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Towards a Theory of ICTs for Poverty Reduction: Researching Computerization of the Indian Public Distribution System

Authors:

Silvia Masiero ,

Department of International Development, London School of Economics and Political Science, GB
About Silvia
LSE Fellow
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Amit Prakash

Centre for Information Technology and Public Policy (CITAPP), International Institute for Information Technology (IIIT) Bangalore, IN
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Abstract

The study of e-governance for poverty reduction has become a central theme in the area of ICTs for development (ICT4D). Yet, the intertwining between technology design and the political agendas behind it still needs to be theorized more explicitly, from both an analytical and a normative perspective. To this end, we study the dynamics underlying computerization of the Public Distribution System (the largest food security programme in India) in the state of Karnataka, and the ways in which ICTs mediate access of beneficiaries to the scheme. Preliminary findings suggest that technology, rather than simply pursuing more effective programme delivery, is designed to advance specific political agendas, which embody clear assumptions on the roots of food insecurity, and on the ideal ways in which these should be tackled. This commentary, based on research in progress, outlines our preliminary considerations towards a theory of technology for poverty reduction.

How to Cite: Masiero, S. and Prakash, A., 2015. Towards a Theory of ICTs for Poverty Reduction: Researching Computerization of the Indian Public Distribution System. iSCHANNEL, 9(2), pp.35–38.
Published on 12 Feb 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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