In this regular issue of EJISDC we present eight papers. In the first paper, Imami Mwalumbwe and Joel Mtebe designed and developed a Learning Analytics tool and used the tool to determine the causation between Learning Management System (LMS) usage and students’ performance. Data from two courses at the Mbeya University of Science and Technology (MUST), Tanzania, were extracted using the tool and subjected to linear regression analysis with students’ final results. The study found that discussion posts, peer interaction, and exercises were determined to be significant factors for students’ academic achievement in blended learning at MUST.
In the second paper, Sanna Ojanpera, Nicolas Friederici and Mark Graham contrast the discourses of corporations, development organisations and governments in Africa with evidence from academic research to suggest that there is a highly uneven economic impact of Internet connectivity across geographies and social strata. The authors discuss technological determinism, acontextual modernism, and optimistic simplism as underlying this contrast, calling for more reflexivity towards the opportunities of ‘digital development’.
In the third paper, Leonard Chalemba compares the level of application of telecommunications technologies to agricultural market information systems in Ghana and Tanzania. The analysis reveals that Ghana is significantly ahead of Tanzania in the provision of information and communications technology (ICT) facilities that support operations of agricultural market information systems. However, low-income smallholder farmers of both countries still need more access to ICT facilities for them to exploit fully the services offered by ICT-based agricultural market information systems. Both countries also need to promote participation of the private sector for establishment of economically sustainable market information services.
In the fourth paper, Maria Alexandra Cunha, Taiane Ritta Coelho and Erico Przeybilovicz suggest ways for positioning a developing country in the field of international eGov research. Drawing on a literature review of both Brazilian and international publications, they analyzed the domain of collaboration in the field through a social network analysis of authors, institutions and countries. They note that there is more intense collaboration in the network of institutions than of authors; that the co-authorship network reflects the existence of a select number of central authors; and the study of eGov is centralized in the USA and UK.
In the fifth paper, Esther Mukasa, Honest Kimaro, Achilles Kiwanuka and Faraja Igira assessed challenges, best practices and strategies for standardizing Health Information Systems (HIS) for integrated TB/HIV services. They employed a descriptive cross sectional study design employing both qualitative methods, collecting data through key informant interviews, observation of existing practices, and document review. The absence of health information system standards control mechanisms was noted to be the primary challenge.
In the sixth paper, Sam Takavarasha, Gilford Hapanyengwi and Gabriel Kabanda propose the use of livelihood profiles for identifying the livelihood issues that matter in a particular locality and Sen’s Capability Approach for assessing the opportunity freedoms to exploit local livelihoods. This is presented as a systematic way of establishing the context under which ICT4D interventions will be deployed. The study uses focus groups under an interpretivist paradigm to investigate contextual issues in Zimbabwe’s Highveld Prime Communal livelihood zone. The study found a politically polarised contextual setting characterised by poor agricultural finance, ineffective crop and livestock markets, unrewarding labour markets against a good agricultural climate that is affected by cyclical droughts.
In the seventh paper, Mihret Abeselom Teklemariam and Ernest Mnkandla explore the risk management practice of Ethiopian software projects. They also investigate the level of adoption of formal risk management models and which steps are included in the ad-hoc risk management exercise. Finally, they look into the relationship between risk management practice and project success. Drawing on a survey of 45 banks, insurance companies and United Nations agency offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, they observed a very low rate of application of formal risk management models. Instead, they found that project managers preferred to watch projects to see if any risks occurred during implementation without performing risk identification and mitigation.
In the eighth paper, Merijn van Baardewijk notes that mobile phones have the potential to improve the lives of poor farmers, in particular in combination with specifically designed mobile phone-based services (m-services) that provide agricultural information. In this study, the author undertakes a qualitative case study in order to discover the various ways in which poor farmers’ livelihoods are influenced by mobile phone use. The most direct impact of mobile phones lies in the strengthening of social networks. Cognitive assets were also improved, due to access to more timely and accurate knowledge, which in turn leads to enhanced productivity (resource-based assets). Moreover, the mobile phone resulted in lower transaction costs.
In this regular volume, we present eight papers. In the first paper Ricardo Gomez and Sara Vannini apply a method called Fotohistorias to explore human experiences in relation to migration in the US (the North), at the US-Mexico border (the border), and in Colombia (the South).
In the second paper, Lucas Mimbi and Michael Kyobe identify (i) usage of IT for governance and democratic purposes, (ii) governance processes and (iii) external pressures as key interplaying factors influencing effective governance, in the context of Tanzania.
In the third paper, Elisabeth Fruijtier and Matthieu Pinard examine generification in open source software development of information systems for low resource environments. The objective of this study is to understand how this challenge is dealt with in practice, with the aim of expanding the current analytical scope available to researchers to study generification processes as well as the guidance available to practitioners to address its practical challenges.
In the fourth paper, Filistéa Naudé investigates the relationship between download usage statistics, Mendeley readership scores and Google Scholar citation counts for the 378 articles published in the Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries (EJISDC) in the 14-year period 2000 to 2013.
In the fifth paper, Theo Tsokota, Rossouw von Solms and Darelle van Greunen seek to propose a strategy for the sustainable use of ICT in the tourism sector in Zimbabwe.
In the sixth paper, Shallen Lusinga and Michael Kyobe develop the Mobile Victimisation Typology in order to develop a deeper understanding of mobile victimisation, a form of cyberaggression that affects many young people in the developing world.
In the seventh paper, Solomon Seifu, Abubakar Dahiru, Julian Bass and Ian Allison explore the emergence and adoption of cloud computing by enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa. The authors find that these enterprises have yet to adopt cloud computing as an IT provisioning method and lack awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of adopting the cloud.
In the eighth paper, Alcardo Barakabitze, Kadeghe Fue and Camilius Sanga provide insights into the use of various participatory approaches to develop ICTs for rural farming communities in Tanzania. The authors show how collective groups of farmers can be empowered through involvement of different stakeholders in a participatory action research.
Volume 77 of EJISDC contains eight papers. In the first paper, Gloria Iyawa, Marlien Herselman and Alfred Coleman examine the differences in customer interaction between software methodologies deployed in Namibian software firms. The authors adopt a qualitative, case study approach, collecting data through semi-structured interviews. The findings provide useful insights in software methodologies deployed in Namibian software firms and the experience within the Namibian context.
In the second paper, Malcolm Garbutt explores how students may reconcile the concerns raised by Van Zyl (2015) of the Burrell and Morgan framework with the pragmatic approach proposed by Cronjé (2011). Van Zyl suggests that disciplinary kingdoms in higher education use the Burrell and Morgan framework to repress students who are not encouraged to reflect on alternative paradigms. Although Cronjé (2011) and Roode (1993) also use the Burrell and Morgan model and encourage the use of multiple paradigms Van Zyl considers their application simplistic leading to poorly prepared researchers. The Cronjé model is reviewed in light of Ackoff’s (1976) four pursuits of mankind with the view to providing an opportunity for overcoming the mutually exclusive nature of Burrell and Morgan.
In the third paper, Daniel Ayoung, Pamela Abbott and Armin Kashefi apply the gap archetypes framework as an analytical tool to evaluate the Community Information Centre (CIC) initiative in Ghana. They critically examine how the interaction of ‘soft’ constructs (politics, culture, emotions, people, partnerships and context) influenced the outcome of the initiative. Adopting a qualitative approach, they investigated eight government-owned telecentres to highlight how ‘soft’ constructs influenced the implementation and governance of the CIC initiatives.
In the fourth paper, Richard Heeks and Shyam Krishna explore the different meanings of hope within the existing literature and synthesise these meanings into a new multi-dimension content model of hope that looks at the subject, object and enaction of hope. This model is then linked to ICT4D initiatives by taking into account the hopes of different stakeholders, which are seen, via a modified ICT4D value chain framework, to be both an input to and an output from ICT4D adoption and use. The authors undertake a preliminary application of this framework to a case study using multiple sources of secondary data from the One-Laptop-per-Child initiative.
In the fifth paper, Azmi Omar, Julian Bass and Peter Lowit explore information system insourcing in selected government agencies in Malaysia and discuss the challenges and barriers that have impeded implementation. The study considers a post outsourcing context following the decision to insource a major Malaysian Government Information System in 2011. A qualitative study was conducted in a government agency, obtaining empirical evidence from 55 semi-structured interviews with government servants including the users of the government information system. By using a combination of institutional theory and the capability approach to analyse the data, the authors find that insourcing reduced costs, provided a means to access new technologies and enhanced skills in the internal development team.
In the sixth paper, Atta Addo investigates ‘irrationalities’ associated with IT-enabled change in the context of Ghana’s TradeNet. The study reveals that despite TradeNet’s potential for full automation and integration, bureaucrats sometimes preferred manual, face-to-face, paper-based practices. This apparent ‘irrationality’ is explained by drawing upon the theoretical notion of institutional logics to trace underlying logics of TradeNet-enabled change. The author interprets ‘irrationality’ as ‘good enough’ or satisficing when new logics of IT and old bureaucratic logics contradicted. These findings move beyond success or failure interpretations typical in Information Systems in developing countries (ISDC) and ICT for development (ICT4D) research.
In the seventh paper, Aminu Hamajoda seeks to find out the state of political communication among West African parliamentarians in view of the expanded mediality that newer digital channels like social media, the internet and mobile telecommunication tools are bringing to the political landscape in addition to traditional political channels of party politics, rallies, meetings, constituency visits and traditional media like television, radio and newspapers. The study deliberately focuses on the three core parliamentary functions, lawmaking, representation and oversight, asking key questions under each function to delineate the views and practices of legislators in using media channels.
In the eighth paper, Delroy Chevers and Gerald Grant seek to compare the awareness, adoption and benefits of Software Provess Improvement (SPI) programs in Canadian and English-speaking Caribbean (ESC) software development firms. The authors find that the awareness and adoption of SPI are higher in Canadian firms in comparison to the ESC firms, while the main benefit of SPI adoption in both environments was improved software product quality.
In the ninth paper, Johannes Cronje responds to Izak van Zyl’s call for Pragmatism in Information Systems research in preference over Paradigmatic research as embodied by Burrell and Morgan’s (1979) four sociological research paradigms. The paper presents an adaptation of Burrell and Morgan’s four paradigms to develop a set of research aims and corresponding questions. The research aims and questions are then tested against eight recent research papers to validate the individual paradigms and then one paper is analysed in depth to demonstrate how a pragmatist research project can be executed by following a sequential and cyclic path through the four paradigms.
Volume 75 of EJISDC contains 8 regular articles
In the first paper, Ricardo Gomez explores the information practices (information seeking, using, and sharing) among Latino migrants, particularly undocumented migrants, in three different settings: at the US-Mexico border, in Seattle, Washington, and in Cali, Colombia. Through participatory photography and unstructured interviews, he explores the life experiences and information practices of marginalized and underserved communities and relates them to their experience of transience through different stages of the migration experience.
In the second paper, Christon Moyo, Jens Kaasboll, Petter Nielsen and Johan Saebo study the implementation process and its effects related to a computerized league table application for health services in Malawi. Focusing on the health district and using a field experiment research approach, the focus is on the implementation process and how it improves information transparency for health managers.
In the third paper, Devinder Thapa and Oystein Saebo present a case analysis of a project in Nepal called the Nepal Wireless Networking Project (NWNP). Investigating the specific initiatives that they enabled (telemedicine, education and jobs), the authors propose that the key participants in the NWNP were activist actors and the affected, and that activists drew upon existing social capital to enrol the affected through a process explained by Actor Network Theory. In the process, they built other forms of social capital, which in turn extended the benefits of participatory development to several mountain villages.
In the fourth paper, Thanh Ngoc Nguyen and Jorn Braa undertook a longitudinal action research study in the health care sector in Vietnam in the period between 2012 and 2015 in order to design or cultivate, reconfigure, (re)assembleand transform multiple socio-technical components into a larger health information infrastructure. To understand how gateways performed in our cases, we employed a concept namely “scaffolded gateways”, which was basically a hybrid between scaffoldings and gateways.
In the fifth paper, Cheah Wai Shiang, Alfian Abdul Halin, Marlenbe Lu and Gary CheeWhye present a post-mortem report upon completion of the Long Lamai e-commerce development project. Some weaknesses with regards to the current software modelling approach are identified and an alternative role-based approach is proposed. We argue that the existing software modelling technique is not suitable for modelling, making it difficult to establish a good contract between stakeholders causing delays in the project delivery. The role-based approach is able to explicitly highlight the responsibilities among stakeholders, while also forming the contract agreement among them leading towards sustainable ICT4D.
In the sixth paper, Peter Kyem investigates reasons behind the neglect of mobile phone aided e-government programs in sub-Saharan Africa.
In the seventh paper, Yeslam al-Saggaf investigates the views of Saudi women about privacy and threats of blackmail in social media. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 16 women who used Facebook regularly and a focus group discussion with another group of 10 Saudi female students were conducted. The findings of the study show that the Saudi women interviewed appeared concerned about their privacy in Facebook, worried about falling victim to blackmail, knew how to change the privacy settings and are not comfortable with communicating across gender lines.
In the eighth paper, Tsebetso Mapeshoane and Shaun Pather provides a detailed explanation of the factors influencing e-commerce uptake in the Lesotho tourism sector. Evidence for the study was collected using interviews with businesses. Data collected via interviews was used to examine the actual adoption issues amongst tourism businesses in Lesotho. In addition, where applicable, each organisation’s online activities or websites was assessed.
Volume 74 of EJISDC contains 8 regular papers.
In the first paper, Pruthikrai Mahatanankoon focuses on how mobile instant messaging (MIM) can be used to enhance existing team-based Transactive Memory Systems (TMS) in the workplace. Using data collected from 75 Thai employees working in teams, the results show that team-based TMS emphasizes specialized knowledge and team coordination, while MIM promotes knowledge acceptance. The findings also reveal that the functionalities of MIM and the existing organizational ICTs help build mobile TMS, which in turn enhances team-based TMS. The implication of this study supports the economical use of MIM as a communication tool that exists alongside traditional ICTs in a developing country.
In the second paper, Abubakar Mohammed Alkali, Pamela Abbott, Salihu Ibrahim Dasuki and Ago Quaye describe the South Africa’s BPO industry in order to explore the current opportunities and potential challenges the industry offers. The role of government support, quality infrastructure, prevalence of HIV/AIDS and inflexibility in labor laws are found to feature significantly within the South African context. The paper contributes to literature on outsourcing in developing countries which has elaborated how African Countries can serve as attractive location for offshoring BPO.
In the third paper, Jacques Steyn challenges some fundamental aspects of research and conclusions relating to the use of technology for community development. Views of technology, in this case the mobile phone, as a tool for increased economic welfare are often skewed due to extreme reductionism, ambiguous interview questions and poor data sources. Research of complex social systems or sub-systems give the wrong answers when reductionist methodologies are used. To demonstrate such shortcomings, the 2007 paper of Robert Jensen serves as an example. His conclusion that mobile phones enable Kerala fishermen to increase their economic welfare is the most cited paper on ICT4D topics, but there are fundamental methodological and logical problems with the claim, while other research came to contradictory conclusions. This critique is presented on many levels: ideological, paradigmatic, methodology, logical, statistical and semantic.
In the fourth paper, Ezra Misaki, Mikko Apiola and Silvia Gaiani report on the first step in a design science approach to address the challenges experienced by Tanzanian farmers with technology. A structured questionnaire was administered to 150 small scale farmers in Chamwino, Tanzania. The results show that farmers rely on tacit knowledge in regards of weather information, market data, plant and disease identification, and business management, and are vulnerable to middlemen frauds and inaccurate decision making. Many of these challenges can potentially be solved by technology. A number of engineering solutions for the basis of future DSR projects are proposed.
In the fifth paper, Ahmed Imran, Val Quimno and Mehdi Hussain explore mobile applications and services in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and assess to what extent research has permeated this area within the LDCs. The paper presents a comprehensive literature review of 480 articles on mobile technology application and services in the LDCs from the Information Systems literature.
In the sixth paper, Caitlin Bentley and Arul Chib explore the field of open development in lower and middle income countries (LMIC) through a review of the literature. They examined 269 articles published between 2010 and 2015 that were retrieved through keyword searches of the Scopus database and four ICT4D journals. Their article adopts the pathway of effects model to analyze contributions according to inputs, mechanisms and outputs of open initiatives in LMICs. The review finds a fairly even spread of articles across the three stages of effects. They found very little evidence that research within this area is concerned with the perspectives of poor and marginalized people, notably women. They question the normative value of open development as a means to transform power relations. They also argue that a more concentrated vision within this field is needed to exploit the full potential of digitally enabled openness for development.
In the seventh paper, Aminu Hamajoda presents an evaluation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) members’ websites. The author finds that while most Member States websites score well on general information about their parliaments, they lacked progress in making their websites a one-stop point for political information about their countries.
In the eighth paper, Annastellah Sigwejo and Shaun Pather address the problem that there is a need for suitable evaluation strategies for understanding and measuring the effectiveness of e-government services in order to improve their management and thereby attain the best possible value for citizens. The authors develop a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of e-government services in a typical developing country, examining the specific context of Tanzania. The findings indicate the key dimensions to consider, which are synthesised into an e-government citizen satisfaction framework. The framework demonstrates how citizen and government imperatives should be amalgamated to evaluate the effectiveness of e-government services. The findings further support the call to increase monitoring and evaluation of all ICT projects within government.
This is a regular volume with 8 papers and one book review. In the first paper, Cunningham, Cunningham and Ekenberg focus on identifying factors impacting on the current level of open innovation and ICT entrepreneurship in Africa. The results highlighted six main factors: a) level of political will reflected by resource prioritisation; b) alignment with national development plans and associated funding priorities; c) level of understanding of strategic benefits by ministers and senior civil servants; d) level of awareness and sensitization of the general public, e) availability of national innovation and entrepreneurial expertise; and f) willingness and capacity to cooperate with other stakeholders to achieve common goals.
In the second paper, Breetzke and Flowerday explore the use of an interactive voice response (IVR) system by citizens of a city in a developing country to ease urban challenges arising as a result of growing urbanisation. The study sought to determine whether these citizens would deem such an IVR channel usable for telephonically reporting public safety matters and whether any noteworthy usability issues arose. Citizens who participated in this study assessed the system’s usability. The results showed that from a usability perspective, an IVR system is an effective crowdsourcing channel for citizens to report such matters.
In the third paper, Siribaddaba and Hewapathirana argue that Health Information Systems projects in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMIC) can utilize formal, informal and workplace based online and face-to-face training methods along with the networking power of free and open source software communities as a means of cultivating Communities of Practice. The authors present a practical training model usable in information system implementations in LMIC settings with the added benefit of being able to facilitate cultivation of CoPs. The paper also contributes theoretically by extending the conceptualization of ‘cultivating CoPs’ beyond organizational contexts.
In the fourth paper, Mooketsi and Chigona examine the impact of contextual factors in the implementation of ICT in schools in previously disadvantaged areas in South Africa. The findings show that the implementation context and the history of the implementers and other issues that are in no way related to the implementation process affect the implementation process and outcomes.
