Skip to main content
Ricardo Gomez

Global Landscape of Public Access Computing

This project was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by the Technology & Social Change Group (TASCHA) at University of Washington. The Public Access Landscape Study examined how people around the world access and use information and computers in public settings such as libraries, telecenters, and cybercafes. Understanding public access is particularly important in developing countries where there is often limited private access to information and communication technologies (ICTs). This study covers a sample of 25 countries (see map) containing over 250,000 public access venues. Local research teams surveyed over 25,000 people and conducted interviews and focus groups in order to develop a detailed picture of the public access ICT landscape in each country.

All detailed country reports are available below, in addition to related publications.

TASCHA researchers:

Ricardo Gomez (Project Lead)
Chris Coward (Co-PI)
Chris Rothschild
Elizabeth Gould
Mike Crandall
Rebecca Sears
Rucha Ambikar

Research partner leads

Adrian Rozengardt: Argentina
Ananya Raihan, D.Net: Bangladesh
Juan Bossio, Katia Sotomayor & Erick Iriarte, Alfa Redi: Ecuador, Peru
Ibrahim Kushchu: Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey
J. Torres-Melo, CIDER (Phase 1); Luis Baron & Monica Valdes, ICESI (Phase 2): Colombia
Kemly Camacho, Sula Batsu: Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras
Leelangi Wanasundera, Center for Women’s Research: Sri Lanka
Marta Voelcker & Gabriel Novais, Pensamento Digital: Brazil
Mayette Macapagal, Ideacorp: Philippines
Nana Morbedadze, IPM: Georgia, Moldova
Nayer Wanas: Egypt
Ndaula Sulah, UgaBYTES: Uganda
Rohit Nepali, SAP International: Nepal
Tina James, ICTeum: Namibia, South Africa
Tracey Naughton, PACT: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia
Yahia Bakelli: Algeria

Detailed Country Reports

COUNTRY SUMMARY CHAPTER
Algeria PDF Link
Argentina PDF Link
Bangladesh PDF Link
Brazil PDF Link
Colombia PDF Link
Costa Rica PDF Link
Dominican Republic PDF Link
Ecuador PDF Link
Egypt PDF Link
Georgia PDF Link
Honduras PDF Link
Indonesia PDF Link
Kazakhstan PDF Link
Kyrgyzstan PDF Link
Malaysia PDF Link
Moldova PDF Link
Mongolia PDF Link
Namibia PDF Link
Nepal PDF Link
Peru PDF Link
Philippines PDF Link
South Africa PDF Link
Sri Lanka PDF Link
Turkey PDF Link
Uganda PDF Link

 

Publications

Books

Baron, L. F., & Gomez, R. (2014). Mas que Teclas y Pantallas: Acceso a TIC en Colombia. Cali: Universidad Icesi. (PDF)

Gomez, R. (Ed.) (2012). Libraries, Telecenters, Cybercafés and Public Access to ICT: international comparisons. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. (PDF)

Refereed Journal Articles

Gomez, R. (2014). When You Do Not Have a Computer: Public access computing in developing countries, ITD – Information Technology for Development, 20(3), 279-291. Taylor & Francis. Link

Baron, L. F., & Gomez, R. (2012). Iguales, Pero Diferentes: Comparación de Locales de Acceso Público a Computadores en Colombia, ITID – Information Technologies & International Development, 8(4), 59-76. USC Annenberg Press. Link

Baron, L. F., & Gomez, R. (2012). Panorama de las Políticas Públicas en Colombia: De la infraestructura a la apropiación social, Signo y Pensamiento, 61. Bogota, Colombia: Universidad Javeriana. Link

Baron, L. F., & Gomez, R. (2012). Same but different: comparing public access computing venues in Colombia, ITID – Information Technologies & International Development, 8(4). USC Annenberg Press. Link

Baron, L. F., & Gomez, R. (2012). Relaciones sociales y sensación de conexidad: Usos de cibercafés, telecentros y bibliotecas en Colombia, Anuario Electrónico de Estudios en Comunicación Social “Disertaciones”, 5(1). Link

Gomez, R. (2012). Users’ Perceptions of Impact of Public Access Computing in Colombia: Libraries, Telecenters and Cybercafés, ITID – Information Technologies & International Development, 8(3). USC Annenberg Press. Link

Gomez, R., Fawcett, P., & Turner, J. (2012). Lending a Visible Hand: An analysis of “infomediary” behavior in Colombian public access computing venues, Information Development, 28(1). Sage. Link

Gomez, R., & Baron, L. F. (2011). Does public access computing really contribute to community development? Lessons from libraries, telecenters and cybercafés in Colombia, Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries (EJISDC), 49. Link

