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Information Technologies & International Development
Number of Followers: 209  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1544-7529 - ISSN (Online) 1544-7537
Published by Georgia Institute of Tech Homepage  [1 journal]
  • An Analysis of Community Mobilization Strategies of a Voice-based
           Community Media Platform in Rural India

    • Authors: Aparna Moitra, Archna Kumar, Aaditeshwar Seth
      Abstract: We define community mobilization as offline activities typically required in ICTD initiatives to train users and drive adoption for the sustained use of ICTs within the community. Community mobilization forms an important but under-discussed component of ICTD initiatives. In this article, we present a case study of a voice-based community media platform in rural central India and the experiments it has undergone with multiple community mobilization strategies over a period of five years. We analyze different phases of community mobilization and draw insights related to how technology platforms can be appropriated by specific actors to drive their own agendas, how organizational control can be imposed to prevent undesirable appropriation, yet give communities the flexibility to use the platform according to their needs, and how group structures and hybrid financial-social incentives can be created to build sustainable networks that can be replicated and scaled in a standardized manner. We use the Actor-Network Theory, along with Olson’s Theory of Groups and Incentives to explain our observations. Our methods can be generalized and applied by other ICTD initiatives to evaluate their own community mobilization strategies.

      PubDate: 2018-05-14
      Issue No: Vol. 14 (2018)
  • Gender, Mobile, and Mobile Internet Gender, Mobile, and Development: The
           Theory and Practice of Empowerment — Introduction

    • Authors: Savita Bailur, Silvia Masiero, Jo Tacchi
      Abstract: This introduction to the Special Section sets out the rationale for our focus on gender, mobile, and mobile Internet. We explain our aims in planning a dedicated section and introduce each of the four selected articles across different country contexts. We examine how these articles juxtapose the theory and practice of empowerment. Finally, we raise issues with the way that empowerment is used and applied in ICTD work and we draw on Cornwall’s framework to support our view that access for women (an often-used variable) is not always accompanied by changes in law, policy, or men’s and women’s consciousness or practices; therefore, access does not de facto lead to empowerment. It is this space that we believe needs further exploration. A focus on access and digital literacy for women, while important, is not in itself a sufficiently meaningful criterion for empowerment through mobiles and mobile Internet.
      PubDate: 2018-03-07
      Issue No: Vol. 14 (2018)
  • Gender, Mobile, and Mobile Internet Mother, May I' Conceptualizing the
           Role of Personal Characteristics and the Influence of Intermediaries on
           Girls’ After-School Mobile Appropriation in Nairobi

    • Authors: Ronda Zelezny-Green
      Abstract: Education interventions for girls in the Global South often seek to expand their present and future life choices. Increasingly, this goal is pursued by enhancing preexisting mobile phone access. Girls’ personal characteristics, particularly their age and gender, and adult intermediaries influence their mobile appropriation—and the outcomes they can realize when using their phones for any reason. Drawing on data from research with community members of a girls’ secondary school in Nairobi, this article seeks to understand how girls’ mobile appropriation during after-school hours is shaped. Building on Kleine’s Choice Framework as a capability approach operationalization, a schema is proposed to conceptualize additional considerations needed when engaging girls in mobile for development work. The aim is to demonstrate how and why girls’ after-school mobile use was influenced by the convergence of intermediaries in their lives, age, and gender. The analysis presents implications for mobile for development interventions with girl children.

