Audience: The Dynamics of Technology for Social Change is written for practitioners trying to achieve social benefit using Information Technology and communications (ICT) in whatever context they operate. This includes nonprofits engaged in developing and implementing projects, philanthropies and social responsibility programs supporting these activities, researchers trying to understand the process, and the various government and private sector actors working with all the above to help deliver socially beneficial ICT to an end user population.
Focus: The book’s primary objective is to help people understand how to successfully design, implement, and evaluate ICT projects in a complicated landscape, by explaining the underlying principles that influence outcomes. The topics explored include organizational capacity, cross-sector partnerships, implementation, marketing, project evaluation, social return on investment and sustainability. Issues are addressed from the unique perspective of an implementer with both operational and programmatic experience rather than as a research scientist or academician. Although The Dynamics of Technology for Social Change is not written to prove how or if technology facilitates social benefit, examples abound from the author’s own experience that provide insight into how it does.
What makes the book unique is its focus on institutional as well as technology dynamics. It explains institutional behavior within and across sectors — and how it impacts the implementation objectives of any project. These dynamics, and the accompanying strategies to successfully negotiate them, are applicable to many initiatives meeting social objectives outside the realm of technology.
Jonathan Peizer is the Principal of Internaut Consulting supporting foundations, nonprofits, governments and socially responsible private sector initiatives. He is the former CIO/CTO and Director of the Open Society Institute’s Global Internet Program.