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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2019

Grace E.P. Msoffe and Edda Tandi Lwoga

This study aims to investigate the use of mobile phones in enhancing human capabilities and agricultural development among small-scale farmers in selected rural districts…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the use of mobile phones in enhancing human capabilities and agricultural development among small-scale farmers in selected rural districts of Tanzania. The study assessed the potential capabilities acquired by farmers, factors that influence farmers in building their capabilities and achieving development outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used Sen’s capability approach as a guiding framework to investigate the link between mobile phones and agricultural development. A case study design was employed whereby focus group discussions were used to collect data.

Findings

The use of mobile phone services enabled rural farmers to build their financial, human and social capabilities. Rural farmers faced personal and non-personal conversion factors that influenced them in building capabilities and achieving development outcomes. The use of mobile phones led to various development outcomes. The typical development outcomes were related to access to information and communication services and reduction of transport costs. Rural farmers experienced family conflicts due to protectiveness exercised by couples through the use of mobile phones, criminal incidences such as theft and the fear of being recorded when making a phone call.

Originality/value

The study findings have the potential of influencing policy and practice. The findings are useful in promoting the value of mobile phones usage in empowering rural farmers and communities. The telecommunication sector and other key stakeholders can use the study findings in setting the basis for prioritising the improvement of telecommunication infrastructure in the rural areas.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. 68 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

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Article
Publication date: 27 June 2019

Edda Tandi Lwoga

The purpose of this study sought to determine the characteristics that distinguish online from offline information seekers among people living with human immunodeficiency…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study sought to determine the characteristics that distinguish online from offline information seekers among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (PLHIV) in selected regional hospitals of Tanzania.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaire-based survey was conducted among 341 adults with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection attending the HIV clinics in the regional referral hospitals in Mwanza, Mbeya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The study used multivariate logistic regressions to determine factors that distinguish online HIV information seekers from offline HIV information seekers.

Findings

One in every five survey participants sought online HIV information (19.6 per cent, n = 67). Both higher level of education (odds ratio (OR) = 1.765, 95 per cent confidence interval (CI) = 1.208-2.58) and intention to use internet in future (OR = 1.566, 95 per cent CI 1.148-2.136) were predictors of online HIV information seeking behaviour at multivariate analysis. Respondents who sought online information reported to have gained knowledge such as; to understand their conditions better (77.4 per cent, n = 41) and understand information received from health care workers (66 per cent, n = 35), as well as acquisition of health promoting behaviour such as; asking questions during doctor’s visit (55 per cent, n = 35) and consulting a clinician when they have problems (64.3 per cent, n = 33). The offline HIV information seekers (n = 274) did not use internet due to lack of information seeking skills (44.3 per cent, n = 113) and lack of access to internet connectivity (30.2 per cent, n = 77).

Originality/value

This is a comprehensive study that differentiates online from offline HIV information seekers in the context of sub-Saharan Africa. The results suggest that interventions to improve online access information will empower patients and probably positively affect their health knowledge and health promoting behaviours.

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Article
Publication date: 11 February 2020

Edda Tandi Lwoga and Wallace Chigona

This study aims to assess the contribution of telecenters in expanding the capabilities of rural women to achieve their development outcomes in three rural districts in Tanzania.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to assess the contribution of telecenters in expanding the capabilities of rural women to achieve their development outcomes in three rural districts in Tanzania.

Design/methodology/approach

The study conducted 12 focus group discussions with 37 rural women users and 36 rural women non-users of telecenters and semi-structured interviews with telecenter managers in the selected districts. The framework for the study is based on Sen’s capability approach.

Findings

The study noted that telecenters may enable rural women to build some capabilities (social, financial, human and political capabilities), and inhibit others, resulting in diverse development outcomes, based on the choices made and conversion factors. These conversion factors included institutional factors (inadequate computers, space and personnel, unreliable electrical power and slow internet connectivity) and individual factors (multiple responsibilities, status, low-level of education, language barrier, lack of information and communication technology (ICT) skills and technology efficacy and inability to afford ICT short courses). Other conversion factors (e.g. availability of affordable ICTs) enabled rural women to build their capabilities.

Originality/value

This is a comprehensive study that provides findings for rural telecenters to plan and allow rural women to expand their capabilities and achieve their development goals in Tanzania or other settings with similar conditions.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. 69 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2018

Edda Tandi Lwoga and Wallace Chigona

This paper aims to assess the usage pattern of telecentres, how rural women frame telecentres and barriers that limit use of telecentres. Further, the study examined the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to assess the usage pattern of telecentres, how rural women frame telecentres and barriers that limit use of telecentres. Further, the study examined the effects of demographic characteristics and location on telecentre usage.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a sequential mixed research design in three rural districts surrounding telecentres: Kongwa, Sengerema and Kilosa districts. The study population comprised rural women who were users and non-users of telecentres. The study conducted six focus group discussions (FGDs) with 37 users and six FGDs with 36 non-users in the first phase of the study in 2014; questionnaires were administered to 90 users and 90 non-users in the second phase of the study in 2015.