In the fifth paper, Hasan engages in a discourse analysis of Bangladesh’s ICT policy document to evaluate communicative aspects, using the framework of Habermas’ Theory of Communicative Action (TCA). The findings uncover multiple limitations to the policy document in terms of four TCA validity claims: truth, legitimacy, sincerity, and clarity. The truth claim shows a lack in defining and describing multiple terms and issues, explaining varied ideological stances and accounting for benefits and challenges, along with interpretation of some facts. Similarly, the legitimacy claim reveals that matters that appeal to emotion, such as constitutional obligation, social equity, disabled people, minorities, and women and community issues, lie as foundation to justify that claim. The uses of connotative words and metaphors in addition to uses of jargon and unexplained terms are also found under the claim for sincerity and clarity, all of which ultimately are not compatible with the values of the validity claims.
In the sixth paper, Kabiawu, van Belle and Adeyeye explore the adoption of ICTs in small organizations in South Africa. The authors take a design science approach in order to understand the situation and proffer a solution. The authors attempted to establish the relevance of information for ICT decision tasks. The study, guided by Hasso-Plattner-Institute School of Design Thinking methodology, was used to create an appropriate, consolidated and enhanced Internet information source. A final survey was later used to test and evaluate the designed artifact. The preliminary results indicate expected high usability and effectiveness of the proposed solution.
In the seventh paper, Ruhode investigates e-government in Zimbabwe, as articulated in ICT policy documents. The policy documents are analysed thematically which leads to critical narrative analysis. The use of thematic analysis as a theoretical foundation and a methodological approach for analysing text contributes to a better understanding of government publications. This study has identified that all documents are silent on the political and economic reality in Zimbabwe which directly influences the implementation of capital projects. The policy documents also make no reference to other considerations as funding models and execution plans under a complex political, social and economic environment. As a result, government policy documents remained only as blueprints without any impact towards the implementation of e-government in Zimbabwe.
In the eighth paper, Kalema, Motsi and Motjolopane report on the utilization of IT to enhance Knowledge Sharing (KS) among educators in South Africa. The authors collected data from secondary school educators in the Tshwane South district of South Africa. The results indicated that knower’s attitude is a high significant contributing factor whereas dependence of the knower is the least and insignificant in the utilization of IT to enhance knowledge sharing. Practically, this study could be leveraged by schools and governments to entrench tacit knowledge and to address the brain drainage associated with the continuous exodus of the skilled and experienced educators. Further still, the designed framework could be used by Information Systems scholars to extend research of knowledge sharing and management.
In the last paper, Davison reviews ICTs in Developing Countries: Research, Practices and Policy Implications, edited by Bidit Dey, Karim Sorour and Raffaele Filieri.
Volume 72 of the journal contains eight regular papers.
In the first paper, Irma, Chong and Ram examine SMEs’ attitudes towards e-Business adoption from a multi-dimensional perspective to provide an understanding of the challenges and barriers to e-Business adoption in the SMEs context.
In the second paper, Bacishoga, Hooper and Johnston expolore the role of mobile phones as a tool to aid refugee integration and social capital development among refugees in South Africa.
In the third paper, Naudé undertakes a bibliometric analysis of the present journal (EJISDC) drawong on the 378 papers published from 2000 to 2013.
In the fourth paper, Naudé continues her bibliometric analysis by exploring country-level productivity, collaborative behaviour andcitation impact of ICT4D researchers in the EJISDC.
In the fifth paper, Hassa and Tanner explore the factors perceived to contribute to relationship satisfaction between various players in the ICT-enabled supply chain in South Africa.
In the sixth paper, Duffett examines the effect of IM (Mxit) advertising on the hierarchy-of-effect model attitude stages among teenagers in South Africa. The results of the investigations found favorable attitudes towards IM advertising among teenagers.
In the seventh paper, Asangansi conceptualizes the interaction between network logic and hierarchical bureaucratic logic of Health Management Information Systems. The author argues that the interaction between these logics potentially leads to a conflict where the logic embedded in networked technologies (such as mHealth) disrupts and challenges the existing hierarchical logic in the bureaucracy.
In the eighth paper, Wongwuttiwat compares Thailand with the other ASEAN Plus 3 member nations based on their stage of economic development and three important indicators of competitiveness (the higher education system, technology readiness, and business innovation). The findings identify Thailand’s position with respect to ICT development relative to the other ASEAN Plus 3 nations and point to strategies and partnerships that need to be developed in Thailand in order to maintain a competitive position within the AEC.
Volume 71 contains eight regular papers.
In the first paper, Palvia, Baqir and Nemati evaluate government policies for Information Communication Technologies (ICT) growth in a developing country by extending and utilizing the design-actuality gaps framework in order to assess whether whether the results of ICT investments necessarily match expectations.
In the second paper, Tirkaso and Hess note that prior research has indicated that cash crop producers in developing countries are, in comparison to other farmers, more inclined to spend a share of their income on information communication technologies. In some cases however, it is not known whether the larger cash crop producers are spending more on ICT because they are wealthier, or if the cash crop farms that make more use of ICT services have in the past been able to accumulate wealth faster. This paper attempts to understand this causality for the case of smallholder farmers in rural villages of southern Ethiopia.
In the third paper, Mbile, Makansi, Ajayi, Ferguson, Manzinga and Ebokely report on a Central African initiative to monitor and reward the storage of carbon stocks on rural farms. The authors consdier the potential applicability of an ICT innovation - the Community-Based Biomass Assessment and Monitoring System or CB-BAMS, which a cloud-based automated database system built around an SMS platform for sending and receiving SMS text messages.
In the fourth paper, Linne addresses the performances of intimacy displayed by adolescents of the City of Buenos Aires through the social networking site Facebook. The methodology used is mixed ethnography: on the one hand, conducting observations and thirty in-depth interviews with adolescents from the study universe; on the other, analyzing personal photographs.
In the fifth paper, Winley examines the success factors associataed with IT projects in Thailand. A theoretical model is formuatled and tested with data from 219 professionals.
In the sixth paper, Shaanika and Iyamu apply Activity Theory in an examination of the factors that influence the deployment of enterprise architecture in Namibia. The use of the activity theory (AT) helps to reveal that non-technical factors were completely ignored or sometimes considered to be less significant to the technical factors.
In the seventh paper, Tanner and du Toit identified factors hindering and promoting sustainability in ICT4D initiatives and analysed how higher education institutions influence the sustainability of such initiatives. A case study was conducted in a telecentre from an underserved community in Cape Town.
In the eighth paper, Hoque and Sorwar examine how e-government services are being brought to rural populations in Bangladesh, taking the perspective of the actual beneficiaries.
Volume 70 is a regular issue of EJISDC with 8 papers and one book review. This volume has a strong South African flavour.
In the first paper, Izak van Zyl discusses the intellectual politics of research philosophy in the field of IS. He makes particular reference to the higher education landscape of South Africa, and attempt to trace personal and scholarly encounters with what he deems to be ‘paradigmatic thinking’. The aim of the ensuing discussion is to deepen the understanding of the politics of paradigms, as instantiated in IS research teaching and philosophy. This discussion attempts to broaden existing discourse by considering the university of technology as an emerging player in IS research philosophy.
In the 2nd paper, Alcardo Barakabitrze and his colleagues in Tanzania explore how a wide range of Information and Communication Technologies available in Agricultural Research Institutes (ARIs) if used effectively by agriculture researchers can improve agriculture productivity in Tanzania. The results indicate that ICTs tools are available in ARIs for the day to day research activities. However, utilization of agriculture journals is very limited due to unreliability and poor connectivity of the Internet and frequent power cuts. Results also show that the uses of specialized ICT devices have not taken a great recognition in agriculture activities which is attributed by low investment of ICTs that can be used for teaching and learning modern agriculture productivity techniques in institutes under this study.
In the 3rd paper, Kevin Kohnston and his colleagues at the University of Cape Town seek to ascertain whether Information and CommunicationTechnologies (ICTs) have been valuable in the provision of broader development to South African citizens. The authors conduct a qualitative thematic analysis on data in the form of peer reviewed academic literature.
In the 4th paper, Naomi Isabirye and her colleagues use theories from the trust literature to propose that, for users to adopt technology to enhance their effectiveness in terms of their livelihoods, they must be convinced that the technology will work in their best interests and will perform its intended purpose reliably or predictably. The authors draw on an action research project involving the deployment of a voice-driven e-marketplace targeted at a rural aloe farming community. The paper presents a model for the development of trustworthy applications for rural users with limited experience with ICTs.
In the 5th paper, Irene Govender and Brian Skea attempt to ignite the interest of educators in the aspect of e-safety byexploring the issues related to educators’ awareness and knowledge of e-safety. The paper draws on material from schools on each side of the digital divide in South Africa.
In the 6th paper, Arunima Mukherjee examines Sen’s distinction between human capital and human capability in the context of capacity strengthening of a hospital information systems context in the public health sector context of a State in India.
in the 7th paper, Eamonn Walls and colleagues examine the e-education situation in South Africa, proposing an alternative e-education strategy called DREAMS (Digital Resources for Education And Mobility).
In the 8th paper, Achilles Kiwanuka and his colleagues analyse the acceptance process of District Health IS by three Vertical Health Programmes so as to examine the facilitating conditions and the challenges that they face. Data was collected through interviews, document review and observation.
Finally, in the last paper Atta Addo reviews the book titled: Women and ICT in Africa and the Middle East: Changing Selves, Changing Societies.
Volume 68 contains eight regular papers. In the first paper, Panek and Sobotova present two community mapping projects in urban areas of Nairobi and describe the advantages and disadvantages of the different methodologies used. They also explore the options for slum dwellers to map the areas where they live and the benefits of such mapping. Lastly, the authors discuss their vision for participatory mapping and participatory GIS, and their ideas on how to select the optimal mapping method.
In the second paper, Duffett investigates the influence of Facebook advertising on affective attitudes amongst Gen Y in South Africa (SA). The findings reveal a generally positive predisposition towards Facebook advertising vis-à-vis affective attitudes, which makes a noteworthy contribution to the limited social media research on hierarchy response theory in developing countries.
In the third paper, Chitanana and Govender investigate the issue of how universities are managing utilisation of bandwidth in the face of increased Internet traffic in the era of ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) and increased digital content, with a particular focus on the situation in Zimbabwe.
In the fourth paper, Aricat explores how the ideas of freedom and constraints are inherent to the phenomenon of adaptation. The author explores investigates "To what extent does migrants’ adaptation to the host country, including to its mobile ecosystem, ensure their freedom and to what extent the adaptation is a constraint for them?" and "How do various strategies of adaptation help migrants achieve development in social, economic and political domains?". These questions are answered in the context of low-skilled migrants from India and Bangladesh in Singapore.
In the fifth paper, Gareeb and Naicker to identify and rank all socio-psychological influences on South African SMEs at macro (institutional), meso (industrial) and micro (individual) levels to adopt and use broadband based Internet.
In the sixth paper, Baumüller draws on the example of the price information and marketing service M-Farm in Kenya to empirically test the idea that mobile phone-enabled services that offer price information and market linkages could reduce farmers' uncertainty about expected profits, information asymmetries and market inefficiencies.
In the seventh paper, Garg and Choeu investigate the current level of e-commerce adoption and factors that motivate the adoption by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Pretoria East.
In the eighth paper, Naicker and Omer contribute a new model for assessing the performance of firms in their Knowledge Management (KM) endeavours, validating the model with survey data from 682 firms in South Africa.
In this regular volume of the journal we present eight papers.
In the first paper, Grönlund and Wakabi investigate the connection between the way individuals participate online and offline in authoritarian, low-income regimes, and the nature of eParticipation among citizens in authoritarian regimes such as Uganda. Based on personal interviews with 116 Internet users, the study found that common drivers of eParticipation, such as low cost, security and anonymity are hard to transplant into the offline world for citizens of authoritarian states such as Uganda. Perceived risks of retribution and intimidation for expressing a particular opinion or supporting a political cause mean that citizen-to-citizen participation is the predominant form but still at low levels, while citizen-to-government participation is negligible.
In the second paper, Coelho, Segatto and Frega discuss how the use of ICT can promote more effective development by studying the case of Sudotec (association for technological and industrial development), a non-profit organization that saw in ICT the opportunity to change local scenarios. The results revealed positive effects of the use of ICT in social, economical and cultural spheres, but did not record political impacts.
In the third paper, Anwar and Johanson report on a project which focused on the welfare of blind masseurs in Indonesia, as representatives of three million blind people in that country. The authors illustrate how mobile phones impact on the well-being of blind masseurs. Grounded theory methods are employed for the analysis of 10 interviews with blind masseurs in Makassar and Bandung, Indonesia.
In the fourth paper, Mulalu and Veenendaal paper outlines an approach developed to assist a rural community in Botswana to utilise Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to compile and update a village land parcels dataset. The work is based on a PhD research work which was carried out at a remote rural village, where participatory action research was employed. The PGIS activity itself served mainly to anchor the learning of the creation of the database, the construction of knowledge and its contribution to improve individual household livelihoods. The produced PGIS artifact served to be the sink for all the produced data. The early conclusion that was drawn was that the PGIS serves as an effective instrument to help a rural community to create and construct knowledge and to strike the link with the political institutions that are intended to support citizens to improve their living standards.
In the fifth paper, Kyobe, Namirembe and Shongwe examine the alignment of IT applications with non-technological competencies in South Africa and Uganda. The authors sought to identify those configurations of IT applications and non-technological competencies that result in IT-based competencies needed to ensure competitiveness in e-commerce in the SME sector. 112 SMEs were surveyed and three alignment configurations consisting of SMEs with innovative IT competencies; Operational IT competencies and adaptive IT competencies were revealed. SMEs with innovative IT competencies developed the most IT-based competencies.
In the sixth paper, Dasuki and Abbott draw upon concepts of power and capabilities in order to create an evaluative space (framework) for ICT project assessment. The framework’s utility is illustrated with a case study based on an empirical work in the Nigerian electricity sector. The combined framework and case study contribute to knowledge on the development of theory and informs practice by offering a novel approach to examining ICT-led developmental projects.
In the seventh paper, Kabanda and Brown identify enablers of and barriers to E-Commerce in Tanzanian small and medium enterprises. The study is qualitative in nature and a set of semi-structured interviews with 32 SMEs were used to collect data. Factors perceived to be conducive for E-Commerce, include the availability of business resources, specifically business relationships with ICT foreign companies; top management support; the use of mobile technology for interactive and transactive purposes with consumers and suppliers; and the strategic use of mobile phones to avoid ICT-related challenges such as those associated with fixed line telephone and Internet-enabled desktop computing.
In the eighth paper, Vannini, Rega, Sala and Cantoni investigated ten Mozambican Community Multimedia Centres (CMC) by analyzing Social Representations of users and staff members. Photo-elicitation was employed and a three-step qualitative content analysis was performed on both visual and textual data. The authors highlight neglected dimensions of CMCs, such as the importance of the exterior appearance of the venue, and the perception of a switch in their nature from static centers funded by third parties towards more entrepreneurially-driven ones. The presented research also contributes to the ICT4D field by proposing a promising research protocol, which is able to elicit representations otherwise difficult to obtain.
In volume 66, we present eight papers starting with a case study relating to the implementation of a health information system in Oman. Al-Gharbi, Gattoufi, Al-Badi and Al-Hashmi carefully analyse various aspects of the implementation process, focusing in particular on project management, exploring what went wrong, why and how the project could be rescued.
In the second paper, Mierzwa, Souidi, Austrian, Hewett, Isaac, Maimbolwa and Wu report on the ways in which research-based organisations are continually striving to locate newer and lower cost technological solutions, particularly in the international public health sphere, together with the hurdles that such moves may entail.
In the third paper, Magesa, Michael and Ko develop a framework for the accessing of agricultural market information in rural communities that may lack appropriate technological infrastructures.
In the fourth paper, Tarus and Gichoya consider the challenges associated with the implementation of e-learning programmes in Kenyan universities. Drawing on a broad survey of the various users of these systems, they make recommendations for the preconditions that must be satisfied before such implementation is likely to be successful.
In the fifth paper, Sam draws upon domestication theory in an ethnographic exploration of the adoption, popularity and use of mobile Internet by marginalised young people in post-conflict Sierra Leone. The author documents both the factors that drive adoption as well as the barriers to the same adoption in this context. Recommendations are made for practice in this context.
In the sixth paper, Johnson and Thakur report on an exploratory case study investigation into the use of mobile phones in the business ecosystem of the informal economy in Jamaica. While the ecosystem is competitive and hierarchical, there are also opportunities for information sharing in a more cooperative fashion.
In the seventh paper, Nguyen, Ha and Braa document how architectural knowledge played a significant role in the establishment of the health information infrastructure in Vietnam.
In the eighth paper, Kivunike, Ekenberg, Danielson and Tusubira continue the healthcare theme with an evaluation of healthcare delivery in Uganda. They employ a structured approach to measure actual ICT contributions in different contexts, notably by by facilitating qualitative data elicitations, aggregation, analysis and evaluation.
Volume 65 contains eight regular papers accepted for publication.
In the first paper, Hassen and Svensen consider the role of e-commerce for the development of small businesses in Ethiopia. The authors write case studies about five small enterprises involved in import and export business and examine their utilization level of E-commerce technology. The findings show that small enterprises in the country have low levels of e-commerce utilization due to: (1) the scarcity of infrastructure development and expertise in the area, and (2) barriers created by government policy and bank regulations.
In the second paper, Potnis considers how gender-related issues can be balanced in ICT4D field work. The author illustrates the culturally sensitive application of Project Management Principles to manage contextual challenges mainly consisting of gender-related challenges in field research with poor female mobile phone users in rural India.
In the third paper, Jobe and Hansson explore the use and effects of non-formal education and incentives in Kenya. The authors create, implement, and evaluate a MOOC platform about human rights that was available to any Kenyan for free in order to increase knowledge and engagement.
In the fourth paper, Mathew and Mishra examine the drivers of online purchasing in India, drawing on survey data (n=484) from Indian consumers. Findings show that Indian online users had high level of perceived risks and these perceived risks increase despite users have online buying experience.
In the fifth paper, Cilliers and Flowerday assess the acceptance of telemedicine by health care workers in South Africa. The authors draw on survey data of health care workers to understand the barriers to and motivators for telemedicine system use.
In the sixth paper, El-Shishtawy aims to show how advances in mobile technologies can help solve social and political aspects involved in the reform of subsidies in developing countries. The author describes the work done to build a mobile-based supportive network that integrates all subsidy partners: governmental, non-governmental organizations, merchants, and beneficiaries.
In the seventh paper, Rufai examines the impact of ICT on the performance of SMEs in Lagos State, Nigeria. The study was undertaken through a firm survey and also a number of semi-structured interviews with purposively selected 100 SMEs operating in both the affluent and disadvantaged districts of the city.
In the last paper, Kalema and Kgasi report on the E-health readiness assessment model contextualized in developing countries analyzing data collected from health institutions of the rural North-west province of South Africa.
Volume 64 of EJISDC contains nine papers.
In the first paper, Thapa and Saebo present a literature review in order to explore the links between ICT and Development in the context of developing countries, identifying the different theories applied and the role of technology in the development process.
In the second paper, Shidende explores the use of defaulter tracing systems in Tanzania and illustrates how patient-centred systems are used at the grass-roots level.
In the third paper, El Deeb, Eldin and Kamel present a case study of Xceed, an Egyptian contact centre. They describe the progression of an Egyptian company from a local call center to an international provider of call center and data entry services, demonstrating the uniqueness of an Egyptian company managed by local expertise and competing at the global level.
