Bridging the Digital Divide? Self-Manage IT – A Ugandan Case Study
It is widely thought that information and communication technology (ICT) can catalyse economic growth and that the right to information is a basic condition for human and social development. However, the difference in quantity and quality of ICT services is still wide. This so-called digital divide has to be reduced and this thesis aims to find out how on-the-ground efforts to bridge the digital divide can be carried out and to examine which factors are most important or most difficult to overcome and why this is so. The research question was “What does an on-theground initiative to bridge the digital divide look like in practise?” The methodology chosen is case study and the case chosen is an ICT-project (Self-Manage IT, SMIT) in Uganda. The empirical material consists of 14 interviews and the information from the informants was analysed according to two tools/theories; Dr Richard Heeks’ “Information Chain Theory” and bridges.org’s “Real Access / Real Impact” framework. The results show that SMIT faces some steep challenges regarding management and sustainability issues. Major access barriers are the lack of money and the absence of training of trainers.
Göteborg University. School of Business, Economics and Law