Electronic Government (eGovernment) has attracted considerable investment over many years but there is little agreement on how to measure success. This is problematic as eGovernment has ambitions beyond project success – in particular in developing countries it is expected to yield development. There is also both an academic and a practitioner debate on eGovernment assessment in which social and political values are included, meaning an external perspective is beginning to take root. This paper reports a literature study of ICT4D (Information and communications technologies for development) journals, where the focus on development should be the greatest. Our study investigates to what degree case study research on eGovernment and ICT4D focuses on ICT’s role for development in developing countries or regions. This means that we examine to what degree evaluations of ICT4D-projects focus development assessment. We find that while a majority of the papers include social factors only a few take an external, i.e. development, perspective. It seems that instead of focusing research on the critical factors in developing countries today, on which we need new knowledge, the majority of the research is repeating studies done in the industrialized world in the past twenty years to which we cannot expect to find neither the solution to the problems in the developing world nor radically new findings to enrich the body of research already existing. This said, the few papers that did have a development focus introduced challenging issues, research on which holds promises of relevance to target countries as well as improving the knowledge base of IS research.
Hedström, Karin and Grönlund, Åke, "The Quest for Development – Reviewing ICT4D Research" (2008). GlobDev 2008. 24.