Theory of change: Driving a digital school in rural Pakistan


  • Ashir Ahmed Swinburne University of Technology
  • Jason Sargent Swinburne University of Technology



Digital literacy, Theory of Change, Case study


This paper reports the findings of the initial phase of a longitudinal study that aims to investigate barriers to digital literacy in rural Pakistan. The research employs the Theory of Change to plan various stages of a digital literacy program for young children living in a remote area of Pakpattan, Pakistan. A Digital Access Vehicle (DAVe) was deployed as an innovative tool to introduce digital literacy for those who were unable to travel to the project’s NGO partner headquarters to access DAVe’s array of digital technologies. An interpretive case study approach is used to perform in-depth analysis of the subject under investigation by conducting one-on-one interviews and focus groups with key informants. The contributions of this research are twofold: (a) it operationalizes the Theory of Change to systematically plan a social impact project in a resource-constrained developing country; and (b) it creates a better understanding of barriers hindering digital literacy of young children in rural areas of a developing country such as Pakistan.

Author Biographies

Ashir Ahmed, Swinburne University of Technology

Ashir Ahmed, PhD Senior Lecturer, Media Data Analytics School of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities

Jason Sargent, Swinburne University of Technology

Lecturer in information systems and Co-Director of the Information Systems for Social Impact Research Group in the Swinburne Business School at the Swinburne University of Technology




How to Cite

Ahmed, A., & Sargent, J. (2021). Theory of change: Driving a digital school in rural Pakistan. First Monday, 26(9).