African women speak on the internet: research report electronic survey WomenAction Africa

African women speak on the internet: research report electronic survey WomenAction Africa

Internet needs of Africa's women's organisations

This report presents the research results of the electronic survey in the African region into information and communication needs among women’s organisations and women from other Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), with particular regard to Beijing +5.

Findings include:

  • 16 out of 23 respondents indicate that they will use WomenAction for their Beijing+5 activities. Of these, five indicate that their usage of WomenAction will depend on the following:
    • continued support for e-mail on internet services
    • availability of facilities for down loading
    • understanding of the mechanism
    • if we are given the opportunity
    • acquisition of knowledge about Internet
    23 of the respondents indicate that they need training and support in one or more areas. In as much as there is a large demand for technical training, there is an even higher demand for non-technical training
  • the general picture reveals that face-to-face (oral) communication is a very important way to reach the grassroots. More traditional telecommunication technologies and traditional mail are far more effective than the new electronic communication technologies, email and Internet, although these are marked as successful options by the respondents

Lessons learnt:

  • to get a high response, it is recommendable to directly email the potential respondent, in the appropriate language
  • define Internet applications (according to regional use/meaning?) to avoid confusion
  • anticipating deviant ways of answering the questions electronically; and lay-out problems in the transfer process
  • it is useful to make some aggregations; in particular between Anglophone and Francophone respondents, between small and medium-sized (and large) organisations, and between organisations involved in ICT and others

[Adapted from the author]

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