Making a Difference: Measuring the Impact of Information on Development
What is the link between "information" and "development?" Terms such as "information superhighway," "information revolution," and "information economy" are used routinely to illustrate the profound role of information in modern societies. Yet it is easy to make unverified assumptions about the nature of benefits being generated in an "information society." Despite the high profile enjoyed by information issues, especially those involving new information technologies, it is perhaps ironic to find that many library and other information services are feeling increasingly vulnerable in the tight funding environment that is prevalent today.
This book reports on an international research program investigating the impact of information on development. It presents a series of case studies and essays that describe practical, operational experience with methodologies to assess the impact of information. Amongst many issues, authors examine sampling and interview techniques, questionnaire design, survey instruments, data definitions, and approaches to identifying different user communities. The book will be of use to scholars, researchers, student, and practitioners in information sciences and development studies.
Paul McConnell is Director of Program Coordination and Development in the Information Sciences and Systems Division of Canada's International Development Research Centre.