Weaving the “mobile web” in the context of ICT4D: A preliminary exploration of the state of the art



This paper considers the recent development-related initiatives championed by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). More specifically, it examines the mandate of the Mobile Web Initiative (MWI) and Mobile Web for Social Development (MW4D) interest group with respect to their connections with the broader Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) movement, and, to a lesser extent, the concurrent focus on Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS). Through a close review and discussion of the technical literature, and an evocation of critical perspectives related to ICT4D, foundational material is introduced towards considering the emancipatory potential of these initiatives as a core research question. Ultimately, it is argued (albeit tentatively given the evolving nature of these very-current projects) that this work remains important to the research community, but its integration within the broader agenda for international development requires further consideration. Accordingly, the paper concludes with a series of questions that can further inform research in this field.