Chin-Roemer, R., DeCrease, B., & Gomez, R. (2011). Exploring E-Learning Development: Studies of ICT Access & Educational Usage in Latin America, Information Development, 27(4), 280-289. Sage. Link

Clark, M., & Gomez, R. (2011). The Negligible Role of Fees as a Barrier to Public Access Computing in Developing Countries, Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries (EJISDC), 46. Link

Gomez, R., & Camacho, K. (2011). Users of ICT at Public Access Centers: Age, education, gender and income differences in users of public access to ICT in 25 developing countries, International Journal of Information and Communication Technologies for Human Development (IJICTHD), 3(1). IGI Global. Link

Gomez, R., & Baron, L. F. (2010). Acceso público a Internet y cambio social: la experiencia en El Carmen de Bolívar, entre el silenciamiento y la esperanza, Revista CS, 6, 221-253. Link

Gould, E., & Gomez, R. (2010). New challenges for libraries in the information age: A comparative study of ICT in public libraries in 25 countries, Information Development, 26(2). Sage. (Most Downloaded Paper, 2010). Link

Gomez, R. (2010). Public Access to the Internet and Social Change: An experience in Colombia, between silence and hope, Journal of Community Informatics, 6(3). (Best Papers from CIRN Conference, 2010). Link

Gomez, R. (2010). Structure and Flexibility in Global Research Design, Performance Measurement and Metrics, 11(3), 231-258. Link

Gomez, R. (2010). Success Factors in Public Access Computing for Development, International Journal of Information and Communication Technologies for Human Development (IJICTHD), 3(2). Link

Gomez, R., & Gould, E. A. (2010). The “Cool Factor” of Public Access to ICT: Users’ perceptions of trust in libraries, telecentres and cybercafés in developing countries, Information Technology & People, 23(3), 247-264. Emerald Insight. (Acceptance Rate: 10% (2010); Literati Network Outstanding Paper Award, 2011). Link

Gomez, R., Ambikar, R., & Coward, C. (2009). Libraries, Telecentres & Cybercafes: an international study of public access information venues: Performance Measurement and Metrics, Performance Measurement and Metrics, 10(1), 33-48. Link

Gomez, R., & Camacho, K. (2009). Who uses ICT at Public Access Centers? Age, Education, Gender, and Income Differences in Users, IJICTHD, 3(1).

Gomez, R., & Camacho, K. (2009). ¿Comunicación para el desarrollo o para el entretenimiento?, Anuario Electrónico de Estudios en Comunicación Social “Disertaciones”, 2(1). Link

Refereed Conference Contributions

Gomez, R., Baron, L. F., & Villanueva, E. (2014). More than Facebook and Porn? Unexpected consequences of increased access to computers in Colombia. ICA Pre-Conference: Partnership for Progress on the Digital Divide (PPDD).

Bayo Urban, I., Barba, M., & Gomez, R. (2012). Better Learning Opportunities through Public Access Computing. CIRN 2012 Community Informatics Conference.

Baron, L. F., & Gomez, R. (2012). From Infrastructure to Social Appropriation of Public Access Computing: An Assessment of ICT Policy in Colombia. Proceedings of the Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS, Seattle, WALink

Baron, L. F., & Gomez, R. (2012). From Infrastructure to Social Appropriation of Public Access Computing: Assessment of ICT Policy in Colombia. AMCIS 2012Link

Baron, L. F., & Gomez, R. (2012). Social Network Analysis of Public Access Computing: relationships as a critical benefit of libraries, telecenters and cybercafés in developing countries. Proceedings of iConference 2012, Toronto, Canada, Feb 2012. ACM. (Acceptance Rate: 32%). Link

Baron, L. F., & Gomez, R. (2012). Perceptions of Connectedness: public access computing and social inclusion in Colombia. Proceedings of HICSS-45, Hawaii, Jan 2012Link

Clark, M., & Gomez, R. (2011). Cost and other barriers to public access computing in developing countries. Proceedings of iConference 2011, Seattle, WA, Feb 2011.

Terry, A., & Gomez, R. (2011). Gender and Public Access Computing: an international perspective. Proceedings of HICSS-44, Hawaii, Jan 2011.

Gomez, R. (2011). Impact of Public Access Computing in Colombia. Internet Research 10, Seattle, WA, Oct 2011.

Gomez, R., & Baron, L. F. (2011). Is public access computing really contributing to development? Lessons from libraries, telecenters and cybercafés in Colombia. IFIP WG 9.4 Conference, Kathmandu, Nepal, May 2011. (Best Papers Selection).

Gomez, R., Fawcett, P., & Turner, J. (2011). Lending a Visible Hand: An analysis of “infomediary” behavior in Colombian public access computing venues. International Association of Media and Communication Research IAMCR, Istanbul, Turkey, June 2011.

