Behind the Scenes: Research Methodology and Analytical Framework

Behind the Scenes: Research Methodology and Analytical Framework

Ricardo Gomez (University of Washington, USA), Kemly Camacho (Cooperativa Sulá Batsú, Costa Rica) and Elizabeth Gould (University of Washington, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-771-5.ch010
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This chapter describes how the global Landscape Study was designed and carried out. The Landscape Study informs all the findings and results presented in this volume. The authors describe here the criteria for the country selection and selection of local research partners in each country, the procedures and instruments for data collection, the way we analyzed the data, and some of the limitations of the study.
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Country Selection

This international study aimed to understand the landscape of public access to ICT in a variety of contexts around the world, focused on “middle of the pyramid” (Prahalad, 2006) countries, and especially on countries with existing public library systems. The country selection went through a series of filters based on demographic data, feasibility criteria, and ranking criteria,2 as described in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

Country Selection Criteria

The first filter used publicly available demographic data to reduce the total 237 countries and territories around the world to a subset of 90 countries:

  • Remove all small countries with populations under 1 million, as well as countries with most population (China and India)

  • Remove all countries with highest per capita income (over $11,116)

  • Remove all countries with lowest Human Development Index (HDI below 0.5)3

The second filter used publicly available data to exclude countries where freedom of expression or political unrest could undermine conducting independent research, bringing the subset of countries to research down to 74:

  • Remove countries with limited freedom of expression (Freedom House Index over 6.5)4

  • Remove countries with political unrest or security issues (US Department of State travel advisories)5

The third filter used publicly available data to rank countries according to needs and readiness criteria. This filter involved creating two composite indices using available data as proxies to help measure what we called information needs and readiness in each country, particularly in relation to ICT use.

  • Needs criteria:

Inequality: Income inequality was used as a proxy indicator for measures such as geography, ethnicity, and gender inequalities, where greater inequality suggested greater potential need for public ICT access (Gini index (2006) from United Nations Development Program6).

ICT usage: Internet users per capita was used as a proxy indicator for ICT use within a country, where lower ICT usage indicated greater potential need for public ICT access (Data from CIA World Factbook (2007)7).

ICT cost: Lowest broadband cost as a percentage of monthly income was used as a proxy indicator for ICT cost, where higher ICT cost suggested greater potential need for public ICT access (Data from International Telecommunications Union’s World Information Society Report (2006)8).

  • Readiness criteria:

Politics: Eight expert-survey-based indices were used, including: government prioritization of ICT, importance of ICT to government’s vision of the future, government success in ICT promotion, intensity of local market competition, freedom of the press, corruption perceptions, government effectiveness, and regulatory qualities, where each index served as a proxy indicator to evaluate multiple dimensions of political support and policies, while also suggesting greater potential readiness for public ICT access (Listed in order, data from: World Economic Forum Global Information Technology Report (2006),9 Transparency International (2007),10 World Bank Worldwide Governance Indicators (2006)11).

