The digital divide : investigating the perspectives of students in Swaziland
Kiefer, Tibo Majaji
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The digital divide has been a factor of technology that negatively affects the people of developing countries, such as Swaziland. While technology has advanced rise in the first world, developing countries are slowly attempting to catch up; yet, it is difficult for them due to factors such as limited technological background and poor infrastructure. The aim of this study was to investigate the perspectives of students in Swaziland regarding factors that are contributing towards the digital divide. The study also determined what efforts can, according to these students, be made in Swaziland to help bridge the gap of this technological epidemic. The study was conducted in the interpretive research paradigm. The researcher applied grounded theory, and integrated it with a systems approach, that is, soft systems methodology, to facilitate understanding of the problem context and demonstrate understanding of the situation. The SSM customers, actors, transformation, worldview, owner, environment categories were applied to develop and structure interview questions. Rich, qualitative data were gathered by interviewing students from Swaziland. Gathered data were coded and categorised, and themes were developed within the soft system methodology and customers, actors, transformation, worldview, owner, environment framework. Analysed data are presented visually in the form of root definitions (RDs), a rich picture and a human activity diagram. Which reflects the results reached of students being provided poor technological infrastructure, services and skills. The outcome of the study is specific transformation actions that, according to the students, can improve the DD situation in Swaziland. The outcome mirrors some of the causative factors, according to the literature, of DDs in developing countries such as Swaziland.