Friday, 3 August 2012

Internet for All?

Image courtesy of jannoon028 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) such as Broadband are becoming a bigger part of peoples’ daily lives.  Use of the internet has increased particularly with the development of innovative communications platforms such as email and instant messaging.  But with the emergence of online social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, internet usage has rocketed and transformed.

With the use of ICTs changing the face of information seeking and communications in day-to-day life, governments have recognised the potential for economic growth and development.  So ICTs like Broadband are viewed as critical tools for daily life. But does everyone have the same access and ability to use these immense resources?  And what is the usage of these technologies in other countries around the world?

Not all government projects across the globe are successful at encouraging adoption and use.  And with an estimated 85% of e-government projects in developing countries being either total failures or considered as partial failures, what are the reasons for this?

Dr Jyoti Choudrie, from the Systems Management Research Unit, presented two papers on uptake of ICT in two developing countries at the recent Special Interest Group on ICT and Global Development meeting held in Barcelona, Spain.

The first paper, entitled “Culture and Gender’s Influence on E-Government Diffusion in Nigeria: A Qualitative Study”, looked to understand and explain the influence of culture and gender upon e-Government awareness channels in the three largest indigenous societies in Nigeria: Ibo, Yoruba and Hausa.  The findings showed that social interaction (based on culture and gender influences) had a large impact on awareness channels.  So to improve the diffusion of e-Government products and services, social interaction is a necessary element.

In the second paper, entitled “Adoption and use of e-Government Services in Abu Dhabi Police Force: A Qualitative Study”, the research results showed that age, education, position within an organisation and the individual’s job all contribute to either inhibit or encourage the use and adoption of e-services.

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