Telecentres were implemented in the rural villages of Samoa in 2005 as part of the national information and communication technology (ICT) strategy for development. The aim for the telecentres is to ensure the people of Samoa can be connected locally and globally. The telecentres provide access to ICT tools in villages where many have never seen a computer before. The newly provided ICT tools also bring about some concerns, especially having access to the internet. Local villagers are now exposed to a vast amount of information whereby access is practically unlimited. While we cannot discount the fact that the internet makes available useful information, the question of how and to what extent this computer-mediated information may affect their traditions deserve some attention. Will local villagers use it to build up their society or will it compromise their cultural values? Seventeen semi-structured interviews were conducted among residents from three villages. Data was also collected by observing the context of each village lived by the villagers. Together these methods collected rich data that was later analysed in an inductive fashion. The findings provide an insight into the encounter between the global environment and the local values, customs and beliefs of Samoans. This led to the identification of five categories of impact: expanding skills and capabilities, efficient tool for document production, panopticon-surveillance, virtual connection and community networks. A theme that addresses the research question emerged: the moulding of ICT by local culture.
Sao, Margaret and Andrade, Antonio Diaz, "The encounter of new ICT tools and local traditions in rural Samoa" (2013). GlobDev 2013. 19.