An Exploratory Study on Co-Locating Voter Registration in Telecentres Case of Malawi

An Exploratory Study on Co-Locating Voter Registration in Telecentres Case of Malawi

Frank Makoza (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa)
DOI: 10.4018/IJPADA.2019040101
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This article explores how co-locating voter registration at telecentres can address some of the challenges in the electoral process of a developing country. A case in Malawi was analysed using secondary data. A general inductive approach was used to analyse media reports on voter registration. The general inductive approach supported the development of themes for explaining the role of telecentres in addressing some of the challenges for voter registration. The study showed that the voter registration process has problems without obvious solutions including operational, social and political issues. Some of the problems can be mitigated utilising the services in telecentres. The services were mainly technical, logistical and communication. The study proposes a model for collaborative service delivery which suggests factors to be considered when co-locating voter registration in telecentres.
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2. Background To The Study

2.1. Role of Telecentres in Communities

Telecentres offer services including access to computers and Internet, email, bills payment services, access to e-government services, fax, phone, computer training and other value-added services (Chigona et al., 2012; Gomez et al., 2012). One of the objectives of telecentres is help communities in achieving social economic development. The services in the telecentres are offered for free or at a cost to the user depending on the objectives of the telecentre. The ownership and management of telecentre determines whether the services offered to the community to be free or paying (Gollakota et al., 2012). Private organisations, government and non-governmental organisations may own the telecentres.

Apart from providing access to ICTs, telecentres have the potential improve the well-being of communities through promoting social inclusion, increasing access to information, support addressing literacy and learning (Chigona et al., 2012; Huerta et al., 2012). Telecentres act as meeting points and information hubs in rural communities where people and organisations can obtain and disseminate information on microfinance, health, agriculture and education (Bailur, 2007; Gomez, 2012). The services can be categorised into online and offline activities for sharing information and communication (Bailey, 2009). Thus, telecentres offer diverse services depending on context (Gollakota, Pick & Sathyapriya, 2012).

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