Challenges to Community Informatics to Bridging the Digital Divide

Challenges to Community Informatics to Bridging the Digital Divide

Peter Songan (Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia), Khairuddin Ab. Hamid (Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia), Alvin W. Yeo (Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia), Jayapragas Gnaniah (Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia) and Hushairi Zen (Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-575-7.ch014
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Community Informatics (CI) is the application of ICT to overcome the “digital divide” both within and among communities (Gurstien, 2000). Taylor (2004) further asserts that CI is a connection between theory and practice in community networks. In this case, CI refers to the use of ICT for community practice, which Glen (1993) elaborates as encompassing concepts of community development, community service delivery and community action. With the emergence of CI, it is possible for remote communities to enjoy the benefits of ICT for economic and social development. For example, in India, the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation established six Village Information Shops, which enabled rural families to access and exchange a basket of information using ICT (Balaji & Harris, 2000). In Costa Rica, there is a project involving the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to implement “digital town centers” in remote villages (Harris, 1999).

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