Title page for ETD etd-04212008-082240

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Bester, Ben Coetzee
Email coetzee@pamodzicc.co.za
URN etd-04212008-082240
Document Title A proposed multi-disciplinary and integrated model for managing the flow of information in development projects in Africa
Degree MIS (Information Science)
Department Information Science
Advisor Name Title
Prof J J Britz Committee Chair
  • information management
  • development initiatives
  • development policies
Date 2007-09-05
Availability unrestricted
Assuming that Africa is serious in its intent to become a developed role player in the global world, then information and the way in which it is managed is of critical concern. This study is inter alia informed by the need for an interdisciplinary, holistic approach to information management integrating relevant aspects and characteristics of human beings as well as aspects of the life and culture, economy and ecology of a community with sustainable development, and by the notion that information is a crucial resource in development projects. The study responds to the acute need for trained information managers/agents in development projects and aims to develop an information management model to be used in development projects in Africa.

Chapter one identifies the problem to be investigated, the objectives to be attained, the research methodology to be followed, and the significance of research into development in Africa. This is placed within a theoretical framework focusing on managing information flows in developing communities.

Chapter two focuses on the present status of development policies and conditions in Africa. It seeks to facilitate understanding of current development initiatives, particularly where these relate to information management and its interrelationship with coordinating development agencies such as the African Union, NEPAD and the Africa Peer Review Mechanism. The importance of information management as a holistic approach to long-term sustainable development in Africa is highlighted.

Chapter three focuses on information management as a core concept in development. The basic management activities of the proposed integrated and multidisciplinary model for information management are described. The use of organisational development theory in a community context is proposed as a means to integrate project management principles with the needs of communities affected by development processes and projects, so as enable communities to accept development and change.

The need for awareness of socio-cultural tensions emerging in communities during development processes is discussed in Chapter four. Reference is made to sixteen cultural elements guiding the activities in communities and influencing development and/or information, as well as the interaction between these during development and change processes. In this, human development is defined as a process of personal change, growth and advancement through processes involving the acquisition of knowledge, development of the capability to make decisions and to participate in the activities of a community.

Chapter five proposes a three-part model for information management in development, which serves as a holistic, integrated and multi-disciplinary tool for information managers and agents in development projects in Africa. The model proposes three categories of (circular) information flow during development process to ensure an all-stakeholder focus, namely, (i) initiation and introduction of the development project, (ii) strategy and management information (iii) facilitation of consultation processes in the communities with subsequent inclusion of local and indigenous knowledge. The chapter indicates that the facilitation of the circular flow of information is a main responsibility of the information manager.

Chapter six evaluates the contribution of the study and identifies new opportunities to further the objectives of this study.

Copyright 2007, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Bester, BC 2007, A proposed multi-disciplinary and integrated model for managing the flow of information in development projects in Africa, MIS dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-04212008-082240 / >

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