Digital development
Richard Heeks (University of Manchester)
Jaco Renken (University of Manchester)
Negar Monazam Tabrizi (The University of Manchester)
Shamel Azmeh (University of Manchester)
Richard Duncombe (University of Manchester)
Christopher Foster (University of Manchester)
Justice, peace and rights
Library, Seminar Room 2
Wednesday 19 June, 15:30-17:00, 17:30-19:00, Thursday 20 June, 9:00-10:30, 14:15-15:45 (UTC+0)

Short abstract:

Conceptualises, analyses and evidences the emergence of "digital development" as new digital technologies - platforms, data, industry 4.0, etc - change the development landscape: opening up social, economic, political opportunities; but also reinforcing old inequalities.

Long abstract:

The nature of the relationship between digital technologies and development is changing. The disruptive potential of digital is increasingly being felt, and the terminology of "digital development" is associated with this potential paradigm shift. This change has positive aspects: opening up opportunities in social, economic and political development. But there are also many problems; especially reinforcing old inequalities and creating new ones.

We are seeking papers that help us to conceptualise, to analyse, to evidence, to critique and, overall, to build a picture of what this new "digital development" looks like; mapping emergent patterns - ways in which new digital technologies are changing the processes and structures of development, developing new theoretical perspectives, and linking to local and global trends.

We welcome papers on all aspects of digital development but include four examples of its elements:

• Platforms and Development: not just the growing role of digital platforms within all aspects of development but also the growing mediation of development through platforms.

• Data and Development: the shifts in development possibilities and practices as many new forms of data - big data, open data, real-time data, etc - become available and facilitate the datafication of development processes.

• Digital Inequality: the changing form of inequality as we move beyond old conceptions of a "digital divide" based on technology access towards inequalities based on who gains value and power from the growing use of digital.

• Digital Capacity: the changing human capabilities and organisational capacities necessary to make most effective developmental use of new digital technologies and systems.