DV483      Half Unit
Information Technologies and Socio-Economic Development

This information is for the 2015/16 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Shirin Madon CON.8.13


This course is available on the MSc in African Development, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation and MSc in Media, Communication and Development. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This interdisciplinary course is about understanding the role played by Information and Communication Technology (ICT) towards achieving developmental goals. We begin by juxtaposing dominant theoretical assumptions about ICT and socio-economic change with different conceptualisations of development. Using this as a critical frame of reference, during the rest of the course we focus on a variety of current topics including global software outsourcing, e-commerce/ m-commerce, ICT and smallholder agriculture, ICT and education, e-government and telecentres, health informatics, ICT and collective action,  ICT and humanitarianism.


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of lectures in the ST.

There will be a ninety minute revision session in late LT or early ST.

Formative coursework

Students will be invited to submit an abstract of their summative essay for written comments.

Indicative reading

Avgerou, C. (2010) Discourses on ICT and Development, Information Technologies and International Development, 6, 3, pp. 1-18.

Brown, A. and Grant, G. (2010) Highlighting the Duality of the ICT and Development Research Agenda, Information Technology for Development, 16, 2, pp. 96-111.


Exam (70%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (30%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2011/12 - 2013/14 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 20
Merit 66.7
Pass 13.3
Fail 0

Teachers' comment

Lecture Survey Results for DV483

This course has been running for 2 years.  Some excerpts from the student lecture feedback survey are given below:
(on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being ‘very satisfying’ and 5 being ’not at all satisfied’.)

Clarity of explanation in lectures: 2012/13 - 1.8; 2011/12 - 1.0

Structure and organisation of lectures: 2012/13 - 1.6; 2011/12 - 1.0

Ensuring lectures began and ended on time: 2012/13 - 1.2; 2011/12 - 1.0

How much intellectual benefit have you derived from course: 2012/13 - 1.9; 2011/12 - 1.1

Overall, how would you rate the performance of this lecturer: 2012/13 - 1.8; 2011/12 - 1.0

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2014/15: 21

Average class size 2014/15: 10

Controlled access 2014/15: Yes

Lecture capture used 2014/15: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication