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The use of information and communication technology tools in managing indigenous knowledge in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Ocholla, D.N
dc.contributor.author Dlamini, Petros Nhavu
dc.date.accessioned 2017-06-30T08:16:06Z
dc.date.available 2017-06-30T08:16:06Z
dc.date.issued 2017
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10530/1563
dc.description A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Arts in fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Library and Information Science in the Department of Information Studies at the University Of Zululand, South Africa, 2017 en_US
dc.description.abstract The need to manage tacit indigenous knowledge (TIK) through Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools is imperative because it is at risk of becoming extinct without proper recordable and management systems. Indigenous Knowledge (IK) is largely tacit in nature and is mainly preserved in the memories of elders which is a risk to its documentation and preservation. We argue that ICT can be used effectively for enabling documentation, access and use of IK in the modern society. The study mainly focused on the types of ICT tools used for capturing, storing and disseminating IK in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province. Specifically, the study investigated the use and types of ICT tools, in the management of indigenous knowledge, in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. For the purpose of the study, five research objectives were used that guided the research questions. These research objectives included: discussing the nature of indigenous knowledge; evaluating the types of indigenous knowledge practices in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province; discussing the types of ICT tools currently used in the management of indigenous knowledge; discussing problems encountered in the availability and use of ICT tools in managing IK; and discussing strategies for improving the use of ICT tools in the management of indigenous knowledge. The theoretical basis of the study was informed by the Knowledge Creation theory (KC) by Nonaka as discussed in detail in chapter two. The study adopted a post-positivist research paradigm to enable multiple perspectives from participants/target population rather than a single reality. Both quantitative and qualitative research approaches were simultaneously used during a single phase of data collection. Quantitative data was gathered by survey method involving self-administered questionnaires with ICT users/beneficiaries. The qualitative data was gathered by both survey and qualitative content analysis largely through open-ended questions, which were embedded in the semi-structured interviews with owners or custodians of IK. In depth literature review and document analysis formed part of qualitative content analysis. The sample for the study was drawn from ICT users/beneficiaries and owners or custodians of indigenous knowledge in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. Notably, the ICT users/beneficiaries consisted of researchers, information specialists and/or librarians, academic staff, students and/or trainees on IK, cultural officers, IK recorders, IK documentation centre managers, and journalists and artisans. Furthermore, respondents who were owners or custodians of IK consisted of traditional healers, diviners and herbalists, traditional farmers, traditional musicians, rural artisans, community elders, traditional midwifery, rainmakers, chiefs, and traditional food specialists and storytellers. The study employed probability and non-probability sampling where cluster, snowball and purposive sampling techniques were used at different stages to select the respondents. A total of 96 questionnaires were administered to ICT users/beneficiaries and 57 (59%) were returned. Additionally, interviews were conducted with the owners or custodians of IK. 224 owners or custodians of IK were sampled, however, 196 (88%) were interviewed. The quantitative data from the ICT users/beneficiaries was analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Science (SPSS). The qualitative data from owners or custodians of IK was analyzed through the use of qualitative contents analysis. The study acknowledged the wealth, access and use of indigenous knowledge in the province and showed that indigenous knowledge is not only used by indigenous people, as it is also being used by professional people for their own benefit. Many categories of traditional roles of custodians of IK have brought about the sustainability of indigenous knowledge practices in KwaZulu-Natal as it is still vital in these modern times and highly relevant in the areas of medicine and agriculture. Although KwaZulu-Natal has proven to possess rich indigenous knowledge practices, the knowledge is not sufficiently recorded with relevant ICTs for future use. There is a growing use of multiple ICT tools by institutions, IK centres and individuals to record or capture, store and disseminate indigenous knowledge which is quite positive. It is observed that ICT users/beneficiaries and owners or custodians of IK require ICT literacy to improve access and use. The challenges facing IK access are not uniform between ICT users/beneficiaries and owners or custodians of IK. The most crucial challenges among ICT users/beneficiaries and owners or custodians of IK was related to access to relevant ICT infrastructure and resources and lack of digital skills. The existing IK policy should be revised to accommodate rapidly changing ICT requirements of the sector. This study contributes to current literature and discourses on IKS; interrogates the applicability of knowledge creation theory and models to IK research; adds fresh data, information, and knowledge on IK research, particularly in South Africa; and proposes practical solutions to ICT application for IK development. The full thesis is available in the University of Zululand Institutional Repository and other publications from the thesis. en_US
dc.publisher University of Zululand en_US
dc.subject information and communication technology tools --indigenous knowledge --capture --store --disseminate --ICT users/beneficiaries --IK owners or custodians en_US
dc.title The use of information and communication technology tools in managing indigenous knowledge in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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