Mobile Participation: Access, Interaction and Practices

This volume brings together papers from academics and practitioners on specific issues related to mobile participation in the context of development, originally presented at the fourth conference on Mobile Communications for Development (M4D 2014).

M4D research focuses on understanding the use of mobile technologies and services, and how they directly or indirectly address socio-economic challenges. In development, participation suggests that stakeholders can partake in the processes that will benefit them, and this concept has been much-studied by scholars who sought to understand its meaning and contribution to development. Mobile participation, on the other hand, has not received as much scholarly attention. The core question the book addresses is: In what ways do mobile technologies enable, enhance, and perhaps even effect, civic participation in everyday life?

The contributions to this collection provide empirical evidence and further analyses of the opportunities and limitations of what this book refers to as mobile participation in development in areas ranging from literacy, health, media production and digital inclusion to governance (water management), as well as privacy. They show that simpler devices such as basic phones offer higher degrees of participation, depending on the existing infrastructure and the social frameworks within which the technologies are employed.

Dr Caroline Wamala-Larsson contributes to the practical and academic development of Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) as the Director of the HumanIT Research Centre, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Gender Research at Karlstad University, Sweden, and as a Programme Manager with the Swedish Program for ICT in Developing Regions (SPIDER). Wamala-Larsson’s research focuses on the use of ICT4D and gender as a point of analysis in ICT4D use, and acknowledges the mutual construction of gender and technology, allowing a deeper understanding of the cultural embeddedness of ICT. Her recent publications include “I Have to Give an “I Can” Attitude: Gender Patterns in Beeping Practices in Uganda” in SAGE Open (2013) and “Theater, Gender, and Development: Merging Traditional and New Media to Address Communication Challenges in Uganda” in Signs 39(4) (2014).

Dr Christelle Scharff is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Pace University, New York. Her research focuses on global software engineering and mobiles for development (M4D). Within M4D, she focuses on design practices for mobile solutions that are relevant in resource-constrained settings and process models that suit the development of quality solutions in these contexts. She worked on the development of mobile learning solutions for primary schools in Senegal, and is the founder of Mobile Senegal, a capacity-building initiative that trained more than 450 mobile developers in Senegal.

Johan Hellström is a PhD candidate in the Department of Computer and System Sciences (DSV) at Stockholm University, Sweden, where he focuses on ICT-facilitated participation and crowdsourcing in developing contexts. Hellström also runs a consultancy called Upgraid, which offers guidance in the ICT4D field. He is the author of The Innovative Use of Mobile Applications in East Africa (2010), and the co-author of “ICT4D Donor Agencies and Networks” (in International Encyclopedia of Digital Communication and Society (2015)), and “Crowdsourcing Development – from Funding to Reporting” (in the Handbook of International Development).

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Perpertual Crentsil

Anna Crowe

Johan Hellstrom

Maria Jacobson

Mame Awa Ndiaye

Jakob Svensson

Sarah Wagner

Moustafa Zouinar

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ISBN: 1-4438-8064-7

ISBN13: 978-1-4438-8064-0

Release Date: 15th October 2015

Pages: 180

Price: £41.99