. . London: LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.

Working Papers and Policy Briefs

Masiero, S. (2013) Unmaking Food Security: The Targeted Public Distribution System in Kerala. Policy Brief for The Innovation Knowledge Foundation,||.

Masiero, S. (2013) Digital Technologies and Human Development in the Mediterranean Area. Working Paper no.9, InGlobaMED Paper Series, MEDAlics - Research Centre for Mediterranean Relations,||.

Masiero, S. (2012) Rice Mafia: Diversion of Foodgrains from the Indian Public Distribution System. Policy Brief for The Innovation Knowledge Foundation,||.

Masiero, S. (2012) Transforming State-Citizen Relations in Food Security Schemes: The Computerized Ration Card Management System in Kerala. Working Paper 451/2012, Centre of Development Studies (CDS) Trivandrum,||

Masiero, S. (2010) Digital Technologies and Human Development. Working Paper for The Innovation Knowledge Foundation,||.

Masiero, S. (2010) The ICT Sector in Palestine: Conceiving Development as Human Empowerment. Working Paper 8/2010 at MEDAlics - Research Centre for Mediterranean Relations.