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International Journal of Knowledge and Learning
International Journal of Knowledge and Learning


Special Issue on “Knowledge, Technology and the Digital Divide: Global Perspectives”

Guest Editors:
Bill Martin, Mohini Singh and Alemayehu Molla, RMIT University, Australia

There is a global consensus on the perceived connection between the uptake of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and economic growth Development today is virtually synonymous with the presence of industries at whose core reside knowledge and related intangibles. This includes computer hardware and software, multimedia, communications and biotechnology, the informatisation and digitisation of traditional commodity and manufacturing production and exchange, and a range of government and business services available around the clock on a 24 hour basis.

Nonetheless, the benefits of the so-called digital revolution and the knowledge economy it enables have been accompanied by a further widening of the gap between those that access knowledge and information readily and those that lack such access completely or those whose access is constrained significantly. This digital divide exists both within the developed countries of the North and between them and those nations in the South that are striving to escape the burdens of under-development. Clearly the acquisition of technological capacity is a necessary but not sufficient response to such challenges. People must also have access to the information and knowledge to become both users and producers of these technologies. Even more basically, people must be capable of responding to the opportunities presented by this combination of technology and knowledge.

Various national and international institutions are undertaking policies, programs and projects to include those that remain on the negative side of the divide. This carries implications for issues of access and equity, be this in terms of the basic literacy necessary to participate in the digital economy or the freedom from poverty and disease that would enable participation in the workforce. There is a range of infrastructure issues to do with legal and regulatory frameworks for telecommunications, intellectual property, e-business and e-government. There is also a range of relationship issues not only at governmental level and involving donors, investors and local partners, but also at a local level to do with balancing external and indigenous knowledge and resources in ways that are most likely to empower local communities. Finally there are issues of lessons, outcomes and sustainability of impacts.

This special issue will address this range of relationships and resource issues and taking a global perspective will look for insights into actual and potential responses involving this softer knowledge-based dimension of the response to some of the major problems of development and the digital divide.

Subject Coverage
Submissions are invited that fall into (but are not limited to) one of the following topic areas:
Theories of knowledge creation and transfer
  • Knowledge and development, millennium development goals modernisation, dependency, resource-based theory, knowledge-based theory of the firm, intangibles, knowledge creation, and management theories, including complex adaptive systems, knowledge and learning, theories of information and knowledge societies
  • Information and knowledge in a North-South connection, issues of relevance and validity
  • Information and knowledge flows, potential obstacles and stimulators
  • Strategies for creating and sharing knowledge
Communities and content
  • Communities and knowledge sharing – donor-recipient, local and international
  • Content mix for North-South, South-South and South-North knowledge exchanges
  • Content gaps in the digital divide
  • Issues of culture, norms and customs
  • E-spaces versus social spaces
Infrastructure issues
  • Technologies for sustainable development
  • Regulation and deregulation of basic infrastructures, IP regimes and legal frameworks
  • Global e-business structures: supply chains and value networks
  • North-South business clusters
Policies and models for addressing the digital divide
  • Evaluation of policies
  • Comparative studies of policies
  • Evaluation of models
  • Issues and challenges
  • Impact assessment
Case studies, successful and otherwise of knowledge transfer, sharing or technology projects involving a North-South dimension

Notes for Prospective Authors

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere

All papers are refereed through a peer review process. A guide for authors, sample copies and other relevant information for submitting papers are available on the Author Guidelines page

Important Dates

Manuscripts due by: 30 November 2006

Notification to authors: 15 March 2007

Final versions due by: 15 July 2007