Findings

The primary use of telecentres among users was to access internet (71.4 per cent, n = 60), followed by information and communication technology (ICT) training courses (63.1 per cent, n = 53) and secretarial purposes (63.1 per cent, n = 53). Rural women used internet for educational purposes, followed by news, information on health issues, job opportunities, social and entertainment issues. Rural women currently using internet were more likely to be better educated (ß = 1.926, p = 0.001) and have higher incomes (ß = 5.318, p = 0.021) at both bivariate and multivariate analysis. Users indicated that they faced the following barriers towards using telecentre: short duration of ICT training, frequent power outages, low speed of internet and few computers at the telecentres. Non-users were not using telecentres because of lack of ICT skills and language barriers.

Originality/value

This study provides empirical evidence to telecentres, libraries and other rural ICT initiatives to design rural ICT services that are gender-sensitive and demand-driven.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article
Publication date: 7 February 2018

Edda Tandi Lwoga and Felix Sukums

This paper aims to assess the usage behaviour of electronic resources (e-resources) among health sciences faculty and their level information literacy (IL) practices, and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to assess the usage behaviour of electronic resources (e-resources) among health sciences faculty and their level information literacy (IL) practices, and whether individual characteristics and IL skills can influence faculty member’s usage of e-resources at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (MUHAS).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted questionnaire surveys using a stratified random sampling technique to 135 faculty members at MUHAS between August and October 2016. The study used regression analysis to determine factors associated with the use of e-resources among faculty members at MUHAS.

Findings

In addition to Google search engine, Wikipedia and four scholarly databases and search engines, the level of awareness of other 19 scholarly databases and search engines which are either subscribed or open access resources was less than 50 per cent. In addition to Google search engine, Wikipedia and five scholarly databases and search engines, the self-reported usage of other 18 scholarly databases and search engines was less than 50 per cent on the on “daily” and “weekly” categories. In total, 18 of the 32 IL competencies were rated below 50 per cent in the “good” grade by the faculty members. These IL competencies included information search techniques, reference management, critical appraisal and Web 2.0 technologies. The IL competencies (ß = 0.223), an experience of using e-resources (ß = 0.222) and some research disciplines [nursing (ß = 0.191) and pharmacy (ß = 0.186)] positively predicted self-reported usage of e-resources among faculty members.

Originality/value

This is a comprehensive study that assesses the use patterns of e-resources across different health sciences disciplines in a university setting, and the influence of demographic characteristics and IL skills on the usage of e-resources in Tanzania. The results of this study will be useful to academic libraries to inform and review their policies and practices in relation to the IL training programmes and information services in a university setting.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. 67 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

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Article
Publication date: 19 February 2018

Edda Tandi Lwoga and Alfred Said Sife

The purpose of this paper is to assess whether quality antecedents and individual characteristics can influence faculty members’ continued usage intention of electronic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess whether quality antecedents and individual characteristics can influence faculty members’ continued usage intention of electronic resources (e-resources) in selected public universities in Tanzania.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 204 faculty members participated in the study from three public universities in Tanzania. The study used structural equation modelling, ANOVA and t-tests to perform analyses.

Findings

Better educated and middle-aged faculty members with a wide experience of using e-resources are more likely to continue using e-resources. Information quality had positive relationship with continued usage intention of e-resources while service quality had indirect impact to continued usage intention through information quality and system quality.

Originality/value

Based on the DeLone and McLean information systems success model, this study integrates quality factors (information, service and system quality) and individual characteristics as antecedents to the continued usage intention of e-resources. The study comprehensively documents empirical findings on impacts of quality factors and individual characteristics on e-resources in a developing country. The study reveals results that are useful for enhancing usage of e-resources by faculty in other institutions with similar conditions.

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2017

Edda Tandi Lwoga, Tumaini Nagu and Alfred Said Sife

This paper aims to determine factors that influence people living with HIV (PLHIV) to engage in internet-based HIV information seeking behaviour in selected Tanzanian…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to determine factors that influence people living with HIV (PLHIV) to engage in internet-based HIV information seeking behaviour in selected Tanzanian public regional hospitals.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a questionnaire-based survey to 221 PLHIV in two regional public hospitals in Mwanza and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. They assessed the validity and reliability of the measurement model by using exploratory factor analysis and also used hierarchical regressions to examine the research hypotheses by using Statistical Package for Social Science.

Findings

The study found that there is low usage of internet (24.3 per cent) to search online HIV information. Factors related to attitude and information source accessibility predicted usage intentions of internet, while facilitating conditions, information source accessibility and usage intention of internet determined actual use of internet among PLHIV. Age moderated the effects of information source quality and social influence on usage intention of internet, and the effects of the information source accessibility and social influence on actual use of internet. The findings imply that younger PLHIV were more likely to use internet to access HIV information than the older respondents due to perceived ease of accessing information and quality of the online content. Further, older PLHIV were more influenced by the views of others when making decisions to use internet.

