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by , January 29, 2013

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Do public access ICTs have an impact on socio-economic development? Findings of the Global Impact Study

This iSchool Research Conversation and TASCHA Talk, presented by Araba Sey, discusses insights from the Global Impact Study. It outlines some dimensions of public access as a strategy for socio-economic development, addressing questions such as: who uses public access ICTs and why, what value do users perceive, what types of outcomes have users experienced and in what areas? Based on these findings we suggest how vested interests might realistically characterize the nature of public access impacts and make decisions about the role public access could play in their development agendas.

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by , July 11, 2012

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Most public access users are either students or employed

In the last post on public access venue user findings, we discussed that while many of the users are young and male, that is not the complete picture. Public access venues serve people of all ages, and women frequent public access venues as well. Let's take a look at their occupation status.

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by , June 27, 2012

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Communications & leisure activities: More than just fun and games

Communications & leisure activities: More than just fun and games

As discussed in a previous post, communications & leisure tops the list of uses for public access ICT. While this is not surprising, use of public access venues for communications & leisure is often frowned upon, especially if the venue is publicly funded or has a development mission. Funders, governments, and non-governmental organizations of public access venues would often like to see lower use in the communications domain and higher use in other "development" domains such as government, health, and employment & income. The reality, however, is that communication activities, such as the use of social networking sites and emailing with family and friends, remain high across all types of venues. But does this mean other public access venue objectives, such as developing ICT skills and filling information gaps, aren't being met? How do communications & leisure activities contribute to other objectives of public access initiatives?

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by , June 18, 2012

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What do public access venue users use computers for?

What do public access venue users use computers for?

The Global Impact Study is mainly looking at six development domains: communications & leisure, culture & language, education, employment & income, government, and health. Communications & leisure is the number one used domain, followed closely by education. Employment & income use is high as well, with over 40% of all public access users surveyed using public access for activities in this domain. More episodic uses and perhaps less available in some countries, such as culture & language, health, and government, see less use.

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by , April 25, 2012

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Who uses public access venues?

Who uses public access venues?

The last few posts based on the User Profiles working paper considered the "access" dimensions of public access venues - where people access computers and the Internet and why they go to public access venues. The next few posts, including this one, will uncover who comprises the "public" component of public access venues, that is, who are the users of public access venues? This post will focus on two primary demographics of public access venue users: age and gender. Does the stereotypical public access venue user, young and male, hold up? Let's find out.

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