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Embracing uMunthu: How Informal Caregivers in Malawi Use ICTs

Abstract : This paper explores the way informal caregivers in Malawi use different types of ICTs for the purposes of caring for their loved ones, supporting each other and building a community under adverse circumstances. We collected empirical material in the Mangochi district during a field study through a focus group and a workshop with informal caregivers and NGOs. For the purposes of our analysis, we draw from the uMunthu philosophy of Malawi in order to explore and understand the contextual conditions and the local phenomena. Our findings show that, the communal character of ICTs and their shareability often allows informal caregivers to come together as a community and overcome the scarcity of ICT resources through sharing, which is in line with the uMunthu principles. Quite often, though, sharing can lead to unintended consequences. The paper contributes to the ICT4D literature by theorising around the concept of sharing and shareability of ICTs; in doing so, we join our voices to the growing discussion on the use of southern theories and paradigms.
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Efpraxia D. Zamani, Laura Sbaffi. Embracing uMunthu: How Informal Caregivers in Malawi Use ICTs. 16th International Conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries (ICT4D), Jun 2020, Manchester, United Kingdom. pp.93-101, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-65828-1_8⟩. ⟨hal-03272536⟩



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