Recent research shows that information systems (IS) developed to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and their farming practices have experienced mixed levels of success. As such, an evaluation of contextual factors and the socio-technical requirements of agricultural IS is needed to fully understand the challenges of digitalizing agriculture extension information service (AEIS) in developing countries. We examine the socio-technical design and reality features of an AEIS that was intended to digitalize AEIS in Ethiopia. Conceptually, we use Bass and Heeks’s (2011) design-reality framework to unravel the changing socio-technical design requirements and, empirically we draw from a qualitative case study of an existing AEIS. The findings show gaps between the designed artifact and the lived experiences of stakeholders’ activities, and the need to shift from a simplistic approach that focuses on providing access to digital content and devices to a balanced approach that addresses socio-technical requirements while digitalizing the public AEIS.
Atinaf, Muluneh; Molla, Alemayehu; Karanasios, Stan; and Anteneh, Salehu, "Digitalizing Agriculture Extension Service in Ethiopia: a Design-reality Gap Analysis" (2020). PACIS 2020 Proceedings. 96.
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