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Co-creating an ICT Artefact with Elderly Rural Women in Mafarafara: A Social Structuration Account

Abstract : In South Africa, elderly rural women is the most socio-economically disadvantaged population group: their age, gender and rural location all contribute to their disempowerment. For this reason, an ICT4D project was undertaken by the CSIR with the aim of supporting elderly rural women in their livelihood activities. An ICT artefact was established and implemented in a women’s Community Centre in Mafarafara, a remote rural village in the Limpopo province of South Africa. The ICT artefact was a rugged information kiosk based on Digital Doorway technology, and was populated with information to assist the women in their farming activities. As part of the women’s empowerment, they were involved as co-creators of the ICT artefact and its contents. The study employed a Design Science Research Methodology (DSRM). During the project the strong influence of the local social dynamics on the design of the artefact became apparent. To this end, Giddens’ structuration theory was incorporated in the study, to make visible the social dynamics that influenced and in turn were influenced by the design process. In this paper, concepts from structuration theory are applied to qualitative data from the Mafarafara interviews and site visit reports. The value of using structuration theory alongside DSRM to acknowledge the social nature of design is demonstrated. Structuration theory also provides a means to show how the participating women were empowered.
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Submitted on : Thursday, September 12, 2019 - 4:06:19 PM
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Ronel Smith, Marita Turpin, Marlien Herselman. Co-creating an ICT Artefact with Elderly Rural Women in Mafarafara: A Social Structuration Account. 15th International Conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries (ICT4D), May 2019, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. pp.556-567, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-18400-1_46⟩. ⟨hal-02285317⟩

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