DV483      Half Unit
Information Communication Technologies and Socio-economic Development

This information is for the 2023/24 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Shirin Madon CON.8.09


This course is available on the MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Management (LSE and Sciences Po), MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Economic Policy for International Development, MSc in Health and International Development, MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies, MSc in Management of Information Systems and Digital Innovation, MSc in Media, Communication and Development and MSc in Political Economy of Late Development. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Students will be allocated places to courses with priority to ID and joint-degree students.  If there are more ID and joint-degree students than the course can accommodate, these spots will be allocated randomly.  

Non-ID/Joint Degree students will be allocated to spare places by random selection with the preference given first to those degrees where the regulations permit this option.

Course content

This is an interdisciplinary course about understanding the role played by Information & Communication Technologies (ICTs) towards achieving developmental goals. We begin by reviewing dominant theoretical perspectives on development identifying assumptions held about the role of information, communication and technologies. Using this as our critical frame of reference, we focus on a variety of current topics including global software outsourcing, e-commerce/m-commerce, mobiles for smallholder agriculture, ICT and education, e-governance, health informatics, social media and collective action, ICT and humanitarianism.


This course is delivered through a combination of lectures and seminars in the WT. Seminars will be at or upwards of 45 minutes duration and lectures will be at or above 60 minutes duration. 

Student on this course will have a reading week in Week 6.

Formative coursework

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

Indicative reading

Taylor, L. and Schroeder, R. (2015) Is Bigger Better? The emergence of big data as a tool for international development policy, GeoJournal, 80, pp. 503-518.


Essay (90%, 4000 words) in the ST.
Class participation (10%) in the period between WT and ST.

Seminar participation 10% (evaluated based on a combination of seminar attendance, active participation in discussions, and presentation)

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 29.9
Merit 54.6
Pass 11.3
Fail 4.1

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2022/23: 59

Average class size 2022/23: 15

Controlled access 2022/23: Yes

Lecture capture used 2022/23: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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