Upcoming events related to the Centre for Digital Development.

Current events

DSA 2024 Track on 'Data Justice for Development'

26-28 Jun 2024 (CfP deadline: 23 January 2024)

Data are playing an increasingly important role in shaping development.

This is a call for abstracts/presentations exploring issues of data justice in development, including cases where data have led to social (in)justice, and practical strategies by which data can contribute to socially-just development, with a proposal deadline of 23 Jan 2024.

Prospective presenters to submit a “paper proposal” (title, author names & emails, short abstract of <300 characters; long abstract of <250 words) via the conference online form.

CDD 2023-24 Seminar Series

Details of any externally-accessible seminars will be posted here.

Past events

DSA 2023 Track on 'Digital Transformation for Development'

The 2023 UK Development Studies Association conference was held 28-30 Jun 2023, and included a track on 'digital transformation for development' organised by CDD members, presenting 12 papers analysing the causes, discourse, cases and impact of digital transformation within development.

CDD 2022-23 Seminar Series

  • 9 Nov 2022: Sorting and grading at the bottom of the pyramid: the political economy of digital finance in Kenyan small-scale agriculture (Gianluca Iazzolino)
  • 23 Nov 2022: Intellectual property rights and control in the digital economy: examining the expansion of M-Pesa (Christopher Foster)
  • 7 Dec 2022: How e-commerce is exploited to foster rural revitalisation and restructuring in China: evidence from less-developed West China (Yitian Ren)
  • 7 Mar 2023: Based Intervention to Enhance Eye Health Awareness of Members of a Deprived Community in India (Chandrani Maitra)
  • 27 Apr 2023: Socio-Technical Analysis of E-Government: A Case of Shenzhen in China (Yue Zhai)
  • 24 May 2023: The Effect of Digitalisation of Public Services on Individuals’ Well-Being (Azim Harun)

Workshop on "China's Digital Expansion in the Global South", Thursday 21 July 2022

An online workshop of presentations and discussion about the implications for Global South countries of China's emergence as a digital superpower.

CDD 2021-22 Seminar Series

Tracks on 'Digital Authoritarianism and Fundamentalism' and 'ICTs and Resilience-Building' at IFIP WG9.4 ICT4D Conference, May 2021

Papers were presented in the two CDD-organised tracks on "Digital Authoritarianism and Fundamentalism: Problems and Solutions" and on "ICTs and Resilience-Building: Climate Change, Pandemics, and Other Stressors".

DSA 2020 Track on 'Digital Development Leadership', June 2020

Presentations formed part of a track within the 2020 UK Development Studies Association conference. The track hosted papers that help us to conceptualise, to analyse, to evidence, to critique and, overall, to build a picture of leadership for digital development: its nature, characteristics, capacities, challenges, approaches and impacts.

“Urban Data, Inequality and Justice in the Global South” International Workshop, 14 June 2019

The following presentations were made:

  • Richard Heeks & Satyarupa Shekhar: Datafication, development and marginalised urban communities: an applied data justice framework
  • Shyam Krishna: Aadhaar-led identification and datafication among informal workers in South India: a data-justice perspective
  • Loraine Kennedy, Debdatta Chakraborty, Ram Mohan Chitta & Ashima Sood: Data justice through the prism of information politics and resource injustice. A case study from Hyderabad’s urban frontier
  • Aayush Rathi & Ambika Tandon: Unpacking video-based surveillance in Delhi
  • Azadeh Akbari: Spatial / data justice: mapping and digitised strolling against moral police in Iran
  • Siraz Hirani, Bijal Brahmbhatt, Neha Lal & Bhumika Chauhan: Urban slums and data evidence: rethinking data-driven civic engagement
  • Denisse Albornoz, Marieliv Flores & Katherine Reilly: Mapping invisible voices: building a community-based data justice model for urban data collection in informal human settlements of Lima
  • Catherine Sutherland, Bahle Mazeka, Sibongile Buthelezi & Duduzile Khumalo: Mapping and urban datafication in an informal settlement in Durban, South Africa
  • Jonathan Cinnamon: Visual data justice? Datafication of urban informality in South Africa using 360° imaging technologies

The workshop was a collaborative initiative of the Sustainable Consumption Institute and Centre for Digital Development, University of Manchester, with funding support from the International Development Research Centre and Global Development Institute. Presentations from the workshop appear as papers in the Development Informatics working paper series.

DSA 2019 Track on 'Digital Development'

The June 2019 UK Development Studies Association conference track on "Digital Development" presented papers to conceptualise, to analyse, to evidence, to critique and, overall, to build a picture of what the new "digital development" looks like; mapping emergent patterns – ways in which new digital technologies are changing the processes and structures of development; developing new theoretical perspectives; and linking to local and global trends.

DSA 2018 Track on 'Digital Inequalities and Development'

Fifteen presentations were made in the UK Development Studies Association conference track on "Digital Inequalities and Development" held in June 2018.

DIODE: Findings and Next Steps Workshop

Fourth "Development Implications of Digital Economies" workshop, focusing on findings and next steps for a future research agenda on the digital economy and developing countries. Held 11-12 Apr 2018 at the University of Manchester.

DIODE: Theory and Methods Workshop

Third "Development Implications of Digital Economies" workshop, focusing on theory and methods. Held 22-23 Jan 2018 at the University of Cape Town.

Innovation in Governance for Inclusive Development: Public Lecture

Held on Monday, 30 October 2017, with two presentations: Dr Suyoto (Mayor of Bojonegoro, Indonesia): "The Open and Transformative Government of Bojonegoro"; Dinita Putri (Centre for Innovation Policy and Governance, Indonesia): "From Smart City to Open City – Lessons from Jakarta Smart City"

CDD Seminar: Decent Digital Work

The CDD seminar, "Decent Work and the Digital Gig Economy in Developing Countries" was held on 12 Oct 2017.

DIODE: Policy and Practice Workshop

Second "Development Implications of Digital Economies" workshop, focusing on policy and practice. Held 9-10 Oct 2017 at the University of Oxford.

ICT4D / Digital Development North Inaugural Workshop

Inaugural workshop for academics and doctoral researchers based in the North of England and working on ICT4D / digital development; held on Friday 23 June and sponsored by CDD and by the University of Sheffield's Digital Development, Data and Innovation group.

2017 ICTs and Development (IFIP WG9.4) Conference

Conference of the longest-standing and largest grouping worldwide organising events in the field of ICTs and development; IFIP WG9.4 conference held in May 2017 (Indonesia).

There were 14 tracks including two co-organised by Manchester Centre for Digital Development members.

Archived events


One-day panel on 'Power, Politics and Digital Development'

13 Sept 2016

Workshop on 'Big and Open Data for International Development'

12 July 2016

The workshop developed a research agenda for "data-intensive development".

A second output was a network group, which researchers and practitioners working in data-intensive development are invited to join.


Richard Heeks Opening Welcome
Richard Heeks and Jaco Renken  Data justice for development: what would it mean?
Daniela Gabor and Sally Brooks  The digital revolution in financial(ised) inclusion
Mike Smith Challenges in digitising Kampala's vehicle collision data
Dan Brockington, Dorothea Kleine and Chris Foster What are the prospects of a data revolution from mobile phone data in data-poor countries?
Eleanor Carey Will SDG indicators drive the use of big data to plug the gender statistics gap at developing country National Statistical Offices?
Isabella Rega, Ioanna Samakovlis, Alessandro Inversini and Nigel Williams Listening to the voices from the slums: using Twitter to frame interventions
Elise Dufief Exploring the potential of open data and aid transparency for development
Rolf Kleef Traceability and linking in IATI data
Tom Fisher Privacy, big and open data, and development
Felipe Gonzalez-Zapata and Richard Heeks Path dependency and institutionalisation of open government data in Chile

6 February 2016

CDD's Anita Greenhill ran a half-day family event on online citizen science at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry. 

Citizen Social Science is where the public takes a role in conducting social science research. At the event participants were able to try their hand at categorizing science data using an online citizen science platform such as the Zooniverse’s recent pulsar project; as well as draw or find images using Google Earth about (i) their local area and (ii) about the wider world and also of something they were concerned about, which they wanted to draw policy makers attention to.

They then created postcards of the images and were encouraged to write about their concerns. These postcards were then used to raise the profile of the issues.


IT sourcing for development: international workshop

20 and 21 October 2014

The newly-formed Socially-Responsible Outsourcing Unit within CDD held an international workshop – 'IT Sourcing and Development: New Drivers, Models and Impacts' – on 20-21 October 2014 at The University of Manchester.

The workshop sought to reflect on the changing context for IT sourcing and socio-economic development: analysing the new forces driving and shaping IT sourcing; characterising the new models of IT sourcing these forces have created; and reassessing the impacts of IT sourcing in light of the new criteria based on inclusive and sustainable development models and on corporate social responsibility.

Further details can be found in the document below:


International workshop on 'New Models of Innovation for Development'

4 and 5 July 2013

Innovation has been moving up the strategic agendas of business, government and international agencies working in developing countries.  New markets for innovative goods and services among those at the base of the pyramid, and new technologies – particularly information and communication technologies – are inducing and enabling new actors to become involved in innovation for development.  This is creating new contexts and new locations for innovation.  And, as a result, new models of innovation are emerging.

This two-day workshop shared and explored some of these new models for which a variety of labels have emerged:

  • Pro-poor innovation;
  • BoP innovation;
  • Inclusive innovation;
  • Below-the-radar innovation;
  • Grassroots innovation;
  • Frugal innovation;
  • Jugaad innovation; and more.

In total, 16 papers (detailed below) were presented from 65 submitted abstracts. The programme schedule for the workshop can be found downloaded below:

If you have any questions about the workshop, please email

The workshop was a joint initiative of the Centre for Digital Development, Institute for Development Policy and Management, and Manchester Institute of Innovation Research; and is supported by funding from the University of Manchester and the UK Development Studies Association.

Richard Heeks (Global Development Institute, The University of Manchester, UK), Evgeny Klochikin and Yanuar Nugroho (MIoIR, University of Manchester, UK)

Presented papers

Hannes Toivanen Invisible innovation: integrating innovation by the poor into inclusive innovation frameworks Theo Papaioannou How inclusive can innovation and development be in the 21st century?
Maria Clara C. Soares and José E. Cassiolato Innovation systems and inclusive development: some evidence based on empirical work Kees Swaans, Birgit Boogaard, Ramkumar Bendapudi, Hailemichael Taye, Saskia Hendrickx and Laurens Klerkx Operationalizing inclusive innovation: lessons from innovation platforms in livestock value chains in India and Mozambique
Elisa Arond, Mariano Fressoli, Dinesh Abrol, Adrian Smith and Adrian Ely The framings of grassroots innovation and implications for models of inclusive innovation [Abstract only] Beth Cullen , Josephine Tucker, Katherine Snyder, Alan Duncan, Zelalem Lema Innovation platforms, power, representation and participation: lessons from the Blue Nile Basin, Ethiopia
Roald Suurs, Fernando J. Diaz Lopez, Jenny de Boer, Matilde Miedema, Linda de Kamp and R.A. Mashelkar A systems-based model for the successful scaling up of sustainable innovation at the bottom of the pyramid Rukmal Weerasinghe, A.K.W. Jaywardene and Ronald Ramlogan Innovation for the bottom of economic pyramid: the role of manufacturing SMEs in Sri Lanka
Jaap Voeten and Wim Naudé Internal regulation of innovation externalities for development: lessons from Vietnam Mario Pansera Is there space for non-conventional innovation in mainstream theory? Towards a framework to explain heterodox innovation
Christopher Foster Nurturing user-producer interaction: innovation flows in a low income mobile phone market Adrian Ely, Adrian Smith, Melissa Leach, Andy Stirling, Ian Scoones Globally-linked local innovation for sustainable development: implications for a new hybrid politics post-Rio+20
Diana Akullo, Harro Maat and Arjen Wals The public-private partnership: a case of agricultural innovation in Uganda? Judith Sutz and Cecilia Tomassini Knowledge, innovation, social inclusion and their elusive articulation: when isolated policies are not enough
Pankaj Sekhsaria The making of an India STM and ‘technological jugaad’ as a culture of innovation Gillian Marcelle, Lesego Nkhumise and Shahid Vawda Making innovation and science relevant for poor communities: the case of a water management project in South Africa


2011-12 seminar series

AuthorTitle (link to abstract)Presentation
Fredrick Agboma Researching with Multiple Frameworks: Triangulated Assessment of Entrepreneurship in the Nigerian IT Sector Link to PPT
Chris Foster Examining Inclusive Innovation: A Study of Micro-Entrepreneurs in the Kenyan Mobile Phone Sector Link to PPT

