Open Source and Bridging the Digital Divide: A Case Study

Open Source and Bridging the Digital Divide: A Case Study

Heidi L. Schnackenberg (SUNY Plattsburgh, USA) and Edwin S. Vega (SUNY Plattsburgh, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-869-2.ch002
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This case study involves the adoption of new technologies by a developing nation. The leader of the country, in consultation with an advisory non-profit agency must weigh the benefits and drawbacks of commercial products versus open source/low-cost options. He must also consider ways of remaining sensitive to cultural traditions and norms when introducing these new innovations.
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Case Desription

PacemMundus is located in central Europe and is co-run by the European Union and the United States. Volunteers and staff come mostly from these two regions and have various levels of education, but a university degree and intensive training with the organization are required by all. While there are many divisions of PacemM., the technology division is one of the fastest growing areas. It’s also well-funded through private donations and non-profit divisions of many microchip and computer corporations. Consequently, the tech division has a full complement of qualified staffers and an even larger number of volunteers. One of the full-time staff members who often works with some of the higher-profile clients is Theo Walters. Theo has a Masters Degree in Educational Technology from an accredited university in the United States and has spent several years working for large computer and software corporations. He also taught computer courses part time at his local community college. Approximately five years ago, Theo started a management position at PacemMundus. Since that time, he has worked on technology initiatives with the governments of several countries in Asia and Africa. He recently learned that he was advise Prime Minister Nazir Bunta of Zado and assist in bringing the country’s technology infrastructure into the 21st century. The first meeting with Bunta is to be held at the Prime Minister’s palace in Muta, Zado’s capital city.

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