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 eldwork 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 dur- ing 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, di erent 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 pro- totype is being developed, with input from the community, using open source software to address their requirements.