Ethnographic examination for studying information sharing practices in rural South Africa

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • University of Fort Hare
  • Gulf University for Science and Technology


This progress paper describes a study plan and research theme with the focus on information sharing practices, social habits and behavioral access patterns in the context of the mobile phone and ICT usage of rural users in the emerging economies such as South Africa. The aim is to design new solutions to support rural users and their economic existence. An ethnographic field study was performed in order to understand the living conditions of rural communities and the related problems and opportunities in the field of mobile phone and ICT usage. A variety of qualitative measures such as contextual inquiry, participant observation, design exercises, focus and individual interviews were used during the field. However, only preliminary results from field studies are described in this paper. In our study, we found that needs and expectations of the users dwelling in rural context of different emerging economies are very much different from that of developed world. Product designers must consider these needs in order to deliver successful ICT and mobile-based services.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationACHI 2012 - 5th International Conference on Advances in Computer-Human Interactions
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference on Advances in Computer-Human Interactions - Valencia, Spain
Duration: 30 Jan 20124 Feb 2012
Conference number: 5


ConferenceInternational Conference on Advances in Computer-Human Interactions
Abbreviated titleACHI

    Research areas

  • Emerging markets, Ethnography, Information sharing, Oral culture, Rural users

ID: 17764034