      PubDate: 2018-03-07
      Issue No: Vol. 14 (2018)
  • Gender, Mobile, and Mobile Internet Maintenance Affordances, Capabilities
           and Structural Inequalities: Mobile Phone Use By Low-Income Women

    • Authors: Becky Faith
      Abstract: This article shows the impact of “maintenance affordances” on women’s capabilities to use mobile phones to lead lives they value. Analysis of data from a qualitative study of mobile phone use by 30 young low-income women—including 15 who had no access to the Internet other than through their mobile phones—shows how maintaining mobile phones through charge, credit, and repair is a significant burden. These challenges were inextricably bound up with structural inequality experienced by respondents such as poor employment conditions and unaffordable housing. This study therefore proposes a new theoretical framework combining affordances and the capability approach, in which the maintenance affordances of a technology are seen to impact directly on individuals’ capability to use this resource to lead lives they value.
      PubDate: 2018-03-07
      Issue No: Vol. 14 (2018)
  • Gender, Mobile, and Mobile Internet Kenyan Women’s Rural Realities,
           Mobile Internet Access, and “Africa Rising”

    • Authors: Susan Wyche, Jennifer Olson
      Abstract: The term “Africa Rising” is used in popular and academic discourse to describe economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa. Increased mobile phone ownership and access to the Internet figure prominently in this optimistic narrative. However, aspects of this story are being questioned, in particular whether this economic growth benefits Africa’s rural areas. In this article, we extend this critique to the optimism surrounding access to the mobile Internet by detailing rural women’s experiences with mobile devices. Drawing on data from our long-term fieldwork in Western Kenya, we describe how secondhand handsets, misinformation about social media, and gendered allocations of time constrain women’s access to the mobile Internet. We then discuss how the materiality of mobile phones, seasonal changes, and other factors must be considered when developing technological interventions in rural areas. We conclude that rural women’s lived realities merit more attention within growth narratives about Africa.
      PubDate: 2018-03-07
      Issue No: Vol. 14 (2018)
  • Gender, Mobile, and Mobile Internet Understanding the Darker Side of ICTs:
           Gender, Sexual Harassment, and Mobile Devices in Pakistan

    • Authors: Bushra Hassan, Tim Unwin, Akber Gardezi
      Abstract: Much research and practice on gender and digital technologies focus on the potential of ICTs to empower women positively. However, ICTs also have negative impacts on women as well as men. This article explores such implications
      in the context of mobile device use in Pakistan. While digital harassment is commonplace globally, its extent in Pakistan is interesting because of the country’s strong normative values and the complexity of the intersection of patriarchy,
      religion, and culture. We report on an online survey that examines the inºuence of personal characteristics on perceptions and experiences of sexual harassment through mobile devices. We conclude that some conventional stereotypes
      may be misleading.
      PubDate: 2018-03-07
      Issue No: Vol. 14 (2018)
  • The Making of Survival. Technology, Literacy, and Learning in Two
           Microenterprises in Mexico City

    • Authors: Judy Kalman, Oscar Hernández
      Abstract: This article presents a portrait of how the owners of two informal microenterprises in a poor urban neighborhood integrate several digital devices into their businesses. We explore how they learned to use diverse technologies, transformed their production processes, and developed new products and services. We contend that while ICTs did not lead to expansion for the businesses, ICTs were vital to staying in business.
      PubDate: 2018-02-14
      Issue No: Vol. 14 (2018)
  • End-User Engagement in the Design of Communications Services: Lessons from
           the Rural Congo

    • Authors: Donna Champion, Sylvain Cibangu
      Abstract: End-user engagement is considered essential when designing new sociotechnical systems, but in the context of designing large-scale infrastructural systems such as communications networks, this ideal is rarely put into practice. We examine the challenges of engaging end users in the design of communications services by exploring how communities from 15 villages in the rural Congo incorporate mobile phones into their daily lives. To analyze the changes in social and cultural capital that result from mobile phone use, we apply Bourdieu’s capital theory. This analysis exposes the difference in perceived value of the communication services between end users and the business owners of the infrastructure. The article concludes by suggesting new forms of partnership with end users to craft ways in which infrastructures and related organizations and practices can best cohere with local cultural views, specifics, beliefs, needs, or realities of concerned participants.
      PubDate: 2018-01-17
      Issue No: Vol. 14 (2018)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
Tel: +00 44 (0)131 4513762
Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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