Social Structures for Access, Use, and Development

Social Structures for Access, Use, and Development

Sarah Parkinson (University of Guelph, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-939-7.ch181
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This chapter focuses on the importance of social structures in enabling equitable access opportunities and useful applications of ICTs. It further argues for the importance of community involvement and organizational learning in designing ICT policy and projects with access and development-related objectives. Funders and policy makers have tended to overlook these and overemphasized technical dimensions of projects and accountability at the expense of social aspects and flexibility required to incorporate learning back into projects. After reviewing the literature, the chapter presents an example of a program in Uganda and a short project in Ghana which both used organizational partnerships and created strong community links to facilitate ICT-enabled development. This underscores the need for policy makers to create a climate in which not-for-profit organizations are able to create these kinds of partnerships and create meaningful community links.

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