In the fourth paper, Wamuyu examines the role of contextual (social and economic) factors on the uptake and continued use of m-money in Kenya.
In the fifth paper, Adeniran and Johnston examine the levels and purposes of ICT utilisation within a sample of ICT-aware South African SMEs. The paper offers insights into the levels and purposes of ICT utilisation with implications for practitioners and academics.
In the sixth paper, Odit, Rwashana and Kituyi examine the antecedents and dynamics that influence strategic alignment of Health Information Systems (HIS) in Uganda with the aim of adequately addressing the complex IS design issues. HIS turn out to be used in a variety of ways including: locating substitute sources for medical commodities, reducing costs of handling orders as well as minimizing uncertainty in ordering lead time.
In the seventh paper, Kemppainen, Mpogole, Tedre and Chachage extend previous work to validate a tool that can be used for identifying potential risks in international development co-operation projects, drawing on evidence from 83 IT experts and leaders in Tanzania.
In the eighth paper, Mooketsi and Chigona evaluate the perception of success of the implementation of an e-learning strategy in disadvantaged areas in South Africa. They contend that e-learning strategies are often deemed to have failed even though local stakeholders hold a contrary view, finding benefits in the same strategy.
In the ninth paper, Huong, Katsuhiro and Chi study the knowledge-bridging process of bridge System Engineers (bridge SEs) in the software offshore development context, drawing on evidence of a Japan to Vietnam software bridging project.
Volume 63 contains eight regular papers submitted to EJISDC.
In the first paper, Chawani, Kaasboll, Finken, Herstad and Malata present an attempt to balance the work practices and protocols in the development of an Electronic Medical Records system for antenatal care in Malawi. The authors highlight the important role that clients play in healthcare work and thus, influence the design of EMR systems.
In the second paper, Chan Mow reports on the issues and challenges associated with ICT development in a small island state - Samoa. The author draws upon Heeks' (2013) Inclusive Innovation theory, Schumpeter’s (2002) development theory and Sen’s (1999) capability approach. Recommendations for future practice and strategy are made.
In the third paper, Bell and Wood-Harper examine the applicability of the Multiview3 methodology to non-specialists working in developing countries with particular references to cases in various developing countries.
In the fourth paper, Kemppainen, Tedre and Sutinen review six non-technical issues associated with ICT-based development projects derived from the central concepts and consensuses of IDC as well as from an analysis of the relevant literature. The six issues are reflected on in the context of many years of work undertaken in sub-Saharan Africa.
In the fifth paper, Adaba and Rusu apply Sen’s (1999) Capability Approach as a framework to examine the effect of an e-government initiative intended to modernise customs operational procedures and facilitate trade in Ghana. The authors contribute to knowledge by offering a useful example of the affordances of the Capability Approach for examining e-government initiatives focusing on what people can actually do with the opportunities provided by e-government, rather than using income-based measures.
In the sixth paper, Kurti, Barolli and Sevrani draw on the work of Nfuka and Rusu (2010) to advance our understanding on Critical Success Factors for effective IT governance in the Albanian public sector. Drawing on case study data obtained from interactions with five Albanian government institutions, they find that there is a greater need for focus on resource management and the human dimension.
In the seventh paper, Baldwin and Mahon illustrate how a participatory GIS approach can be applied as a sound basis for practically incorporating an ecosystem approach within marine spatial planning initiatives in the context of the Grenadines.
In the eighth paper, Hechanova and Ortega-Go expand the Uses and Gratification Theory by examining Internet use and its outcomes among Filipino Internet users. They also test Social Cognitive Theory by examining the role of both self and external regulation on Internet use outcomes. Positive outcomes of Internet use are greater productivity and personal enhancement. Negative outcomes can be described in terms of social harm and Internet addiction.
Vol 61 contains eight regular research papers.
In the first paper, Mathias Hatakka, Sarah Ater, David Obura and Brigid Mibei build on the capability approach perspective of development to study the access, use and impact of ICT in a study circle education program on the south coast of Kenya.
In the second paper, Osama Sohaib and Kyeong Kang engage in a comparative and cross-cultural analysis of B2C E-Commerce initiatives in Pakistan and Australia.
In the third paper, Nurdin Nurdin, Rosemary Stockdale and Helana Scheepers examine how coordination and cooperation shape the implementation process of local e-government systems, drawing on case data from Indonesia.
In the fourth paper, John Effah investigates the formation and failure of an e-marketplace pioneer in Ghana. It is noted that the e-marketplace development process lacked both a clear business model and suitable sensitivity to the local environment.
In the fifth paper, P.A. Siribaddana uses social network analysis and content analysis to explore the types of interactions that occur in online training programmes in Health IS, focusing on the knowledge construction that takes place in this context.
In the sixth paper, Marita Turpin and PM Alexander present a survey of the use of systems thinking in the ICT4D literature. The authors note a lack of systems concepts in the literature and propose ways in which this deficiency could be addressed.
In the seventh paper, Joel Mtebe and Roope Raisamo introduce a model for evaluating Learning Management Systems deployed in Higher Education Institutions in Sub-Saharan countries. This model extends DeLone and McLean's Information Systems Success Model.
In the last paper, Hallberg, Hansson and Nilsson draw attention to the urgency of taking into consideration women’s gender-specific needs and interests in the implementation of community-based ICT projects in lifelong learning. Their work is centred in the Kenyan context, with comparative data from Bolivia, Cameroon and Sri Lanka.
Volume 60 of EJISDC contains eight regular papers with authors from Egypt, France, Malaysia, Oman, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, the UK and Zimbabwe.
In the first paper, Dissanayeke and Wanigasundera explore how mobile devices are used among the agricultural community in Sri Lanka in relation to interactions with major agricultural stakeholders.
In the second paper, Muhanguzi and Kyobe seek to identify how the alignment of work practices with mobile technology can result in performance improvements in SMEs in developing countries.
In the third paper, Sharkawi and Rahman explore the application of 3D models in urban planning and management where changes in the physical infrastructure take place frequently.
In the fourth paper, Osah, Pade-Khene and Foster investigate critical issues associated with the implementation of ICT4D projects in rural areas of developing countries.
In the fifth article, Kamel highlights the clash of generations between older state power and younger citizens and the role social media played in the political transformation in the build-up to Egypt’s uprising in January 2011 and beyond.
In the sixth article, Le Bel, Chavernac, Mapuvire and Cornu explore the application of FrontlineSMS as an early warning network for human-wildlife conflict mitigation in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
In the seventh article, Alqahtani, Al-Badi and Mayhew explore the acceptance of m-transactions in Saudi Arabia.
In the last paper, Amin, Abdul-Rahman, Ramayah, Supinah and Mohd-Aris explore the factors influencing the acceptance of online waqf, generally termed as Islamic e-donations, in the Malaysian context.
Volume 59 contains 6 regular papers and one book review.
The first paper by Winley and Wongwuttiwat compared ICT professional requirements in organizations in Thailand with the ICT bachelor degree curriculum offered in universities in Thailand using a theoretical framework with three related components: domains of expertise; the scope of the professional’s knowledge, skills, and experience; and specific skills associated with the domains of expertise. Survey data was collected from 166 medium to large sized organizations and 42 universities which offered in total 78 ICT related bachelor degree programs. The findings show that although there was a reasonable degree of alignment between the importance of skills in the organizations and the ICT curriculum, the programs were not addressing adequately the needs of organizations for a range of skills.
In the second paper, Krauss and Turpin contend that if the outsider-researcher involved in ICT for Development research really wants to make a difference and honestly address the emancipatory interests of the developing community, emancipation has to take place on both sides of the “development divide”. Specifically, emancipatory research and practice need to be accompanied by an understanding of the researcher-practitioner’s own assumptions, preconceptions, and limitations as well as local concerns, needs, and realities. These issues are explored from a critical theory perspective drawing on a confessional account with critical reflexivity.
In the third paper, Lau, Winley, Lau and Tan explore the adoption and use of ICT in Myanmar, examining the nature and structure of the IT profession. The authors draw on a theoretical framework with three components: domains of IT professional expertise; the scope of the IT professional’s knowledge, skills and experience; and specific knowledge and skills associated with the domains of professional expertise in the IT field.
In the fourth paper, Akeel, Wynn and Zhang undertake a case study analysis into the deployment of IS in the Libyan oil industry in two companies. The authors explore the IS strategies of the two companies drawing on different theoretical models as they analyse the implementation of the strategies.
In the fifth paper Mooketsi and Leonard examine the factors associated with usage of the Tribal Land information management system in Botswana, in particular considering the extent to which the system improves land management and administration. The current lack of consolidation among different land boards is a cause for concern that should be addressed.
In the last paper, Purkayastha and Braa examine how cloud computing solutions may provide value in the context of Health IS in developing countries characterised by Big Data situations. The authors draw on the Analytics-as-a Service component of DHIS2 software which is used in over thirty developing countries.
The last item in this issue is a book review. The title of the book is The Global News Challenge: Market Strategies of International Broadcasting Organizations in Developing Countries, written by Anne Geniets and published by Routledge. The book provides an important and largely eloquent review of the way international news organizations project themselves and are perceived by their erstwhile audience – in Developing Countries.
In Volume 58 we present seven regular papers.
In the first paper, Gomez reports the results of a content analysis of 984 papers published in the ICTD field from 2000-2010. This is the first major review of the field and provides a useful analysis of the research undertaken to date, as well as pointers to future research.
In the second paper, Ramirez-Gomez, Brwon and Tjon Sie Fat report on a participatory GIS mapping project that was designed to identify ecosystem services in Southern Suriname. A number of lessons learned that can be applied elsewhere are provided.
In the third paper, Olupot and Mayoka propose a framework for the adoption of Electronic Customer Relationship Management systems in Uganda.
In the fourth paper, Duncan and Rahman introduce a conceptual framework for multi-purpose cadastre that can be applied to land acquisition and ownership rights.
In the fifth paper, Aliyu, Mahumd, Tap and Nassr review the design features of Islamic websites that focus on providing religious content. The results of the study have implications for the design of Islamic websites.
In the sixth paper, Akinnuwesi, Uzoka, Olabiyisi, Omidiora and Fiddi report on the results of an investigation into the perception gap between end-users and software developers in Nigeria regarding end-user participation in software development
In the last paper, Mpazanje, Sewchurran and Brown explore and describe the as-lived experiences of stakeholders in IS projects, specifically examining (through the lens of Actor-Network theory) the case of an IS project implementation in Malawi.
In the first paper, Mtega and Msungu determine the role of specific ICTs in agricultural production and agribusiness and assess the effectiveness of commonly used ICTs in the creation and sharing of agricultural knowledge and information services in Tanzania. Findings show that while farmers prefer communication via mobile phones and radio, researchers and extension workers prefer PC-based Internet connections.
In the second paper, Graham and Mann document a potentially highly transformative moment in East Africa’s history: the arrival of underwater fibre-optic broadband communications cables in Mombasa, Kenya. The authors combine “media content analysis” with “findings from interviews with business owners in Kenya’s nascent business process outsourcing (BPO) and software development sectors” as they explore how technological connectivity is marketed and embedded within economic development.
In the third paper, Gomez, Bayo, Reed, Wang and Silva report on their development and implementation of Fearless Cards, a novel way of communicating basic information in an easy-to-use fashion for underserved populations in order to help them “overcome their fears and lack of self-confidence to learn to use computers and the Internet in ways that help them improve their lives”.
In the fourth paper, Bello-Bravo, Olana, Enyadne and Pittendrigh introduce their work undertaken in and around Adama City in Oromia, Ethiopia where they are deploying video-based educational materials for low-literate learners in a partnership arrangements with local, public and private institutions.
In the fifth paper, Muthiah, Prashant, Umadikar and Karthikeyan describe their experiences from an exploratory implementation of a mobile phone-based multimedia agricultural advisory system, which provides agricultural advice to farmers via their mobile phones.
In the sixth paper, Khedo, Suntoo, Elaheebocus and Mocktoolah investigate the impact of online social networks on adolescents in Mauritius. Both negative and positive experiences are reported from the communication processes for which most respondents use social networks.
In the seventh paper, Touray, Salminen and Mursu review the literature on the barriers to and critical success factors associated with ICTs in developing countries, drawing on data published in 1107 articles from 2000-2011 in the top five journals in the field. They then compare their findings with those obtained through their own case study research to identify patterns and opportunities.
In Volume 55 we present a special editorial, as well as 6 regular papers. In the editorial, the journal's two co-editors provide some feedback and commentary on the review process, and identify topics where we would like to see more submissions in the future.
In the first paper, Kituyi and Amulen from the Makerere University Business School in Uganda consider a modified CMM model for SMEs in developing countries, with Uganda as a specific example.
In the second paper, Neupane, Soar and Vaidya from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia, report on research undertaken in Nepal into perceptions of trust in public e-procurement systems and of their anti-corruption capabilities.
In the third paper, Kemppainen, Parviainen, Tedre and Sutinen from the University of Eastern Finland present a risk identification tool that is aimed at assisting IT professionals and organizations to identify sources of challenges in international development co-operation projects. The tools can also be applied in the design of appropriate countermeasures for overcoming risks before the project enters the implementation phase.
In the fourth paper, Chevers, Duggan and Moore from the University of the West Indies in Jamaica explore the impact of process, people and perception on IS quality and IS success in the context of software development, drawing on data from the Jamaican context.
In the fifth paper, Piaptie from the University of Douala, Cameroon, considers how cybercafés can withstand competitors that offer alternative access to the Internet. Drawing on data from three towns in Cameroon, he suggests that cybercafés need to diversify their offerings.
In the last paper, Bello-Bravo and Baoua report on the results of a short survey conducted by students from Maradi (Niger) with farmers, teachers in rural areas, informal entrepreneurs and women, in which several 3D animations were shown on mobile phones: cholera prevention, neem seed extract for insects pest control and triple bagging for storage to prevent post harvest looses. The authors report on the usefulness of content and the ease of technology use.
In this regular issue of the journal, we publish eight papers on the following topics: e-Commerce in Saudi Arabia; an IS curriculum in Botswana; e-Government service quality in Saudi Arabia; the use of pigeons for networking; 3D city modeling in Ghana, Nigeria and Malaysia; Black economic scorecards in South Africa; a comparison of ICT adoption/use in Thailand and Vietnam; and the implementation of e-health records in Bangladesh.
In the first paper, Alqahtani, Al-Badi and Mayhew undertake a grounded theory investigation into the main factors that influence the adoption of E-Commerce from a consumer’s perceptive in Saudi Arabia.
In the second paper, Ayalew, Renken, Mgaya and Nkgau describe the approach taken to develop a contextualized undergraduate IS curriculum in a highly interdisciplinary African university where there were three undergraduate IS programs.
In the third paper, Alanezi, Mahmood and Basri explore qualitatively the dimensions that contribute to e-government service quality, or have the capacity to detract from website support, in the context of Saudi Arabia.
In the fourth paper, Scholl and Lindgren propose using live carrier pigeons as a substitute for people in the transportation of Delay Tolerant Networking data, for instance in situations where the demand for this transport exceeds the human capacity available.
In the fifth paper, Duncan, Eluwa and Musibau examine the impact of horizontal urbanization and its associated effects in terms of infrastructure, planning and congestion in two West African cities. They also compare this situation with that in Malaysia, where a more vertical and organized approach to urbanization is taken.
In the sixth paper, Mohapi conceptualises the critical role that the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) scorecard has played in the development of influential Black decision makers; in addition, the paper seeks to understand the influencing dynamics BEE has had towards IT Governance in South African organizations.
In the seventh paper, Winley and Lau compare the adoption and use of ICT in Vietnam and Thailand by examining the nature and structure of the IT profession in medium to large size organizations.
In the last paper, Khan, Shahid, Hedstrom and Andersson explore physicians’ hopes and fears for implementing Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems in Bangladeshi hospitals. Physician skepticism is a major reason for the low level of use found.
In this issue, we present six research papers from South Africa (2), Malawi, Uganda, Tajikistan. The final paper examines cartographic maps as a medium of communication in the context of welfare and poverty.
In the first paper, Makoza and Chigona report on a study of the impact of using Information and Communication Technologies on the livelihoods of microenterprises in South Africa. They note the challenges of ICT use and comment that strategies don't always help.
In the second paper, Kanjo describes how knowledge and data generated through traditional health practices with respect to maternal and child health, define and control data quality in health information system in Malawi.
In the third paper, Musiimenta explores the IT-mediated issues that influence the adoption of an IT-assisted sexual health and HIV/AIDS education intervention implemented in Uganda.
In the fourth paper, Latifov and Sahay examine the socio-technical approaches relevant to the design and development of a data warehouse to support the national HIS in Tajikistan.
In the fifth paper, Ogunyemi and Johnston develop and validate a new conceptual readiness framework NOIIE (National e-readiness, Organisational preparedness, Industrial relationships, Internal resistance and External influence), for investigating organisational readiness for emerging technologies and applications, drawing on the context of South African organisations.
In the last paper, Akinyemi, Sester and Balogun investigate the effectiveness of cartographic maps as a medium for communication of information relating to poverty and welfare in different contexts.
Volume 52 of the journal contains eight papers from South Africa, Uganda, Australia, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, India and Thailand.
In the first paper, Gomez, Pather and Dosono assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of telecenters and cybercafés and their contribution to community development in South Africa.
In the second paper, Nchise, Boateng, Shu and Mbarika explore the preliminary lessons in the use of mobile phones to promote access to health care information in Uganda and suggest that the need to access health information via mobile text messages is mediated by cost incentives, misconceptions of brand name, and content relevance.
In the third paper, Grant-Smith and Johnson draw on the experiences of a community mapping project with disadvantaged communities in suburban Australia to highlight the importance of selecting tools and techniques which support and enhance participatory planning.
In the fourth paper, Abdelghaffar research investigates how environmental and organizational factors affect the success of ERP implementation in developing countries with focus on the organizations working in Egypt.
In the fifth paper, Effah uses an actor-network theory lens within an interpretive case study to understand how funeral culture was mobilized for an e-business venture in Ghana.
In the sixth paper, Ogembo, Ngugi and Pelowski investigate the outstanding challenges facing the computerization of primary schools in rural Kenya, considering the results of a survey of 37 primary schools.
In the seventh paper, Rao examines the role of Right-to-Information-related online discussion groups, known as ‘sister-groups’, and their offline networks in generating collaborations towards short term collective actions in India.
In the eighth paper, Tantisajjatham focuses on how inner characteristics and personalities affect IT professionals and their career paths in Thailand.
With this publication of Volume 51, we celebrate a milestone for EJISDC. While this is a regular issue of the journal with 8 papers, it also provides the opportunity for the editors to take stock of what we have achieved in the last 12 years - since we published volume 1. We have seen our readership expand dramatically, with both readers and authors globally distributed. We have also seen an increase in submissions, with about 3 submissions a week at present. Given the lack of budgetary constraints, we have never felt the pressure to publish fewer papers - we believe that all quality papers should be published in a timely fashion. Currently, around 25% of submitted papers are eventually accepted for publication. Recently we have been indexed by Scopus and we are waiting to hear from Thomson-Reuters with respect to an SSCI listing. Our zero-budget model has served us well to date and we have no plans to change our open access approach to publishing.
Indeed, our zero budget model contrasts with the more traditional academic publishing, where researchers are paid nothing for their material and are then charged exorbitant fees to read it. The big three publishers that dominate the industry consistently enjoy profit margins of 30-40%. They charge astronomic subscriptions for the top journals that put them out of reach of pretty much every university in the developing world, forcing them to choose between a journal subscription or hiring a professor for a year. Little wonder that there are concerned academics (like us) who have had enough, with the growing boycott of Elsevier journals. At the time of writing, around 4,300 academics have signed up to an online pledge not to publish or do any editorial work for the company's journals, including refereeing papers (see http://thecostofknowledge.com/).
The value of information and knowledge in the development process is now well-understood and it is to the shame of the top academic publishers that they continue to prevent access to it by the developing nations that stand to benefit the most from being able to use it. The approach of EJISDC, now acknowledged as among the top journals in its field, demonstrates how open access to research achieves its moral imperative without discarding the benefits of peer review that academics depend on.
We therefore extend our heartfelt gratitude to all who have submitted, reviewed, edited, published and read the material that we have been honoured to make available and ask everyone to continue working with us towards our aim of keeping access to relevant research findings open for developing countries.
In the first paper, Blake and Garzon take a capability approach (after Sen) to consider how boundary objects can be combined to provide a comprehensive framework for sustainable technology-supported participatory development to alleviate poverty.
In the second paper, Ndiege, Wayi and Herselman present the results of an exploratory study into the quality of IS used within SMEs in Eldoret town, Kenya.
In the third paper, Manochehri, Al-Esmail and Ashrafi provide an overview of the current state of affairs of the ICT adoption in SMEs in private and public organizations in Qatar. They investigate ICT infrastructure, productivity and business application software used, drivers for ICT investment, perceptions about business benefits of ICT, outsourcing trends and availability of help and advice on ICT adoption.
In the fourth paper, Ekat reports on an investigation conducted to determine whether or not a relationship exists between IT expenditure and the financial performance of the Nigerian banking industry.
In the fifth paper, Winley and Wongwuttiwat investigate the structure of the IT profession across eight different organizational sectors in Thailand.
In the sixth paper, Siyao identifies the barriers to accessing agricultural information by small-scale sugar cane growers in Tanzania.
In the seventh paper, Moertini presents the risks faced at the project initiation stage of an Academic Information Systems development project and the methods of managing these risks, in the context of Higher Education Institutions in Indonesia.
In the last paper, Pade-Khene and Sewry present a Rural ICT Comprehensive Evaluation Framework, which encompasses the key domains of evaluation that should be applied throughout the progression of an ICT for development project. The framework is illustrated by the Siyakhula Living Lab, an ICT4D project in South Africa. The editors are now firmly convinced that EJISDC fully vindicates the concept of open access and open publishing, if such vindication is still required. With academic publishing in its present state of crisis, there can be no clearer evidence that our approach achieves the total promise that open access to the findings of publicly-funded research brings.
We hope that you enjoy this 51st volume as much as we enjoy publishing the best IS research about developing countries.
This special issue of Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries was guest edited by Wallace Chigona, Irwin Brown and Lucas Mimbi of the Department of Information Systems, University of Cape Town, South Africa. The articles are selected from papers presented at the International Development Informatics Associate (IDIA) conference which took place in Cape Town (3rd - 5th November 2010). The theme of the conference was Exploring Success and Failure in Development Informatics: Innovation, Research and Practice.The articles in this issue cover wide-ranging topics related to development informatics.
The first two papers (Wertlen et al. and Stillman et al.) deal with the provisioning of sustainable need-driven technological solutions to disadvantaged communities. In both papers, a living lab solution involving a partnership among the community, government, industry and academia is proposed as a solution to sustainable solutions. Wertlen et al.use a case of the Dwesa Living Lab project in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa to demonstrate how the community, working as a test-bed, can drive technological innovations while at the same time benefiting by acquiring the needed technology as well as having their needs incorporated in the solutions. The paper demonstrates that such partnerships can benefit all parties.
Stillman et al. propose the use of the digital door way approach to provide the need-driven technology for the community. The paper notes that solutions for communities should take into consideration the social, political and economic factors of the community.
In the third paper, Yeo et al. focus on the challenges of providing technology to the rural and removed communities. The task of providing the required number of telecenters in most regions is daunting especially when faced with the ever growing population. It is particularly difficult to provide telecenters to rural areas, especially in countries which are vast and spread. Based on the experience in Borneo Malaysia, the paper explores the model of replicating telecenters which would overcome the challenges and ensure the majority of the population has access. The paper highlights the challenges of developing a replication model for telecenters.
The fourth paper, by Alexander and Korpela, critically looks at focus group discussions as a data collection method for ICT4D research. The paper notes that the quality of the data collected through a focus group discussion may be polluted by the internal group politics as well as power dynamics between a researcher, who is an outsider to the community on the one hand, and the communityon the other hand. The paper posits that researchers need to be conscious of the challenges during data collection as well during the analysis of data.
In the fifth paper, Gomez and Pather question the appropriateness of assessment criteria used in ICT4D projects. The paper notes that most studies and institutions focus on evaluating outputs (e.g. number of computers, number of users, etc.) and do not proceed to evaluate the actual impact of the deployment of technologies. The authors propose that meaningful evaluation of ICT4D initiatives should focus on assessing the antecedents of meaningful development. At an individual level these are empowerment, self-esteem and self-worth, and at a collective level these are cohesiveness and strengthening of the social fabric.
The sixth paper, by Dodson and Sterling, addresses the tension between fields and perspectives in the realm of ICT4D. The paper contributes to the debate on the demarcation and conflicts of roles between different players in an ICT4D project. In particular, the paper looks at the roles of a journalist and a researcher. Although on the surface the two roles may appear similar, they are constrained by different requirements in terms of inter alia gaining access to respondents, disclosure of information and monetary rewards for the information collected. The paper wrestles with scenarios where one person holds both roles, or changes between one role and the other. The paper is particularly relevant in the multi-disciplinary field of ICT4D where researchers’ backgrounds are diverse and the possibility of such tensions islikely.
Motjolopane and Lutu, in the seventh paper, deal with the challenges of data quality at institutional level in developing countries. The study uses the case of the banking sector in Southern Africa. The study notes the need for the central bank to have high quality data to ensure proper control of the banking sector. However, the study notes that due to numerous challenges, the quality of the data is often compromised. The paper looks at the causes and possible solutions to compromised data quality in the banking sector.
Vol 49 contains five papers selected as 'best papers' from among those presented at the IFIP WG 9.4 conference in Kathmandu, Nepal, in May 2011.
In the first paper, Thapa reports on an investigation into the role of ICT actors associated with the Nepal Wireless Networking Project in the Myagdi District of Nepal. The project was started by an activist in one village - and has now spread to 150 villages. Implications for both research and practice are discussed.
In the second paper, Gomez and Barn-Porras consider the relationship between public access computing and community develop in the context of libraries, telecentres and cybercafes in Colombia. The authors find that personal friendship and sense of belonging to a global community are more likely to emerge than community development.
In the third paper, Briggs and Brooks examine the institutional arrangements in the development of Nigeria’s electronic payment system from a new institutional economics perspective. The study suggests that technological standards must be matched by administrative arrangements that inspire confidence.
In the fourth paper, Avgerou, Li and Poulymenakou present and discuss a case of intense entrepreneurial activity in a Chinese community, engaging in e-commerce trading conducted on a platform of internet tools that enacts online social networking mechanisms of peer-to-peer and vendor-customer interactions.
In the fifth paper, Chigona, Lekwane, Westcott and Chigona explore the use of shared access points to the Internet in the wake of the increasing diffusion and usage of mobile technology in the context of a disadvantaged community in Cape Town, South Africa.
Volume 48 of EJISDC contains eight papers reporting research that spans Malawi, India, Mexico, Ethiopia, Zanzibar and Tanzania with applications in Health IS, eGovernment, Agriculture, human deveopment and the Computing Curriculum.
In the first paper, Chipo Kanjo highlights the factors affecting Health IS use in an interpretive case study from Malawi that examines secual reproductive health and rights.
In the second paper, Sein examines the critical role of e-government intermediaries in developing countries, where citizens often lack the basic means of accessing Internet-provided services.
In the third paper, Kameswari, Kishore and Gupta report on the availability, use and information seeking behaviour of a farming community in rural North India.
In the fourth paper, Santibáñez and Castillo analyze the effects of changes in the purchase of computer equipment and peripherals on exports by various classes of the Mexican manufacturing industry.
In the fifth paper, Bass and Heeks investigate how changes are taking place in the computing curricula of universities in developing countries in response to advances in ICT, focusing on the higher education sector in Ethiopia.
In the sixth paper, Sheikh and Braa consider the problem of health IS sustainability in developing countries, with a specific focus on the role of communities of practice in Zanzibar.
In the seventh paper, Furuholt and Matotay investigate how mobile phones are providing value to rural farmers in Tanzania.
In the eighth paper, Bankole, Shirazi and Brown investigate the impact of ICT investments on human development, in particular the relationships between different dimensions of ICT investment and the components of human development.
Volume 47 of EJISDC contains eight papers, spanning Fiji, Nigeria, Jordan, Oman, Brazil, Ghana and Saudi Arabia.
In the first paper, Prasad considers how IT creates business value in the Least Developed Economies – and how this value can be evaluated. Based on analysis of data collected from five LDEs, he shows that organizations that invest in IT and related complementarities do improve their business processes and that these lead to overall business processes improvements.
In the second paper, Bankole, Bankole and Brown study the adoption of mobile banking in Nigeria with a cross-sectional survey of current mobile banking adopters.
In the third paper, Halaweh takes an interpretive approach to examine security challenges associated with the adoption of e-commerce in Jordan.
In the fourth paper, Ashrafi examined the strategic value of IT for private sector firms in Oman. The results broadly mirror those that would be expected in more developed economies, though some notable differences are highlighted.
In the fifth paper, Vreuls and Joia develop an exploratory model for the relevant factors related to the professional performance of the Brazilian CIO. Survey data from 111 Brazilian CIOs is analysed. The results suggest that Brazilian CIOs have similar skills to those of CIOs in developed countries.
In the sixth paper, Salia, Msowah-Nuamah and Steel examine the effects of mobile phone use on the livelihoods of artisanal fishing in Ghana. The authors demonstrate that mobile phone use among fishermen has improved their businesses relations and livelihoods.
In the seventh paper, AlGhamdi, Drew and Al-Ghaith identify the factors influencing e-commerce adoption in Saudi Arabia. They find that while ICT adoption in the country has been rapid, e-commerce adoption is much slower. Reasons for this slow rate of adoption are explored in details, following cultural, business and technical approaches.
In the last paper, Frempong documents the development of an information society in Ghana. He finds that while Ghana compares favourably with other African nations, there is a lack of underlying resources to support future development.
Volume 46 is a regular issue of EJISDC with six papers.
In the first paper, Clark and Gomez analyse the role of user fees and other critical barriers in the use of computers in public access venues in 25 developing countries. Results suggest that the digital literacy of staff and local relevance of content may be more important than fees in determining user preference for public access venues.
In the second paper, Shapiro and Yates describe the application of the principles to establish a sustainable legal information system in Azerbaijan. This USAID-funded project was undertaken from 2004-2006. Modifications to the plan, based on local conditions, and lessons learned are discussed in detail. The key individual and team performance issues that must be addressed to successfully sustain a legal information system in a developing country are discussed in detail.
In the third paper, Cavalheiro, Joia, Welke and Dahanayake report on large-scale service transformation in the social security system in Brazil accruing from the use of ICT. Both an historical overview of pre-reengineering experiences and a functional analysis of ICT solutions are provided.
In the fourth paper, Rabayah and Qalalwi explore the use and impact of mobile telephony on the performance of companies in Palestine. Based on a large scale survey of all sizes of enterprises, the authors find that mobile phones have meaningfully enhanced internal processes and the overall value chain. Most notably, mobile phones were effective in bridging the information and connectivity gap businesses in developing countries ordinarily suffer.
In the fifth paper, Supramaniam and Kuppusamy examine critical success factors for Enterprise Resource Planning systems based on a survey of firms (n=151) in Malaysia. Recommendations for practice are given.
In the sixth paper, Chigona and Mooketsi, using the Habermasian theory of Communicative Action as a theoretical lens, study the media discourse of the Khanya Project - a flagship ICT for education project in South Africa. The findings substantiate previous research on media discourse that found that media discourse pushes propaganda to the effect that technological uptake and adoption is crucial and inevitable.
Volume 45 contains six regular papers.
In the first paper, Selvan, Arasu and Sivagnanasundaram consider the adoption of Internet banking in India and find that overall attitude about electronic channels can be an antecedent predictor in the case of attitude towards internet banking.
In the second paper, Harris and Harris examine how ICTs have contributed to the social development of a rural indigenous ethnic community. They focus on the benefits of ICTs in recording and passing on their unique culture and traditions, something that is of considerable importance to the community. The research builds an understanding of the nature of cultural transmission within an indigenous community in East Malaysia and demonstrates how ICTs can bridge the digital divide by accentuating the importance of family, friends and other social interactions within a community in strengthening the processes of cultural transmission.
In the third paper, Masiero examines and financial and social aspects of telecentre sustainability through a case study of the Akshaya Telecentre project in Kerala, India and propose a new paradigm for telecentre studies in which social and financial sustainability are interlinked by mutual reinforcement.
In the fourth paper, Guclu and Bilgen describe a strategic management model, as applied to government information technologies, in the context of the Ministry of Finance, Turkey.
In the fifth paper, Graham examines the way in which the Internet can be leveraged in order to expand markets and disintermediate commodity chains in the context of the Thai silk industry.
In the final paper, Ellahi and Mushtaq identify the factors associated with the knowledge sharing behaviour of bloggers in Pakistan.
ICTs and Development: Theories and Evidence
This special section was guest edited by P. Vigneswara Ilavarasan of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and Mark R. Levy of Michigan State University, USA. The articles are drawn from papers presented and roundtable discussions held at a workshop, ICTs and Development: An International Workshop for Theory, Practice, & Policy, March 11-12, 2010, Delhi, India. The workshop was, supported by a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada.
The articles here seek to partially address two significant lacunae in the ICTD literature. The first is the generally recognized shortcoming that, although ICT4D draws on models and theories from disciplines ranging from information systems to sociology, ICT4D, as a multidisciplinary scientific endeavor, has very little theory to call its own. Indeed, given the justifiably applied heritage of ICT4D work, theory building is not by and large a priority for many ICT4D scholars. The second gap in the literature is in part the result of the recent, extraordinary rates of mobile phone diffusion and the subsequent need to track the adoption of mobiles and the uses to which that new technology was being put. Now, however, we believe that it is increasingly feasible and important to move beyond adoption and uses and to build a literature that explicitly and primarily probes the impact and consequences of widely diffused ICTs on development goals.
The section opens with a broad theoretical paper with philosophical underpinnings and concludes with a rigorous empirical study. Though the arguments and implications raised by these four papers are applicable to any ICTD work, the specific research sites are India, Pakistan, South Africa, Kenya and China.
The first article is a normative theoretical paper by Tim Unwin. The initial focus of Unwin’s paper is on the
ethical dimensions arising from the implementation of e-governance, especially national databases, identity cards, and surveillance technologies. Unwin confronts those ethical issues by providing a tour d ‘horizon of classical and recent political philosophy and then applying those traditions to normative issues in e-governance, specifically trust, privacy, and legal frameworks. The paper then broadens its inquiry to consider larger questions of the linkages between the notion of Universal Human Rights and the introduction of ICTs in developing nations.
In the second theoretical paper, Jack Qiu explicates the interplay of macro sociopolitical conditions in urban China and the recent history of the mobile phone. Drawing on several large secondary data sets, Qiu extends and refines key theoretical concepts such as “information have-less” and “working-class information society” in order to more fully understand social class in the information society at large. The article explores the sometimes unforeseeable ways that China’s new working-class of internally migrant workers has seized on mobiles to meet their informational needs and to manage their lives in a dramatically changing social and economic environment.
The third theoretical paper by Jonathan Donner interrogates existing theoretical streams in the ICTD literature, which he calls the “dual heritage” of mobiles and development. Donner’s paper probes the assumptions of user choice or embedded directionality that underpin the M4D paradigm. By a careful re-reading of foundational texts in communication and development and grounded in two empirical studies, Donner concludes that, going forward, the mobiles-for-development effort must draw on both the tradition of technologies of freedom” and that of the “spirit of the feature set” to create and frame testable, additive theoretical models for M4D research and for the more general task of understanding underlying social processes of communication.
Finally, Chew, Ilavarasan, and Levy offer up an empirical paper that considers the impact of ICTs on microenterprises owned by women in Mumbai, India. Drawing on a rigorous, probability sample of female microentrepreneurs in Mumbai, India, the paper identifies key factors associated with microenterprise growth. Main findings include evidence that business growth is a function of ICT access; that growth is related to motivation to use ICTs for business purposes; and that the more positive a woman microentrepreneur feels about her status and power because of her business, the more she will be motivated to use ICTs in support of that business.
P. Vigneswara Ilavarasan, Department of Humanities & Social Sciences Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Hauz Khas, New Delhi 110 016 INDIA. E-mail: email@example.com
Mark R. Levy, Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48824 USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
In this regular volume of EJISDC, we present 7 papers.
In the first paper, Mengesha considers the interpretations and subsequent actions of key stakeholder groups towards open source software (OSS) during the implementation of an OSS-based IS in a public sector organization in Ethiopia.
In the second paper, Emmanuel and N report on a study study conducted to design a mobile user interface for users in a rural community in South Africa, drawing on user-centred design methods.
In the third paper, Ngugi, Pelowski and Ogembo review key factors that have led to the phenomenal growth in mobile cash in Kenya.
In the fourth paper, Nyella and Mndeme examine the dialectic power relations between actors involved in Health Information Systems integration that result from the asymmetric ownership and control of resources and rules.
In the fifth paper, Terry and Gomez provide a qualitative analysis of the benefits of ICT and the barriers facing women to fully realize those benefits drawing on data from a large study of public access venues in 25 developing countries globally.
In the sixth paper, Lwoga takes a qualitative approach to look at public access ICTs (telecenters and rural radio) in Tanzania relevant to poor farmers. She assesses their knowledge and information services that focus on supporting farming activities of small-scale farmers, use of telecenters and barriers faced by telecenters in their knowledge and information services.
In the last paper, Foster and Heeks examine the current state of knowledge on ICT micro-enterprise in developing countries and provide guidance for future research.
In this regular volume of EJISDC we present eight papers.
In the first paper, Ellahi and Manarvi explore conditions underlying the acceptance of computer-based information systems by police officers in Pakistan.
In the second paper, Abukhzam and Lee investigate the factors determining bank staff attitude towards the adoption of e-banking systems in Libya, where there is considerable employee resistance to the adoption of new technology.
In the third paper, Sife, Kiondo and Lyimo-Macha document the contributions that mobile phones can bring to rural livelihoods thereby alleviating poverty, with a case study of the situation in Tanzania.
In the fourth paper, Li and Rao explore the role that Twitter can play as a rapid response news service, focusing on the immediate aftermath of the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China.
In the fifth paper, Mensah, Duncan and Annku explore the role of land information systems in managing challenges associated with speculative developments on land set aside for development.
In the sixth paper, Duncan, Kuma and Avane demonstrate how large sets of remotely sensed data (e.g. from satellites) can be processed to as to reveal land surface deformation due to surface mining. However, subsequent analysis of the data so as to avoid potential slope failure is very difficult.
In the seventh paper, Musa, Oyebisi and Babalola evaluate the effect of ICT on the quality of quantity surveying services in Nigeria using the SERVQUAL model. They find that ICT positively affects the quality of services provided.
In the last paper, Yates and Shapiro demonstrate how a sustainable legal information system can be established in the context of developing countries, with specific examples based on their worn in Afghanistan and Azerbaijan.
Volume 41 is a regular issue of EJISDC with seven papers describing topics in Cameroon, India (2), Malaysia, Pakistan and the UAE (2).
In the first paper, Roger Etoundi, Marcel Ndjodo, Priso Ndedi and Ghislain Alo'o draw on Ant theory to define a protocol dealing with load balancing between employees for an efficient management of available human resources in the public sector in developing countries in order to achieve a better quality of service management. They present an illustrative example in the Ministry of Public Service and Administrative Reform (MPSAR) in Cameroon.
In the second paper, Hanudin Amin and T. Ramayah investigate the factors influencing the use of short-messaging-service banking in Malaysia. This study focuses on the relationships among attitude, subjective norm, perceived security and privacy (PSP) and intention to use SMS banking.
In the third paper, Abdulrahman Al-Moalla and Dong Li evaluate and investigate the case of e-government procurement in relation to organisational issues in the UAE.
In the fourth paper, Geoff Walsham draws on secondary data to to analyse the contribution of ICTs towards the achievement of specific development goals with a focus on India. The analysis shows that many ICT-based initiatives have taken place over the last decade and some positive effects have resulted, though the beneficiaries are almost always not the poorest or most disadvantaged groups.
In the fifth paper, Allah Nawaz and Ghulam Muhammad Kundi explore the demographic diversity in higher education institutions in North-West Frontier Province, Pakistan, documenting their impacts on perceptions of the teachers, students and administrators about the nature and roles of eTeaching, eLearning and eEducation.
In the sixth paper, Pradeep Kumar Misra discusses the possibilities, benefits and action plan associated with a dedicated satellite that can meet the health education needs of the Afro-Asian nations.
In the last paper, Walter Skok and Saad Tahir investigate the issue of knowledge sharing and knowledge management in an Arab context, by identifying the main issues and obstacles which arise as a result of the Arab culture, specifically in the UAE.
Volume 40 of EJISDC has six articles and a book review.
In the first paper, Al-Ghaith, Sanzogni and Sandhu report on a survey (n=651) of the adoption and usage of e-services in Saudi Arabia. They note that Perceived Complexity was found to be the most significant factor, followed in turn by Privacy and Compatibility.
In the second paper, Berisso and de Vries explore the adoption of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in the municipal utility sector in Ethiopia. The authors find that GIS was adopted especially when it served strategic purposes, such as structural adjustments to maintain organizational control. Furthermore, GIS adoption did not necessarily cause changes in power structures and communication lines.
In the third paper, Grimshaw and Gudza explore ways in which an uneven balance of power in local contexts (with specific reference to a podcasting project in Zimbabwe) may be managed via the use of local voices producing local content in a way which respects local choices and where the intervention is shown to enhance livelihoods.
In the fourth paper, Vodanovich, Urquhart and Shakir report on an interview-based study of women who work in the ICT sector in the United Arab Emirates. Five major themes from the research are discussed viz.: Westernization, IT as Modernity, Education, Government Initiatives, and Gender Perspective. They then continue to develop a preliminary framework for research in the area.
In the fifth paper, Alampay and Hechanova examine the practices of 112 Philippine organizations across a range of industries in monitoring employee use of the Internet. While most organisations do monitor employee use of the Internet, less than half have an Internet use policy. Implications for both policy development and employee education are discussed.
In the sixth paper, Miller and Khera examine some of the features that inform user acceptance of a digital library system implementation at agricultural universities in Kenya and Peru. Notably, they found that application of the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) to IT implementation in developing countries must be guided more by the specificities of local circumstances than by the performance of TAM in highly-developed countries.
Finally, we conclude this volume with a book review. Westrup reviews the recently published “E-governance for Development: A Focus on Rural India”, by Shirin Madon.
Welcome to Vol 39 of EJISDC. This is a regular volume of the journal with 7 papers. In the first paper, Khushbu Tilvawala, Michael Myers and Antonio Díaz Andrade from New Zealand report on the current state of information literacy in Kenya and its relationship with the impacts that ICT for Development projects can achieve. The authors analyse three ICT case studies in Kenya in the light of information literacy levels.
In the second paper, Luiz Antonia Joia and Carlos Magalhães from Brazil engage in a case study analysis of the unsuccessful implementation of an electronic prescription system in a Brazilian general hospital, focusing on the various sources of resistance to acceptance of the new system.
In the third paper, Mahesha Kapurubandara develops a framework to e-transform SMEs in developing countries. The author notes that there are many internal and external barriers that may hider this development and analyses these barriers through a pilot study and survey of SMEs in Sri Lanka.
In the fourth paper, Zoran Mitrovic and Andy Bytheway examine the issues associated with the establishment of SMEs in Cape Town, South Africa, in the context of e-Government, noting claims and counter-clains as to the efficacy of the relevant service providers.
In the fifth paper, Jittima Wongwuttiwat tests predictions made in the literature about the nature and structure of the IS profession over the next 5 years against the expectations of organizations operating in Thailand, with both practical and theoretical implications drawn.
In the sixth paper, Yibo Lin and Claire Heffernan detail the creation of an on-line Animal Health Resource Room designed to provide access to relevant information for livestock development practitioners in developing countries. Key issues in the dissemination of such a platform such as connectivity and speed are explored within the wider context of the development of the tool itself.
In the last paper, Salah Al-Fadhli examines consumer ethical decision making and social norms regarding software piracy in Kuwait, drawing on principles from the Islamic tradition.
Welcome to this bumper issue of EJISDC with ten papers.
In the first paper, Andoh-Baidoo and Osatuyi use a value network theoretical model to examine the electronic banking services and products provided by banks in Nigeria.
In the second paper, Brown, Letsididi and Nazeer investigate the factors influencing consumer choice of Internet access option in South African homes.
In the third paper, Luo criticises the technologically deterministic approach to e-Government in China, suggesting that since information systems are social systems, e-government encompasses various political, economic, social, organisational and people issues besides technical ones.
In the fourth paper, Bwalya examines two e-Government cases in Zambia, assessing the challenges, opportunities and issues in this context.
In the fifth paper, Latu argues that decision makers, especially in traditional societies ignore expert advice provided by Geographic or Spatial Information Systems. The paper examines the impact of economic development activities on the coastal ecosystems in exemplar developing countries, in the Pacific, and proposes GIS-Visualisation strategies for moving beyond subsistence and economic development aspirations to socially, economically and environmentally sustainable development activities.
In the sixth paper, Toledo, Toledo, Zilber and Szafir-Goldstein analyse the IT management style of the Brazilian telecommunications sector, focusing on the case of Motorola.
In the seventh paper, Kyem and Saku assess the potential benefits and drawbacks of on-line Participatory Geographical IS applications within local communities.
In the eighth paper, Andersson and Grönlund critically review the research on challenges for e-learning with a particular focus on developing countries. The research found 30 specific challenges which were grouped into four categories, viz.: courses, individuals, technology and context. The overall conclusion is that these challenges are equally valid for both developed and developing countries; however in developing countries more papers focus on access to technology and context whereas in developed countries more papers concern individuals.
In the ninth paper, van Reijswoud suggests that ICT projects will only be successful in developing countries when the technology is adapted to local conditions. The author extends the concept of Appropriate Technology to the ICT field and illustrates its application with mini-cases from Africa.
In the final paper, Ismail examines accounting information systems effectiveness and its influence factors in the specific context of SMEs in Malaysia.
Volume 37 contains eight regular papers. In the first paper, Lunat seeks to understand the dialectic relationship between domination and resistance in the redefinition and reinforcement of Palestinian students’ use of ICTs to achieve desirable freedoms.
In the second paper, Diaz Andrade and Urquhart discuss how the proliferation of the Internet has resulted in a cultural homogenisation via the lingua franca of the Internet, English. They consider the case of Latin American Internet portals in order to illustrate how local content provision on the Internet can be successful in attracting a local audience.
In the third paper, Acklesh Prasad uses a structurational lens and an ethnographic approach to interpret the use of technology in organisations in developing countries, focusing on success factors.
In the fourth paper, Dahawy and Kamel consider active and pasasive learning and teaching techniques in the context of undergraduate programmes in Egypt.
In the fifth paper, Hatakka assesses the potential for reuse of open content in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, paying particular attention to inhibiting factors.
In the sixth paper, Prompattanapakdee investigates the adoption and use of personal internet banking services in Thailand.
In the seventh paper, Kuppusamy, Raman and Lee analyse the impact of ICT investments on economic growth, focusing on Malaysia.
In the final paper, Kuppusamy, Raman, Shanmugam and Solucis identify and discuss the critical success factors associated with the use of IT in Islamic financial institutions.
Volume 36 is a regular volume with 8 papers.
The first paper, by Kamel, Rateb and El-Tawil, addresses the recent efforts that were exerted in Egypt, as an emerging economy, in terms of building its ICT sector while analyzing the associated investments and their impact on economic development.
In the second paper, Rashid and Elder analyse the impact of IDRC supported projects in mobile telephony, summarising and critically assessing the key findings and suggestion directions for future research.
In the third paper, Duncan, Kuma and Primpong document the impact of open pit mining on land use in Ghana, noting rural-urban migration and a stabilisation in land use.
In the fourth paper, Bailey considers the social sustainability of telecentres in Jamaica, drawing on data from an analysis of 16 such telecentres and interviews with a variety of stakeholders. The key role of telecentre staff in enhancing participation is identified, while the capabilities of the telecentre need to be grounded in the social context if they are to be sustainable.
In the fifth paper, Zilber and Nohara present an overview of the academic debate about mass customization with the objective of describing how the MC strategy was introduced in a Brazilian company in the household appliance sector. The specific context of the study was the launch of a totally customized product, to be sold on the Internet to consumers with high purchasing power, with the strategic use of IT.
In the sixth paper, Fong evaluates the development relationship between the adoption rate of ICTs and per capita income gap between the urban and rural areas in China, primarily between 1985 and 2006. Results suggest a strong correlation between income gap and Internet adoption. The paper also investigates a) the affordability of these technologies for the rural population and b) the educational level of rural users, and the impacts of these two factors onusage capability.
In the seventh paper, Chigona, Beukes, Vally and Tanner ask if mobile Internet can help to alleviate social exclusion in developing countries. They find that the impact of mobile internet is low mainly because internet-capable cell phones are still beyond the reach of the socially excluded and because of limited awareness of what mobile internet is and what it can achieve.
In the last paper, Kundi and Shah review the threats and opportunities of IT adoption for eBusiness in Pakistan. They find that though the current conditions are not yet promising for eBusiness, growing interest of the private sector through viable investment and gradual improvement in infrastructure indicates more opportunities than threats for eBusiness in Pakistan.
Volume 35 of EJISDC contains 9 papers and one book review.
In the first paper, Driss Kettani (Al Akhawayn University, Morocco), Bernard Moulin (Universite Laval, Canada), Michael Gurstein (CCIRDT, Canada) and Asmae El Mahdi (Al Akhawayn University, Morocco) describe how they are working towards building a sustainable pilot E-Government system for the ancient city of Fez in Morocco. In particular, they focus on the interplay of governance and e-government, and illustrate how 'outcome analysis' helps to achieve good governance in e-government.
In the second paper, Heejin Lee (Yonsei University, South Korea), Seungkwon Jang (Sungkonghoe University, South Korea), Kyungmin Ko (Cheju National University, South Korea) and Richard Heeks (University of Manchester, UK), analyse the growth patterns and impact of South Korea's ICT for Development aid programme.
In the third paper, a research essay, Ziyaad Lunat (London School of Economics, UK) takes a freedom-centred view of development to question the conditions that enable civil society in developing countries to use the Internet to create virtual public spheres, making specific reference to the context of Tanzania.
In the fourth paper, Abdulmajid H Mohamed (International Islamic University, Malaysia), Rana Ahmed S Abuzaid (University of Malaya, Malaysia) and Rafa Mohamed Benladen (Al Bayan Girls School, Saudia Arabia) consider the opportunities and challanges associated with knowledge management and e-learning in a Saudi Arabian girls' school.
In the fifth paper, Maitrayee Mukerji (Institute of Rural Management - Anand, India) documents the emergence of and develops a typology for telecentres in rural India, with a focus on their characteristics, strengths and weaknesses.
In the sixth paper, Farid Shirazi (Ryerson University, Canada) considers the contributions of ICT to freedom and democracy in ten Middle Eastern countries, analysing archival data from 1995-2003. Shirazi suggests both that the digital divide has narrowed and that democracy and freedom have been effectively promoted in the region.
In the seventh paper, Abdulrahman A Mirza (King Saud University, Saudi Arabia) explores the use of IT to support gender-segregated education in Saudi Arabia. He discusses both the design of such gender-segregated educational systems and reports on a survey of student attitudes towards the environment.
In the eighth paper, Behire Esra Cayhan (Akdeniz University, Turkey) compares the current state of e-government readiness in Turkey with that of the EU member states, identifying areas that need improvement as Turkey engages with the EU in accession talks.
In the final paper, Reed Nelson (Southern Illinois University, USA) and Eduardo Vasconcelos (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil) explore strategy and IT usage in the Brazilian real estate sector, using a grounded theory approach to challenge traditional models of strategic thinking.
Finally, Robert Davison reviews John Ure's "Telecommunications Development in Asia".
In the first article, Ahmed Gad abdel-Wahab investigates the intentions of students to adopt e-learning technologies in Egypt. He finds that almost 80% of respondents intend to adopt e-learning, provided that the facilities are available.
In the second article, Acklesh Prasad considers the intangible benefits that can accrue as a result of IT investments in Fiji. His results indicate that businesses in developing countries do perceive that their IT investments provide intangible benefits, especially at the process level, and that this contributes to business value.
In the third article, Louis Sanzogni, Jan Whungsuriya and Heather Gray present a case study of the vicissitudes associated with ICT adoption in Thailand, notably variances in the availability of appropriately skilled potential employees, itself a function in part of the education system that emphasises listening and not critical thinking.
In the fourth article, NGUYEN Hai Thi Thanh documents the benefits associated with the formal position of Government Chief Information Officer for the development of ICT programmes in developing countries.
In the fifth paper, Samer Mofleh, Mohammed Wanous and Peter Strachan describe the lessons that Jordan has learned from its e-Government initiatives, which are ongoing.
Finally, in the last paper of this volume, Margreet van Doodewaard and Arjan de Jager present an e-society programme for the rural district of Apac, Uganda. On the meta level the project aims to develop a practical model for civil society and local government interaction and collaboration towards common e-society goals. On the basis of this article, the authors elicit lessons that can be used to guide similar programmes in rural areas in the developing world.
Volume 33 of EJISDC is a regular issue with four papers. In the first paper, Matthew Smith, Shirin Madon, Adebusoye Anifalaje (all from the London School of Economics & Political Science), Mwele Lazarro-Malecela (Tanzanian National Institute for Medical Research) and Edwin Michael (Imperial College, London)draw on their empirical work in Tanzania to argue that a more sophisticated form of 'integration' that goes beyond what they term 'narrow, managerialist' perspectives is necessary if health information systems are to deliver the expected benefits. In this more sophisticated form, integration will include not only managerial data, but also epidemiological data, and in addition, working styles and the rich complexity of social relations - at local, national and global levels.
In the second paper, Tuyen Thanh Nguyen and Graeme Johanson from Monash University, Australia, analyse evidence from a variety of sources to demonstrate the nature of Vietnam as an emerging Knowledge Society, paying particular attention to the role of culture.
In the third paper, Prachit Intaganok, Peter Waterworth, Thansak Andsavachulamanee, Guah Grasaresom and Udom Homkome, all from Surinda Rajabhat University, Thailand, investigate the adoption of ICTs by university staff at a provincial Thai university. Such ICT-based educational initiatives are ever more frequently encountered in different countries round the world, so this article provides a timely reminder that the process of ICT adoption is by no means smooth and that significant hurdles remain to overcome.
In the 4th paper, Abdullah Mat Rashid (University Putra Malaysia) and Gene Gloeckner (Colorado State University, USA) report on information and learning technology adoption by career and technical teachers in Malaysia. This paper provides a useful juxtaposition to that of the third paper in this issue (see above), since here too there are evidently barriers to adoption of the technology: while attitudes are often positive, actual use of technology to support teaching is less consistent.
In the final paper, Sanjay Nadkarni (Macao University of Science and Technology) highlights the convergence space between ICT for Development on the one hand and pro-poor tourism on the other. The paper draws on an extensive literature review to propose a conceptual framework within the e-tourism value chain, and critical success factors are identified. The framework is also assessed for its congruence with the key aspects of development theory.
This special issue has been guest edited by Erwin Alampay and Rizal Cruz of the University of the Philippines. The articles were selected from papers presented in the 1st Living the Information Society conference held in Makati City, Philippines from April 23-24, 2007. They highlight diverse issues and topics that are being discussed with respect to how information and communication technologies (ICTs) are being used for development. They deal with issues of ICT access through telecenters; quality of distance education provided through the internet; m-commerce via mobile phones; e-governance; gender dimension to e-commerce; gender differences with respect to using the internet; and a proposed framework for knowledge-building in the digital era.
The issue begins with a paper by Cheryll Soriano that uses the Rural Livelihoods framework to analyze the role played by Chinese community telecenters in enhancing the livelihood of rural poor households. Through case studies, she emphasizes the conditions and factors that motivate rural folk to use telecenters to obtain useful information and contribute to the diversification of their livelihood strategies.
The paper by Victoria Bautista and Ma. Ana Quimbo looks at whether students using distance education as mediated through the internet are able to perform as well as students who undertake distance education using more conventional ways. Their study was based on a survey of outgoing Open University students in the University of the Philippines, some of whom were exposed to an integrated virtual learning environment (IVLE), some to face-to-face tutorials, and others to a mixed mode.
Jonathan Donner’s study looks at how mobile phones are being used by small informal businesses in India. In particular, he investigates the usefulness of mobile phones in expanding and nurturing small businesses through customer acquisition and retention. Donner, like Bautista and Quimbo, also acknowledges the role of face-to-face transactions in comparing and contrasting the role played by ICTs in day-to-day activities.
The fourth paper by T.T. Sreekumar is based on the experiences of the Gyandoot Intranet in Madhyapradesh, India. Sreekumar critiques the notion of e-governance as an essentially administrative innovation facilitated by ICTs. He argues the need to recognize e-governance as a social process involving not only attitudinal change and transformation of traditional forms of governmentality, but also as a contested arena of social forces shaping the evolution of technocratic innovation. He argues that the idea of ICT, in this case, as an inherently liberating technology and e-governance as a new way of transcending inept and inefficient bureaucratic systems appears to be completely inaccurate in the rural setting. Moreover, the project’s ability to connect to multiple social and economic domains is found to be extremely limited and ostensibly mediated by the social power equations that envelop its institutional setting.
The fifth paper by Leelee Ludher looks at gender-related issues that affect how poor urban women in Malaysia make use of ICTs. In particular, she looks at how ICTs are able to support homeworkers to develop larger markets, and access new knowledge, skills and opportunities. In so doing, she also explores the barriers that prevent women from pursuing this potential, such as lack in education, skills and ownership.
The sixth paper by Fathul Wahid uses the Technology Adoption Model (TAM) to look at the differences in how men and women in Indonesia use the Internet. Based on surveys of students in the Islamic University of Indonesia in Yogyakarta, the study reveals how Internet adoption among women is affected by perceived ease of use, whereas men are affected by the technology’s perceived usefulness. The study also discovers some interesting differences in Internet-usage patterns between men and women.
Finally Cameron Richards and Govindan Nair discusses the difficulties in knowledge building, in particular, those encountered when trying to reconcile top-down imperatives with bottom-up aspects of the local context. They argue the need for a ‘dialogical’ approach to better organize, manage, and apply tacit and explicit human knowledge, and outline a framework for doing this undertaking.
The seven papers represent a varied collection of research currently being done in Asia: from China, the Philippines, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia. They use different methodologies (quantitive, qualitative, and mixed) and frameworks in trying to develop a better understanding of the effects of ICT-use in the Asia-Pacific.
Volume 31 of EJISDC has a bumper crop of nine regular articles.
In the first paper, Gyanendra Narayan examines how e-governance and m-governance can contribute in a hub and spoke model towards addressing digital divide issues in the developing world, and particularly in rural areas.
In the second paper, Sue Abdinnour-Helm and Barbara Chaparro evaluate the websites of Palestinian hotels using a balanced usability checklist. Hotel websites do not fare very well when the checklist is used, so there are a number of suggestions for hotel website managers.
In the third paper, Christine Fenenga and Arjan de Jager report on health management information systems in Uganda, and in particular on the positive impact that such systems can have on organisational development.
In the fourth paper, Uzoka, Shemi and Seleka use the theory of planned behaviour to investigate the behavioural factors that influence the adoption of e-commerce in Botswana. The implications for both businesses and government policy are considered.
In the fifth paper, Robert Hinson and Richard Boateng, also relying on the theory of planned behaviour, examine e-business in the Ghanian tourism industry. While strategic advantages of e-business adoption can be identified, general e-business awareness in Ghana is rather low, restricting the development of the field.
In the sixth paper, Bjørn Furuholt and Stein Kristiansen consider rural-urban digital divides, in the specific case of Tanzania. Perhaps surprisingly, the main difference that they identify relates to the ease of locating Internet-accessible locations - the characteristics of the users themselves, as well as their usage patterns, are remarkably similar.
In the seventh paper, Graham Winley, Chanissara Arjpru and Jittima Wongwuttiwat compare the development plans of 72 organizations in 7 organizational sectors in Thailand with respect to the relative importance of a range of technologies, professional activities, and IT knowledge/skills. They then assess the alignment of these development plans with national policy objectives.
In the eighth paper, Aldo Benini presents a case study used by a NGO in Bangladesh to monitor the progress of a large number of commune-level organisations of the poor, specifically in terms of project management and decision making.
Finally, in the ninth paper, Ahasanul Haque, Shameem Al-Mahmud, Arun Kumar Tarofder and Ahmad Zaki Hj Ismail report on a study of attitudinal differences among Chinese, Indians and Malays in Malaysia towards Internet advertising. In general, all three races exhibit a positive attitude towards the medium, though males are more positive than females. The authors suggest that advertisers should pay more attention to these differences as they segment their marketing strategies.
Syed Nasirin , Sonali Morar and Anastasia Papazafeiropoulou
School of Information Systems, Computing and Mathematics
Uxbridge UB8 3PH
The papers in this special issue are the extended version of the papers which were initially chosen for presentation by the SIG-ISDC at the Americas Conference in Information Systems (AMCIS2006) which was held in Acapulco, Mexico from August 4-6, 2006. AMCIS was organised annually by the Association of Information Systems (www.aisnet.org) and is now viewed as one of the leading conferences for presenting the broadest variety of research done by and for IS/IT academicians in the Western Hemisphere. This is the first time in which the SIG-ISDC has appeared as full mini-track at an AMCIS conference. The acceptance reflects the growing interest in the ISDC topics amongst the IS/IT academicians from throughout the globe.
The issue starts with its first paper by Gunawardena and Brown who investigates the management issues of IS initiatives in the Vocational and Technical Education (VTE) sectors in three developing Asian countries (i.e., Laos, Sri Lanka and Vietnam). This research is based upon a six-year study in nine VTE sector projects, undertaken through empirical investigations and a review of secondary data. They used Checkland’s (1985) FMA model of research to learn about the phenomenon of concern, and later argued that the process of managing Project Intervention Processes (PIPs) that was based upon hard approaches, was usually problematic. The Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) was presented as an alternative approach to managing the PIPs-based issues (which was poorly structured) faced by these organisations.
Laosethakul and Boulton identify the critical success factors (CSFs) for electronic commerce (e-commerce) in Thailand and explain the major influences behind these factors. This research is based upon nine in-depth case studies of e-commerce companies from different industries in Thailand. The results indicated that social behaviour and national culture (more specifically issues relating to trust and shopping behaviour) were the key influences leading to successful e-Commerce development in Thailand. The phenomenon could be explained partly by Hofstadter’s cultural dimensions as well as Thailand’s infrastructure. The findings could be employed in guiding the development of e-Commerce ventures in Thailand and other developing countries with similar cultures and infrastructures.
The third paper by Johnston, Uganda and Theys discusses the key information systems issues facing Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in South African companies. 31 CIOs were surveyed throughout the study and the findings revealed that security and control as well as building a responsive IT infrastructure were the fundamental issues which they have considered. It was also found that the main issues facing South African CIOs are dissimilar in comparison to those faced by CIOS in North America. This study has revealed some interesting insights to our understanding of IS organisations in South Africa.
Chevers and Duggan explore the employment and applicability of software process improvement (SPI) programs in Jamaican enterprises. The survey revealed that the approaches used by large-scale enterprises (particularly in the developed nations) may not be entirely applicable to the small-scale Jamaican firms. Through the Capability Maturity Model (CMM), the authors further evaluate the software production environment in these enterprises and recommend a modified software process assessment regime that is more suitable, and will increase the likelihood of SPI programs adoptions.
Finally, Birks, Zainuddin, Choo, Wafa, Nasirin and Morar argue that the well-developed literature on IT outsourcing has focused primarily upon firms in developed nations that seek low-cost economies from links with developing nations to gain competitive advantage. As a consequence, these studies may not be generalisable to firms based in developing economies, which may be trying to replicate successful IT outsourcing approaches. The paper therefore addresses the question of how generalisable the determinants of successful IT outsourcing are to a Malaysian context. The findings revealed that Malaysian managers can take some comfort in that the lessons of outsourcing can be generalised to their context.
We would like to thank the AMCIS2006 Program Committee (Rajiv Sabherwal and Richard Watson) for giving us the opportunity to introduce the SIG-ISDC for the first time at the AMCIS conference. The conference has now becoming one of the common meeting platforms for those who‘re strongly involved with studies on IS in developing countries.
Volume 29 contains five regular papers, as well as three book reviews.
In the first paper, Hussein and her colleagues from the International Islamic University, Malaysia, consider the influence of organisational factors on IS success in Malaysian e-government agencies. While the findings are generally consistent with previous studies, it is notable that top management support is not particularly significant as a factor, while goal alignment is the most significant influencing factor.
In the second paper, Samuel and Zaitun, both from the University of Malaya, report on an investigation into the adequacy of ICT resources and skills among English language teachers in Malaysian schools. While most teachers do have the requisite ICT skills, the necessary ICT resources are often lacking. The reasons for and consequences of this situation are then discussed.
In the third paper, Hinson (University of Ghana Business School), Sorensen (Aalborg University, Denmark) and Buatsi (Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Ghana) consider the Internet use patterns among Ghanaian exporters. The prevailing features of Internet use are described the implications are considered in the Ghanaian context, as well as more widely.
In the fourth paper, Son (An Giang University, Vietnam) presents a case study of the relationship between land-use change and rural income determinants from a policy perspective. Both Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing systems were used over a period of four years, alongside an examination of socioeconomic factors.
In the final paper, Morawczynski (University of Edinburgh) and Ngwenyama (Ryerson University) unravel the impact of investments in ICT, Education and Health on Development using regression splines in the specific West African contexts of Benin, Cameroon, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Niger. They conclude, significantly, that investments in ICTs alone are not enough to exert a significant impact on human development: complementary investments in education and healthcare are also critical.
Matthew H S Kuofie
Illinois State University, USA
Brunel University, UK
The papers in this special issue were selected from submissions initially presented at the Conference on Information Technology and Economic Development 2006 (CITED2006), held at the Commonwealth Hall, University of Ghana, Ghana, from July 21-23, 2006. CITED2006 was organized by The Information Institute, a non-profit organization based in Washington DC, USA, in collaboration with the University of Ghana. The conference theme, location and content presented an opportunity to reflect and communicate ideas for the benefit of a less developed country. Overall, the aim of CITED2006 was to present research and best practice in the areas of information technology, management, and their impact on economic development. The conference was attended by over 150 participants from countries all over the world, including Barbados, Finland, New Zealand, Nigeria, UK, USA and those within Africa.
The 9 papers in this special issue consist of 5 case studies on IT and economic development, including; Zimbabwe, Barbados, Guinea, Tunisia countries and the African continent in general. The remaining papers identified problems relating to economic development and proposed solutions to address them within areas such as Turkey, India, Ghana, Nigeria, Africa in general, and Finland. Synopses of the papers presented follow:
Mhlanga indicates that the Government of Zimbabwe in conjunction with the National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) commissioned an e-readiness survey in 2005. The report noted that in order to bridge the digital gap, Zimbabwe needs to build infrastructure to allow ICTs to be accessible. Molla et al. addressed the role using institutional theory as a framework of analysis in evaluating institutional interventions over a six-year period in Barbados and the impact on the national environment for e-commerce. The paper concludes that at the early stage of e-commerce diffusion both public and external institutions play key roles in creating conducive conditions and in providing the impetus necessary for the spread of e-commerce respectively. Kaba et al. looked into the factors which influence the utilization of the cellular phones in Guinea. The results obtained from a sample of 463 respondents indicated that familiarity of use, social influence, and the needs for mobility required by the task influence the usage of the phones.
Ziadi & Kuofie indicate that the progress made in ICT’s allows for storage and fast circulation of information. However, a survey conducted in Tunisia revealed that the Tunisian companies are not yet completely committed to the efficient use of information and communications. This lack of initiative is primarily explained by the fact that these new technologies require investments, including development of human resources, which the Tunisian companies do not feel ready to provide. Kyem & LeMaire discuss the mobile phone boom in Africa and examines the potential impacts of mobiles on the socio-economic development process in African countries. The paper explains that mobile phones may help create new jobs and new sources of revenue to the state as well as contribute to economic growth by widening markets, creating better information flow, lowering transaction costs, and becoming substitutes for costly transportation that is lacking in rural Africa. Ozkan et al. indicate that high quality IT support is an integral factor in the success of health sectors. They proposed a perspective noted through a process based assessment for IS effectiveness assessment (PB-ISAM). This was subsequently evaluated through three case organizations in the medical sector in Turkey.
Kodakanchi et al. indicate that the applicability of IT in various manufacturing and services sectors has significantly affected the global economy by providing information and development content on products and processes. Accordingly, faster rates of output and productivity growth have become the trends of information processing and communications. Advance countries, like USA, have reaped tremendous benefits. Unfortunately the same can not be said for developing countries, such as India and Ghana. Raji & Usoro report that despite rapid technological change in the 1990s, the inequality gap in per capital income between developed and developing countries has increased. The authors state that for ICT to help poverty reduction, poor countries must integrate ICT into the economic and social fabric of their nations by broadening access to ICT, training the population to better tap into the immense potential of ICT, and making the relevant policy adjustments in order to create the milieu in which individuals and investors will be able to benefit. Sihvonen states that the new mobile communication technologies are used for enhancing the existing financial enterprise systems with wireless communication extension and to create new services for nomadic users. The author developed prototype systems that are integral to existing traditional enterprise system solutions. The prototype was developed using constructive method including, analyzing the related publications and industry trends, interviewing experts in the financial services field and experimenting with the selected technologies.
The main outcomes of the conference included the use of ICT as ‘mandatory’ for economic development in Africa; that information and knowledge are essential raw materials for economic development with proposals for economic development models based on ICT for developing countries. That the new mobile communication technologies can be used for enhancing the existing financial enterprise systems with wireless communication extension to create new services for nomadic users. That IT provides the tools for everyone from small businesses to rural farmers to enable them market their businesses and/or services to a much wider market. However, African governments need to build infrastructures to allow ICTs to be accessible. That, the privacy, computer fraud and unauthorized access worries need to be addressed to ensure complete safety for all users if IT services Most critically, The CITED2006 linked participants to rural development projects, and international funding.
We are particularly grateful to Ghana Telecom University College, Garden City University College, North American Airlines, Ghana Export Finance Company, Cape Coast Cornel Internet & IT Services, Ghana BusyInternet Cafe, and Ghana Beltway Technologies. We also thank our outstanding keynote speakers, including Felix Tan of Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. We specifically would like to thank Gina Bannergy, Agnes Naomi Arthur and Francesca Haizel for their invaluable assistance in making the conference a success.
In the first paper, Stewart Godwin examines the discourse of globalization in the context of the United Arab Emirates education system and examines the implications for the United Arab Emirates Government. Stewart suggests that education is not a panacea for all the problems faced by the United Arab Emirates Government, it will play a major role and the further inclusion of health based education into the current curriculum reform process is critical.
In the second paper, Jamie Andersen explores how mobile telecommunications can be brought effectively to the poorest of the world’s people. He reports on the experimental strategies that a few mobile operators have been quietly pursuing in developing unique product and service propositions for some of the world’s most needy consumers. At the heart of these success stories has been the development of an method that delivers a structured approach to serving the world’s poor: the 4As – availability, affordability, awareness and acceptability.
In the third paper, Stan Karanasios and Stephen Burgess report on their findings of research conducted within Malaysian Borneo with small tourism enterprises (STEs). The study explores the use of the Internet by STEs, with a specific focus on identifying how STEs exploit the information, communication, and transactions spaces created by the Internet. This study improves knowledge on how small enterprises, specifically STEs, use and overcome typical hurdles to adopting the Internet. In contrast to previous studies in developing countries, the results show that amongst participants there is a sufficient level of Internet maturity and many enterprises view its use as the norm.
In the fourth paper, Walter de Vries takes a close look at why the processes of information production, dissemination and exchange are not sufficiently effective at the local level in Indonesia, using a single case study of a local government in Bekasi, Indonesia. Bekasi represents a typical local government in a developing country with many information problems. It is a satellite city and region in a rapidly urbanizing and industrializing area in a country which is forced to reform its institutional structures at all levels and in all sectors. In such an environment, one would expect that local governments could benefit considerably from structural spatial information production, use, dissemination and exchange. However, available maps are not used, and base maps for the local territory hardly exist. The objective of the study was therefore to find out why that situation exists.
In the fifth paper, Erwin Alampay presents disaggregated survey data on ICT ownership, access to public ICT facilities, capabilities and actual use of ICTs in two locations in the Philippines: Carmona and Puerto Princesa City. The results showed that the diversity in a location’s topography and differences among people complicates the problem of access. In areas that are more isolated, distance and lack of infrastructure remain the biggest hurdles. In more developed areas, however, social issues like lack of motivation, skills and knowledge may hamper people’s perception of how an ICT can benefit their lives.
In the last paper, Danish Dada undertakes a critical review on the concept of e-readiness, with a special focus on developing countries. The results show that e-readiness measures alone do not help in terms of development as they tend to focus on the wider environment while ignoring the level of the organisation. In this light, a new model is proposed which gives importance to both e-readiness (the environment) and technology acceptance (the organisation), in order to gain a richer understanding of the situation.
In the first paper, Vinnie Gajjala explores the role of ICTs in enhancing entrepreneurship and globalization practices in Indian software firms, with specific reference to seven such firms through a case study analysis. The paper emphasises the importance of the Internet for the globalisation of the Indian software industry, and the way it has enabled even the most remotely located businesses to leapfrog into the newly-globalised era.
In the second paper, Honest Kimaro considers strategies needed to develop the Human Resource capacity associated with sustainable health information systems in Tanzania. Human Resource issues are less frequently studied in the context of their importance for the application of ICTs in developing countries, yet clearly this is an important issue. The author argues that much greater attention needs to be paid to HR issues if the promise of ICT is to be realised.
In the third paper, Jim McMaster and Jan Novak discuss the evolution of trade portals for e-trade facilitation in the Pacific Island nations. Based on an analysis of over 100 cases, a model describing the evolution of various trade portals at the national, regional and global level is developed. In the context of the proposed model, the authors then examine e-readiness, international trade volumes and the current trade facilitation and trade and investment promotion in the Pacific Island countries (PICs). Based on this examination and a comparison of various approaches to electronic trade facilitation and promotion, the authors recommend the establishment of a regional, single window trade gateway for the PICs, combining trade facilitation, trade promotion and trade policy development.
In the fourth paper, Harrison Bii and David Mugo Gichoya discuss the challenges associated with establishing and managing an Information and Resource Management centre in a Kenyan public university. While the establishment of the IRM centre at Moi University is discussed, the implications for the ongoing maintenance and success of the centre are highlighted in terms of implications for management.
In the fifth paper, Felix Bollou discusses ICT infrastructure expansion in six West African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali and Senegal. The focus of this paper is on the impact of ICT investments in these six countries on the expansion of productive capacity necessary for economic and social development. Different agencies, e.g. the UNDP and ATU, offer conflicting analyses of the impact of this ICT investment, but the author suggests that ICT investments have resulted in technical progress.
In the sixth paper, Penporn and Jeremy Pagram consider the implications of e-learning in traditional Thai educational systems, focusing in particular on cultural compatibility. They make a number of suggestions as to how e-learning systems can be rendered more culturally compatible with the Thai educational system.
Finally, in the last paper, Danish Dada presents a literature review of the failure of e-government in developing countries. As the author notes, while there is much hype about e-government success stories, the bitter truth in the majority of e-government projects in developing countries is that they fail, failures brought about by gaps between the design of the technology itself and reality of the context.
The eight articles in this special issue have been selected from papers initially presented at the International Conference on Participatory Spatial Information Management and Communication: “Mapping for Change”, held in the Kenya College of Communication and Technology in Nairobi, from 7-10 September, 2005. These eight articles comprise one overview, one critical appraisal and six case studies. Two of the case studies are set within an urban environment and four within a rural environment.
The conference focused on Participatory Mapping (PM) and on how Participatory Geographic Information Systems (PGIS) is used to add value to PM. PGIS is thus the result of a spontaneous merger of Participatory Learning and Action (PLA) methods with Geographic Information Technologies & Systems (GITS), and builds on using combinations of geo-spatial information management tools ranging from sketch maps, Participatory 3D Models (P3DM), aerial photographs, satellite imagery, Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to compose peoples’ spatial knowledge in the forms of virtual or physical, 2 or 3 dimensional maps used as interactive vehicles for spatial learning, discussion, information exchange, analysis, advocacy and decision making.
The focus of the event was sharing experiences and defining good practices for making GITS available to less-favoured groups in rural and urban settings in order to enhance their capacity in generating, managing and communicating spatial information in the contexts of: habitations; natural resources management; rights and entitlements; equity; social justice, hazard mitigation, conflict management and communicating within local community groups, and with higher-level authorities or economic forces.
The main outcomes of the conference included developing and sharing a knowledge base on PGIS practice, as well as laying down the foundation for the development of regional networks and resource centres. Tangible lessons learned include: Enabling conditions for PGIS practice to function effectively in developing countries; suitable strategies for establishing such conditions in places where none exists; guidelines for sound PGIS practice under different socio-political contexts in developing countries; the need for better communication channels and facilities (e.g. regional networks) for supporting dissemination and wider adoption of sound PGIS practice.
The conference was attended by one hundred and sixty participants from over 50 countries drawn from six continents including the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian ocean islands.
The conference was made possible courtesy of the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) ACP-EU; The International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC); The Christensen Fund; The Ford Foundation; the Centre for International Forestry Research (CIFOR); GIS for Developing Countries (GISDECO) Network; The International Land Coalition; UN-HABITAT - United Nations Human Settlements Programme; The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF); Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc. (ESRI) and the Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD). Contributions also came from the Environmental Research, Mapping, and Information Systems in Africa (ERMIAS Africa) and West Virginia University, Office of International Programs and Department of Geology and Geography.
The Editors of the EJISDC wish to acknowledge the contributions of Giacomo Rambaldi, Prof. Mike McCall, Prof. Peter Kyem Kwaku, Prof. Daniel Weiner, Peter Minnang, Dr Alex Awiti, Prof. Francis Koti, Julius Muchemi and Dr Ravi Prabhu for their invaluable contributions towards reviewing the articles in this volume.
In the second paper, A.A. Oladapo from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria discusses the impact of ICT on professional practice in the Nigerian construction industry. The results indicate that while some functions (notably in architecture, engineering and quantity surveying) have been computerised, others have not, particularly data and document management. The author reports on Internet access and usage among Nigerian professionals and highlights some of the key barriers that remain to be overcome.
In the third paper, Savae Latu and Simon Dacey from Unitec in New Zealand report on the application of Information Systems for Multi-Tenure Jurisdictions, with specific reference to Land Information Systems in the Kingdom of Tonga. Such systems need to collect, use and preserve a variety of traditional information about lands which are controlled according to customary land tenure systems. This paper presents a brief overview of culture, land tenure, the development of Land Information Systems, proposing an extension to the classical LIS development models in order that information about customary held lands is dealt with effectively.
In the final paper, Afzaal Seyal from Brunei Darussalam and Md. Mahbubur Rahim from Australia present a preliminary investigation into the adoption of EDI in Bruneian SMEs. The paper extends previous work on EDI adoption to the developing country context, considering the relative impact of organisational, external and economic factors. The overall outcome is consistent with similar research in developing countries: organisations are slow to adopt EDI. While most businesses do have Internet access, the primary use is email communication, with economic factors being the most influential on the decision to adopt EDI. IT knowledge and top management support are not found to be significant.
Finally, two recently published books "East Asia, Globalization and the New Economy" and "Offshoring IT Services: A Framework for Managing Outsourced Projects" are reviewed.
In the second paper, Xiuzhen Feng from the University of Twente in the Netherlands introduces a framework for culturally influences information systems management (ISM). The framework makes it possible: to create clear relationships between national culture variables and ISM task domains, revealing how aspects of the national culture could impact ISM and what perspectives of the ISM might be influenced by national cultural variables; and to study critical factors of culturally influenced ISM and ascertain the management patterns of ISM in a cross-cultural environment.
In the third paper, Peter Meso and his colleagues at Georgia State University, USA, address the diffusion of national IT policies, with a particular focus on sector differences. Egypt is used as a case example, with quantitative analysis of 47 interviews conducted with policy makers and managers. The findings suggest that the correctly positioning of ICT policies may be crucial if national strategies that are intended to shape the direction and speed of nation-wide ICT capacity and capability developments are to be implemented effectively.
In the fourth paper, a team of three authors from the Arab Academy for Banking and Financial Sciences, Jordan, and a colleague from West Virginia University, USA, explore the current state of software piracy in Jordan through a survey. It is noted that public awareness of the laws relating to software piracy are not always well known or understood, with 25% of respondents demonstrating a poor understanding of the legal issues involved. It is suggested that it is not only the responsibility of government to educate the public about software piracy matters, but also that of the non-governmental sector as well as private organisations.
In the fifth paper, a team of researchers led by Ojelanki Ngwenyama from Ryerson University, Canada, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA and the University of Kent at Brussels, Belgium, discuss the relationship between ICTs, health, education and development, drawing on publicly available UN and ITU data relating to five francophone West African nations: Cameroon, Senegal, Benin, Côte d’Ivoire and Niger. The results provide evidence that complementary investments in ICT, health and education can significantly increase human development.
In the final paper, Princely Ifinedo from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, reports on the acceptance and continuance intention of web-based learning technologies in the Baltic State of Estonia. The paper employs an extended version of the TAM model and finds that both usage and perceived usefulness influence continuance intention, whilst perceived ease of use does not.
This issue is concluded with three book reviews. Erran Carmel reviews "The Software Industry in Emerging Markets" by Simon Commander, Robert Davison reviews "Offshoring Information Technology: Sourcing and Outsourcing to a Global Workforce" by Erran Carmel and Paul Tjia, and "Implementing and Managing eGovernment" by Richard Heeks.
Volume 22 is a regular issue of the journal with six papers, four research and two practitioner.
In the first article, Sulaiman Ainin, CH Lim and Alice Wee, from the University of Malaya, consider the prospects and challenges that lie ahead for e-banking in Malaysia. Survey data from current and potential ebanking adopters is analysed in the context of the Malaysian culture. Applications that have proven particularly popular to date include paying utility bills.
In the second article, Marisa D’Mello considers issues of identity, and the related tensions, in global software organisations operating in India, with particular regard to the “thinking global, acting local’ maxim. This paper, which employs an interpretivist perspective, considers the tensions apparent in a single case of a global software organisation, thereby illustrating the global-local interplay. This is a fascinating article that is highly recommended to those interested in these cultural tensions, as well as the broader implications of the global software industry, from a developing country perspective.
In the third article, Bjorn Furuholt and Stein Kristiansen from Agder University College, Norway, and Fathul Wahid from the Islamic University of Indonesia in Yogyakarta, analyse the market for Internet cafes in Indonesia as well as the more general spread of information throughout this developing society.
In the fourth article, Gaye Kiely and Brian Fitzgerald investigate the use of methods within information systems development practice. This paper was previously presented at the IFIP 82 +94 conference in Athens, Greece. The study employs a case study approach of three organisations located in Ireland.
In the fifth, practitioner, paper, Mohsen Kahani (Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran) discusses the use of e-voting systems in Iran, identifying some key issues and problems that need to be addressed.
Finally, in the sixth paper, also directed at practitioners, Nico Rossouw, Daniel Botha and Enoch Dlamini provide a review of the water quality management systems used by a cross-border water authority in South Africa and Swaziland.
Volume 21 is a regular volume of the journal with three papers and a book review.
In the first article, Royal Colle from Cornell University writes a 'memo to telecentre planners'. This is a practitioner article written as the keynote speech for a workshop on telecentre planning. Colle writes less about information and communication technologies, and more about information and communication and how these, and other issues, relate to the sustainability of telecentres, especially demand-driven telecentres. This article is based on his experience in observing telecentres in operation in various parts of the world, indeed on all five continents. The article includes a valuable list of nine activities for telecentre planners to consider putting into action.
In the second article, John Willinsky (University of British Columbia) and his colleagues from the United Arab Emirates University and the University of Buea examine the state of Internet access to research resources in Cameroonian universities. Following a review of the literature on the access to research, and in particular the open access phenomenon, as well as the current situation in Cameroon, they report on a survey of graduate students and instructors with regard to their current levels of Internet access and their Internet access practices. While the current situation is not satisfactory, there are rays of hope, notably in the HINARI project on the content side and the development of wireless technology in combination with V-SAT satellite connectivity on the infrastructure side.
The third article, by Gabriela Romo Rodriguez, reports on lessons learned from the use of ICTs by NGOs in Mexico, in particular an electronic learning network in the Gulf of California region. As NGOs make more systematic use of information systems, it is clear that electronic networks of NGOs are emerging, with considerable potential for the sharing of information. While access to the technology infrastructure is clearly important, of arguably greater significance are skills related to the management of the technology.
Finally, Doug Vogel critically reviews "Asia Unplugged: The Wireless and Mobile Media Boom in the Asia Pacific", published by Sage.
Introduction: Globalisation as a Trigger for Local Community Development
Since its inception the term 'globalisation' has come to be associated with a view of the world where, although there is an increased consciousness of the world becoming one, a new world order appears to have come into existence where the economically more developed countries are expanding their economies, exploiting the less developed countries’ lower-cost skills and resource offerings and capitalism is becoming the norm. This special issue, however, tells a refreshingly different story. It is a story of globalisation providing, intentionally or otherwise, a trigger for local community development. The case studies come from all corners of the world. They give us a different perspective on the globalisation beast, one which paints a less bleak picture for less developed economies. This image emerged rather spontaneously as the overarching theme for the issue was a rather general one, namely "The Challenges and Opportunities afforded by Globalisation". The papers share a number of themes and characteristics which are noteworthy in that they contribute to this balancing of global power relations:
- They show a great deal of respect for and understanding of the local context and avoid any a priori assumptions about the value or danger of globalisation.
- They care about the well-being of the people of the communities that they have studied beyond looking at economic benefit and gain. As such "success" is not evaluated purely in terms of financial or economic considerations.
- They adopt multiple perspectives in describing and analysing their cases.
- They do not conceive of local culture a priori as an impediment to progress and success.
- They engage with the subjects of their inquiry and offer a wealth of detail and description in their presentation of the material.
Abbott presents two cases from the non-industrialised context of Barbados and Jamaica where the globalisation of the software export industry is providing new opportunities and challenges for creating competitive advantage. She focuses on software export strategies available in such atypical contexts which lack some of the basic resources considered essential for success in that domain. She discovers that attention and sensitivity to the local context, for example the involvement of local government and integration into the local community both financially and socially, are key ingredients for success.
Chilundo & Aanestad investigate the integration of vertical health programme?s, namely tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS, in the Mozambican health sector. Adopting the lens of multiple rationalities they offer a rich detailed analysis which covers the broad network of stakeholders involved in such efforts and demonstrates the on-going battles between a multiplicity of rationalities – some local, some global, some glocal, some at the top, some on the ground etc. – and the importance of understanding each perspective and each rationality in its own right.
Standing et al.’s paper reminds us that less developed economies are not exclusive to “developing countries” but that they are ubiquitous in urban communities where resources can be scarce. Investigating the adoption by the Australian government of the idea of e-marketplaces to improve the participation of SMEs, particularly in rural areas, in the economy, their research emphasises the often-neglected community development motivation of such efforts.
Thompson applies critical discourse analysis to a recent speech on ICT by the president of the World Bank Group in order to demonstrate how deeply implicated ICT have become in the global discourse and practice of socio-economic development for less developed economies.
Madon uses Sen’s notion of capabilities to evaluate e-governance initiatives in India’s Southern state of Kerala. This perspective shifts the focus to the community development aspects of such endeavours.
As such this special issue casts doubt on many of the arguments that we have grown accustomed to in the literature on globalisation. The papers also demonstrate that methodological approaches and research lenses can, to a great extent, liberate us from being stuck within particular perspectives and help us to challenge dominant views and associated power relations. In terms of findings, they emphasise the importance of working with available resources and investment in further developing them in order to sustain development projects over the long term in less developed economy contexts. Human beings the world over are very resourceful and reflexive creatures, whatever their circumstances they will make the most of their conditions and resources in order to cope with the problems and issues that they are faced with. Globalisation is one new “variable” that has appeared within local contexts. It can play a multiplicity of roles which will get appropriated and shaped by the local contingencies.
Gamila Shoib, Bath, January, 2005
Volume 19 contains a special section of three papers, as well as two regular articles. The special section, titled "IT Investments in Developing Countries" is guest edited by Narcyz Roztocki, James Pick and Carlos Navarrete. Their editorial introduction to the special issue can be found below. The special section includes three papers:
The first paper entitled “Global IT Expenditure Growth: An Empirical Investigation Across Some Developing Nations,” authored by Bagchi, Putnam and Tang, examines the use of different models, such as the S-curve, in order to explain the growth in IT spending across different countries. In addition, the study attempts to investigate if countries with rather low IT infrastructures allocate a higher percentage of their national income to IT budgets.
The second paper entitled “Evaluating Information Technology Investments in Emerging Economies Using Activity-Based Costing,” by Roztocki and Weistroffer, proposes a methodology for evaluating IT investments by integrating the value chain model with activity-based costing. This framework may benefit managers in developing countries to derive more business value from their limited resources available for IT investments. In addition, this paper may also benefit researchers examining the topic of IT productivity.
The third paper entitled “The Role of Enterprise System Implementation in International Joint Venture Development: Exploring the Relationship,” authored by Ding, examines the relationship between international joint ventures and the role of Enterprise Systems. This relationship is investigated using a case study approach and offers valuable insights into strategic and operational decision-making in developing countries.
The fourth paper in this issue by Gholami, Moshiri and Lee considers the role of ICTs in the productivity of manufacturing industries in Iran. Using a historical data set (1993-1999) that covers 22 industries, they extend the work of previous studies that have compared the ICT-productivity relationship, confirming the positive significant nature of this relationship.
In the fifth paper, Amitabh Dabla documents the development of IT policies in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh from 1994-2002, with special attention to the promotion of social and economic development. He notes that while certain sectors of the economy and population are able to benefit from these policies, many are not, and thus calls for redesign of the policies such that they are more inclusive, especially of the disadvantaged members of the population.
Volume 18 is a regular volume of the journal with four papers.
In the first paper, Valentina Ndou of the University of Shkoder, Albania, drawing upon fifteen web-published case studies, investigates the opportunities and challenges associated with the implementation of eGovernment in Developing Countries. She counsels developing countries to take a more active role in the eGovernment field, and identifies a number of prescriptive suggestions for them.
In the second paper, professors Nair and Kuppusamy from the School of Business, Monash University Malaysia, identify trends of convergence and divergence in the information economy. From their analysis, they observe that countries that have invested heavily in ICT infrastructure, human capital and innovation have tended to reap the rewards with higher productivity levels. Their analysis is intended to illustrate not only the widening gap between developing and developed countries, but also to identify means for developing countries to try and catch up.
In the third paper, Emilio Mosse and Petter Nielsen from the Department of Informatics at the University of Oslo, Norway, discuss the communication practices of paper-based information systems in the health care system of Mozambique, as well as attempts to use ICTs to transform these practices. The study involves a qualitative case study designed to reveal the precise nature of these communication practices. In particular, the authors note that these practices are not only functional, but also symbolic and ritualistic. Their findings will be of interest to practitioners in other developing country contexts attempting to understand how such paper-based communication practices are employed.
In the final paper of this volume, Weixi Gong of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation in Vienna, Austria, analyses eBusiness models in developing countries in the specific context of post-crisis domestic procurement for humanitarian assistance. He analyses demand and supply issues that are pertinent to the eBusiness model that domestic suppliers may be able to exploit effectively. He also identifies missing links in the regular business cycle that need to be addressed/filled.
The first paper, "Software Outsourcing in Vietnam: A Case Study of a Locally Operating Pioneer", is authored by John Gallaugher and Greg Stoller, both of Boston College. These authors examine software outsourcing in Vietnam, highlighting a successful company. The authors point to benefits and challenges of outsourcing and generate a list of success factors that firms in other developing countries can use to become strategic outsourcing partners to more develop nations.
The second paper, "Adoption of Electronic Commerce by Organizations in India: Strategic and Environmental Imperatives", is authored by Monideepa Tarafdar from the University of Toledo and Sanjiv Vaidya from the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. The authors examine e-commerce adoption in eighteen companies spread across eleven different industries in India. Adoption of electronic commerce by most of the local firms was a direct response to the strategic threats espoused by the changing economic landscape. Their findings indicate that economic forces are significant enough to compel indigenous firms into re-thinking and re-orienting the ways they conduct business.
The third paper, "Integrating Indigenous Knowledge and GIS for Participatory Natural Resource Management: State of the Practice", authored by Nitesh Tripathi and Shefali Bhattarya, both of the University of Florida, offers an illuminating set of insights into the practice of participatory resource mapping, with particular reference to indigenous knowledge and the way this can be captured with GIS.
The fourth paper, "Regional Information Centres in Azerbaijan: A Preliminary Evaluation" by Michele Cocchiglia, offers a unique perspective on the development of ICTs in rural areas in this Central Asian nation, with a particular focus on telecentres. A number of important considerations in the viability of these centres are addressed, including the nature of equipment provided, the way in which the facilities are managed, financial sustainability, and accessibility. The paper concludes with a list of recommendations for the effective establishment and operation of regional information centres.
The fifth paper, "Bridging the Digital Divide in Carribean Group Decision Making", by Evan Duggan and Grace Virtue, examines the process of organisational decision making in the Carribean, the factors that influence group behaviour and interaction, and the advantages and disadvantages of structuring mechanisms such as those present in Group Support Systems (GSS) and the Nominal Group Technique (NGT). The paper also offers a comparison of GSS and NGT with particular focus on issues of technology access in nations on the less advantaged side of the digital divide.
Finally, two books recently published by Sage (New Delhi) are reviewed. The first involves an analysis of the strategic management of the technology transfer process in developing countries. The second relates specifically to the Indian experience of bridging the digital divide.
Volume 15 is a special issue of the journal devoted to IS in Latin America. The papers here are selected best papers from the Latin America Track at the 2003 AMCIS conference. The special issue has been edited and coordinated by Martha Garcia-Murillo, Syracuse University, USA, who also provides a lengthy introduction to the special issue, titled "Patchwork Adoption of ICTs in Latin America".
The second paper in this special issue by Sá, Marczak, Audy and Avritchir, presents a Brazilian case of the effectiveness of fiscal incentives that can be used to attract IT investments.
This is followed by an empirical study of telecommunication product adoption in the context of Latin America and the Caribbean, by Bagchi, Solis and Gemoets.
Two papers with a Mexican context round off the special issue. Firstly, Herrera and Ramirez propose a methodology for the self-diagnosis of software quality assurance in SMEs. This is followed by Navarrete and Pick's cross-cultural evaluation of telecommuting, comparing the USA and Mexico.
Volume 14 is a regular issue of the journal with four research articles and one conceptual note. As with previous volumes, the diversity of topics and locations is very considerable.
In the first paper, Chooi-Leng Ang, Razman Mat Tahar and Rusdi Murat report on an empirical study of the extent to which e-commerce is diffused in the Malaysian Shipping Industry, with a particular focus on EDI.
The second paper, by Peter Mbile, Anne DeGrande and D. Okon, involves an integration of participatory resource mapping and GIS in forest conservation and natural resource management in Cameroon.
In the third paper, Higgo Higgo writes on the difficulties associated with implementing information systems in large bureaucracies in less developed countries, focusing on the case of the Sudanese Ministry of Finance.
The fourth paper, written by Christian Wagner, Karen Cheung, Fion Lee and Rachael Ip, considers how e-government initiatives can be enhanced in developing countries through the implementation of virtual communities with knowledge management techniques.
In the last paper, Rex Navarro and V. Balaji, write briefly about discussions currently under way concerning the establishment of a virtual university for the semi-arid tropics of India, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Dozens of nations around the world are trying to be the “next India” – to launch successful software exporting industries. There is enormous excitement around this idea.
As guest editor of this special issue, I am very pleased that we have assembled a “first” in this area. While many articles have been written on individual nations’ software successes in recent years, this issue represents the first coming together of so many in-depth analyses on this new generation of software exporting industries. In this special issue we probably have the first thorough analyses of the nascent software exporting industries in Iran, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Bangladesh.
In order to attain high quality articles on this relatively new topic, roughly half the articles were written by practitioners. Shirley Tessler, Avron Barr, and Paul Tjia are consultants specializing in this area. Nagy Hanna is a World Bank economist who has been studying the intersection of technology and development for more than a decade. Norbert Bruell and Emmy Gengler live and breathe these issues as senior managers in two software exporting firms.
The issue is laid out as follows. I begin with three articles that lay the foundations for the topic. “Taxonomy of New Software Exporting Nations” classifies the many nations involved in software export. “Impacts on National Well Being Resulting from Their Software Exporting Industries” addresses the question of why we care about the software industry more than we care about other industries. “Success Factors” enhances existing frameworks that deal with what nations need to have - or do - in order to succeed.
We then move to in-depth analyses of five nations’ nascent software exporting industries. Bangladesh, by Paul Tjia; Iran by Brian Nicholson and Sundeep Sahay; Indonesia, by Norbert Bruell; Ukraine by Emmy B. Gengler; and Vietnam by Shyam R. Chidamber.
Finally, the special issue includes two broader articles on this phenomenon. The intersection of the software industry and broader ICT (Information and Communication Technology) issues is addressed by Shirley Tessler, Avron Barr, and Nagy Hanna. Christopher Coward shares results from his study of how decision makers in small- and medium-sized American companies decide to venture offshore for software.
I thank Richard Heeks, Brian Nicholson, and S. Krishna for spurring many of these ideas in Bangalore, India, May 2002, at the IFIP working group conference (The Social Implications of Computers in Developing Nations Conference). Finally, I thank Robert Davison, editor of EJISDC, for ably supporting this year-long project.
Volume 12 is a regular volume of the journal with both research papers and practitioner papers.
In the first article, Mbarika, Kah, Musa, Meso and Warren focus on the predictors of teledensity in developing countries, notably those that can be characterised as low and middle income developing countries. Their findings suggest that increased investment in telecommunications infrastructure without the corresponding involvement of other socio-economic factors may not result in improved teledensity.
The second article is an extension of a conference speech given by Ajay Kumar at the ASEAN Executive Seminar on eGovernment. Kumar focuses on issues associated with efficiency, accountability and transparency that eGovernment will bring.
In the third article, Paul Ulrich writes about the development and impact of Internet Information Centres in rural China. Ulrich describes many important issues associated with the rural Internet centres, including best practices developed and the long term sustainability of projects like these.
In the fourth article, Harris and colleagues describe two rural ICT telecentre projects in Nepal, with particular focus on a new methodology developed by the lead author called infomobilisation that can be used to scale up telecentre operations so that they can achieve their development objectives.
The last paper, by Stork, Leeming and Biliki, reports on an ICT strategy workshop held recently in the Solomon Islands, the first step in building up a national ICT strategy.
The remaining articles in this volume have been accepted through the regular submission/review process of the journal. In paper two, Idowu, Alu and Adagunodo describe a survey that was undertaken into the effect of IT in the Nigerian Banking Industry. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they conclude that IT has had a significant impact. In the next paper, Samantha Fleming documents the current situation and future potential for ICTs in the development of democracy in 'the South'. The specific country focus is South Africa, and in particular Chapter 2 of its Bill of Rights. Paper four, written by Eric Cloete, Steven Courtney and Julia Fintz, also comes from South Africa, and involves a survey of small business acceptance and adoption of E-Commerce technologies. The paper investigates how e-commerce benefits are evaluated by small businesses and analyses whether these businesses have the capacity in place to implement the technologies. The last paper is also e-commerce related, but involves a case study of a single orgaisation in the Ukraine. Murray Jennex and Donald Amoroso report on a study of International Business Solutions, documenting a number of critical e-business issues.
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June 30th, 2002
The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries (EJISDC) - www.ejisdc.org - has pleasure in providing a limited time opportunity for comment on a report written about the recent IFIP94 conference in Bangalore. This report was not commissioned by the journal, but was offered to the journal by its author - Mayuri Odedra-Straub - as a personal reflection on the way the IFIP94 community has developed.
While the report itself is only two pages long, it seems inappropriate to email it to all of you. Therefore, the report has been published on the web pages of the journal at www.ejisdc.org as Volume 10, Letter 1. We invite you to read this report and to offer your comments - for publication in the journal - on the issues raised therein. We hope that this will provide an opportunity for those of you who attended the conference, as well as anyone else concerned about the issues that are pertinent to IT in DCs, to provide some feedback and reflection. In essence, this report is being treated like a 'letter to the editor' and so those of you who wish to contribute comments will be treated similarly. We would also like to suggest that your comments be reasonably substantive - in the order of 2-3 pages for instance.
Please send your comments to me, Robert Davison, at email@example.com. If you have comments for the author that are not for publication, then you may contact her directly at the address provided in the letter.
In order to keep this discussion to a reasonably tight format, we will accept submissions of comments for two months - until the end of August 2002. In principle, we will only publish a single item per person - this is not intended to be a brainstorming session or general discussion forum - so please ensure that you say what you want to say on the first occasion.
We look forward to your views.
This volume comprises six papers accepted through the regular submission process.
In the first article, Victor Mbarika re-thinks the ICT policy focus for Africa's least developed countries, with particular reference to the need for a sound teledensity structure.
In the second article, Elaine Rabbitt and Jeremy Pagram consider ICT developments in outback Australian communities, with a study of two isolated schools in Australia's far North West.
In the third article, Jide Olutimayin considers the interaction of IT and local culture in the South Pacific, taking the Republic of Fiji as a case study.
Fiji is also the context for the fourth article, but here Charles Davis, Jim McMaster and Jan Nowak consider the opportunities that low-income nations such as Fiji offer for the burgeoning international trade in IT-enabled business services.
In the fifth article, Irwin Brown discusses the individual and technological factors that affect the perceived ease-of-use of web-based learning technologies in South Africa.
Finally, Luiz Joia and Fuad Zamot describe the development of Internet-based Reverse Auctions in Brazil, with substantial reference to the procurement process used by the Federal Government.
This volume focuses on ICT initiatives from South Asia, with papers from India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. The volume is a special issue that features a conference that took place in Kathmandu Nepal on 29-30 November 2001; The International Conference on Information, Technology, Communications and Development (ITCD) organised by the NGO Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. FES is a German non-governmental and non-profit foundation working for more than 30 years in Asia, Africa and Latin America. It is committed to the basic values of social democracy; freedom, social justice, and solidarity, and in Nepal it works in the fields of democratisation, trade union development, media and regional co-operation in South Asia. The organisers were encouraged by the response to the first conference so that it is being held again on December 1-3, 2002, in Kathmandu, Nepal. See the conference web site at http://www.itcd.net/index.htm. In addition, we include a paper from the Indian State of Kerala as it complements those from the conference.
The conference is summarised by our contributor, Gaurab Raj Upadhaya, and can by obtained by clicking in the Summary section below. The papers begin with Professor Patrick Hall, of the UK’s Open University, who looks at software localisation within its economic context, where making computers work in many languages is not economically worth while. A pressing issue for the many languages and scripts in South Asia and Prof. Hall argues that this means moving to embedding the meaning of messages and interactions within the software, using natural language generation technologies to create messages that output this meaning to the human user.
Next, Nair and Prasad take a close look at the development of IT in the Indian State of Kerala Their study shows that in spite of financial constraints, Kerala has made significant achievements in E-governance. However, the growth of IT industries is not commensurate with the potential of the State, which should take a tip from the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh which have achieved impressive growth in their IT industries. Kerala has all the intrinsic advantages in terms of infrastructure and manpower but it lacks a suitable promotion strategy to attract domestic and foreign investors.
In "Information Technology in Nepal: What Role for the Government?" Junelee Pradhan, of the University of South Australia, argues that Nepal urgently needs to develop a culturally appropriate national strategy for IT in order to have a positive impact on overall socio-economic development. The strategy will need to address resistance to change due to cultural, personal and infrastructure factors, and will need to be constructed as an evolving and learning system.
Ian Pringle and M.J.R. David (local project leader) examine the Kothmale Community Radio and Internet experiment in Sri Lanka. Kothmale has laid the groundwork for the local community to use ICTs for a variety of purposes, including economic improvements, the development of new skills, networking and of course for entertainment and enjoyment. Kothmale’s experience also demonstrates the value of converging localised media services and centres, in this case, using community radio as a model and a base for rural ICT application.
Shakya and Rauniar introduce IT education in Nepal, and conclude that universities and colleges in Nepal have come out extensively with IT related courses and programs. Yet for Nepal, which has traditionally lacked a sound education system, it was found that there were numerous areas of concerns in the way IT education was being imparted in the country. Several recommendations for improvements are made.
Finally, Yousaf Haroon Mujahid reviews the potential for ICT-induced development in Pakistan and describes some digital opportunity initiatives in the country, suggesting that the role of government invariably becomes the centrepiece of bringing ICT initiatives into reality by creating a favourable environment, grooming human capacity, developing and upgrading infrastructure, and promising a robust and transparent ICT policy.
The special issue was guest edited by Sundeep Sahay of the Department of Informatics, Univesity of Oslo, Norway. The full text of the introduction can be found below (23k).
In order to share the workload and to inject fresh insights into the editorial process, the editorial team of EJISDC has decided to rotate the role of Editor-in-Chief. Accordingly, Robert Davison of the Department of Information Systems at the City University of Hong Kong will take over for forthcoming editions in 2001. At the same time, we will be transferring the main site of the journal to CityU’s web site and the new url is http://www.ejisdc.org.
Volume 4 presents a special edition on telecentres. Volume 5 will focus on health information systems. EJISDC welcomes contributions relating to the design, development, implementation, management and evaluation of information systems and technologies in developing countries. Manuscripts can be sent to any of the editorial team.
Volume 4. Special Edition on Telecentres
Telecentres, Community Informatics and Development: What Do We Know Now? A special edition of the EJISDC on Telecentres guest edited by Michael Gurstein and Roger Harris.
Telecentres (also known as Community Communication Centres, Infoshops, Telecottages, Community Access Centres and others) have emerged in the last ten years as the primary means for providing public access to a range of telecommunications services and particularly the Internet. Beginning in Northern Europe, the approach has spread quickly throughout the world with current estimates as to total numbers ranging (depending on the definition) into the tens if not low hundreds of thousands.
Telecentres are currently being developed as community hubs for linking the range of opportunities presented by Information and Communications Technologies (ICT's) with economic and social development efforts at the local level. As telecentres do not depend on the model of individual access to ICTs that predominates in the developed world, they are especially relevant to the needs of developing countries.
Telecentres are providing solutions to a host of development problems concerned with the digital divide; community access to information; health and wellness initiatives; e-democracy; e-government; cultural and indigenous knowledge preservation; rural and agricultural development; and electronic commerce.
In this edition we present five papers that address a range of telecentre issues that will be of interest to practitioners,researchers and policy makers in developing countries that see telecentres as a means of spreading the benefits of information access more widely among their populations.
Judy Young, Gail Ridley and Jeff Ridley report on 18 community online access centres in their paper “A Preliminary Evaluation of Online Access Centres: Promoting Micro E-Business Activity in Small, Isolated Communities.” The study took place in Tasmania where the centres were established to redress some of the disadvantages of living and working in rural regions. Although not considered “developing country” in our normal usage, the results are highly relevant as they indicate that online access centres do promote e-business activity in small, isolated communities - typical conditions for millions of developing country inhabitants.
In “Comparing Urban and Rural telecentres Costs”, Hani Shakeel, Michael Best, Bruno Miller and Sam Weber compare the costs of urban and rural telecentres in Costa Rica, suggesting that telecentre operations in rural areas may not be significantly more expensive than those of an urban telecentre, important news for the vast majority of developing country inhabitants.
Katherine Reilly and Ricardo Gómez take a highly practical look at telecentre evaluation in “Comparing Approaches: Telecentre Evaluation Experiences in Asia and Latin America.” Their paper reports on some of the experiences of Canada’s International Development Research Centre, a key player in the telecentre movement in developing countries. Their analysis provides useable guidelines for telecentre evaluation and provides a common framework for assessing individual telecentre experiences.
In “Building a Knowledge Infrastructure for Learning Communities, ” Kate O’Dubhchair, James K. Scott, Thomas G. Johnson and Frank E. Miller take a theoretical look at knowledge infrastructures and their applicability to social and economic development. Their experiences are drawn from developed world examples, but their observations are firmly grounded within global trends whose consequences will be felt acutely by communities in the developing world that look to telecentres to provide an improved supply of information for solutions to their development problems.
In “True Stories – Telecentres in Latin America & the Caribbean,” Patrik Hunt provides a fascinating account of a collection of stories that was designed to give voice to the people who offer community-level telecentre services. In this “state of the field” account, story contributors point to a host of problems faced by their communities which explicitly informed the design and conception of telecentre services. The stories add to a deeper understanding of the uses and possibilities for telecentres in community development efforts in the region.
In our first paper, Alvin Yeo of the Computer Science Department, University of Waikato, addresses the efficacy of the global-software development lifecycle; a software development approach that is used to develop software originating in the West for the global market. He suggests that cultural factors intervene in the last phase, that of software usability assessment techniques, which are commonly applied to assess how usable software is that has been translated into another language.
Carlos da Silva and Aline Fernandes of the Federal University of Viçosa, Brazil, describe a series of decision support systems (DSS) for the promotion of small-scale agroindustrial investment in rural areas. Hypertext files describe technological processes, related legislation and potential markets, while graphical images present plant floor plans and 3-D views of facilities and equipment layout. Costs and market prices are blended into economic-engineering models that compute standard financial evaluation indicators. Early indications suggest the DSS can effectively promote agroindustrial investments.
According to the results of a study in Tanzania, DSS also have the potential to improve decision quality, competitive edge, timesaving and productivity when users have both sufficient technical knowledge of the system and enough experience on the job. A survey of 27 organisations by Dietrich Splettstoesser of the University of Dar es Salaam and Fred Kimaro of the Cooperative College Moshi, Tanzania, examined the user perception of DSS in support of decision-making.
Next, Howard Rubin of Hunter College takes a sideways look at IT from a global viewpoint. As a starting point for understanding the issues in IT in developing countries, many of us examine how the situation in developed countries contrasts to that in the third world. Howard’s contribution provides many of the details that can help flesh out such a comparison. For example, his examination of global software economics suggests that whilst the cost of a line of code in India is slightly more than a quarter of what it is in the USA, Indian software contains 60% more defects than does American.
In our next paper, A.B. Zaitun, Y. Mashkuri of the University of Malaya and Trevor Wood-Harper of the Universities of Salford and South Australia, report on three Malaysian case studies on the success factors for systems integration. The authors recommend that most of the obstacles to the successful implementation of systems integration can be resolved through inter-organisational co-operation, inter-organisational structures and a change in business processes.
Teh Ying Wah and A. B. Zaitun, of the University of Malaya, introduce current query processing techniques in Data Warehousing in our sixth paper. They compare the performance of four file-indexing techniques, and they outline the circumstances under which each technique is superior.
In our next paper, Chrisanthi Avgerou of the London School of Economics, and Chairperson of the IFIP Working Group 9.4 on the social implications of computers in developing countries, discusses the multiple rationalities of Information Systems deployment. Chrisanthi points to an aspect of the study of IS in developing countries that can help developers in the developed world reflect on their own assumptions, particularly the supremacy of the mutually dependent techno-scientific and economic rationalities of modernity. Her argument is that it is important to focus on the differing ideas of rational action that are fostered and sustained by different cultures when trying to understand clashes and difficulties in IS implementations.
Finally, Norhayati Abd. Mukti, of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, examines factors such as background characteristics, attitudes and concerns that relate to Malaysian teachers’ use of computer technology in their teaching. Her study supports the proposition that more knowledgable teachers showed a more positive attitude toward the use of microcomputers in classroom instruction, despite the presence of a number of hindrances.
Four of the first five papers presented in our first "volume" are taken from presentations at the IFIP Working Group 9.4 Asian Regional Conference on IT in Asia. In our first paper, Gernot Brodnig and Viktor Mayer-Schönberger of Harvard University examine how local communities can use spatial information systems to help them apply traditional and indigenous knowledge to manage their environment and resources sustainably. They tentatively, and intriguingly, suggest that traditional environmental knowledge is much closer to the technologies’ structural features and functionality than some Western methodologies.
Theerasak Thanasankit and Brian Corbitt of the University of Melbourne report on an ethnographic study of how software analysts in Thai software houses undertake requirements engineering. They investigate the impact of Thai culture on the elicitation of requirements in information systems development. Their paper provides Thai system analysts with a warning about how Thai culture impacts requirements elicitation, and their findings can be used for selecting and adapting methods of requirements gathering for use in the Thai context.
In our third paper, Nor Azan Mat Zin, and a host of colleagues, look at gender differences in computer literacy among undergraduate students at a university in Malaysia. They discovered significant differences between male and female students, noticing that males had more computer experience and used computers more frequently. Males also reported higher computer ability and a higher percentage of computer ownership, programming skills, and ability in computer repair and maintenance.
Next, Subhash Bhatnagar reports on one of the cases presented at a recent workshop organised by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and the World Bank. The workshop, titled "Information and Communication Technologies for Rural Development" brought together case studies that demonstrated how ICTs can improve rural life in developing countries. The paper describes how IT can be used to provide decision support to public administrators, improve services to citizens, and empower citizens to access information and knowledge. Lessons are drawn from a description of the use of IT by co-operative milk collection societies in India.
Our final paper is slightly different, as it is drawn from a panel session on technology leapfrogging headed by the authors at the IFIP9.4 conference in Bangkok in 1998. The paper reflects on the concept of leapfrogging, questioning its implied merits and examining some associated issues such as adaptive responses to new technology and its contextual congruence.
We commend these papers in the hope not only that that they will be of interest to you but also that they will provoke discussion and promote further research into the important issues raised. In coming volumes we plan to examine IT in Brunei, SAP R/3 in a Middle Eastern country, cyberspace policy in Malaysia, IS implementations in Nigeria, NGO's use of the internet, and technological innovation in development.
We invite readers' feedback, in any form you consider appropriate. As a new journal, we are anxious to hear how we might serve our audience better. If you have something worth saying regarding the journal, or its operation, please do contact any of the editors.