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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

Keywords

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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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2012

Wallace Chigona, Johannes Willem Vergeer and Andile Simphiwe Metfula

This study aims to analyse how the media plays its role in the information communications technology (ICT) debate in a developing country context, by way of analysing the

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyse how the media plays its role in the information communications technology (ICT) debate in a developing country context, by way of analysing the media discourse surrounding the South African Broadband Policy.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a critical approach and uses critical discourse analysis, employing Habermas's theory of communicative action. Data for the study include the media reports on the South African Broadband Policy.

Findings

It is noted that: the media discourse was systematically distorted; the discourse was driven mainly by the government; and many actors were systematically excluded from the discourse, or opted not to engage in the debate. The low‐income category, the very group that should benefit from the policy, was excluded from the debate. The study notes further that the status of key actors in the policy affected the media's perception of the policy.

Originality/value

To increase the chances of success for policy, there is a need to include all stakeholders in the policy debate. This study notes how some actors were left out, and how others opted not to engage in the debate, which points to the need for strategies to promote participation in policy debate. It is noted, too, that the distortions could have resulted from lack of skills in the media, the enhancement of which could address the problem.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 20 June 2012

Alison Gillwald

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Abstract

Details

info, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6697

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