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Libraries, telecenters, and cybercafés play a critical role in extending the benefits of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to a diverse range of people worldwide. However, their ability to contribute to development agendas has come into question in recent times. The Global Impact Study was designed to address this debate by generating evidence about the scale, character, and impacts of public access ICTs in eight countries: Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Lithuania, the Philippines, and South Africa.

Libraries, telecenters, and cybercafés play a critical role in extending the benefits of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to a diverse range of people worldwide. However, their ability to contribute to development agendas has come into question in recent times. The Global Impact Study was designed to address this debate by generating evidence about the scale, character, and impacts of public access ICTs in eight countries: Bangladesh, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Ghana, Lithuania, the Philippines, and South Africa.

The study assesses and describes the interplay between public PC-based Internet access and private mobile-based access for urban teenaged public access venue (PAV) users in Cape Town. South Africa is a particularly fruitful “leading edge” environment to do this work since not only mobile use, but specifically mobile Internet use, is increasingly common even among resource-constrained young people. We combine quantitative surveys with open-ended interviews of users and PAV operators.

Public access to information and communication technologies (ICTs) can play an important role in development. Communities benefit when people can access information and communicate with experts and people in their social networks to learn about health, jobs, education, leisure activities, or whatever inspires them. When access to ICTs is public and available to everyone in the community, such as in public libraries, telecenters, and cybercafés, it can be an effective tool for those that need it most.

As part of its commitment to open data, the Global Impact Study is providing the micro-data for the project surveys. This file contains the Global Impact Study user survey data in CSV format. The user survey data is also available in SPSS/SAV format in this web library. The user survey data includes data from over 5,000 public access information & communication technology users in public access venues, such as libraries, telecenters, and cybercafes in Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Ghana, and the Philippines.

In 2010, a massive earthquake struck Chile, followed by a tsunami that devastated several coastal communities. The Libraries, Telecenters, and the 2010 Chile Earthquake project examines post-disaster information and communication needs, services provided by libraries and telecenters, and how emergency management might be improved. Researchers found that libraries and telecenters played an important role in responding to the crisis.

Las bibliotecas y telecentros han jugado un papel fundamental en situaciones de emergencia y esta investigación examina su rol después del terremoto y tsunami que ocurrió en Chile en Febrero del 2010. Las diferentes iniciativas se llevaron a cabo por la necesidad de proporcionar acceso a la comunicación a los ciudadanos de las zonas afectadas, dándoles la oportunidad de recibir información de las consecuencias de la catástrofe y para permitirles comunicarse con amigos y familiares.

Las bibliotecas y telecentros han jugado un papel fundamental en situaciones de emergencia y esta investigación examina su rol después del terremoto y tsunami que ocurrió en Chile en Febrero del 2010. Las diferentes iniciativas se llevaron a cabo por la necesidad de proporcionar acceso a la comunicación a los ciudadanos de las zonas afectadas, dándoles la oportunidad de recibir información de las consecuencias de la catástrofe y para permitirles comunicarse con amigos y familiares.

This working paper describes the methodology for the Global Impact Study’s five-country surveys of public access ICT venue operators, users and non-users. The surveys collected detailed information about the conditions of public access to ICTs, characteristics of public access users, patterns of usage, as well as information on non-users. Local research teams in Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Ghana, and the Philippines implemented the surveys through personal interviews in and around public access ICT venues.

Based on a survey of public access ICT users in five countries, this working paper outlines some basic characteristics of users – their demographics, history of using ICTs and reasons for using public access ICTs. This preliminary analysis indicates that while a large proportion of public access ICT users are young (40% under 20 years old), male (65%), students (44%), and have at least secondary education (82%), there is a fair amount of diversity in user characteristics.

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