On Monday, 19th of February, SIID will be running an exciting “Triple Bill” set of presentations where you can come and find out about the work of three of our newest SIID postdocs, with topics reaching across our SIID research themes linking in particular DDI, Health, Governance, States and Advocacy, and also education.

Tea and coffee will be available

Dr Andrea Jimenez
The Role of Innovation Hubs in Development: Insights from Case Studies in the UK and Zambia

Dr Jaime Echavarri
Grass-roots lessons for Digital Development: Enciclomedia and the Mexican elementary school teachers

Dr Sammia Poveda
Psychosocial wellbeing, conscientisation and development: theory and practice within Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D)

Do join us for what looks to be a fascinating set of presentations and a great opportunity to meet some of our post-docs. We looking forward to seeing you there!

Abstracts:

Dr Andrea Jimenez
Title:  The Role of Innovation Hubs in Development: Insights from Case Studies in the UK and Zambia

Abstract:
This research seeks to conceptualise innovation as a mechanism for development from a
human-centred perspective. It evaluates the discourses of innovation for development and
examines the implications of innovation hubs beyond the mainstream development
perspectives. Innovation hubs are collaborative spaces for entrepreneurs that include aspects
of co-working and incubators. Despite the lack of clarity of their impact, hubs have been
spreading in the Global North and South, funded and promoted as spaces that promote
entrepreneurship, innovation and economic growth. This research analyses the innovation for
development literature and suggests an alternative approach drawing upon three theoretical
perspectives: Doreen Massey’s spatial conceptualisation of uneven development, Amartya Sen’s
Capability Approach, and situated agency, developed by feminist scholars. Empirical research
of the thesis consists of two qualitative studies of two innovation hubs based in London (UK)
and Lusaka (Zambia) respectively. Data collection includes participant observation and semi-
structured interviews. Findings include that innovation may have an impact on freedom and
choice expansion, as well as inclusion/exclusion. It demonstrates that innovation is shaped by
global narratives of innovation and local sense making. These findings build the foundations
for a human-centred perspective of innovation for development. It is argued that further research
should explore innovation for development from a post-development perspective.

Dr Jaime Echavarri
Title:  Grass-roots lessons for Digital Development: Enciclomedia and the Mexican elementary school teachers

Abstract:
Enciclomedia, the biggest and foremost ICT policy in Mexican elementary education, was a stillborn
ICT policy for many reasons. Aiming to improve education quality standards, the program ran from
2003 to 2012 and introduced ICTs into elementary schools across Mexico. Although the program was
one of the largest deployments of ICT infrastructure in the Global South, it was almost impossible to
assess any of the effects of Enciclomedia in education given the policy shortcomings. Nevertheless,
despite the lack of ICT teacher education, some educators, decided to adopt the Enciclomedia
infrastructure, developing different and alternative understandings of technology. Using empirical
evidence collected at the end of Encilcomedia’s project cycle in 2012, this article aims to analyze
the processes by which teachers develop ICT skills within different contexts. Similarly, it aims
to illustrate under which circumstances the ecology of resources can ignite bottom-up critical
understandings of ICTs within the education environment. Finally, this article intends to highlight the
importance of studying a policy failure to build upon and develop further digital policy sustainability
models. The article aims to contribute by providing an alternative framework for information literacy
in developing contexts.

Dr Sammia Poveda
Title:  Psychosocial wellbeing, conscientisation and development: theory and practice
within Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D)

Abstract:
My doctoral studies where inspired by the study of Information and Communication
Technologies for development (ICT4D) projects, after having worked as a volunteer for a
digital inclusion and citizenship NGO in Brazil. A review of the literature showed inconclusive
impacts on human development, which some authors explained was caused by a lack of a
clear definition of development. This inspired my work: i) theoretically: defining development,
by drawing on the Capabilities Approach, Critical Pedagogy and Critical Psychosocial
Wellbeing; ii) empirically: exploring the impacts of ICT4D projects on human development.
Both theoretical and empirical work have informed and impacted each other. For instance,
findings from research in Brazil showed how pervasive internalised social discourses can be.
This lead me to explore theoretically how to define individuals, emphasising both their bodily
and their emotional traits, highlighting the important role of psychology in development studies.
Subsequently, this alternative definition of development was used to study two projects
in Myanmar: Using a mobile app for gender empowerment, and, mobile information literacy
for librarians. Exploring both social and psychological impacts revealed how psychological
aspects may hinder or constrain the success of a project if these are not considered in
design phase of the project.