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Digital inclusion projects in developing countries: processes of institutionalization

By Shirin Madon, Nicolau Reinhard, Dewald Roode and Geoff Walsham


This article concerns digital inclusion projects in developing countries and, in particular, focuses on processes of institutionalization of such projects. Three case studies are described and analysed. The first is the Akshaya telecenter project in the state of Kerala in India. The second is a community-based ICT project in a town in a rural area of South Africa. The third is the efforts of various agencies on telecenter projects in the mega-city of São Paulo in Brazil. The cases are analysed through a simple theoretical schema derived from institutional theory. The analyses are used to derive four key processes of institutionalization, which are argued to be of relevance to all digital inclusion projects: getting symbolic acceptance by the community, stimulating valuable social activity in relevant social groups, generating linkage to viable revenue streams, and enrolling government support. The article concludes with some theoretical, methodological, and policy implications

Topics: H Social Sciences (General), T Technology (General)
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1002/itdj.20108
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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