n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Die rol van inligting in armoedeverligting

Volume 44, Issue 2_3
  • ISSN : 0041-4751


This article deals with information as a resource, as well as communication mechanisms to exchange information in rural communities. Information is one of many different resources that can be applied to solve problems that contribute to the poverty phenomenon in rural communities. However, the usefulness of information as a resource depends on the manner and format in which it is communicated to users in need. On the other hand the potential users' level of understanding, their knowledge base, their way of handling information and the type of communication mechanisms they use to control the flow of information, will determine how outside information will be accepted and applied. In rural communities the impact of the oral tradition is still very strong and people are highly dependent on indigenous knowledge system (IKS) to provide in their information needs and skills. Consequently the bulk of people in these communities will use the communication mechanisms of IKS to search, store, interpret and exchange the information needed to survive. It is argued that knowledge and application of these mechanisms are of paramount importance should developers wish to introduce outside information or technology to relieve poverty. Once information is offered in a manner with which potential users can identify, they will more readily accept and apply it to solve poverty related problems. Lessons learnt from a successful case study is discussed to point out that information can help to relieve poverty, provided that the users' world view is considered as reflected in their way of handling information.

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