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 International Journal of Education and Development using ICT > Vol. 10, No. 2 (2014) open journal systems 


Sustaining a Nepali Telecenter: An Ethnographic Study Using Activity Theory

Jeffrey Chih-Yih Lee, Azusa Pacific University
Paul Sparks, Pepperdine University


Abstract
While advances have made it possible for the average Nepali to access mobile phones, computers, and digital cameras, barriers continue to impede access. Like other governments, Nepal responded in 2004 by creating about 80 telecenters to push sustainable technology to its people. Five years later, most telecenters struggle with sustainability. This ethnographic study explores tensions youth face when using a telecenter located in Sankhu, Nepal, a Newari village 20 kilometers southeast of Kathmandu. To understand the complex tensions, an ethnographic approach was adopted as the method for data collection. Given the nature of the problem, Activity Theory was used as a framework for analyzing and understanding the tensions. Tensions are categorized in order of frequency as they appeared in the data. Major tensions included gender norms, generational distrust, lack of awareness, and funding. Moderate tensions included lack of training and time. Minor tensions were location, power, and connectivity.


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