Richard Heeks

Happiness, Development and ICTs Link to PPT
Harsha Liyanage Innovation for Sustainability: Telecentres and Mobile Phones for Development Link to PPT
Gerald Mwanyika MIS Failure in a Developing Country: Lessons from a Tanzanian NGO Link to PPT
Brian Nicholson Deinstitutionalization in the Context of Software Exports Policymaking in Costa Rica Link to PPT
Angelica Ospina ICTs and Climate Change Adaptation: The e-Resilience Approach Link to PPT
Logakanthi Subramanian E-Waste Management: The Case of the Indian IT Sector Link to PPT

Cathy Urquhart

Using Grounded Theory in ICT4D Research: A Missed Opportunity? Link to PPT
Chris Westrup Context and the Processes of ICT for Development Link to PPT

The seminars given by Richard Heeks and Cathy Urquhart are also available to view as videos: 

Understanding Development Through Actor-Network Theory international workshop

Manchester's Centre for Digital Development and LSE's Department of International Development hosted an international workshop on 'Understanding Development Through Actor-Network Theory' on 30 June 2011.

This brought together new work applying actor-network theory in international development research.  Our aim was to explore the extent to which ANT can improve our understanding of development.

The presentations were developed into the CDD working paper series, 'Actor-Network Theory for Development':

  • ANT4D working papers

ICT4D practitioner seminars

'Bridging Technology and Politics' (2.00-3.00pm) by Ben Taylor, Executive Director of Daraja, a governance-focused NGO based in rural Tanzania.  Ben discussed Tanzania’s technological and governance context, particularly within the water sector. 

He outlined the design and practice of Daraja’s MajiMatone programme which uses mobile phones to increase local government accountability around water supply; drawing conclusions about the addition of digital technologies to traditional institutions of governance.  This seminar was held in collaboration with the University's Herbert Simon Institute. 

'Connecting Remote Rural Communities: Lessons from the eBario Project in Malaysia' (3.00-4.00pm) by Dr Alvin Yeo, Director of the Institute for Social Informatics and Technological Innovation at the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.  Alvin discussed the eBario project, which deployed ICTs in a very isolated rural community in Malaysian Borneo. 

By using a multi-disciplinary team spanning technical and social sciences, and by using a participatory, action research methodology, this project was able to make a direct contribution to improvement of rural livelihoods.  The project is winner of the CAPAM International Innovation Award.

Workshop on Social Media and International Development

Manchester's Centre for Digital Development and Institute of Innovation Research hosted a half-day workshop on "Social Media and International Development" on 31 March 2011.

Social media such as Twitter and Facebook has been much in the news recently, and this workshop explored some of the implications for developing countries and international environments.  Papers dealt with the use of social media by civil society organisations, for the organisation of protest movements, and within transnational corporations.

Presentations and some related papers are available online:


UK Launch of 2010 UN Information Economy Report: ICTs, Enterprises and Poverty Alleviation

Manchester's Centre for Digital Development and Brooks World Poverty Institute hosted the UK launch of the global Information Economy Report 2010 on the afternoon of Thursday 14 October 2010.

This year's IER, produced by the UN Conference on Trade and Development with significant contributions from CDD members, focused on ICTs, enterprise and poverty.

It showed how mobile phones are creating millions of new jobs in developing countries, supporting micro-enterprises that innovate to reach "bottom of the pyramid" markets in ways large firms cannot.  Outsourcing is starting to bring new income to Africa, and new business models such as "social outsourcing" are pushing benefits into poor communities.  Further growth requires greater ICT diffusion, but policy must move from a supply- to a demand-driven approach that recognises and scales up the innovations already occurring within micro-enterprise.


  • Torbjörn Fredriksson, Chief, ICT Analysis Section, UNCTAD.
  • Andrew Zerzan, Regulatory Projects Director, GSM Association.
  • Andrew Scott, Policy and Programmes Director, Practical Action.
  • Dr George Manu, Director, Creative Squares.
  • Prof. Richard Heeks, Director, Centre for Digital Development.
  • Chair:  Prof. Armando Barrientos, Global Development Institute


Urban Slums and ICT-Based Entrepreneurship seminar

Friday, 11 June 2010

Nimmi Rangaswamy, from Microsoft Research (India), discussed the role played by a variety of ICT-based micro-enterprises like cyber cafés, mobile phone stores, computer skill training institutes, mobile phone repair and servicing units, and PC assembling and servicing units in the context of urban slums in India. Subjects of focus in the talk included: types of local demand for ICT consumption; non-formal business routes to servicing demand; and localization and impacts of ICT business adoption.

