This paper reports from a research study of SchoolNet, an initiative for spreading computer literacy and Open Source Software (OSS) in Namibia, West Africa. The organization uses refurbished hardware together with OSS to bring computers and Internet to Namibian schools. The purpose of the paper is to critically examine the arguments about the potential success for OSS in developing countries put forward in western OSS developmental discourse, which is part of a larger ICT developmental discourse, by comparing it to actual experiences from the work of SchoolNet from the Namibian perspective. In the paper these arguments are related to the Namibian local context. The results show that advantages associated with OSS is only partly applicable in the Namibian school context due to, among other things, differences in economic circumstances, knowledge infrastructures and the local software market.
Berquist, Magnus; Hafstroem, Carolina; and Hofbauer, Jessica, "Global Discourse and Local Practice: A Study of the Role of Open Source Software in SchoolNet Nambia" (2005). AMCIS 2005 Proceedings. 45.