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Ricardo Gomez
Chapter 1
Melody Clark, Ricardo Gomez
In order to understand the implications of this study, it is important to understand the context in which it was conducted. Consequently, this book... Sample PDF
Libraries, Telecenters and Cybercafés: A Comparison of Different Types of Public Access Venues
Chapter 2
Ricardo Gomez, Kemly Camacho
Who are the customers of public access venues, where do they come from, and what are their needs? In order to better understand the situation –... Sample PDF
Who Uses Public Access Venues?
Chapter 3
Elizabeth Gould, Ricardo Gomez
Building capacity for collecting content and enabling access to information by community members means training staff as well building their digital... Sample PDF
Infomediaries and Community Engagement are Key
Chapter 4
Ricardo Gomez, Elizabeth Gould
In this study, the authors found that trust is a key factor that drives people to actually make use of ICT in public access venues. Several factors... Sample PDF
Perceptions of Trust: Safety, Credibility, and “Cool”
Chapter 5
Melody Clark, Ricardo Gomez
To help frame their findings and discussion, the authors begin with a review of the existing published literature on user fees and other barriers to... Sample PDF
“Free” Service or “Good” Service: What Attracts Users To Public Access Computing Venues?
Chapter 6
Allison Terry, Ricardo Gomez
Studies show that due to systemic gender biases in the use of and access to ICTs and their applications, as well as socio-cultural norms that... Sample PDF
Gender and Public Access ICT
Chapter 7
Elizabeth Gould, Ricardo Gomez
Libraries play a central role as venues that offer public access to information. Increasingly, libraries in developing countries are offering access... Sample PDF
Challenges for Libraries in the Information Age
Chapter 8
Elizabeth Gould, Ricardo Gomez, Kemly Camacho
User information needs vary by geographic location as well as by economic and social standing, among other factors. These factors drive the format... Sample PDF
How do Public Access Venues Meet Information Needs in Underserved Communities?
Chapter 9
Ricardo Gomez
Throughout this book, we have detailed the profile of a public access venue user, discussed the role of venue staff in public access venues... Sample PDF
Success Factors for Public Access Computing: Beyond Anecdotes of Success
Chapter 10
Ricardo Gomez, Kemly Camacho, Elizabeth Gould
This chapter describes how the global Landscape Study was designed and carried out. The Landscape Study informs all the findings and results... Sample PDF
Behind the Scenes: Research Methodology and Analytical Framework
Chapter 11
Adrián Rozengardt, Susana Finquelievich
Public Access ICT in Argentina
Chapter 12
Marta Voelcker, Gabriel Novais
Public Access ICT in Brazil
Chapter 13
Adriana Sánchez, Kemly Camacho
Public Access ICT in Costa Rica
Chapter 14
Luis Fernando Barón, Mónica Valdés
Public Access ICT in Colombia
Chapter 15
Francia Alfaro, José Pablo Molina, Kemly Camacho
Public Access ICT in Dominican Republic
Chapter 16
Katia Sotomayor, Juan Fernando Bossio
Public Access ICT in Ecuador
Chapter 17
Melissa Arias, Kemly Camacho
Public Access ICT in Honduras
Chapter 18
Public Access ICT in Peru  (pages 228-248)
Juan Fernando Bossio, Katia Sotomayor, Erick Iriarte
Public Access ICT in Peru
Chapter 19
Ananya Raihan
Public Access ICT in Bangladesh
Chapter 20
Rohit Kumar Nepali, Bibhusan Bista
Public Access ICT in Nepal
Chapter 21
Maria Juanita R. Macapagal, Mina Lyn C. Peralta
Public Access ICT in Philippines
Chapter 22
Ibrahim Kushchu
Public Access ICT in Malaysia
Chapter 23
Ibrahim Kushchu
Public Access ICT in Indonesia
Chapter 24
Andrew P. Beklemishev
Public Access ICT in Kazakhstan
Chapter 25
Tracey Naughton, Lkhagvasuren Ariunaa
Public Access ICT in Kyrgyzstan
Chapter 26
Tracey Naughton, Ondine Ullman
Public Access ICT in Mongolia
Chapter 27
OPINIA Independent Sociological and Information Service
Public Access ICT in Moldova
Chapter 28
Public Access ICT in Georgia
Chapter 29
Leelangi Wanasundera
Public Access ICT in Sri Lanka
Chapter 30
Tina James, Alan Finlay, Michael Jensen, Mark Neville, Rasagee Pillay
Public Access ICT in South Africa
Chapter 31
Tina James, Milton Louw
Public Access ICT in Namibia
Chapter 32
Ndaula Sulah
Public Access ICT in Uganda
Chapter 33
Yahia Bakelli
Public Access ICT in Algeria
Chapter 34
Nayer Wanas
Public Access ICT in Egypt
Chapter 35
Ibrahim Kushchu
Public Access ICT in Turkey
About the Contributors