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 International Journal of Education and Development using ICT > Vol. 1, No. 1 (2005) open journal systems 


Building community capacities in evaluating rural IT projects: Success strategies from the LEARNERS Project

June Lennie, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Greg Hearn, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Lyn Simpson, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
Megan Kimber, Queensland University of Technology, Australia


Abstract
Given the current emphasis on the benefits of communication and information technologies (C&IT) for sustainable rural community development, effective evaluations of C&IT initiatives are increasingly important. This paper presents outcomes of a project that aimed to build capacities of people in two Australian rural communities to evaluate C&IT initiatives. The projectís participatory action research and participatory evaluation methods were effective in increasing skills and knowledge, and facilitating various forms of empowerment. However, some limitations and disempowering effects and barriers to participation were identified. Based on our critical reflections, we present strategies for successful community capacity building projects and sustainable C&IT initiatives in rural areas.


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International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology. ISSN: 1814-0556