Mobile phones and cultural connections: Designing a mutual world between the DR Congo and United States

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

When people in the United States seek to collaborate with partners in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), even good intentions cannot overcome differing expectations for how people use technologies to facilitate communication - both interpersonal and among social groups. This case study looks at an ongoing collaboration between a faculty member at the University of Minnesota and two NGOs working in the DRC: First Step Initiative, providing microloans to women entrepreneurs, and Pact, an international development organization. In the course of this collaboration, it has become clear that differing expectations for communication channels to support the NGOs have resulted in complications for collaborators both in the U.S. and the DRC. This study explores whether social networking tools and cell phones can be used to establish new channels for communication that meet interpersonal expectations for participants in both the U.S. and the DRC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHigher Education, Emerging Technologies, and Community Partnerships
Subtitle of host publicationConcepts, Models and Practices
PublisherIGI Global
Pages245-257
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)9781609606237
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)

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