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The Adoption of Open Source Software in Uganda: a Pragmatist Approach to the Formation of a National Information Policy for a New Technology

Description: This exploratory research examined an information policy formation process for the adoption of open source software (OSS) in Uganda. Grounded in a pragmatist tradition, this theoretical and empirical study pursued a qualitative research approach with a triangulation of theoretical concepts, data collection, and analysis techniques in an iterative and interactive process. The design provided a powerful context to develop and conduct field activities in Kampala with a purposeful sample of 22 participants, 20 in interviews and 5 in a focus group discussion. The research design enhanced consistency in the evidence from the data, increased robustness in the results, and confidence in the findings. The results highlighted a vibrant ICT sector in Uganda, underlined the multiple stakeholders and their competing interests in the policy, revealed a lack of consensus between the government and OSS promoters on the meaning of OSS, and illuminated the benefits in the OSS model over proprietary software. The stakeholders' conflicting perceptions appear to be too far apart to allow meaningful progress and are derailing the policy. Unless their conflicting perceptions are resolved, the OSS policy will continue stagnating. The study fills critical information gaps in Uganda’s policy formation processes, provides timely and relevant information to holistically understand a complex policy formation stage to enable stakeholders to resolve their impasse and enact a law to embrace OSS. It breaks ground in information policy research in framing policy formation processes for new ICTs, such as OSS, as ideologically-oriented. The findings offer ideas to scholars and African countries to draw applicable lessons.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Muwanguzi, Samuel

Information Use Environment of Religious Professionals: a Case Study of the Everyday Life Information Seeking Behavior of Catholic Clergy in Northern Nigeria

Description: This study explores the everyday life information seeking (ELIS) behavior of Catholic clergy in Northern Nigeria and describes their information use environment (IUE). It employed a mixed-method case study using survey and episodic interview techniques of data collection. The ELIS of Savolainen, the IUE of Taylor and the small world of Chatman were theoretical frameworks that guided this study. Findings showed that the IUE of these Catholic clergy is shaped by four elements: (1) geographical location and culture, (2) the celibate clergy, (3) their information needs, and (4) the information sources used to resolve these needs. Three types of information needs were identified: essential needs, circumstantial needs and intermittent needs. There was a high interrelatedness between the effects of culture and celibacy on the information seeking of these clergy. They are not likely to cross boundaries of their world to seek particularly essential information about their ministry or private lives. The findings of this study align with Chatman’s proposition that members who live in the round will not cross the boundaries of their world to seek information. The study found problems with access and availability of information, which included lack of familiarity with electronic/online library databases among the clergy, and the lack of archives and documentation of records and historical materials. It recommended the development of an archiving and documentation plan that digitizes paper documents for electronic management, including policies on data curation for the Catholic religious institutions in Nigeria.
Date: August 2015
Creator: Dankasa, Jacob