Publication Date

2009-08-10

Availability

Open access

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Department

Communication Studies (Communication)

Date of Defense

2009-07-15

First Committee Member

Leonardo Cesar Ferreira - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Jyotika Ramaprasad - Committee Member

Third Committee Member

Sanjeev Chatterjee - Committee Member

Fourth Committee Member

Terrence D. Hill - Outside Committee Member

Abstract

Globalization and the rise of the Information Society pose many challenges to developing nations. In adherence to the Millennium Development Goal of digital inclusion, the government of the Dominican Republic established a national program of community technology centers, or telecenters, that aim to promote digital literacy among the poor. This study examined how these telecenters promote the adoption of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and tested whether perceived structural factors, individual motivation or demographics predict adoption. Results from a survey conducted in the rural villages of El Seybo, Navarrete, and Oviedo confirm that telecenter users learn how to use information and communication technologies as a resource for information about civic life, entertainment, and professional development. The study concludes that telecenters can succeed in decreasing digital poverty, provided issues of sustainability are addressed with consistent and continued government funding and support. The field of information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) is in its infancy and has yet to develop strong methodological or theoretical standards. This study of ICT adoption and telecenter use in rural areas of the Caribbean contributes empirical evidence to the literature of this emerging discipline.

Keywords

Telecenters; Digital Divide; Information And Communication Technologies; Digital Inclusion; Community Technology Centers; Dominican Republic; ICT4D

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