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ERIC Number: EJ1126338
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-May
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1477-9714
One Size Does Not Fit All! Gender In/Exclusion in a Rural Community-Based ICT Initiative
Faulkner, Wendy; Kleif, Tine
Journal of Adult and Continuing Education, v11 n1 p43-61 May 2005
Community-based information and communication technologies (ICT) networks are seen as an important means of reducing social exclusion, and at the same time fostering community development. Increasing ICT capability locally is arguably crucial to furthering both of these broad aims. This paper presents evidence about the capability-building activities and impact of one community-based ICT initiative, which we have called the Ardmore Network. This is a network of part-time staffed Community Resource Centres in a remote rural region of Scotland. It provides three services: access to informational and technological resources, one-to-one support in learning to use these resources, and basic and vocational ICT training. The initiative is indeed increasing ICT capability amongst sections of the community. Our analysis identifies two keys to this success, which we believe have salience for other community-based efforts to increase ICT capability. First, it involves a "heterogeneous" package of measures in the sense that it is not "just" about providing public-access computers. And second, it works to the degree that it facilitates "informal" ICT learning through networks of "local experts" within the community. However, the Ardmore Network attracts more women than men, and is failing to reach many non-ICT-using men in the communities it serves--especially middle-aged men in manual work--in spite of being promoted "for everybody." We identify aspects of the "one size" strategy which do not "fit" this section of the community, and conclude that digital inclusion efforts must be based on gender-aware effective targeting if they really are to include everybody in the community.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Scotland)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A