A Set of Heuristic Measurements for Evaluating the Inclusiveness of a Technology

  • K. Pitula
  • T. Radhakrishnan
Part of the IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing book series (IFIPAICT, volume 241)


At a high level of abstraction,’ social inclusion’ can be defined as the extent to which an individual or community can fully participate in society and control their own collective destiny. There are large disparities in this, particularly in underdeveloped rural areas of the world. Information and communication technologies designed to address this disparity must take into account the many barriers in the use of technology that these communities face. We define an ’inclusive technology’ as a technology which overcomes the barriers to using technology inherent within a given community and increases the opportunities available to that community. We propose a conceptual model and a set of heuristic measurements for examining the ’inclusiveness’ of a technology with respect to a given community, and illustrate their use by applying them to two real-world projects. By proposing this model and set of measurements, we hope to achieve a better understanding of’development projects’ and create a systematic process and a framework to assist software engineers in designing and evaluating software based services intended to reduce the Digital Divide.


Heuristic Measurement Satellite Connection Inclusive Technology Videoconference Equipment Provide Broadband Service 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Schumaker E.F. Small is Beautiful. Economics as if people mattered... 25 years later with commentaries, Hartley & Marks ( 1999).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Warschauer Marc. Technology and Social Inclusion, MIT Press (2003.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Unwin, T. (ed.) ICT4D, Information and Communication Technology for Development. Draft retrieved 2007-02-24 from To be published 2008 by Cambridge University Press.
  4. 4.
    Brewer E. Demmer M, Du B., Ho M., Kam M., Nedevschi S., Pal J., Patra R., Surana S. The Case for Technology in Developing Regions. IEEE Computer, Vol. 38, No. 6, 25–38. (June 2005).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    World Information Society Report 2006. International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Retrieved 2007-02-23 (2006).
  6. 6.
    Whyte, Anne Assessing Community Telecentres: Guidelines for Researchers, IDRC Books (International Development Research Centre). Retrieved 2007-02-21 (2000).
  7. 7.
    Venkatesh, Viswanath; Morris, Michael G.; Davis, Gordon B.; Davis, Fred D. User Acceptance Of Information Technology: Toward A Unified View. MIS Quarterly, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 425–478 (September 2003).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pitula, Kristina; Radhakrishnan, T. A conceptual model of inclusive technology for information access by the rural sector. To appear in HCI International 2007 Conference Proceedings, Springer-Verlag. (2007)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ashley, Caroline; Maxwell, Simon (principal authors). Rethinking Rural Development. Overseas Development Institute briefing paper reprinted in Current Issues in Rural Development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, No. 31/32 (October 2003).Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Reimer, Bill. Rural and Urban: Differences and Common Ground, in Urban Canada: Sociological Perspectives, ed. Harry H. Hiller, Oxford University Press (2005).Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Beaton, B. The K-Net story: community ICT development work. The Journal of Community Informatics, Vol. 1, Issue 1 (2004).Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Canadian Research Alliance For Community Innovation And Networking. K-Net Case Study Profile. Retrieved 2006-11-20
  13. 13.
    Gigler, Björn-Sörn. Including the excluded —Can ICT empower communities? Towards an alternative evaluation framework based on the capability approach. 4’ International Conference on the Capability Approach, University of Pavia, Italy. (2004).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Cecchini, Simone; Raina, Monica. Electronic government and the rural poor: the case of Gyandoot. MIT, Information Technologies and International Development, Vol. 2, No. 2, Winter (2004).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Garai, Atanu; Shadrach, B. Taking ICT to every Indian village: opportunities and challenges. One World South Asia, New Delhi (2006).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Longford, Graham. Community Networking and Civic Participation in Canada: A Background Paper. CRACIN report prepared for The Department of Canadian Heritage. Retrieved 2006-11-20 (2005)
  17. 17.
    Shaik. N. Meera, Anita Jhamtani, and D.U.M. Rao. Information and communications technology in agricultural development: a comparative analysis of three projects in India. Agricultural Research and Extension Network Paper No. 135 (2004).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Walmark, B., O’Donnell, S., and Beaton, B. Research on ICT with Aboriginal Communities: Report from RICTA, National Research Council Canada (2005).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ramirez, R. A model for rural and remote information and communication technologies: a Canadian exploration. Telecommunications Policy No. 25, 315–330 (2001).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Federation for Information Processing 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Pitula
    • 1
  • T. Radhakrishnan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer Science and Software EngineeringConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations