Global Impact Study releases user survey data

July 16, 2012

The Global Impact Study is pleased to announce the release of our user survey data. Over 5,000 public access ICT users were surveyed in libraries, telecenters, and cybercafes in Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Ghana, and the Philippines. The data collected through these surveys is now publicly available in both SPSS/SAV and CSV formats. Accompanying the data at this time are two documents: a “readme” file that provides information on the complexities of the data, including survey skip patterns, and a document that explains new variables that have been added to the data to aid in data analysis.

Please help free Bassel Khartabil

July 11, 2012

This is not digital advocacy in the abstract: Bassel and I have friends in common. Please take a moment to sign the letter to support his release. And if you can think of other ways to help you can let me know. From On March 15, 2012, Bassel Khartabil was detained in a wave of […]

Most public access users are either students or employed

In the last post on public access venue user findings, we discussed that while many of the users are young and male, that is not the complete picture. Public access venues serve people of all ages, and women frequent public access venues as well. Let’s take a look at their occupation status.

Update on the Mobile Internet in-depth study

July 6, 2012

Final reports from the in-depth studies will be released soon. In the meantime, we wanted to share a quick update from the Mobile Internet study. The Mobile Internet study explored the interplay between mobile phones, particularly mobile Internet, and public access venues in South Africa. Are mobile phones and mobile Internet making public access venues obsolete? Are they competition for public access venues? Or do users use their mobile phones and Internet in conjunction with public access venues?

Hacking is the impulse to engage with something and figure out how to make it work for you

July 4, 2012

The open-source, maker/hacker, DIY ethic is a driver of innovation and civic engagement. To hack is to engage with something and figure out how to make it work for you. It involves pushing boundaries, breaking a few rules, trying out something new, remixing, modifying, creating. Underlying this is a sense of agency: of people learning […]

Knowledge mobilization: What do decision makers prefer?

June 28, 2012

We all know that providing information does not equal change. But it’s part of the process. As researchers, we can chunk and package and share our findings and recommendations in ways that make them more accessible. I like to call this edible evidence. And, if we’re really good (i.e., we’ve done some thinking about what we […]

Communications & leisure activities: More than just fun and games

June 27, 2012

As discussed in a previous post, communications & leisure tops the list of uses for public access ICT. While this is not surprising, use of public access venues for communications & leisure is often frowned upon, especially if the venue is publicly funded or has a development mission. Funders, governments, and non-governmental organizations of public access venues would often like to see lower use in the communications domain and higher use in other “development” domains such as government, health, and employment & income. The reality, however, is that communication activities, such as the use of social networking sites and emailing with family and friends, remain high across all types of venues. But does this mean other public access venue objectives, such as developing ICT skills and filling information gaps, aren’t being met? How do communications & leisure activities contribute to other objectives of public access initiatives?

Pizzas Google: A cautionary tale about your privacy

June 22, 2012

The magnificent and brilliant Silvia Caicedo (who needs to start a blog already) sent me this based on a conversation we had where I was freaking out about helping civil society organizations use social media and cloud services. Let me explain: I am a geek. I love tech. I’m often the first one to start […]

A framework for assessing the impact of new media

June 21, 2012

In Digital Activism 101, Mary Joyce writes that activists can use digital technology to do only five things: shape public opinion, plan an action, protect activists, share a call to action, or take action. Then rinse and repeat. (Heh I love that phrase; stole it from Gunner’s awesome Another Cloud is Possible presentation.) Five seems to […]

Global Impact Study presents findings

June 19, 2012

Global Impact Study Principal Investigator, Chris Coward, presented some of the study’s findings at the Libraries for Innovation conference in Vilinus, Lithuania on June 7, 2012. Chris presented on findings from the user survey, as well as top line findings from two in-depth studies, Mobile Internet and Infomediaries. Representatives from the Lithuanian library program highlighted achievements made over the past five years, as well as areas they intend to focus on moving forward. We’ll be posting more on the findings presented in the coming weeks, but for those who just can’t wait, you can download the presentation slides. Stay tuned for more presentations from the Global Impact Study… next up: IFLA 2012.