Using Diffusion of Innovations Framework to Explain Communal Computing Facilities Adoption Among the Urban Poor

Wallace Chigona, Paul Licker


In general, studies of the adoption of communal computing facilities (CCFs) such as telecenters tend to be atheoretical. In this article, we use Rogers' diffusion of innovations (DoI) theory as a framework. As the number and variety of CCFs has increased, so has the number of research studies on CCFs. However, most of the studies are presented in isolation without using any theoretical framework. The use of frameworks would help to bring structure and rigor to the research in this field. This study analyses data from our existing articles on CCFs to see how well DoI would explain the adoption of CCFs operating among the urban poor in Cape Town, South Africa. The article considers all the five perceived attributes of innovation, channels of communication, social system in which the innovation is diffusing, and consequences of innovation. The article notes that DoI explains most of the adoption pattern of CCFs: All the five attributes of innovations influence adoption according to DoI. As a consequence, the article notes that the introduction of CCFs has consequences not only for the community but also for the institution hosting the CCF.


innovation; CCFs; communal computing facilities; DoI; diffusion of innovation; urban poor; South Africa

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