Perceptions of Rwanda’s Research Environment in the Context of Digitalization: Reflections on Deficit Discourses - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2020

Perceptions of Rwanda’s Research Environment in the Context of Digitalization: Reflections on Deficit Discourses

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Pamela Abbott
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 1103476
Andrew Cox
  • Function : Author
  • PersonId : 1103477

Abstract

Digitalization of research processes, like those related to open science, for example, has had mixed outcomes for the visibility of African scholarship. One reason for this may be that ICT-based interventions aimed at improving African research systems presume a country deficit model, that is, a view that Africa’s research environment is inherently under-resourced, and failing. Our study set out to explore, through a collaborative rich picture exercise, how research practices are viewed in Rwanda in the light of digitalization by a mixed group of global North and South information specialists. Through an in-depth qualitative inductive analysis of the participants’ accounts, we uncovered not only a dominant discourse of “deficit”, but also an underlying but hidden counter-narrative of resistance to this. We extrapolate how this view could be seen as having the potential for more optimistic outcomes in promoting a more inclusive African research paradigm. We then suggest a research agenda to explore the potential for the digitalization of research processes to provide a means of enabling a dialogue between Western and indigenous forms of knowledge.
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Dates and versions

hal-03450716 , version 1 (26-11-2021)

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Attribution - CC BY 4.0

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Pamela Abbott, Andrew Cox. Perceptions of Rwanda’s Research Environment in the Context of Digitalization: Reflections on Deficit Discourses. IFIP Joint Working Conference on the Future of Digital Work: The Challenge of Inequality (IFIPJWC), Dec 2020, Hyderabad, India. pp.50-64, ⟨10.1007/978-3-030-64697-4_6⟩. ⟨hal-03450716⟩
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