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Activity: Research Design

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Information asymmetry is one of the main factors for imperfect decision making by the government, citizens and for market inefficiency. With the advent of information and communication technologies, it becomes easier to be best informed about what government is doing, what are the entitlements not reaching the target people, and most importantly, the scope of being heard has been improved dramatically. Access to information and knowledge through ICTs is relatively a new issue for the population of developing countries.

This report presents the main conclusions of the case study about Public Access to ICT (PAI) venues that was developed as part of the first stage of the project entitled The Global Impact Study of Public Access to Information and Communication Technologies. The study was developed between June and September 2008 in Chile.

The material presented in this report is related to the experiences and findings of exploratory fieldwork activities carried out in Lithuania for the Global Impact Study of Public Access to Information and Communication Technologies. The main objectives of this exploratory fieldwork are related to collection of background information and data on practices of usage of public access to ICTs on the basis of which research questions could be generated. Also, this activity has objectives of piloting both certain research approach and instrumental aspects of research development.

While there has been an increase in the investment in information and communication technologies for development (ICT4D) projects, little is understood about the actual impact of such projects. This, the authors of this compendium argue, reflects a lack of knowledge about how to undertake impact assessment of ICT4D projects. The paper seeks to fill this gap by providing guidance on how to undertake impact assessment of such projects.

This paper aims to review what type of research has been done on public access to ICTs, including issues investigated, methods used, main findings, and gaps in the literature. This document summarizes our preliminary findings. This review is based on approximately 80 journal articles and reports on public access to ICTs. It focuses mainly on electronically accessible research articles and on research published after 1999. The documents were derived from database searches as well as directly from members of the Global Impact Study community.

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are widely acknowledged as important resources for socio‐economic development. Due to resource constraints, shared access forms the dominant mode of access to these technologies in most developing countries. Governments, non‐governmental institutions and business entrepreneurs have invested significant amounts of human and financial resources in public libraries, telecenters, internet cafés, and other forms of public access, without clear evidence on what the ultimate outcomes will be and the actual costs.

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