Planning and evaluating ICT in education programs using the four dimensions of sustainability: A program evaluation from Egypt
This paper presents the findings from a program evaluation of an ICT in education project within the USAID-funded Girls Improved Learning Outcomes (GILO) program. The evaluation uses a framework of four dimensions of ICT sustainability to examine the appropriateness of the design and implementation of the project, which provided simple, relevant technology to 166 schools in Upper Egypt. Project implementation, as described in this article, was carried out with a view towards both rapid and efficient rollout and long-term sustainability. The evaluation study aimed to determine the extent to which the ICT component inputs were still in place and being used by the school and community one year after direct project support had ended. The findings suggest that ICT in education projects must favor neither the hardware nor the pedagogical aspects of the technology. Instead they layer the pedagogical use of technology on top of a deliberate technology infrastructure. The technical and pedagogical aspects of the program should be treated as two distinct efforts with separate, but complementary goals. Paying attention to social, political, economic, and technological dimensions during the process can make a difference in sustainability and, ultimately, success of the initiative.