ICT-aided entrepreneurship was identified as a harbinger driving local technology immersion in resource-poor environments, extending access to marginalized populations. The talk also covered the nature and function of informal business practices in emerging markets and challenged notions of them as illegitimate piracy.

ICT Policy in Developing Countries workshop

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Starting some 15 years ago, information and communication technologies (ICTs) began to rise up the development agenda, as their potential contribution to achievement of development goals was recognised.  In order to give strategic direction to that contribution, developing countries – some with the encouragement of donor agencies – started to formulate national ICT policies, and also sub-policies around specific application areas, sectors and technologies. This workshop reviewed those policies, and produced an overall summary guide on coherent ICT policy for development.


Prof Richard Heeks, CDD, University of Manchester, UK ICT Policy Coherence in Developing Countries   Heeks PPT Heeks Photo
Dr Ping Gao, CDD, University of Manchester, UK China's National Policy for Catching-up in the IT Industry Gao Abstract Gao PPT Gao Photo
Ranjan Baral & Dipu Murti Bhurtyal, Forum for Information Technology, Nepal ICT Policy in Nepal: Opportunities and Challenges Baral & Bhurtyal Abstract Baral & Bhurtyal PPT Baral Photo
Md. Masum Billa, D.Net, Bangladesh Bangladesh National ICT Policy 2009: Key Features and Challenges Billa Abstract Billa PPT Billa & Group Photo
Dr Adesina Iluyemi, University of Portsmouth, UK How New Global Alliances and Identities Shape ICT Policy in Developing Countries: Insights from Globalization of e-Health in Africa Iluyemi Abstract Iluyemi PPT Iluyemi & Group Photo
Andy Bardelli-Danieli, CDD, University of Manchester, UK ICT Policy and Policymaking in Uganda: An Interpretive Approach Bardelli-Danieli Abstract Bardelli-Danieli PPT  
Adnan Rafiq, University of Cambridge, UK From 8 to 80 Million Subscribers in 80 Months: Reform and Regulation in the Mobile Telecommunications Market in Pakistan Rafiq Abstract Rafiq PPT  
Irfanullah Arfeen, University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, Pakistan IT and e-Government Policy in Pakistan Arfeen Abstract Arfeen PPT Arfeen Photo

This workshop was a meeting of the UK Development Studies Association's 'Information, Technology and Development' study group.


UK Launch of UN Information Economy Report 2009

Manchester's Centre for Digital Development hosted the UK launch of the global Information Economy Report 2009 on Friday 23 October.

This year's IER, produced by the UN Conference on Trade and Development, gives special attention to the impact of the global financial crisis on ICTs. It includes up-to-date findings on the use of ICT in business, including SMEs in developing countries; on the impact of the financial crisis on global ICT trade; and on the changing digital divide between global North and global South. Statistical data is provided on changing patterns in offshoring, ICT trade and ICT diffusion.

The launch was presented by Torbjörn Fredriksson from UNCTAD.

Gold Farming: Real-World Production in Developing Countries for the Virtual Economies of Online Games

Thursday, 4 June 2009, The University of Manchester

Employing up to 1,000,000 people in East Asia and with an annual trade worth up to US$5bn, gold farming is big business yet virtually unknown outside computer gaming circles. This presentation provides the first academic analysis of this major new industry through which Asian 'playbourers' produce virtual currency and high-level avatars for online gamers.

It provides best estimates of the industry's size, describes the global value chain and trade processes, and analyses its developmental implications. It will outline a future research agenda given gold farming reflects growing trends in developing countries towards cybersourcing and towards 'liminal' ICT work (which lies on or just below the threshold of what is socially-acceptable and formally-legal).

Launch event - Professor Subhash Bhatnagar

On 14 May 2009, the Centre for Digital Development held its launch event at which Prof. Subhash Bhatnagar, from the Indian Institute of Management - Ahmedabad, presented on "ICTs and Development: Where Have We Been, Where Are We Going?".

Speed presentations