Towards a conceptual framework for ICT for Development: lessons learned from the cube framework used in Latin America

The ICT for Development community is long searching for comprehensive and adequate conceptual frameworks. In 2003, United Nations Regional Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean proposed a three-dimensional conceptual framework that models the transition toward so-called Information Societies as interplay between technology, policy and social change. This model has been adopted throughout the region as a rough guidance for outlining international Action Plans, as an organizational tool to identify actors and priorities for national strategies, as well as a reference a tool to organize scholarly research. This article reviews some of the diverse applications the model has found during recent years and shows how it can be used. Shortcomings and lessons learned are discussed. The remaining challenge points back to the academic community, in search for ever more coherent and useful models that assist in designing meaningful and effective ICT for development strategies.

Martin Hilbert
© Information Technologies & International Development, 2013