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Access to and Use of Information in Mukuru and Kangundo Digital Villages, Kenya

Journal of Applied Information Science

Volume 5 Issue 2

Published: 2017
Author(s) Name: Silas Baron | Author(s) Affiliation: Chief Librarian, Kenya National Archives, Kenya.
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Abstract

The study investigated access to and use of information by local communities in Mukuru and Kangundo digital villages with a view of proposing measures that will enhance the usability of the digital villages as a source of information. The study was informed by information chain model whose key elements: local content, economic resources, social resources and action resources formed the basis for the research. Qualitative research approach with purposive sampling technique was used to identify the two digital villages and the respondents under the study. Data was collected from a sample size of 50 respondents consisting of 2 managers of the digital villages, 7 staff members, 40 users and 1 key informant using interview method. Observation and documentary analysis were used as secondary data collection method. Data analysis was done qualitatively and presented using direct excerpts, narrative explanations and supported by figures and tables. Findings show that local communities require all kinds of information in their day to day life with particular emphasis on agricultural and health information. However, there is a general observation that digital villages are not being used by local communities to access this information due to lack of technological know how, shortage of finances and the social perception of the digital villages. The study recommends review of the current digital villages model in order to enhance their usage as a source of information. This includes collaborating with local institutions to generate local content so as to meet the needs of local communities, marketing of digital villages as a source of information and improving quality of services offered in the digital villages. The study concluded that, access and use of information in the digital villages should be enhanced by addressing the challenges and adopting a new framework of implementation proposed under this study.

Keywords: Access to information, Digital villages, Information needs and Telecentres, Information communication technology.

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