Vol 1 (2000)

The editors of EJISDC are happy to welcome you to the first edition of a new electronic journal dedicated to the problems and opportunities in information systems in developing countries. Our first crop of research papers is now ready and we have many more in the pipeline. The journal is a non-commercial venture and no subscriptions are required of its readership. Given the minimal costs of electronic publishing and taking account of the circumstances of our principal target audience, we consider this to be a wholly appropriate approach. What's more, if a reader does not have access to the World Wide Web, but can get e-mail, then we can introduce them to a web-to-e-mail server that enables a user to obtain web pages using only e-mail.

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.

Table of Contents

In this Volume, the downloads# is the number of downloads since April 2005. The total number of downloads, i.e. since the original publication date, is not available.

Research Papers

Bridging the Gap: The Role of Spatial Information Technologies in the Integration of Traditional Environmental Knowledge and Western Science PDF
Gernot Brodnig, Viktor Mayer-Schonberger # of downloads: 6049

Cultural Context and its Impact on Requirements Elicitation in Thailand PDF
Theerasak Thanasankit, Brian Corbitt # of downloads: 6339

Gender Differences in Computer Literacy Level Among Undergraduate Students in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia PDF
Nor Azan Mat Zin, Halimah Badioze Zaman, Hairulliza Mohd Judi, Norhayati Abdul Mukti, Hazilah Mohd Amin, Shahnorbanun Sahran, Kamsuriah Ahmad, Masri Ayob, Salwani Abdullah, Zuraidah Abdullah # of downloads: 4771

Social Implications of Information and Communication Technology in Developing Countries: Lessons from Asian Success Stories PDF
Subhash Bhatnagar # of downloads: 14299

In this Volume, the downloads# is the number of downloads since April 2005. The total number of downloads, i.e. since the original publication date, is not available.

Discussion Papers

Technology Leapfrogging in Developing Countries - An Inevitable Luxury? PDF
Robert Davison, Doug Vogel, Roger Harris, Noel Jones # of downloads: 9376

The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries.
ISSN: 1681-4835 www.ejisdc.org