Recent years have seen a burgeoning interest in research into the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the context of developing regions, particularly into how such ICTs might be appropriately designed to meet the unique user and infrastructural requirements that we encounter in these cross-cultural environments. This emerging field, known to some as HCI4D, is the product of a diverse set of origins. As such, it can often be difficult to navigate prior work, and/or to piece together a broad picture of what the field looks like as a whole. In this paper, we aim to contextualize HCI4D—to give it some historical background, to review its existing literature spanning a number of research traditions, to discuss some of its key issues arising from the work done so far, and to suggest some major research objectives for the future.
This paper is published under a Creative Commons license by Information Technologies & International Development, an interdisciplinary open-access journal that focuses on the intersection of information and communication technologies (ICTs) with the “other four billion” – the share of the world population whose countries are not yet widely connected to the Internet nor widely considered in the design of new information technologies.