Prof Richard Heeks

Professor of Development Informatics

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Postgraduate Masters students work with me on one of the three programmes that are the main focus for my teaching and supervision: MSc ICTs for DevelopmentMSc Management & Information Systems; and MSc Management & Information Systems by distance learning.  On occasions, this leads to joint publication of research papers.

Doctoral (PhD or DBA) study opportunities fall within the general areas of research covered by the Centre for Development Informatics or the more specific areas described in my own “Research and projects” tab.

Current topics of interest relate to aspects of “Development 2.0” (ICT-enabled transformation of development processes and structures):

1. e-Sustainability:
- ICTs and resilience
- Sustainability of ICT4D projects (extending and deepening the design-reality gap model)

2. New Digital Economy:
- New IT-based inclusive business models (IT impact sourcing; sharing economy; platform cooperativism; etc)
- Digital enterprise (IT offshoring; digital start-ups; IT sector/enterprise success models; grey/virtual economy digital enterprise; etc)
- Digital labour (online outsourcing, informal sector IT work)

3. Data-Intensive Development:
- Data revolution (big / real-time / open data inc. open development)
- Data justice
- Data science methods for development

4. New Digital Politics:
- ICTs confronting authoritarianism and fundamentalism
- ICTs and tax justice
- ICTs and political empowerment

We always welcome ideas for other doctoral study topics which fall within the area of development informatics and which meet our research criteria of originality, rigour and significance.

In methodological terms, we are keen to encourage work that incorporates some quantitative aspects, and which takes a critical realist approach, but we support a wide range of approaches.

You are welcome to make a first approach to discuss doctoral study via email –  To apply for doctoral study, see the University’s PhD application page.