How Much Evidence Is There Really? Mapping the Evidence Base for ICT4D Interventions

Annette N. Brown, Hannah J. Skelly


To identify impact evaluations on the effectiveness of ICTD interventions, we conducted a systematic search and screening that identiªed 253 studies. We present our results in an evidence map that shows the amount of evidence
for each of 11 intervention categories across nine development sectors. We ªnd large amounts of evidence for some intervention categories and little to no evidence in others. Roughly 80% of the ICTD impact evaluations use randomized
assignment, suggesting a relatively low risk of bias across the evidence base. At the same time, roughly 80% evaluate pilot implementations instead of programs, raising questions about how useful the evidence is for informing programs at scale. Less than 20% of studies report costs, limiting our ability to assess cost effectiveness. We make four recommendations to improve the evidence base.


Information and communication technology, impact evaluation, evidence map, cost effectiveness, equity, developing country, systematic search, pilot

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