|A Study on the Role of Context in Media Access and Usage and Its Effects for Development Policy|
|Written by Dockney, Jonathan|
A Contextualising Introduction
In this research project I hypothesise, through the use of two case studies: Kloof and Bechet High School, that policies and programmes to address the digital divide need to account for the myriad of specific issues that arise from different socio-economic contexts. Different contexts elicit different needs which need to be incorporated into policy and programmes. These backgrounds could result in nuanced differences which require a focused response from policy and programmes. The question here is what are the assumptions that are taken for granted in traditional notions of provision? Here, I look at the programmes that were implemented respectively by Bechet and Kloof and I critique and compare each programme with regards to their contexts. Also, are there other media forms that could temporarily be used to help alleviate problems and act as compromises in the face of constraints such as restricted finances? Furthermore, contexts could also elicit different meanings that surround the technology and could possibly be responsible for how the technology is seen and used. Once again this requires that policy and programmes be aware of these meanings to properly and adequately facilitate a multi- and differentially-tiered response to addressing the digital divide as it manifests itself amongst a multitude of peoples from a multitude of different, sometimes conflicting, sometimes completely foreign and yet, sometimes within physical proximity to each other, contexts.
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