In this paper the authors contend that if the outsider-researcher involved in Information and
Communication Technology for Development research really wants to make a difference and
honestly address the emancipatory interests of the developing community, emancipation has
to take place on both sides of the “development divide”. Emancipatory research and practice
need to be accompanied by an understanding of the researcher-practitioner’s own
assumptions, preconceptions, and limitations as well as local concerns, needs, and realities.
Using a critical theoretical underpinning, the paper demonstrates how the outsider researcher
and practitioner may recquire emancipation in order to ensure more appropriate Information
and Communication Technology for Development. Through confessional writing and
demonstrating critical reflexivity, the authors reflect on particular instances of selfemancipation
as they present three narratives from the community entry phases of an ongoing
community engagement project in a deep rural part of South Africa. Lessons learned include,
the value of cultural interpreters as research partners, tactics for community entry, and a selfreflective
approach to doing fieldwork.