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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Studying at Cambridge

Phoebe Kiboi

Value Perception of ICT and its Role in Women Empowerment: A case study in Kenya.

Information Communication Technologies (ICT’s) can be utilised to provide the tools
necessary for human development. However, its benefits are not equally distributed,
particularly between men and women. The gender digital divide is more prominent in
developing nations and has attracted the attention of policy makers and international
organisations in an attempt to close the gap. Development interventions have, however,
continued to fail and the reasons attributed to this have been technical and political such as;
lack of adequate infrastructure, insufficient governance and inefficient monitoring and
evaluation. Not much attention has been given to the end user, in trying to determine what they
value.


The aim of this paper was to create a value framework, within the context of low-income
communities in Kenya, that could be used to better market ICT initiatives. The literature review
examined user-value theories from the fields of economics, psychology and sociology in an
effort to understand how best to determine and analyse what people value. Subsequently, 36
women were interviewed, using structured and semi-structured interviews. 37 value codes
emerged from this data and formed the value framework. The paper then illustrates how
projects can utilise the framework to create value for the end user by linking its benefits or
potential uses to what they value. This would result in better acceptance and sustainability of
ICT development projects.