20 July 2007

Rich ethnographic reports about the uses of ICT in low-income communities

Be the first to share

Internet cafe in Ghana
The UK Department for Development has published a long study, written by a number of researchers from British and Australian Universities, about the social and economic benefits of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in low-income communities in Jamaica, India, South Africa and Ghana.

The Australian anthropology site Culture Matters reports that “the working papers strongly re-enforce the benefits of an ethnographic approach for the wider world,” but this approach “is also increasingly seen as contributing to sound development policies.”

“One of the most convincing is the study on Jamaica by Daniel Miller and Heather Horst, which “juxtaposes conventional ICT policy making in Jamaica with ethnographic findings and uncovers that the assumptions concerning internet use held by the government as well as international NGOs diverge hugely from the realities. […] The whole report is full of examples for ethnography’s ability to check (and often disprove) common-sense beliefs concerning the benefits of new technologies.”

The reports from Ghana by Don Slater and Janet Kwami also “unveiled a huge gap between policy assumptions and actual usage. […] On the one hand there is the widespread belief amongst governments and NGOs that the Internet is a tool of development through information distribution. Yet all Internet users in the Accra slum studied used the internet only for chat with foreigners (as well as some diasporic family members and friends). There was exceptionally low awareness of even the existence of websites.”

Read full story

Be the first to share
1 October 2017
Google’s Director of User Experience on the power of ethnography in an era of Big Data
Elizabeth Churchill, Google's Director of User Experience argues that there has never been a better time for an ethnographic embrace and a reconfiguration of what it means to render meaning into big and small data. …
10 September 2017
[Book] Everyday Schooling in the Digital Age
Everyday Schooling in the Digital Age: High School, High Tech? By Neil Selwyn, Selena Nemorin, Scott Bulfin, Nicola F. Johnson Routledge 2018 – 224 pages [Amazon link] Today’s high schools are increasingly based around the use of digital technologies. Students …
3 September 2017
[Book] Think like an anthropologist
Think Like An Anthropologist by Matthew Engelke Pelican, August 2017, 339 pages [Start reading - Amazon link] How does anthropology help us understand who we are? What can it tell us about culture, from Melanesia to the City of London? Why …
29 August 2017
Self-driving cars need human intuition
"If self-driving cars are going to achieve their promise as a revolution in urban transportation—delivering reduced emissions, better mobility, and safer streets—they will have to exist on a level playing field with the humans who …
4 August 2017
The human side of autonomous cars — with Nissan Research’s Melissa Cefkin
Reposted from Medium Beyond the engineering challenge of creating cars that drive themselves lies the social challenge. Before autonomous cars are ready to navigate our roads, they must be able to navigate the vastly more complicated …
29 July 2017
“Where the social sciences and business come together” – Alexandra Mack on ethnography
In this episode of the Change Management Review Podcast, Theresa Moulton interviews Alexandra Mack. Alexandra is a senior fellow at Pitney Bowes, the e-commerce services provider, and a Board Member of Ethnographic Praxis in Industry …
29 July 2017
Data ethnographer: the most crucial design job of the future
Data inside of algorithms is incredibly symbiotic with the algorithm itself. In product design, the data fed to algorithms determines the characteristics of a product. This implies radical transparency and giving consumers access to an …
31 May 2017
Putting human thought behind chatbots
Business anthropologist Martha Bird's specialty is designing technologies that work for people, creating conversational user interfaces and chatbots that can serve different professional audiences across different geographies and different cultures. An interview excerpt: Why are people's …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

17 October 2017
Richard Thaler’s Nobel Prize is a win for good design

by Erin O’Loughlin Richard Thaler’s 2017 Nobel Economics Prize on Monday was met with more buzz around the offices of our design agency than is usual for economics news. What people outside of the industry probably don’t realize is that service designers don’t think of Richard Thaler as an economist — instead, we consider him one of […]

3 October 2017
Don’t miss Experientia at Torino Design of the City

Torino Design of the City is nearly here! Experientia will of course be part of this exciting week (10-16 October) of events, meetings, workshops, exhibitions and guided tours about design, and we warmly invite you to join us. The event is organised by the City of Turin and will take place in strategic city locations […]

1 October 2017
Half-day event on service design innovation in Turin

(This page will be regularly updated to reflect minor programme changes) To Innovate through Service Design – Conference for Torino Design of the City From 10 to 16 October, the City of Turin will host Torino Design of the City. This week of events, meetings, workshops, exhibitions and guided tours about design will take place in […]

4 August 2017
The human side of autonomous cars — with Nissan Research’s Melissa Cefkin

Reposted from Medium Beyond the engineering challenge of creating cars that drive themselves lies the social challenge. Before autonomous cars are ready to navigate our roads, they must be able to navigate the vastly more complicated nuances of human behaviors and interactions — from that friendly nod that says “You first” at a four-way stop, to the […]

31 May 2017
 Intervista a Todd Harple di Intel sul tech-fashion

Ripostato da Medium – English version Il mondo del fashion sta diventando sempre di più digitale — e non si tratta solo di dispositivi da indossare, ma anche e soprattutto di abbigliamento, realizzato con tessuti in cui sono effettivamente integrati dei sensori in grado di misurare e monitorare il corpo di chi li veste. Dato che la […]

8 May 2017
Why service design is the new black — Intel’s Todd Harple on fashion tech

Reposted from Medium – Versione italiana The world of fashion is becoming increasingly digital — and not just wearable devices, but with clothing made from fabrics that actually integrate sensors and technology that can monitor and measure the wearer. As fashion starts to go beyond outward appearance, fashion designers need to broaden their skillsets, to make sure […]

See all articles