Evaluating ICT Adoption in Rural Brazil: A Quantitative Analysis of Telecenters as Agents of Social Change
This quantitative study surveyed 538 adults in isolated rural settings in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, in order to examine whether telecenters operated by the non-profit organization Gems of the Earth in the area improve digital literacy and promote social change in those remote mountain communities. Using multivariate logistic regression, the study examined how individuals use information and communication technologies (ICTs) at the telecenter, and tested for predictors of their use. The findings confirm that these rural communities use ICTs for entertainment, to engage in civic participation, and to practice professional skills. Results also indicate greater odds of ICT use among individuals aged 18 to 24 and among those who seek diversion. The findings suggest that digital inclusion impacts these isolated communities by creating opportunities for entertainment, civic engagement, professional development, and education in ways that may positively impact human development.