Practical implications

Health-care providers and libraries need to conduct regular studies on health needs of patients, and promote benefits of accessing online information; website designers need to design user-friendly databases; public libraries need to include a section on health information; hospital and public librarians need to provide catalogues of health information resources on their websites; and health-care providers need to improve technological infrastructure.

Originality/value

This is a comprehensive study that provides empirical findings to better understand the HIV information seeking behaviour from actual internet users, particularly factors that may influence PLHIV to seek online information in Tanzania.

Details

Journal of Systems and Information Technology, vol. 19 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1328-7265

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Alfred Said Sife and Edda Tandi Lwoga

This study aims to examine the availability and persistence of universal resource locators (URLs) cited in scholarly articles published in selected health journals based…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the availability and persistence of universal resource locators (URLs) cited in scholarly articles published in selected health journals based in East Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

Four health sciences online journals in East Africa were selected for this study. In this study, all Web citations in the selected journal articles covering the 2001-2015 period were extracted. This study explored the number of URLs used as citations, determined the rate of URLs’ loss, identified error messages associated with inaccessible URLs, identified the top domain levels of decayed URLs, calculated the half-life of the Web citations and determined the proportion of recovered URL citations through the Internet Wayback Machine.

Findings

In total, 822 articles were published between 2001 and 2015. There were in total 17,609 citations of which, only 574 (3.3 per cent) were Web citations. The findings show that 253 (44.1 per cent) Web citations were inaccessible and the “404 File Not Found” error message was the most (88.9 per cent) encountered. Top-level domains with country endings had the most (23.7 per cent) missing URLs. The average half-life for the URLs cited in journal articles was 10.5 years. Only 36 (6.3 per cent) Web references were recovered through the Wayback Machine.

Originality/value

This is a comprehensive study of East African health sciences online journals that provides findings that raises questions as to whether URLs should continue to be included as part of bibliographic details in the lists of references. It also calls for concerted efforts from various actors in overcoming the problem of URL decay.

Details

Information and Learning Science, vol. 118 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-5348

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Article
Publication date: 5 November 2014

Alfred Said Sife and Edda Tandi Lwoga

The purpose of this scientometric study was to conduct an analysis of the research productivity and scholarly impact of academic librarians in Tanzania for a period of 30…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this scientometric study was to conduct an analysis of the research productivity and scholarly impact of academic librarians in Tanzania for a period of 30 years from 1984 to 2013.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were obtained using the Publish or Perish software which uses Google Scholar to retrieve scholars’ publications, citations and related metrics. For each librarian, the retrieved metrics were the number of papers, papers per author, citation counts, average citations per paper, average papers per author, average citations per year, average citations per author and four indices, namely, the h-index, g-index, Hc-index and the HI-norm.

Findings

The study findings indicate that 434 publications were recorded for all librarians, giving an average of 14.5 publications per year. The year 2008 had the most (9.9 per cent) publications followed by 2010 (7.8 per cent), while the years 1985 and 1987 had the lowest (0.2 per cent) number of publications. About 43 per cent of the publications were single-authored and the degree of collaboration was 0.57. The top-ten ranked librarians contributed more than half (53.2 per cent) of all publications, although they showed considerable variation among different metrics. Only three journal articles had 25 or more citations.

Originality/value

Previous studies on the topic are scarce, and, therefore, this paper provides useful recommendations to library and information science (LIS) schools, libraries and universities to improve research productivity of their academic librarians in Tanzania and other countries with a similar setting.

Details

New Library World, vol. 115 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4803

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Article
Publication date: 24 May 2011

Edda Tandi Lwoga, Christine Stilwell and Patrick Ngulube

The purpose of this study is to assess access to and use of agricultural knowledge and information in the rural areas of Tanzania.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to assess access to and use of agricultural knowledge and information in the rural areas of Tanzania.

Design/methodology/approach

Mixed quantitative, qualitative and participatory methods were deployed. Semi‐structured interviews were used to collect qualitative and quantitative data from 181 farmers in six districts of Tanzania. Focus groups and participatory techniques (i.e. information mapping and linkage diagrams) were also used to collect qualitative data from 128 farmers in the same districts.

Findings

The results showed that deep, rich and complete data can be collected through the mixed quantitative, qualitative and participatory techniques. The findings demonstrated that the knowledge and information needs, and information‐seeking patterns of farmers were location specific. The major sources of information for farmers were predominantly local (neighbours, friends and family), followed by public extension services. Apart from radio and cell phones, advanced technologies (i.e. internet and e‐mail) and printed materials were used at a low rate despite their existence in the communities.

Research limitations/implications

The study necessitates a need to conduct regular studies on information needs, map communities' knowledge and information sources, create awareness of information sources and knowledge culture, use participatory methods in design and development of technologies and use multiple sources of knowledge and information (such as print and technologies) to deliver relevant information to farmers.

Originality/value

The study provides a deep understanding of access to and use of agricultural knowledge and information in the rural areas, which necessitates a need for demand‐led and client‐based knowledge and information services in order to meet the disparate farmers' needs. These findings can serve as an example for the increasing use of mixed quantitative, qualitative and participatory methods in information behavior research.

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