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

Implementation of projects aimed at harnessing information and communication technologies (ICTs) for socio-economic development in Africa are inevitably affected by the state of basic infrastructure. This explains the mixed results of ICT adoption as emerging evaluative research indicates. However, through recurrent practices, users of ICTs in many places have devised coping mechanisms to navigate through existing infrastructural constraints. These processes have significantly altered the nature and functionalities of some ICTs in ways that differ from the initial conceptualization and design. The outcomes produce new ways of thinking and practice. This paper adopts an integrated model of contextualist and structurational analyses to show how the unintended outcomes represent interesting new sites for research and analysis. It suggests the need to examine the nature of the reconstituted products and functionalities and how they evolve into distinct ontological realities. The analysis is demonstrated by a case study of the patterns of usage and conceptions of some ICTs and processes in Nigeria.

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