A Master of Science thesis in Engineering Systems Management by Maryam Raji entitled, "An ANP Approach for Selecting a Sustainable Learning Technology Intervention for Development," submitted in June 2013. Thesis advisor is Dr. Imran Zualkernan. Available are both soft and hard copies of the thesis.
Governments in developing countries and their donors waste a significant amount of resources on non-sustainable initiatives in the name of development. Educational expenditure is no exception. For example, vast sums are wasted on technology-enhanced educational interventions that are not sustainable due to a variety of factors including lack of appropriate resources, non-acceptance by teachers, poor training, politics and cultural taboos. This thesis considers the problem of selection of a sustainable learning technology intervention (LTI) for a typical developing country. The thesis develops a unique decision framework for undertaking such a selection by combining 'soft' and 'hard' decision analysis techniques. The selection problem is modelled as a multi-criteria decision making problem (MCDM), and a combination of the Future Search Conference Technique and the Analytic Network Process (ANP) is used to develop a decision tool for selecting the most sustainable LTI for a developing country. The decision tool was applied in a developing country where multiple stakeholders including teachers, educational administrators, key government officials, representatives of donor agencies, and leaders of non-governmental organisations and their implementation partners participated. Detailed analysis was conducted of the individual opinions of various stakeholders followed by a quantitative analysis of their opinions using the ANP. Interesting differences emerged representing the diverse viewpoints of the various stakeholders. Finally, the responses were combined using the geometric mean approach, and a collective decision response for this community was generated. The analysis revealed that of the various LTIs considered like use of mobile phones, MOOCS, and online tutoring, school on wheels was the most sustainable LTI in the collective opinion of all the stakeholders.