Local information and communication resource centers, usually called telecenters, are springing up in developing countries with the objective of bringing the benefits of new communication technologies to the rural poor. Rural telecenters are calling the attention of academic and nonacademic researchers, but there is no theoretical framework to help understand the process of diffusion and adoption of these centers by the local communities. This paper uses diffusion theory to provide a conceptual framework for telecenter research and practice. After briefiy reviewing the core of the theory, this paper focuses on the three aspects of diffusion that are most pertinent for telecenter application: (1) the perceived attributes of innovations, (2) the communication aspects of the diffusion process, and (3) the consequences of innovation adoption. The paper concludes with a summary of the implications of diffusion theory for telecenter research.
Local Informationa and Communication Resource Centers; Rural Poor, Telecenters, Innovations, Diffusion Theory