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Lifelong learning: The social impact of digital villages as community resource centres on disadvantaged women
Stockholms universitet, Institutionen för data- och systemvetenskap.
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 [en]
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: urn:nbn:se:rkh:diva-1842ISBN: 978-91-7447-879-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:rkh-1842DiVA: diva2:813047
Public defence
2014-06-05, sal A, Forum, Isafjordsgatan 39, 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: 2015-05-21 Created: 2015-05-13 Last updated: 2015-05-21Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Recognising Local Experiences for the Success of Vision 2030 in Kenya: Using Pen-Pals in Education as a Case
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Recognising Local Experiences for the Success of Vision 2030 in Kenya: Using Pen-Pals in Education as a Case
2011 (English)In: Journal of Education and Vocational Research, ISSN 2221-2590, Vol. 2, no 3, 99-115 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study takes account of the everyday-life experience of a group of women in a resource-poor environment in Kenya. They are part of a group that the Kenyan Government wants to include in their investments in order to enhance social and economic equality. The overall purpose of the study is to learn about the potential impact of such investments on women in resource-poor environments in Kenya. In fulfilling its purpose the study takes into consideration (1) experiences of everyday-life among women in Lunga-Lunga and (2) maps strategies to recognise these experiences. The results of the study are expected to be fruitful as regards planning strategies that are of use for Vision 2030 and the development of Kenyan society. The study was carried out in two steps: the first consisted in participatory action research and the second was a follow-up study. To guide the study the notion of ‘experience’ is critical. During sessions and in letters to their pen-pals, the women express feelings regarding cultural, family, and health issues. For instance, some of the feelings experienced have arisen because the women are isolated from the larger world outside their own immediate environment and lack literacy skills. The study will be useful in planning governmental actions that strive to better recognise and educate citizens–especially women–in resource-poor environments.

Keyword
everyday-life, gender, lifelong learning, literacy, non-formal education, rural development
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:rkh:diva-1845 (URN)
Available from: 2015-05-13 Created: 2015-05-13 Last updated: 2015-05-21Bibliographically approved
2. Case studies of Kenyan digital villages with a focus on women and girls
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Case studies of Kenyan digital villages with a focus on women and girls
2011 (English)In: Journal of Language, Technology & Entrepreneurship in Africa, ISSN 1998-1279, Vol. 3, no 1, 255-273 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present article refers to a case study on the Kenyan Government’s Digital Villages Project (DVP). The Kenyan Government, together with external stakeholders and private contractors, is increasing their ICT investments to provide the entire population with information and communication regardless of demographic factors. In the Kenyan context, digital villages are what normally other countries refer to as telecentres, i.e. a centre that provides services with regard to Internet and telecommunication. In this case, the digital villages also offer education, learning, and e-Government. The present study wants to learn whether DVP is accessible, and appropriate to women and girls in resource-poor environments and, thus, successful. The following questions guided the study: 1. Who are the users of Pasha Centres? 2. How and for what purposes are Pasha Centres used? 3. In what way do Pasha Centres consider local needs (e.g. education, literacy, job, and diversity)? 4. What do users and managers do to encourage female users? The study is built upon observations and interviews. The results show that male users generally believe that women have a lack of knowledge and understanding of ICT. The results also show that what is said by the government is not fully implemented at the local levels. The authors believe, despite this, that DVP has the potential to serve the population in vulnerable areas and that the government should continue focusing on similar projects.

Keyword
digital village, gender, ICT-service, Kenya, lifelong learning, resource-poor environment
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:rkh:diva-1852 (URN)
Available from: 2014-05-05 Created: 2015-05-13 Last updated: 2015-05-21Bibliographically approved
3. The Kenyan 'Digital Villages Project' from a behavioural perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Kenyan 'Digital Villages Project' from a behavioural perspective
2011 (English)In: 2011 International Conference on Advances in ICT for Emerging Regions (ICTer), IEEE Computer Society Digital Library , 2011, 71-76 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This reflective paper sheds light on the Kenyan Government’s Digital Villages Project. The project strives to decrease the disparities between urban and rural environments across the country using information and communications technologies. The structure of the project is inspired by the Capability Maturity Model. This paper proposes the use of behavioural archaeology instead. The use of behavioural archaeology enables important aspects and results of the project to be illuminated and captured. In addition a specific focus is placed upon the political implications of the project and their effect on rural Kenya.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE Computer Society Digital Library, 2011
Keyword
behavioural archaeology, CMM, telecentre, models
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:rkh:diva-1843 (URN)10.1109/ICTer.2011.6075029 (DOI)978-1-4577-1113-8 (ISBN)
Conference
2011 International Conference on Advances in ICT for Emerging Regions (ICTer), 1-2 Sept. 2011, Colombo
Available from: 2011-10-20 Created: 2015-05-13 Last updated: 2015-05-21Bibliographically approved
4. Telecentre approaches in Cameroon and Kenya illuminated using behavioural archaeology
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Telecentre approaches in Cameroon and Kenya illuminated using behavioural archaeology
2012 (English)In: The African journal of information and communication, ISSN 2077-7205, E-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.

Keyword
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:nbn:se:rkh:diva-1847 (URN)
Note

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

Available from: 2015-05-13 Created: 2015-05-13 Last updated: 2015-05-21Bibliographically approved
5. Constrains of ICT in Lifelong Learning on Disadvantaged Women
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Constrains of ICT in Lifelong Learning on Disadvantaged Women
2014 (English)In: Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, ISSN 1681-4835, Vol. 61, no 8, 1-14 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper draws attention to the urgency of taking into consideration women’s gender-specific needs and interests in the implementation of community-based ICT projects in lifelong learning. We set out this research to understand the constraints of information and communications technology (ICT) in lifelong learning on disadvantaged women. National statistics and data from field studies were used. The constraints and their consequences at national level are often a result of national policies and regulations – or lack thereof – while the constraints and their consequences at local/regional level involve everyday-life occurrences that are present in women's immediate surroundings. Hence, an understanding of both levels is critical. This research is valuable for stakeholders delving into issues of development intervention using ICTs, not only in Kenya but in a broader, global perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Hongkong: City University of Hong Kong Press, 2014
Keyword
ICT, lifelong learning, women, community resource centres, comparative education
National Category
Information Systems
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:rkh:diva-1848 (URN)
Available from: 2014-10-31 Created: 2015-05-13 Last updated: 2015-05-21Bibliographically approved
6. Integration and lifelong learning: immigrant women's reasoning and use of information and technologies in lifelong learning
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Integration and lifelong learning: immigrant women's reasoning and use of information and technologies in lifelong learning
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:rkh:diva-1850 (URN)
Available from: 2014-05-05 Created: 2015-05-13 Last updated: 2015-05-21Bibliographically approved

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