Download PDFOpen PDF in browser

After the Smartphone Has Arrived in the Village. How Practices and Proto-Practices Emerged in an ICT4D Project.

EasyChair Preprint no. 2675

15 pagesDate: February 15, 2020


This paper presents a case study of an ICT4D project in rural Bangladesh, and examines the emergence of new practices connected through a theoretical lens. Social Practice Theory and concepts of place and placelessness provide a middle-range theory frame for interpretation. Two groups of 100 women living in different remote villages took part to the project and received smartphones and training. The project also established a call centre and delivered timely agricultural information by voice, apps and SMS.

A mixed design was used to evaluate the project progress. A Baseline survey was completed in the two areas before the project started. After one year, the two groups of women involved in the project and two control groups completed a questionnaire on smartphone use practices. Episodic interviews were also conducted with a subsample of 40 participants. Project participants developed new skills and meanings associated with smartphones, which contributed to enhanced communication practices within family networks, for local business and active citizenship. The new practices and the emerging proto-practices at a micro-level resulted in new sense of time and space and new locales for presence.

The use of Social Practice Theory provides a transferable framework that can be applied with which to identify and emphasise what is meaningful to individuals and communities in the relationship between skills, materials and ideas with respect to different social-technical initiatives. In this regard, Social Practice theory allows for considerable insight at theory and practice levels about the integration of ICTs in development projects.

Keyphrases: Bangladesh, ICT4D, Place and Placelessness, social practice theory, Women and ICTs

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Larry Stillman and Mauro Sarrica and Tom Denison},
  title = {After the Smartphone Has Arrived in the Village. How Practices and Proto-Practices Emerged in an ICT4D Project.},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 2675},

  year = {EasyChair, 2020}}
Download PDFOpen PDF in browser