Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/28121
Title: ICT Projects & Social Development in Asia: Two Case Studies Exploring Options, Opportunities & Constraints
Authors: MANJARI KISHORE
Keywords: ICT Projects, Gender, Development, India, Thailand
Issue Date: 19-Jan-2008
Source: MANJARI KISHORE (2008-01-19). ICT Projects & Social Development in Asia: Two Case Studies Exploring Options, Opportunities & Constraints. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Telecentres, as a hub of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)services have widely proliferated, especially in the developing countries as a measure tobridge the digital divide and connect the remote and marginalized populations, ultimatelyrealizing the goals of social, political and economic empowerment.Feminist literature on womenb s development in the trajectory of technologicalgrowth argues that historically the relationship between women and new technologies hasbeen mediated by problematic assumptions deriving from the crucible of patriarchy. Butrecent literature shows that ICTs have enabled social and economic empowerment ofwomen by providing greater employment opportunities and redefining gender relations atthe family and community level.This thesis aims to critically examine the extent of empowerment of marginalizedwomen through employment generation and community formation brought about byICTs. For the purpose of this study, we narrow the broad area of ICTs to the sphere oftelecentres, particularly in the developing countries.The study takes a cross-country perspective by selecting two telecentre sites b one,Seelampur ICT Centre located in a slum area in New Delhi in India and second, JakkaratT-Centre at the Jakkarat village in Korat province of Thailand. In-depth interviews werecarried out with the aid of semi-structured questionnaire. The sample size was 41 in Indiaand 28 in Thailand case study; sampling frame constituted mostly of women.Based on the findings of the field study, this paper specifically answers thequestion whether ICTs through the medium of telecentres, provide employment orviiincome-generating activities, and scope for community formation for enabling economicand social empowerment of women from the disadvantaged communities. This researchis significant in that it is based on empirical research from a user-centered perspective.Findings show that the telecentres are being visited by the younger and therelatively better educated among the local communities primarily with the hope ofsecuring employment. The study finds that getting IT-based employment is contingent onthe over-all social, educational and cultural context in which the telecentre users areembedded. The study also highlights that though ICTs are enablers of offline communitybuilding, it is the social context of women in the respective communities that influenceformation of a community.
URI: http://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/28121
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