Meeting local needs? Case study of a communication project in the Pacific Islands

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The Internet has become a major source and vehicle for technological transfer and project development during the 1990s. Three Pacific Island countries - Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu - were connected through Pactok, an inexpensive computer-mediated communication (CMC) system originally developed for non-government organizations (NGOs) through the Pacific Sustainable Development Networking Project (PSDNP). The PSDNP was established by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1993 and funded by the UNDP until December 1996. Content analysis of the Project Document indicated that although the PSDNP aimed to improve access by these countries to scientific and technical information, an important underlying theme was to ensure these Pacific Island countries were connected to the Internet. It also appeared that the agency was keen for organizations in these countries to increase access to international information, with little regard for local and regional sources. Subsequent analysis of Pactok sites early in 1997 showed that the PSDNP had encouraged the project's primary stakeholders - regional organizations and NGOs - to join Pactok. However, international agencies such as the UNDP and other foreign assistance agencies also have access to Pactok and are able to disseminate agency ideologies, objectives and priorities directly to users in Pacific Island countries. Copyright (C) 2000 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalPublic Administration and Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 05 Sep 2000


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