Public access venues provide an arena for people to connect with their friends and family. Given that more than 9% of the population in the Philippines (over 8 million Filipinos) are working abroad, this in-depth study explored how public access venues in the Philippines are used by families left behind by Filipinos working overseas. Areas of investigation included looking at the impact of these public access technologies on their economic well-being, their social networks, and eventually their decision to either migrate away or stay in their communities.
Led by Erwin Alampay of the National College of Public Administration and Governance at the University of the Philippines, this in-depth study intended to answer the following research questions:
- What ICT-related government and non-governmental programs and interventions exist among government and non-governmental organizations aimed at strengthening the support of both migrant workers and their families?
- How effective are public access venues at providing access to e-services for migrant workers and their families? What interpersonal communication services does it provide to make communication possible?
- What is the comparative impact on dispersed families using different combinations of communication and information access services?
The central hypotheses of this in-depth study on interpersonal communication include:
- Public access venues are important to the provision of interpersonal communication to dispersed families.
- Use of public access venues among families with members working overseas help strengthen family cohesion and connectedness.
- Use of public access venues among families with members working overseas has impact on their livelihoods, including migration and job placements overseas, as well as access to vital information needed by overseas workers.
This study also employed a variety of research methodologies, including using data from the Global Impact Study national survey, conducting community surveys, case study interviews with public access users, and interviews with public access venue operators. Findings of this study may help public access venue operators and organizations that work with migrant workers better understand the types of applications and services that families of overseas workers, as well as the workers themselves, need.