Unlikely actors: Religious organizations as intermediaries in Indonesia

Mungkin bermanfaat untuk sebagian sahabat. Tulisan, dengan judul seperti pada entri blog ini, yang lebih dari setahun lalu saya presentasikan di The 11th International Conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries, di Kathmandu, Nepal pada Mei 2011. Tulisan yang menghubungkan antara peran organisasi keagamaan dalam konteks information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) ini saya buat bersama dengan guru saya. Berikut adalah salinan abstraknya:

Intermediaries play a vital role as actors who help provide access to the vast majority of population in developing countries. The literature has identified several types and categories of such intermediaries and conceptualized their roles, characteristics and sustainability criteria. In this paper, we identify an unlikely actor in the specific context of Indonesia, namely, religious organizations (ROs). Our examination indicates that there are several factors that make these organizations
sustainable and successful intermediaries. Moreover, they have wide reach and are trusted by the populace they serve. At the same time, they also can be potentially dangerous because of the threat of religious extremism.

Bagian pendahuluan saya salinkan di bawah ini:

The literature on Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) has identified several lenses through which an ICT intervention can lead or at least positively affect development of underdeveloped countries. A review of this literature is beyond the scope of our paper; we simply direct the discerning reader to the table of contents of these proceedings which illustrates the many facets of this discourse. In our paper, we focus on the aspect highlighted by the theme of the conference, namely, actors and their actions in fostering development through ICT.

For ICT4D initiatives to succeed, actors other than the government or aid agencies have to play a vital role. These actors are variously termed as intermediaries (Sorrentino and Niehaves, 2010; Sein, 2009; Sein and Furuholt, 2009; OECD, 2010) and activists (Sein et al., 2008). They can be individuals or organizations and even partnerships. Their main purpose is to provide access to the Internet to the common people who do not have resources to have private access. This is not just physical access, but also access to information through actually locating and then disbursing this information to the users.

Intermediaries come in all shapes and sizes. They could be one-stop shop, consultants, professional tax preparers, telecenters, public Internet access points, or even friends and family members (Sorrentino and Niehaves, 2010). While this categorization is useful, it is not clear if it applies universally or whether there are other possible actors. This is an intriguing question especially since underdeveloped countries are not homogeneous and more importantly, rich in specific cultural, religious and economic contexts.

In this paper, we seek to identify such actors in a developing country, Indonesia. While we identified several such actors, we discuss one specific type that has not received much attention in the literature, religious organizations (ROs). Such faith-based organizations can play an important role in development (Clarke, 2006). We evaluate ROs in Indonesia using conceptual frameworks and models on intermediaries that have recently been proposed in the literature.

Tertarik? Silakan lirik dan unduh tulisannya di sini: Unlikely actors: Religious organizations as intermediaries in Indonesia

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