MSc Management and Information Systems: Change and Development

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
ICTs & Socio-Economic Development

Course unit fact file
Unit code MGDI60701
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Global Development Institute
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


The unit is structured around 10 interconnected topics:

1. Understanding ICTs and Socio-Economic Development

2. Foundations of ICTs and Socio-Economic Development

3. Implementing ICT4D

4. ICTs and Economic Growth

5. ICTs, Poverty and Livelihoods

6. Mobiles and Development

7. ICTs and Social Development

8. e-Governance and Development

9. ICTs and Environmental Sustainability

10. The Future of ICT4D



The unit aims to explore different ways in which information and communication technologies can contribute to socio-economic development (ICT4D), but places this exploration within broader theoretical and policy-level frameworks of understanding. It builds on GDI's research strengths and reputation in "digital development".


Learning outcomes

Category of outcome


Knowledge and Understanding

On completion of this unit successful students will be able to:

-analyse the generic contribution of ICTs to socio-economic development

-identify key roles, challenges and questions in the application of ICTs to specific development goals

-apply critical conceptual frameworks to analyse both ICT4D case studies and, where relevant, their own experience of ICTs in development projects

-analyse the role of policy, strategy and operational interventions in promoting effective developmental use of ICTs


Teaching and learning methods

Each week’s activities will include a mix of lecturer presentation, case study analysis, and student activities and exercises.

Students are expected to engage with e-learning materials provided via Blackboard to support learning. These include session handouts with cases and exercises; links to further case study and research materials; and online discussion, work and chat spaces.

The course unit is participative, encouraging students to share knowledge and experience. It is also practical, encouraging students to apply models and theory to real-world case studies.



Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Feedback methods

Formative: 1 page outline submitted in Nov/Dec – written comments given.

Summative: written comments

Recommended reading

·         Adera, E. et al (eds) (2014) ICT Pathways to Poverty Reduction, Practical Action Publishing, Rugby, UK.

·         Chib, A. et al (eds) (2015) Impact of Information Society Research in the Global South, Springer, Singapore.

·         Elder, L. et al (eds) (2013) Connecting ICTs to Development, Anthem Press, London.

·         Heeks, R. (2009) The ICT4D 2.0 Manifesto: Where Next for ICTs and International Development?, Development Informatics Working Paper no.42, CDI, University of Manchester, UK.

·         Heeks, R. (2014) ICT4D 2016, Development Informatics Working Paper no.59, CDI, University of Manchester, UK.

-          Heeks, R. (2020) ICT4D 3.0? Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries

·         Heeks, R. (2018) Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D), Routledge, Abingdon, UK

·         World Bank (2016) Digital Dividends, World Bank, Washington, DC

·         Series sources:

-        Various (1987 onwards) Information Technology for Development journal

-        Various (2000 onwards) Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries journal

-        Various (2003 onwards) Information Technologies and International Development journal

      -         Various (1998 onwards) Development Informatics Working Paper Series, Centre for Development Informatics, University of Manchester, UK.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 120

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Richard Duncombe Unit coordinator

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