Structure and flexibility in global research design: Methodological choices in landscape study of public access in 25 countries

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to present the research methodology for the global study “Landscape of public access to ICT in 25 countries” (referred to as the Landscape study), a study conducted in 2007-2009 by the University of Washington's Center for Information and Society, with a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Design/methodology/approach – The study looked at public access venues (public libraries, telecenters, cybercafés, other) that offer public access to information, especially through information and communication technologies (ICT), in 25 countries around the world.

Findings – The paper describes here the criteria for the country selection, selection of local research partners in each country, research design considerations, data analysis, and limitations of the study.

Practical implications – The scope of the research undertook meant sacrificing some depth in exchange for breadth resulting in a broad blanket of understanding over a variety of topics, but not enough depth to really understand their intricacies, causes or effects. In future steps the authors intend to explore ways to adapt the research framework to apply it to in-depth studies of a particular country or context.

Originality/value – This paper presents a research methodology example that is transferrable to other multi-national surveys.

Recommended Citation

Gomez, R. (2010). Structure and flexibility in global research design: Methodological choices in landscape study of public access in 25 countries. Performance Measurement and Metrics, 11, 3, 231-258.