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Formulating information and communication technology (ICT) policy through discourse: How Internet discussions shape policies on ICTs for developing countries

Formulating information and communication technology (ICT) policy through discourse: How Internet... How is policy for information and communication technology (ICT) for developing countries actually formulated? How are the negotiations made, and with whom? What are the dialectical queries and responses, the give and take that compose policy discussions? Some of this is accomplished behind the scenes, and will remain inaccessible to our scrutiny. However, much of the critical interaction among key players such as government officials, academics, consultants, employees of non-government organizations, donors, and development officers is available publicly for analysis and interpretation via the text exchanges produced on open forum Internet discussion groups. Thus, when subjected to systematic analysis, this data becomes a prime source for developing a rich understanding of policy formulation. In this article the authors use a special kind of qualitative rhetorical analysis called dramatism to analyze and thus understand the formulation of policy online through an open discussion forum. Rationales for ICTs for development, appropriate ICT impact assessment, and implementation for economic development in a variety of countries were available via the Internet forum studied. The language of the discussion from actual, unedited texts of Internet discussions using dramatistic analysis is examined. The ensuing discussions reveal a collective vision that helps influence ICT policy formulation, rationales, distribution, implementation, and use in developing countries. Dramatism is construed to be a humanistic method that rests on the assumption that dramas are created through small group interaction and chain through written speeches and documents until they reach the mass media and are picked back up by small groups once again. Through analysis, the emerging main plot, subplot, hero, and villain of the ICT policy drama that took place from 1998–2002 in an Internet discussion forum are identified. The conclusions drawn are intended to be useful to both researchers and policy makers, who will be able to draw on this contribution to create a wide-ranging set of information technology strategies and policies that can be implemented in many developing nation contexts. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Information Technology for Development Taylor & Francis

Formulating information and communication technology (ICT) policy through discourse: How Internet discussions shape policies on ICTs for developing countries

19 pages

Formulating information and communication technology (ICT) policy through discourse: How Internet discussions shape policies on ICTs for developing countries

Abstract

How is policy for information and communication technology (ICT) for developing countries actually formulated? How are the negotiations made, and with whom? What are the dialectical queries and responses, the give and take that compose policy discussions? Some of this is accomplished behind the scenes, and will remain inaccessible to our scrutiny. However, much of the critical interaction among key players such as government officials, academics, consultants, employees of non-government...
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Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
ISSN
1554-0170
eISSN
0268-1102
DOI
10.1002/itdj.20019
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

How is policy for information and communication technology (ICT) for developing countries actually formulated? How are the negotiations made, and with whom? What are the dialectical queries and responses, the give and take that compose policy discussions? Some of this is accomplished behind the scenes, and will remain inaccessible to our scrutiny. However, much of the critical interaction among key players such as government officials, academics, consultants, employees of non-government organizations, donors, and development officers is available publicly for analysis and interpretation via the text exchanges produced on open forum Internet discussion groups. Thus, when subjected to systematic analysis, this data becomes a prime source for developing a rich understanding of policy formulation. In this article the authors use a special kind of qualitative rhetorical analysis called dramatism to analyze and thus understand the formulation of policy online through an open discussion forum. Rationales for ICTs for development, appropriate ICT impact assessment, and implementation for economic development in a variety of countries were available via the Internet forum studied. The language of the discussion from actual, unedited texts of Internet discussions using dramatistic analysis is examined. The ensuing discussions reveal a collective vision that helps influence ICT policy formulation, rationales, distribution, implementation, and use in developing countries. Dramatism is construed to be a humanistic method that rests on the assumption that dramas are created through small group interaction and chain through written speeches and documents until they reach the mass media and are picked back up by small groups once again. Through analysis, the emerging main plot, subplot, hero, and villain of the ICT policy drama that took place from 1998–2002 in an Internet discussion forum are identified. The conclusions drawn are intended to be useful to both researchers and policy makers, who will be able to draw on this contribution to create a wide-ranging set of information technology strategies and policies that can be implemented in many developing nation contexts. © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Journal

Information Technology for DevelopmentTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 1, 2006

Keywords: developing countries; ICT; dramatistic analysis; information technology; global IT; digital divide

References