Prof Richard Heeks - Personal details
Richard Heeks is Professor of Development Informatics in the Institute for Development Policy and Management, part of the School of Environment and Development. He is Director of the Centre for Development Informatics.
Following a period of work as a programmer for ICL, Richard studied for a BA/MA in Natural Sciences from Cambridge, and then taught science in a rural school in Nigeria. He worked as a researcher at the Universities of Leicester and Loughborough, gaining an MPhil for his study of personal information systems. Richard then undertook an ESRC/SERC-sponsored PhD at the Open University on the Indian software industry. Following his doctorate, Richard joined the University of Manchester to teach, research and consult on "development informatics" - the relation between information and communication technologies (ICTs) and international development.
He is one of the pre-eminent and highly-cited academics in the emerging sub-discipline of "ICT4D" - ICTs for Development, and has written six books, more than 30 refereed articles, and over 100 other papers and reports. He has accepted invitations to be associate editor for key journals in the field combined with editorial board membership for four further journals, including special responsibility for emerging markets and globalisation for Communications of the ACM. He has edited five journal special issues that have contributed to foundational theorisation of ICT4D. Richard has organised two international conferences and four international conference tracks, and he is a regular invited speaker to international conferences including events such as the World Summit on the Information Society, and GK3.
He has acted as an external degree examiner in the ICT4D field at universities in Europe, Africa and Asia; and as a research assessor for bodies such as the US National Science Foundation, ESRC, Nuffield and Leverhulme. Complementing this have been more than twenty advisory activities on ICT4D for bodies such as the UK Dept. for International Development, GTZ, IDRC and UNIDO. Richard is also ICT4D advisor for Zunia (Development Gateway) and for the British Council, and convenes the UK Development Studies Association's specialist group on Information, Technology and Development.
Richard has been project leader on five major international research contracts, with grants totalling more than £600,000 and coordinating the work of partner organisations in Africa, Asia and Latin America. He is responsible for the creation of five new postgraduate programmes, including the world's first Masters in ICTs for Development and the distance learning MSc in Management and Information Systems.