Global Impact Study-Using an information ecology approach to identify research areas: Findings from Bangladesh

Abstract

Information asymmetry is one of the main factors for imperfect decision making by the government, citizens and for market inefficiency. With the advent of information and communication technologies, it becomes easier to be best informed about what government is doing, what are the entitlements not reaching the target people, and most importantly, the scope of being heard has been improved dramatically. Access to information and knowledge through ICTs is relatively a new issue for the population of developing countries. Every rural community has its own information and knowledge ecosystem, where ICT‐based information and knowledge is a new phenomenon, thus, it is interesting to learn how the existing system gives space to the new element. The understanding of ecosystem is arch‐important for understanding impact of the new ICT‐based information and knowledge system on the community members. The rural areas, in countries like Bangladesh, still lack proper infrastructure, poverty incidence in rural areas is higher than in urban areas. The behavioral pattern of rural community people needs to be studied before any ICT‐based intervention, including study on impact assessment.

This paper is an attempt to capture the experience from the fields in Bangladeshi villages of information ecology mapping. The mapping exercise essentially focused on knowing how rural people interact within and outside their community and collect, use, and assimilate information and knowledge for various livelihood and social purpose. This “Information Ecology Mapping” exercise took place under the Global Impact Study of Public Access to information and Communication Technologies. Information ecology mapping provides a micro view on how information plays its role in a community. The primary purpose of the mapping exercise was to gather intelligence for development of a methodology to assess the impact of public access to ICT. The mapping exercise took place in selected communities (rural, urban and semi‐urban) surrounding public access venues (library, cybercafé, and telecenter).

Recommended Citation

Raihan, A., Uddin, F., & Billah, M. (2009). Using an information ecology approach to identify research areas: Findings from Bangladesh. Global Impact Study Information Ecology Report Series. Dhaka: D.Net.