Human development requires some kind of action and needs information to set the development process in motion. An expansion of choice and the ability to enact choice are outcomes of development. In order to become aware of choices and support the ability to enact choices that can lead to development, access to information is required. In her thesis, Shaping meaningful information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) solutions using design science research: a social shaping of technology framework based on the capability approach, Manti addresses the problem how should the information needs that are meaningful to women working as domestic workers, be effectively translated through the use of ICT in order to enhance their experience of the good life as defined by Sen’s capability approach and to contribute to the success and social value of ICT4D projects. A group of women working as domestic workers and a selected group of organisations in South Africa participated in the study.
The artefact produced by the study is the Community Shaping Solutions Framework (CSSF). The CSSF’s contribution is a response to the criticisms against ICT4D of being overly technology deterministic by applying the social shaping of technology and the capability approach theories and suggesting a human-centered approach. The CSSF draws on the capability approach as a way to measure development and the social shaping of technology theory for the positive role in integrating people and technology concerns by offering a greater understanding of the relationship between scientific excellence, technology innovation and social well-being.