Project Management Practice for Rural ICT Project Sustainability in Developing Countries




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Academic Conferences and Publishing International Ltd



Peer reviewed



Poverty alleviation by means of rural development has become a priority among developing countries. In turn, rural development may be significantly enhanced and supported by Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), the use of which is highlighted by the emerging importance of information and knowledge as key strategic resources for social and economic development. An analysis of rural case studies where ICTs have been introduced, suggests that there are a number of barriers and constraints that are faced when taking advantage of these technologies. These include access to infrastructure, limited formal education, insufficient training and capacity building, financial and political constraints, and social and cultural challenges. These challenges threaten the success and sustainability of rural ICT projects. Sustainability is key to the effectiveness of a rural ICT project; therefore it is important to understand the concept and categories associated with ICT project sustainability in rural areas. The categories of sustainability which include social and cultural, institutional, economic, political, and technological, reveal critical success factors that need to be considered in the implementation and management of rural ICT projects.

The project management discipline acknowledges the importance of understanding the project’s environment, particularly environmental factors associated with rural communities. The complexity of the environment requires that a project be undertaken in phases comprising the project life cycle. Project management practice for rural ICT project sustainability can be examined, adapting the traditional project life cycle to a rural ICT project. This paper proposes a Rural ICT Project Life Cycle (RICT-PLC) that is sensitive to the critical success factors (CSFs) of sustainability. The CSFs contribute to the project management practices that should be incorporated into the life cycle phases of a rural ICT project. The RICT-PLC model developed sets sustainability guidelines for ICT project management in rural areas and identifies the people, environments, technologies, systems, and requirements for ICTs to support rural development activities.



Project management, rural development, information and communication technology, sustainability


Pade, C., Mallinson, B., and Sewry, D. (2008) Project Management Practice for Rural ICT Project Sustainability in Developing Countries. 2nd European Conference on Information Management and Evaluation (ECIME). Royal Holloway, University of London.


Research Institute

Centre for Computing and Social Responsibility (CCSR)