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


Facilitating the use of ICT for community development through collaborative partnerships between universities, governments and communities

Stewart Marshall, The University of the West Indies, Barbados, West Indies
Wal Taylor, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa


Abstract
Despite the huge potential of information and communication technology (ICT) to assist communities to increase their overall well-being through community development, there are relatively few examples of sustained community networks built around ICT when compared to commercial applications, even in the developed countries where the technology has been increasingly available for up to 20 years. Researchers report a wide range of potential success factors and impediments. Pre-eminent amongst these is that collaborative partnerships, social network strategies and the building of social capital at the local level are key issues for the successful adoption of ICT for development. In this paper, the authors describe two successful community ICT projects whose success depended on the use of a collaborative methodology involving universities, governments and communities. Central to this approach is the involvement of the community in all parts of the project. By using such an approach, we acknowledge the rich creativity that exists in each local community and that this creativity can be harnessed in the creation of a community network, which in turn empowers the community. Researchers in universities can play a crucial role in facilitating this collaborative approach. Can the authors now facilitate similar projects with equal success in South Africa and in the small island developing states of the Caribbean?


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