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Exploring mobile ICTs and the implications of increased connectivity and agency within a rural development context. 
Amanda Caine (University of Reading)
Rieko Shibata (University of Reading)
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Edith Morley 128
Wednesday 28 June, -, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

The expansion of the use of internet-enabled mobile phones in rural areas in the Global South has brought about changes in connectivity and agency for individuals and development actors. This panel will explore the implications of these changes in terms of innovation, knowledge-sharing and voice.

Long Abstract:

The use of internet-enabled mobile phones by individuals and development actors in the Global South has the potential to increase access to new information and the communication and sharing of information within wider networks at different scales. Such technologies therefore provide the opportunity for increased innovation, knowledge-sharing, and voice. This is particularly important in rural areas, which are commonly subject to geographical isolation, reduced social and spatial mobility, and connectivity. This panel seeks to better understand the extent to which, and how, these opportunities are being realised. It welcomes all perspectives but has a particular interest in exploring opportunities for applied use of these technologies in respect of livelihoods, vulnerability, marginalisation and empowerment within the context of the environment, agriculture, climate change and food security.

The panel will also discuss the limitations in the use of these technologies. Although the digital divide has been researched on many occasions, the digital divide with respect in internet-enabled technologies within rural contexts, deserves further scrutiny. For example, how do the intersectionalities of rural inhabitants (for example, age and gender) influence the use of these ICTs and their effectiveness? How do they influence the ecologies of trust in information from different sources within a rural setting? How can the applied use of these technologies overcome these intersectional challenges? The panel will feature research papers that shed light on these questions and address the applications and implications of the use of mobile phone technologies within a rural context.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 28 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Wednesday 28 June, 2023, -