Unmasking community trust issues in rural field work
Ufitamahoro, Marie Josée
Venter, Isabella M.
Tucker, William David
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The principal objective of this paper is to describe the au thor's fieldwork and research in a remote rural area of South Africa, where a Village Telco is deployed to provide Voice over Internet Protocol on a wireless mesh network. The users' social environment was evaluated to understand trust issues associated with the adoption of the network. Qualita-tive measures such as contextual inquiry, participant obser-vation, focus group and individual interviews were used during data collection. Focus group discussions were held with community members involved with the planning of ways in which to sustain the network. Involving the community gave them a sense of commitment and ownership of the network. To maintain the network, different solutions were proposed. One of these was a billing system for the use of the network. This will be designed to meet users' needs and should also be transparent so that the community will trust it. A prototype is being developed, with input from the community, using open source software to address their requirements.