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The ICTD 2013 Scholarship Committee is pleased to announce that in conjunction with a grant from Canada’s International Development Research Centre we have awarded scholarships to 42 recipients to attend the ICTD conference and pre-conference symposium in Cape Town. Over 242 full applications were received and reviewed by the committee. Criteria for selection included those applicants who were emerging scholars (under 45 years old and less than seven years in post-graduate studies) as well as preference to citizens of developing countries or studying in/working with a developing country institution. The scholarship recipients come from a wide variety of backgrounds including both the private sector and academia. The individuals represent 18 countries from the continents of North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Africa and Middle East. Scholarship awards include various combinations of registration fee waivers, flight and accommodation. Emerging scholars were also chosen based on their forthcoming paper contribution around the idea of ICT ecosystems in developing countries.


ICTD2013 are pleased to invite emerging scholars to submit a maximum 600-word abstract focusing on the theme, “ICT ecosystems in developing countries.” Your abstract submission will be for the pre-conference ICTD symposium (2-6 December 2013).

If you submit an abstract, your abstract will be peer-reviewed. Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified to submit a full paper and you will be invited to present the full paper at this symposium. Travel scholarships will include your flight, accommodation, meals and registration paid by ICTD2013.

You will have to submit an abstract for the symposium to get funding for the two events (pre-conference and ICTD2013). You do not need to have a paper accepted for ICTD2013, and you can present your ICTD paper at the symposium if it concerns the theme of “ICT ecosystems”.

Preference will be given to scholars from the global South.

Abstracts can be submitted to the Scholarships Committee online on the following page. Abstracts should be no longer than 600 words.


  • July 26: Abstract Submission deadline (17h00 GMT)
  • August 12: Notification of Acceptance, Request to prepare Full Paper
  • October 30: Final Papers Submission deadline
  • November 15: Discussants asked to review papers
  • December 2-6: ICTD pre-conference symposium
  • December 7-10: ICTD2013 Cape Town


You may apply for the pre-conference and ICTD2013 travel scholarship as an emerging scholar, only if you are: 

  • an emerging scholar in the Information & Communication Technology for Development field of no more than 45 years old; if you are a PhD holder, then you are only eligible if you have no more than seven years of post-graduate teaching/research experience; and
  • Preference will go to those affiliated with an academic, government, research or civil society institution, consortium or institution based in the global South such as the Africa, Latin America and Asia regions.

Preconference Symposium Organizers:

Contact us at: University of the Western Cape University of Cape Town

Conference Information

Conference website:
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The ICT Ecosystem Theme

Given the emergence of this theme, we provide a short description about ICT ecosystems below in order to guide emerging scholars in writing their abstracts and research papers. Further discussion can be found here.

The research focus will be on the emerging activities that are enabled or constrained by different configurations of ICT ecosystems in developing countries, and how these shape, and are shaped by the social outcomes that follow.

The ICT ecosystem “…encompasses the policies, strategies, processes, information, technologies, applications and stakeholders that together make up a technology environment for a country, government or an enterprise. Most importantly, an ICT ecosystem includes people - diverse individuals who create, buy, sell, regulate, manage and use technology.”(Open e-Policy Group, 2005:3, see also Fransman, 2010; Smith and Elder, 2010; Toivanen, 2011). It is thus the complex and interdependent series of technical, social, political and economic relationships within which the information and communication infrastructure is embedded. The manner in which this system is constructed and operates is an aspect of the emerging Open Development paradigm that recognises the interplay between governance, citizenship, communication, knowledge and innovation. As such, we wish to encourage the submission of papers that are based on multiple disciplinary researches that are relevant to the needs of developing countries.

By stressing ‘multiple disciplinary’ research, we draw on the approach of Choi and Pak (2006:359) and will give preference to papers that 1) draw on knowledge from different disciplines but stay within the boundaries of those fields (multi-disciplinarity), 2) that analyse, synthesise and harmonise links between disciplines into a coordinated and coherent whole (inter-disciplinarity) or 3) that integrate the natural, social and health sciences in a humanities context, and in so doing transcend each of their traditional boundaries (trans-disciplinarity). We hope that this approach will elicit paper proposals that include researchers living in developing countries as well as encourage collaborations across regions and disciplines. 1

Specific themes of interest to the Dialogue include, but are not limited to:

  • TYPOLOGY: What typologies of ICT ecosystem can be identified in low and middle income countries and what are the distinguishing characteristics of these? What are the components of these systems, and their relative influence in different systems? How do these influence the placement of a specific system along a continuum of open to closed ICT ecosystems? For example do societies with high levels of government control result in distinct combinations of content, logical platforms, networks and devices?
  • DEVELOPMENT OUTCOMES: Do some forms or components of the ICT ecosystem result in outcomes that better foster social, economic and political development, and if so, what are the pathways or interactions through which this happens? For example, do different costing structures of networks inhibit, shape, or contribute towards the use of ICT and so constrain or facilitate opportunities for employment and poverty reduction?
  • NEW INTERACTION DESIGNS AND INNOVATION: Do some forms or components of the ICT ecosystem better shape the creation, access, adoption and usage of new interaction designs and forms of ICT that have a positive impact on the intended beneficiaries of development? If so, what are these, in what way, why and with what impact? What lessons can be learnt between computer and humans in this environment to promote further innovation and adoption? For example, do government policies concerning research and innovation limit the development of new ICT and ICT applications and their contribution towards improved productivity?
  • PARTICIPATION: Are there forms or components of the ICT ecosystem that facilitate or mitigate against the participation or interaction of communities in the design, creation and evaluation of new ICT? Is there differentiation within communities such as income, class or gender that influences this? If so, in what way and how? For example, does the provision of ICT support services (phone repair, battery charging) through micro-enterprises enhance the adaptation by users of devices to the local environment?
  • SOCIO-CULTURAL ASPECTS: In what way do gender, generation, class, ethno-linguistic characteristics and other social dynamics influence the ICT ecosystem, and in what way are these dynamics influenced by the ICT ecosystem? Do different ICT ecosystems result in different outcomes for different groups within a country or community? For example, are there gendered barriers to the involvement of women graduates in ICT engineering and software development?
  • CRISIS: Do different ICT ecosystems respond differently to social, environmental, economic, physical and political crises, and if so, in what way and why? For example, does the presence of multiple logical platforms and devices encourage wider participation in political debate during election years when these are accompanied by the risk of violence?
  • THE ACTORS: What roles are being played, and could be played by the state, private sector and civil society in shaping alternative ICT ecosystems, and the outcomes that might follow from these? How do these relate to the different creators and users of knowledge in the ICT sector such as the networked element providers, the network operators, the platform, content and application providers and the final consumers? For example, does the presence of micro-finance facilities such as that provided by BRAC in Bangladesh and East Africa foster the acquisition and use of ICT devices, reduce the cost of entry into ICT innovation, and so increase investment in an open innovation system?


  1. Useful discussions on these topics can be found at:; For Martin Fransman, see For Open Development: Examples of application can be found at;


Fransman, M. (2010). The new ICT ecosystem: Implications for policy and regulation. Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Open e-Policy Group (2005). Roadmap for open ICT ecosystems. Cambridge, MA: Berkman Center for Internet and Society, available at

Smith, M., & Elder, L. (2010). Open ICT ecosystems transforming the developing world. Information Technologies and International Development, 6(1), 65-71.

Toivanen, H. (2011). From ICT towards information society. Policy strategies and concepts for employing ICT for reducing poverty, available at