Users of ICT at Public Access Centers: Age, Education, Gender and Income Differences in Users
Type of work: Article (academic)
Categories:ICT Infrastructure | ICT4D | Usage & Uptake
Libraries, telecenters, and cybercafés offer opportunities for wider public access to information and communication technologies (ICT). This paper presents findings of a global exploratory study on the landscape public access venues in 25 countries around the world. The goal of the project was to better understand the users of public access venues and their needs, this being one of several papers that result from the global study. This paper identifies profiles of the users of the different types of venues with respect to age, income, education and gender. While findings are not new, their value lies in the compelling evidence drawn from 25 countries and across different types of public access venues, which has never been done before. Results highlight the importance of strengthening public access venues in non-urban settings and to strengthen programs that reach out to underserved populations. The authors also point to special challenges faced by libraries and telecenters given the immense growth of cybercafés as public access venues in most of the countries studied.