Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Information Technology for Development

For a Special Issue on

Indigenous knowledge and Information Technology for Sustainable Development

Manuscript deadline
15 January 2024

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Ransome Bawack, Audencia Business School
[email protected]

Sian Roderick, Swansea University

Abdalla Badhrus, Muslim Education & Welfare Association (MEWA)

Denis Dennehy, Swansea University

Jacqueline Corbett, Université Laval

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Indigenous knowledge and Information Technology for Sustainable Development

Information technology (IT) has proven to be a critical enabler of the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Its widespread diffusion has facilitated the development and implementation of innovations, business opportunities, financial services, and institutions necessary to eradicate poverty and reorient unsustainable development practices (United Nations, n.d.; Zheng et al., 2018). Yet, IT is often criticized for its adverse effects on sustainable development's environmental, economic, and social dimensions, such as increased inequalities and environmental pollution (Rothe, 2020; Rothe et al., 2022).

At the same time, indigenous knowledge currently occupies a privileged position in discussions regarding achieving development that genuinely targets the interests of poor and marginalized communities (Cibangu, 2020; Hasan et al., 2022). In this Special Issue, indigenous knowledge refers to knowledge unique to people living or evolving in a particular geographical area resulting from historical behaviours and resource-use practices in complex ecological systems in their localities (Grenier, 1998). This body of knowledge is grounded in literature arguing that linking indigenous knowledge and technology use can effectively engage communities in their contextual development process and contribute to building strong partnerships between communities and development institutions at local, national and international levels (Osei-Bryson and Bailey, 2019).

Integrating new technologies within local indigenous communities can be challenging due to cross‐cultural communication, misunderstandings, and inevitable political dimensions (Korpela, 1996). Nevertheless, it is critical to understand, and place value on local dimensions to avoid eroding knowledge, and to re-balance power that would empower communities (Dennehy et al., 2013).

These technologies can interfere with traditional lifestyles that affect indigenous peoples' priorities and identities (Sillitoe, 1998). Although indigenous communities may use IT similarly to non-indigenous communities, they may conceptualize and interact with IT in vastly different ways, hence the need for contextualized reflections on the need for certain IT innovations (Osei-Bryson and Bailey, 2019). Increasing the involvement and collaboration of indigenous peoples and local communities in development strategies touches upon contemporary issues such as cultural identity and intellectual property rights (Pushpangadan et al., 2017). Furthermore, indigenous knowledge is guided by inherent, long-standing relationships with the land, ecological wisdom, and cultural values. Therefore, reliable indigenous knowledge that can be applied under changing conditions is essential for successful development-focused technology-based strategies.

IT for development requires emancipatory and participatory sustainable development projects that value and include indigenous knowledge and peoples in the IT design, development, and implementation processes. Research shows how indigenous knowledge has been combined with IT to enhance farming practices (Puri and Sahay, 2003; Smidt and Jokonya, 2022) and identify high-risk areas in low- and middle-income countries (Membele et al., 2022). Indigenous knowledge has also been combined with IT to improve contextual seasonal forecasts (Streefkerk et al., 2022). Other studies have investigated how IT can help to preserve and disseminate indigenous knowledge (Gomez et al., 2019) and sustain Indigenous cultures (Simons et al., 2020). Still, research on the relationships between indigenous knowledge and IT design, development and implementation is scarce (Myers et al., 2020), especially as it relates to the achievement of the SDGs (Prieto-Egido et al., 2022). In addition, indigenous peoples and their knowledge continue to be systemically discriminated against due to colonization (Bastien et al., 2022; Khene and Masiero, 2022).

Aims and Scope

This Special Issue aims to stimulate rigorous scientific research on the role of indigenous knowledge in IT for sustainable development. Heading into the critical second half of the SDG 2030 agenda, this Special Issue focuses on how to leverage and integrate indigenous knowledge to increase the contribution of IT solutions to the achievement of the SDGs. It aspires to demonstrate how strengthening the involvement of indigenous peoples, local communities, and their knowledge can influence the impacts of IT-based development strategies that meet the needs of poor and marginalized communities. Thus, we welcome papers that reveal the positive and/or negative aspects of associating indigenous knowledge and IT for sustainable development.

Topics of submission include, but are not limited to:

  • Respecting or discriminating indigenous knowledge and organizations in IT for sustainable development projects.
  • Indigenous knowledge and IT for poverty eradication.
  • Indigenous knowledge and digital health.
  • Indigenous knowledge and IT for quality education.
  • Indigenous knowledge and IT for gender equality and women empowerment.
  • Indigenous knowledge and IT for community projects (e.g., agriculture, water, and energy management)
  • Indigenous knowledge and IT for environmental protection.
  • Indigenous knowledge and IT for economic development (e.g., financial inclusion, circular economy, tourism).
  • Indigenous knowledge and IT for better local governance.

This Special Issue welcomes papers from all disciplines and encourages multidisciplinary that apply quantitative, qualitative, design science or mixed-methods research approaches.

Submission Instructions


  • Deadline for submission: 15 January 2024
  • Notification of initial acceptance: 31 March 2024
  • Deadline for revised papers: 30 June 2024
  • Notification of final acceptance: 30 September 2024
  • Tentative publication date: December 2024

Paper Submission Instructions and review process

This Special Issue will consist of: (1) the best submissions from an open Call for Papers, selected on a competitive basis; and (2) invited papers that are extended or modified versions of selected papers accepted at the IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society 2023  (, Swansea, Wales. In the latter case, the conference publication must be substantially revised, and the authors must submit a letter detailing the differences between their conference paper and the new version. All submitted and invited papers will go through peer review; if an invited conference paper does not receive a satisfactory review, the paper will not be considered for the Special Issue. Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit original papers using the journal submission and reviewing website Detailed submission guidelines can be found at

Submitted papers should follow the instructions for authors and indicate the "Indigenous knowledge and Information Technology for Sustainable Development" Special Issue when uploading their papers. Submissions to the Special Issue should be full research papers or practice papers. Each submitted paper will be peer-reviewed like other submissions to the Journal of IT for Development. Relevance, quality, and originality of the contribution are the major acceptance criteria for each submission. Each submitted paper must contain original results and must not be submitted elsewhere while being evaluated.

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