Title page for ETD etd-07072010-122820

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Twinomurinzi, Hossana
Email twinoh@gmail.com
URN etd-07072010-122820
Document Title Facilitating policy implementation using ICT in a development context : a South African ubuntu approach
Degree PhD
Department Informatics
Advisor Name Title
Dr E Byrne Committee Chair
Dr J Phahlamohlaka Committee Co-Chair
  • ethnography
  • ICT for development
  • e-Government
  • diffusion of innovations
  • capabilities approach
  • grounded theory
  • actor network theory
  • theory of communicative action
Date 2010-07-07
Availability unrestricted
The road of development through e-government is covered with deep potholes and dead ends. This is because Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are adopted and e-government policies are developed with a blind focus on the ICT tools and with little reflection on the contribution of ICT to development (Heeks and Bailur, 2007, p. 243, Avgerou, 2009, p. 14). To assist with this reflection Information Systems (IS) researchers are increasingly calling for the development of local contextual theory or a framework in ICT for Development (ICT4D) (Avgerou, 2009, p. 14, Madon et al., 2007, Walsham, 2003, Walsham, 1997).

This thesis responds to that call by investigating the role of e-government towards development within the South African context. The means of inquiry was a three year ethnographic immersion in a longitudinal research project. The aim of the longitudinal research project was to investigate how a specialised type of ICT (Group Support Systems) can enable interaction between government and citizens in attaining specific human rights.

The research project centred on creating an awareness among the public in South Africa of a newly enacted Act, the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act No 3 of 2000 (PAJA). The rich data collected was analysed using Grounded Theory, resulting in a substantive theory that suggests that within the South African context e-government could contribute to development if it is used to facilitate policy implementation within the spirit of Ubuntu.

The thesis delineates the journey up to the emergence of the substantive theory. The substantive theory has important implications for IS theory and IS practice. For IS theory, the substantive theory demonstrates that research on ICT4D in Africa could usefully be undertaken by following an action research strategy within a critical-interpretive paradigm. The substantive theory also suggests the importance of taking into account the contextual collaborative nature of African culture in the spirit of Ubuntu when conducting such research. For practice, the substantive theory proposes a potential framework where ICT could provide the collaborative environment or shared space in the spirit of Ubuntu for policy implementation towards development. Checked against implementation requirements on the South African policy on entrepreneurship, the substantive theory framework proves to be equally valuable.

2010 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Twinomurinzi, H 2010, Facilitating policy implementation using ICT in a development context : a South African ubuntu approach, PhD thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-07072010-122820/ >


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