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.
Table of Contents
In this Volume, the downloads# is the total number of downloads since publication.
|Exploring the ICT and Rural Poverty Reduction Link: Community Telecenters and Rural Livelihoods in Wu’an, China|
|Cheryll Ruth R. Soriano||# of downloads: 19732|
|Modes of Learning and Performance Among U.P. Open University Graduates|
|Victoria A. Bautista, Ma. Ana T. Quimbo||# of downloads: 3211|
|Customer Acquisition among Small and Informal Businesses in Urban India: Comparing Face-to-face and Mediated Channels|
|Jonathan Donner||# of downloads: 7261|
|Decrypting E-Governance: Narratives, Power Play and Participation in the Gyandoot Intranet|
|T. T. Sreekumar||# of downloads: 6619|
|Homeworkers Online: Utilization of ICT|
|Lee Lee Loh-Ludher||# of downloads: 6272|
|Using the Technology Adoption Model to Analyze Internet Adoption and Use among Men and Women in Indonesia|
|Fathul Wahid||# of downloads: 19058|
|21st Century Knowledge-building in the Asia Pacific: Towards a Multi-disciplinary Framework for Linking ICT-based Social and Personal Contexts of Education and Development|
|Cameron Richards, Govindan Nair||# of downloads: 4349|