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Case studies of Kenyan digital villages with a focus on women and girls
Stockholms universitet, Institutionen för data- och systemvetenskap.
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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 3, no 1, 255-273 p.
Keyword [en]
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: urn:nbn:se:rkh:diva-1852OAI: oai:DiVA.org:rkh-1852DiVA: diva2:813057
Available from: 2014-05-05 Created: 2015-05-13 Last updated: 2015-05-21Bibliographically 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:rkh:diva-1842 (URN)978-91-7447-879-2 (ISBN)
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

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