Focus Groups
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Introduction

The South Waikato District Council is seeking an Asset Map detailing information about public access to and use of information and communications technologies (ICT). 

This document explains the background to the project and provides a specification for the work.

Background

In October 2002 the Community Employment Group (a service unit of the Department of Labour) selected Tokoroa as one of three pilot areas to test a community ICT planning process as part of the government’s Connecting Communities strategy (www.ceg.dol.govt.nz ).

The community ICT planning process has been developed by Making The Net Work (www.makingthenetwork.org) and is a nine stage ‘routemap’ designed to facilitate community involvement in the design, implementation and evaluation of ICT projects in a local area.

Representatives from a number of community, public and private organisations are meeting to progress this work and require a comprehensive overview of ICT activity within Tokoroa as the first stage in developing an asset map for the South Waikato district.

Research Specification

The four inter-connected research objectives and associated questions are as follows:

Objective #1 - Collate strategic issues related to the public’s use of ICT within Tokoroa.

  • What are the levels of computer ownership, internet access, home landline access within Tokoroa?
  • What plans are being developed to improve the use and/or functionality of ICT within Tokoroa?
  • Which agencies are involved in these developments?

Objective #2 - Describe the current provision of public computer access points within Tokoroa. (Questionnaire completed with the organisations / agencies involved)

  • Which agencies offer publicly accessible computers?
  • Where are computers made available to the public?
  • What are the technical specifications of these computers and related hardware? (E.g. routers, printers, scanners etc.)
  • Is the hardware networked, and how? (E.g. LAN, WAN etc.)
  • What is the level and type of internet connection on the hardware?
  • What are the terms of public access? (E.g. specific days, times, locations, costs, registration with the agency, skills levels etc.)
  • What specific programs and services can the public access through these computers? (E.g. internet, Microsoft office programmes, adult literacy programmes, e-learning packages etc.)
  • What types of on site support are available to members of the public using these facilities? (E.g. advise on use of computers, introductory sessions etc.)
  • Who provides what type of technical support for publicly accessible PC’s and related hardware in Tokoroa?
  • Would the agencies providing public access to PCs be interested in using a local technical support helpdesk?
  • Are there any plans to develop these public access facilities?
  • Do these agencies recycle old ICT equipment?

Objective #3 - To describe the opportunities for, and uptake of, learning about ICT within Tokoroa. (Semi-structured interviews)

  • Who is providing learning opportunities/training in the subject of ICT within Tokoroa?
  • Where are the does this activity take place? 
  • What learning is being provided? (E.g. content, accreditation, style of delivery, length of course etc.)
  • Are specific groups of people being targeted? (E.g. school children, unemployed people, women, Maori, Pacific Island people, farmers etc.)
  • How many people have taken up these opportunities in the last 12 months?
  • Are there any plans to develop these services?
  • Have the providers considered allowing groups of non-students to use their equipment, e.g. Senior Net organization, community groups etc?

Objective #4 - To describe the current provision and use of technical support for computers within Tokoroa. (Postal Survey)

  • Within South Waikato, who provides technical support for PC’s and related hardware?
  • Where are they based?
  • What type of technical support is provided? (Warranty work only, PC only, hardware only, etc.)
  • How is the technical support provided? (E.g. helpdesk, call out, 24/7 services etc.)
  • Are any of these businesses interested in mentoring people studying relevant courses?

Research Products

The research findings will be presented as a full report with a Microsoft Access database detailing information relating to public access points, learning/training providers and technical support businesses and providers based within Tokoroa. The researcher will be asked to present their findings to the ICT partnership and Council.

Timetable

The database and final research report will be completed by the 9th May 2003.

 

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