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The use of notebooks by Bangladeshi rural women to preserve information

Viviane Frings-Hessami (Monash University, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 22 December 2022

Issue publication date: 31 May 2023




This article uses continuum theory to analyse how Bangladeshi rural women who participated in an information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) project accessed and preserved information during and after the end of the project.


Semi-structured interviews were conducted over the phone with a sample of the project participants two years after the end of the ICT4D project, and a survey of all the participants in one village was conducted face-to-face by one of the project participants using a questionnaire developed by the author.


The majority of the participants used paper notebooks to write down information that they received in digital format during the project as a guarantee against the fragility of digital data and continued to use them to access and preserve information after the end of the project.

Practical implications

The author suggests that the application of proactive appraisal during the planning stage and throughout ICT4D projects can ensure that the longer-term needs of the communities for information and their capacities to use specific formats will be considered.


The author applies the continuum theory concept of proactive appraisal to the use of information in an ICT4D context and argues that it can help with assessing the information needs of marginalised communities and the technologies and formats that should be used to ensure that the information provided to them will remain accessible for as long as they need it.



Funding: This research was supported by a DECRA fellowship from the Australian Research Council (DE210100012).


Frings-Hessami, V. (2023), "The use of notebooks by Bangladeshi rural women to preserve information", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 79 No. 4, pp. 988-1005.



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