Posted to the Ethnos Project by on July 15th, 2013

This paper concerns digital inclusion projects in developing countries and, in particular, focuses on processes of institutionalisation of such projects. Three case studies are described and analysed. The first is the Akshaya telecentre project in the state of Kerala in India. The second is a community-based ICT project in a town in a rural area of South Africa. The third is the efforts of various agencies on telecentre projects in the mega-city of São Paulo in Brazil. The cases are analysed through a simple theoretical schema derived from institutional theory. The analyses are used to derive four key processes of institutionalisation which are argued to be of relevance to all digital inclusion projects: getting symbolic acceptance by the community; stimulating valuable social activity in relevant social groups; generating linkage to viable revenue streams; and enrolling government support. The paper concludes with some theoretical, methodological and policy implications.

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