Chavez, J.-C., & Gomez, R. (2011). More Information: How rapid, easy, access and new media contribute to public access to ICT. CIRN Conference 2011, Prato, Italy, Nov 2011.

Gould, E., & Gomez, R. (2010). Community Engagement and Infomediaries: challenges facing libraries, telecentres and cybercafés in developing countries. Proceedings of iConference 2010.

Gomez, R. (2010). Information and Communication Technologies in the Cybercafés of Post-Soviet Space: A Study of Public Access Computing in Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, and Mongolia.. Proceedings of ICSIT 2010.

Gould, E., Gomez, R., & Camacho, K. (2010). Information Needs in Developing Countries: How Are They Being Served by Public Access Venues?. Proceedings of AMCIS 2010.

Gomez, R. (2010). Inviting Success: Lessons from Public Access Computing Experiences around the World. Proceedings of iConference 2010.

Gomez, R. (2010). Public Access Computing in Latin America: taking stock of an international study. AMCIS 2010.

Pather, S., & Gomez, R. (2010). Public Access ICT: A South-South comparative analysis of libraries, telecentres and cybercafés in South Africa and Brazil. Proceedings of AMCIS 2010.

Gomez, R., & Baron, L. F. (2010). Public Access to Internet and Social Change: an experience in Carmen de Bolivar, Colombia. In L. Stillman & R. Gomez (Ed.), Proceedings of CIRN Conference 2010. (Best Papers selection).

Ambikar, R., Coward, C., & Gomez, R. (2009). An Assessment of venues providing public Access to ICT: A tale of 25 countries. 42nd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Computer Society Press.

Fisher, K., Coward, C., Fawcett, P., Crandall, M., & Gomez, R. (2009). Free access to computers and the Internet at public libraries: International reflections on outcomes and methods. Annual Meeting of the American Society for Information Science & TechnologyLink

Fisher, K., Gomez, R., & Coward, C. (2009). ICTD evaluation 20/20: Voices from around the world. IEEE/ACM International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD).

Gould, E., & Gomez, R. (2009). New challenges for libraries in the information age: A comparative study of ICT in public libraries in 25 countries. Proceedings of CIRN Conference 2009.

Gomez, R., & Camacho, K. (2009). Who uses ICT at Public Access Centers?. Proceedings of ICIS 2009.

Gomez, R., Ambikar, R., & Coward, C. (2008). Information Needs and Watering Holes. CIRN 2008.

Ambikar, R., Coward, C., & Gomez, R. (2008). Information needs and watering holes: public access to information and ICT in 25 countries. 5th Prato Community Informatics & Development Informatics Conference 2008: ICTs for Social Inclusion: What is the Reality?.

Coward, C., Gomez, R., & Ambikar, R. (2008). Libraries, Telecentres and Cybercafes: a study of public access venues around the world.. Proceedings of IFLA 2008.

Other Intellectual Contributions

Gomez, R. (2010). Public Access Computing Ecosystem Data Collection InstrumentsLink

Gomez, R., Baron, L. F., & Valdes, M. (2010). Panorama del Acceso Publico a TIC en Colombia: Relatoría Grupo Focal BogotáLink

Gomez, R. (2010). Panorama del Acceso Publico a TIC en Colombia: Relatoría Grupo Focal CaliLink

Gomez, R., Baron, L. F., & Valdes, M. (2010). Panorama del Acceso Publico a TIC en Colombia: Relatoría Grupo Focal Carmen de BolivarLink

Gomez, R., Baron, L. F., & Valdes, M. (2010). Panorama del Acceso Publico a TIC en Colombia: Relatoría Grupo Focal Marinilla, AntioquiaLink

Gomez, R., Baron, L. F., & Valdes, M. (2010). Panorama del Acceso Publico a TIC en Colombia: Relatoría Grupo Focal MedellinLink

Gomez, R., Baron, L. F., & Valdes, M. (2010). Panorama del Acceso Publico a TIC en Colombia: Relatoría Grupo Focal San GilLink

Gomez, R. (2009). Measuring Global Public Access to ICT. CIS Working Paper.

Gomez, R. (2009). Measuring Global Public Access to ICT: Landscape Summary Reports from 25 Countries Around the World. Seattle, WA: University of Washington. Link

Gomez, R., Camacho, K., & Gould, E. (2008). Structure and flexibility in global research design: Methodological choices in Landscape StudyLink

 

Presentations

Invited Talks and Keynote Addresses

Gomez, R., “Public Access Computing: Challenges and Opportunities,” The Future of Public Access to the Internet, Telecommunications and Information Policy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX. (April 2013).

Gomez, R., “Access… and some more. Public Access Computing in Colombia,” III National Libraries Congress of Colombia, Ministry of Culture, Bogota, Colombia. (October 22, 2012).

