RE-ACT (social REpresentations of community multimedia centres and ACTions for improvement) is a joint research project between the NewMinE Lab – New Media in Education Laboratory of the Università della Svizzera italiana (Lugano, Switzerland) and the Department of Mathematics and Informatics and the Centre for African Studies of the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (Maputo, Mozambique).
By using the Social Representation construct, RE-ACT will investigate conceptualizations of CMCs – Community Multimedia Centres – in Mozambique by representatives of initiating agencies, representatives of associations owning the CMC, local staff, users and people of the community who do not use CMCs.
RE-ACT focuses on Mozambique and on a particular type of telecentre, named Community Multimedia Centre (CMC).
CMC’s aim is to provide and expand communication and information facilities in local communities in order to offer basic tools for the introduction and management of community-centered development and change.
UNESCO (with the support also by SDC – Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) created the Community Multimedia Centres (CMCs) model, which combine community radio, managed by locals broadcasting in local languages, with community
telecentre facilities. The program got off the ground in 2001 with 40 CMCs set up in over 15 developing countries in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean during the pilot phase. The scale-up phase of the CMCs then began in 2004 with three countries in Africa (Mali, Mozambique and Senegal) selected for the development of a national network of 50 CMCs. At the moment, in Mozambique CMCs are mostly owned and managed by local associations.
The project aims at developing a tool to capture the extra-technological dimensions, which have an impact onto sustainability, studying the awareness and the understanding that different social groups have of CMCs. To study discrepancies and misalignments of conceptualization, the research moves from the perspective of the Theory of Social Representation.
A further aim is to propose specific improvement actions starting from these Social Representations.
The project is financed by the Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the agency responsible for international cooperation within the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the principal Swiss agency promoting scientific research. It started in November 2010 and will last 36 months