The Centre for Development Informatics researches the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in socio-economic development.
The Centre's research outputs were returned under "Development Studies" and "Business & Management" for the most-recent Research Assessment Exercise, which rates the research performance of all UK universities. In both of these subject areas, Manchester was rated the no.1 university in the UK in research power terms. Research within the Centre was identified as an area of particular strength at Manchester.
CDI's work focuses on the following main themes:
- Business, Informatics and Development
- The contribution of ICTs to the private sector in development contexts.
Current work covers implementation of e-commerce in small enterprise; outsourcing of IT services to enterprise in poor communities ("social outsourcing"); outsourcing of accounting services; and implementation of enterprise resource planning systems.
Project outputs include "e-Commerce for Development (ecomm4dev)" and "ICTs and Small Enterprise for Development".
- e-Governance for Development
- The contribution of information systems to public services, and to public sector and broader governance reform in developing countries.
Current work covers ICTs for transparency, democracy and the judicial process; e-government strategy; analysing e-government success/failure; use of ICTs in public education; and ICT-enabled social movements and NGOs.
Project outputs include the "e-Government for Development Information Exchange (egov4dev)".
- IT Sector Development
- The contribution of the IT sector to socio-economic development; and policies and strategies for the sector.
Current work covers software industry strategy; socially-responsible outsourcing; IT microenterprise business strategy; telecommunications industry strategy; women in the ICT professions; information security; and computer games microenterprise formation.
Project outputs include "Women's ICT-Based Enterprise for Development" and "Software Industries and Development".
- ICTs and Sustainability
- The contribution of ICTs to sustainable development; and the sustainability of development informatics interventions.
Current work covers positive and negative contribution of ICTs to climate change (mitigation, monitoring, strategy and adaptation) and to resilience; environmentally-responsible outsourcing; e-waste flows and strategies; and identification and mitigation of ICT4D project risk.
Recent research projects include "ICTs, Climate Change and Development" and "Resilience Assessment Benchmarking and Impact Tool".
- ICT Policy
- Governance structures and processes in developing the ICT infrastructure in developing countries.
Current work covers the role of the state in ICT-enabled development; network analysis of ICT policy-making; and telecommunications policy.
Recent outputs include an "ICT Policy in Developing Countries" workshop.
- Innovation, Informatics and Development
- The innovation systems, policies and processes by which new ICT-based goods and services are developed for and by low-income users.
Current work covers government policy and company strategy for mobile innovation; social innovation in ICT-focused NGOs; and institutional innovation for ICT-based microenterprise.
Recent outputs include a "New Models of Innovation for Development" workshop.
- Mobiles and Development
- The contribution of mobile technologies (particularly cell phones) to international development.
Current work covers the role of mobile phones in livelihood formation and microenterprise; "m-finance"; mobile telecoms policy; impact assessment of mobile phone development projects; and mobile-enabled networking by migrant communities.
Recent projects include production of a special issue of ID21 Insights on m-development and review papers on mobiles and development within the Development Informatics working paper series.
- Social Media and Development
Internet-based applications allowing creation and exchange of user-generated content that empowers individuals and groups.
Current work covers the role of social media in facilitating social action campaigns, and the contribution of Web 2.0 to capacity-building within civil society organisations.
- Theorising Development Informatics
- Promoting and reviewing frameworks for conceptualisation of the relation between informatics and socio-economic development.
Current work covers actor-network theory; capability theory; livelihoods frameworks; new institutionalism; theory of communicative action; competitive advantage theory; and resource-based theory. It also covers conceptualisation of ICT impact assessment.
Project outputs include production of a special issue of the open-access journal "Information Technologies and International Development", a "Compendium of ICT4D Impact Assessment Frameworks", and the "Actor-Network Theory for Development" working paper series.