A mixed method research design for understanding how ICT tools assist climate change adaptation

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Research conducted by Ericsson and the Earth Institute on the role of information and communication technology (ICT) in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals concludes that “every goal — from ending poverty and halting climate change to fighting injustice and inequality — can be positively impacted by ICT” (Ericsson, 2015). Projects utilizing ICT for climate change adaptation in developing countries indicate great potential for new technologies, such as mobile phones, and traditional technologies, such as radio broadcasts, to improve data gathering and dissemination of information on adaptation options (Ospina and Heeks, 2010). What is lacking, however, is evidence of the impact of combining multiple technologies with an institutional framework supporting the generation and dissemination of climate and agricultural information. An assessment of the use of multiple ICT — such as mobile phones, FM radio and community loudspeakers — combined with institutional arrangements to support ICT deployment is needed to better tailor the design of ICT interventions for climate change adaptation in developing countries.

In this post, we present the research design for an ongoing study of the Climate Change Adaptation and ICT (CHAI) project in Uganda. Our study investigates how the current approach of CHAI with its multiple ICT tools, institutional arrangements and local-to-national actors contributes to program impact. We intend for the findings of our study to inform the design of information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) programs in the future.