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    In-betweenness in ICT4D research: critically examining the role of the researcher

    Jimenez, Andrea, Abbott, Pamela and Dasuki, Salihu ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9677-5414 (2022) In-betweenness in ICT4D research: critically examining the role of the researcher. European Journal of Information Systems, 31 (1). pp. 25-39. ISSN 0960-085X

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    The ICT4D discipline has faced criticisms of an uneven production of knowledge that reinforces a dichotomy between Global North-Western knowledge systems on the one side, and Global South-indigenous-Southern knowledge systems on the other. As a result, some ICT4D literature has examined the role of the researcher in reinforcing these biases and further exacerbating inequalities, thus highlighting the complex relationship between ICT4D researchers and the research process. Yet, most of this literature has focused on an insider/outsider researcher positionality. This paper explores the role of the researcher from the alternative position of in-betweenness, where researchers adopt more fluid and dynamic positions as reflexive spaces. To do this, we engage in a dialogical process of retrospective reflections based on ICT4D projects in Nigeria, Peru and West Africa. Through these cases, we identify how we experience in-betweenness in distinct ways: as liminal spaces, as performative spaces, and as spaces of disjuncture. We also examine how these forms of in-betweenness informed our research. We demonstrate that a researcher positionality of in-betweenness in ICT4D research can increase awareness of nuanced researcher roles and potentially avoid ethical dilemmas and reproducing biases.

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