Investigating a rural community's use of communication technology : a study of Nakaseke Community Multi-media Centre in Uganda
The study focuses on Nakaseke Community Multi-media Centre(CMC), the first telecentre introduced in Uganda in 1997. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research techniques, the study sets out to develop deeper insights into how the Nakaseke community uses, engages with and relates with communication technologies installed at the telecentre. It probes whether these practices advance the dominant view that ICTs are a panacea for rural development. The findings indicate that while access to communication technology has expanded, albeit at a slow pace, the benefits might take very long to have a significant effect as many targeted users do not make use of the facilities because they lack the human skills and financial resources to exploit the technologies. Other problems such as poor electricity supply and sustainability also actively militate against the potential of the project to deliver. Besides, people tend to appropriate technology in ways different from those intended by its promoters. As Burton (2002) explains through the concept of ‘affordances’ and ‘culture’, some users perceive technologies essentially as something that bestows the status of being modern or sophisticated on their community, rather than as a development tool. In conclusion, it is argued that if used for development, ICTs can indeed make a difference in the lives of rural people. However, besides investing in technology, there is need to invest more in empowering the people themselves with skills, particularly literacy, to enable them use ICTs productively.
School Location:South Africa
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:journalism and media studies
Date of Publication:01/01/2007