From digital divide to knowledge divide - a primer

Chataway, Joanna; Quintas, Paul; Wield, David and Gault, Fred (2003). From digital divide to knowledge divide - a primer. In: Sciadas, George ed. Monitoring the digital divide and beyond. Montreal, Canada: Orbicom, pp. 89–144.



The web provides access to vast amounts of data,
information, and codified knowledge. However, many important forms of knowledge cannot be codified and are not available in the digital form required by computer-based information and communication technology (ICT) systems. Consideration of the knowledge divide therefore raises issues beyond the concerns with access to, or
participation in, the web and the digital economy, although these remain important and relevant.
In this context, as in many others, knowledge is associated with power and capacity for action. Access to information on the web or anywhere else is useless without the knowledge to understand the content, make sense of it and use it. Arguably, the inability to transform the contents of the web into economic and social value is part of a 'knowledge divide' far more significant than the access issue which can be remedied with investment and technology.This paper explores a number of development issues raised by the subject of knowledge.

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