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Telecentre approaches in Cameroon and Kenya illuminated using behavioural archaeology
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Computer and Systems Sciences.
2012 (English)In: The African Journal of Information and Communication, ISSN 2077-7213, no 12, 48-64 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Throughout the last decade, telecentres have provided access to electronic communications as supporting information and communications technology infrastructure for community, economic, educational and social development. While the origins of telecentres can be traced to Europe's tele-cottage and Community Technology Centers in the United States in the 1980s, telecentres have taken on a number of varying forms and approaches. This article illuminates approaches used by telecentre projects in Kenya and Cameroon using behavioural archaeology. Literature stresses that behavioural archaeology refers to understanding the artefact as a tool in human activity and technology as the embodiment of human activity in the artefact. Application of the concept to understanding telecentres sheds light on the nature of the use of technology that leads to the existence of particular results or societal outcomes. Using a qualitative methodology, managers, local contractors, and technicians at local telecentres were interviewed. The results show differing approaches to telecentres purpose and design. In Kenya, the focus is on e-government services, whilst in Cameroon it is on conflict solving among different tribes. In its use of behavioural archaeology, this article adds a new perspective to the challenges of making information and communications technology and electronic media available in resource-poor environments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. no 12, 48-64 p.
Keyword [en]
Behavioural archaeology, Cameroon, Kenya, digital villages, electronic communications, ICT infrastructure, resource-poor environments, telecentres
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-79528OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-79528DiVA: diva2:549733
Note

Thematic issue on 'Perspective on a Decade of e-Government in Africa'. Section I: Themes And Approaches To Inform E -Strategies

Available from: 2012-09-05 Created: 2012-09-05 Last updated: 2014-05-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Lifelong learning: The social impact of digital villages as community resource centres on disadvantaged women
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Lifelong learning: The social impact of digital villages as community resource centres on disadvantaged women
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this research was to enhance the understanding of what affects the social impact of ICT in lifelong learning on disadvantaged women.

In contributing to the field of social informatics, this research employs behavioural theories as strategy and analytic possibilities. This research mainly used the Kenyan digital villages as CRCs as settings but did also look beyond such establishments to provide a more solid picture. The studies were located in Kenya with complementary studies in Bolivia, Cameroon, Sri Lanka, and Sweden. The main strategies and methods used were case study, comparative education approaches, and observations and interviewing techniques.

The findings suggest that ICT and CRCs have the potential to support disadvantaged women and their lifelong learning. However, the positive social impacts are limited because the arrangement of them generally does not favour vernacular languages, illiterate users, female owners and users, or non-students. In general, the use of ICT was sometimes perceived as forced, which is both a barrier and a stressor in the use of ICT in lifelong learning. It also emerged from the comparative studies that discussions among the participants in the CRCs largely covered issues in respect to 1) family and reproduction and 2) self-esteem, i.e. what settles the matter of the social impact of ICT in lifelong learning depends on change attitude among men and women. With minimal if not zero self-esteem a change that would make the difference or break a woman’s “legendary status quo” in order for a woman to feel that she can reach her goal or ambitions in lifelong learning would be difficult. Hence the lack of self-esteem is a stressor in itself.

This research is valuable for stakeholders delving into issues of development and learning using ICTs, not only in Kenya but in a broader, global perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, Stockholm University, 2014. 152 p.
Series
Report Series / Department of Computer & Systems Sciences, ISSN 1101-8526 ; 14-007
Keyword
community resource centre, digital village, disadvantaged women, lifelong learning, social change, social impact, social informatics, stressor, telecentre
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-103115 (URN)978-91-7447-879-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-06-05, sal A, Forum, Isafjordsgatan 39, Kista, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following paper was unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 6: Submitted.

Available from: 2014-05-14 Created: 2014-05-05 Last updated: 2014-06-04Bibliographically approved

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