Community outreach projects as a sustainable way of introducing information technology in developing countries
Irina I.Y. Zlotnikova, Botswana International University of Science and Technology, Botswana
Theo Th.P. van der Weide, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands
The paper describes an approach to the sustainable introduction of IT in developing countries based on international collaboration between students taking the form of a knowledge bridge. The authors consider the challenges for introducing information technologies in developing countries; one of these is lack of reading materials ultimately leading to lack of reading skills in pupils and poor overall performance.
A theoretical framework for the sustainable introduction of IT is proposed. It comprises the following components:
- The model of a knowledge bridge;
- The managerial model of the interactions between key stakeholders; and
- The model of impact of a Community Outreach Project (COP) on target schools.
The proposed models have been mapped to the widely adopted DPSIR framework used in sustainable development studies. As a case study the authors discuss the E-readers Project run in two primary schools in Northern Tanzania.
The paper also demonstrates how interaction and collaboration between Tanzanian and Dutch students was organized during preparatory stage and project implementation. The paper concludes with general recommendations on how to run a sustainable IT-based COP. These recommendations have been drawn from the analysis of the COP experience in the developing country, namely Tanzania.
Source: International Journal of Education and Development using ICT – Vol. 11, No. 1 (2015)
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