An Explorative Study of Dynamic Influences on ICT-Led Developmental Impact at Community Level

An Explorative Study of Dynamic Influences on ICT-Led Developmental Impact at Community Level

Mahfuz Ashraf (University of South Australia, Australia), Jo Hanisch (University of South Australia, Australia) and Paul Swatman (University of South Australia, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-713-3.ch003
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While there is hope that ICT interventions will lead to socio-economic development in developing countries, there is a dearth of research concerning ICT-led impact studies aiming to identify either potential or actual development at the community (individual/family/group) level in rural areas. This chapter presents an exploratory and interpretive study that investigates the human development perspective at the centre of the research. The authors present data gathered from a village in rural Bangladesh where an ICT intervention; namely Gonokendra (multi-purpose community access centre), has been incepted. From a thematic analysis of the data, issues such as access to technology/information; skills building; income opportunity; health/legal awareness; and gender implications, have emerged. This chapter concludes that development at the community level is a dynamic process emerging from the complex social interaction of actors’ (for eg individual, family/group and society) interests. The authors uncover that the interactions are further influenced by other dominant forces, including social constraints over individuals or family interests and decision making.
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It is argued that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) can contribute to development, especially in developing countries. Bearing this in mind, developing countries are implementing various ambitious ICT projects (also known as ICT for development/ICT4D projects) in rural areas, aiming to foster the socio-economic development of actual beneficiaries. However, the question remains unanswered: What are the influences of ICT4D projects on the socio-economic development of the actual beneficiaries in rural areas of developing countries? Unfortunately, little emphasis has been given to understanding the impact side (for example, users’ willingness and capacity to acquire/use services) compared with implementing the project (Ashraf, Hanisch & Swatman, 2006; Heeks, 2002). Few attempts have been undertaken to investigate impact (Harris, 2005; Madon, 2003; Sein & Harindranath, 2004; Selhofer & Hüsing, 2002; UNDP, 2004; UNESCO, 2005; Young, 1997) especially at national and organizational level, leaving a gap in understanding at the community or micro level.

This research is an attempt to fill this gap by addressing the above question in a particular social context of Bangladesh; one of the most densely populated developing countries in the World. The first National ICT policy, 2002 in Bangladesh had a clear vision and an agenda with regard to the national and rural socio-economic development, as described ‘…promote and facilitate use of ICT in all sectors of the economy for transparency, good governance and efficiency improvement’ (Gazette, 2002, section, 2.2.4).

Since then the Government of Bangladesh, along with donor agencies and NGOs, have initiated various ICT4D projects in rural areas. Therefore, it is important to understand the impact of such projects at the micro level in order to analyze the current status of such projects, providing guidance for future effort. This research seeks to contribute to this body of knowledge by understanding one particular ICT4D project namely ‘Gonokendra’ (multi-purpose community access centre) in a particular village of Bangladesh. Having established the rationale of this research, we turn to present a brief literature review of ICT4D that provides the foundations of this chapter.

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Ganesh P. Sahu, Yogesh K. Dwivedi, Vishanth Weerakkody
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Table of Contents
Marijn Janssen
Ganesh P. Sahu, Yogesh K. Dwivedi, Vishanth Weerakkody
Ganesh P. Sahu, Yogesh K. Dwivedi, Vishanth Weerakkody
Chapter 1
Bharat Maheshwari, Vinod Kumar, Uma Kumar, Vedmani Sharan
Electronic government (E-government) portals are considered one of the most popular conduits for offering government services online. Successful... Sample PDF
A Framework for E-Government Portal Development
Chapter 2
Petter Gottschalk
The mobilization of electronic information across government organizations has the potential of modernizing and transforming information exchanges.... Sample PDF
E-Government Interoperability: Frameworks for Aligned Development
Chapter 3
Mahfuz Ashraf, Jo Hanisch, Paul Swatman
While there is hope that ICT interventions will lead to socio-economic development in developing countries, there is a dearth of research concerning... Sample PDF
An Explorative Study of Dynamic Influences on ICT-Led Developmental Impact at Community Level
Chapter 4
Marc Holzer, Aroon Manoharan
The chapter is based on a study of global municipal Web portals conducted through a collaboration between the E-Governance Institute at... Sample PDF
Tracking the Digital Divide: Studying the Association of the Global Digital Divide with Societal Divide
Chapter 5
Charru Malhotra, V.M. Chariar, L.K. Das
The speed and outreach enabled by information and communication technologies (ICT) have improved mechanisms of delivery of information, services and... Sample PDF
Making ICT more Meaningful for Governance in the Rural Areas: Role of the Community Knowledge Systems
Chapter 6
Sandeep Kaur, N. Mathiyalagan
ICTs in general and e-governance in particular offer tremendous opportunities for improving demand-driven transparent and accountable service... Sample PDF
Impact of E-Government Implementation on Poverty Reduction in Rural India: Selected Case Studies
Chapter 7
Subhajit Choudhury, Sudhir Kumar
The chapter introduces information communication technology and its importance with respect to digital divide. Digital divides is the connotation of... Sample PDF
E-Governance: Tool for E-Democracy and Citizen Empowerment in the Horizon of Information Technology Era in Developing Society in India, Nepal and Bangladesh
Chapter 8
Siddhartha Ghosh
E-governance is the public sector’s use of information and communication technologies (ICT) with the aim of improving information and service... Sample PDF
Application of Natural Language Processing (NLP) Techniques in E–Governance
Chapter 9
Anand Agrawal
A primary goal of e-governance is providing online-services to citizens over the internet (Web portals) to facilitate government-to-citizen (G2C)... Sample PDF
Assessing E-Governance Online-Service Quality (EGOSQ)
Chapter 10
Sundresan Perumal
As the world is streaming into an electronic world there are still huge communities that don’t understand the evolution government into the era of... Sample PDF
The Success Model of Evolution from Government to E-Governance
Chapter 11
Shafi Al-Shafi, Vishanth Weerakkody
This chapter examines the adoption of free wireless internet parks (iPark) by Qatari citizens as means of accessing electronic services from public... Sample PDF
Technology Acceptance of Free Wireless Internet Park Initiatives
Chapter 12
Yogesh K. Dwivedi
The main purpose of this chapter is to provide readers an exhaustive list of references focused upon electronic government related issues.The... Sample PDF
A Bibliometric Analysis of Electronic Government Research
Chapter 13
C.S.R. Prabhu
The National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) proposes citizen service delivery up to the village level through various channels including village kiosks.... Sample PDF
Towards an E-Governance Grid for India (E-GGI): An Architectural Framework for Citizen Services Delivery
Chapter 14
Swamy Tribhuvananda H.V., Gopakumar K.
ICTs are increasingly being recognized by the people across the globe as essential tools of development – tools that can empower them, enhance... Sample PDF
E-Halli: An Opportunity to Become Rural Entrepreneurs
Chapter 15
Moaman Al-Busaidy, Vishanth Weerakkody
With the advancement of the Internet and supporting information and communication technologies, e-government has emerged as an effective means of... Sample PDF
E-Government Implementation in Oman: A Preliminary Investigation
Chapter 16
Vineeta Dixit
Information communications technologies (ICTs) are one of the major areas of research and investment in developing countries because they seem to... Sample PDF
Telecentres: The New Public Spheres?
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