Background

Uganda’s Vision 2040 emphasizes ICT and ICT-enabled services industry as one of the sectors that has enormous opportunities that Uganda can exploit in order to transform the economy and people’s lives into middle income status (Uganda Vision 2040). In line with this vision, the Government of Uganda has developed and is still developing various e-systems like the Immigration System, Land Registration System, Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS), E-Voter Register, E-Tax Portal, E-Birth and Death Registration system, National Identity Card (ID) System, among others. For such e-Government systems and other kinds of software systems and applications in the country to succeed and serve the intended purpose, there is need to tailor them to the unique needs of Government and its partners such as citizens and the business community, as well as the technological, social and economic environment.

The Development Informatics (DI) Research Group is a multi-disciplinary Research Group in the College of Computing & Information Sciences at Makerere University that focuses on the study and creation of Information Systems that address problems in a socio-economic development context. This is motivated by the fact that several researches such as Kim & Kim (2005) and Mallat (2009) have established that for ICTs to reasonably contribute to socio-economic development in developing countries, designers/developers must understand users and develop for their contexts.

The field of Informatics, in general, studies the intersection of people, information, and technology systems. Therefore, Development Informatics (DI) takes a broader approach to development than that taken by ICT4D which is the use of ICTs for delivery of specific development goals and ICTD which is the use of ICTs in developing countries. In the DI research group, our emphasis is the domain problem i.e. whether or not Information Systems (IS) contribute to development. In focusing on information systems from a development perspective, we consider all the stages of the informatics lifecycle: technology design, development, implementation, adoption, use and impact. In addition, we consider the overarching issues of strategy and policy.