Gomez, R., “Technology and Social Change: What difference do information and communication technologies make in developing countries?,” Advanced Academic Preparation Skills (AAPS), University of Washington International Programs, Seattle, WA. (September 2011).

Gomez, R., “Acceso Pœblico a TICs en Colombia: Bibliotecas, Telecentros y Cibercaf?s,” Biblioteca Nacional, Bogota, Colombia. (March 2011).

Gomez, R., “Keynote: What questions do we try to answer in Community Informatics?,” CIRN Conference 2010, Prato, Italy. (2010).

Gomez, R., “Computers in Libraries and other Public Places: What difference do they make in developing countries?,” PLATO Lecture, Evergreen College, Olympia, WA. (October 2010).

Gomez, R., “Landscape Study: Understanding Public Access to ICT in 25 Countries,” Final Report to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA. (December 8, 2008).

Conference Presentations

Baron, L. F., Gomez, R., “Social Network Analysis of Public Access Computing: relationships as a critical benefit of libraries, telecenters and cybercaf?s in developing countries,” iConference 2012, Toronto, ON, Canada. (February 2012).

Baron, L. F., Gomez, R., “Perceptions of Connectedness: public access computing and social inclusion in Colombia,” HICSS-45: Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Wailea, HI. (January 2012).

Gomez, R., “Impact of Public Access Computing in Colombia,” Internet Research 10, Association of Internet Researchers (AOIR), Seattle, WA. (October 2011).

Gomez, R., Fisher, K., Bishop, A., Fawcett, P., Baron, L. F., “Infomediaries and Performance of Public Access Computing Venues,” Internet Research 10, Association of Internet Researchers AOIR, Seattle, WA. (October 2011).

Gomez, R., Clark, M., “Cost and other barriers to public access computing in developing countries,” iConference 2011, Seattle, WA. (February 2011).

Terry, A., Gomez, R., “Gender and Public Access Computing: an international perspective,” HICSS 44: Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Koloa, HI. (January 2011).

Gomez, R., Baron, L. F., “Public Access to Internet and Social Change: an experience in Carmen de Bolivar, Colombia,” CIRN Conference 2010, Prato, Italy. (October 2010).

Gomez, R., Camacho, K., “Information Needs in Developing Countries: How Are They Being Served by Public Access Venues?,” AMCIS 2010, Lima, Peru. (August 2010).

Gomez, R., “Public Access Computing in Latin America: taking stock of an international study,” AMCIS 2010, Lima, Peru. (August 2010).

Gomez, R., Pather, S., “Public Access ICT: A South-South comparative analysis of libraries, telecentres and cybercaf?s in South Africa and Brazil,” AMCIS 2010, Lima, Peru. (August 2010).

Gomez, R., Gould, E., “Community Engagement and Infomediaries: challenges facing libraries, telecentres and cybercaf?s in developing countries,” iConference 2010, Champaign-Urbana, IL. (February 5, 2010).

Gomez, R., “Inviting Success: Lessons from Public Access Computing Experiences around the World,” iConference 2010, Champaign-Urbana, IL. (February 4, 2010).

Gomez, R., Gould, E., “New challenges for libraries in the information age: A comparative study of ICT in public libraries in 25 countries,” CIRN Conference 2009: Empowering communities, Centre for Community Networking Research (CCNR), Prato, Italy. (2009).

Gomez, R., Camacho, K., “Who uses ICT at Public Access Centers? Age, education, gender and income differences in users of public access to ICT in 25 developing countries,” ICIS – International Conference on Information Science, GlobDev SIG, Phoenix, AZ. (December 14, 2009).

Fisher, K., Coward, C., Fawcett, P., Crandall, M., Gomez, R., “Free access to computers and the Internet at public libraries: International reflections on outcomes and methods,” Annual Meeting, ASIS&T – American Society for Information Science & Technology, Vancouver, BC, Canada. (November 6, 2009).

Fisher, K., Gomez, R., Coward, C., “ICTD evaluation 20/20: Voices from around the world,” 3rd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD), Doha, Qatar. (April 17, 2009).

Gomez, R., Badshah, A., Fuchs, R., Sterling, R., “ICTD evaluation 20/20: Voices from around the world,” ICTD 2009 – 3rd IEEE/ACM International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD), Doha, Qatar. (April 17, 2009).

Coward, C., Gomez, R., Ambikar, R., “An Assessment of Venues Providing Public Access to ICT: A Tale of 25 Countries,” HICSS 42 – Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (IEEE), Waikoloa, HI. (January 2009).

Ambikar, R., Coward, C., Gomez, R., “Information needs and watering holes: public access to information and ICT in 25 countries,” CIRN Conference 2008: ICTs for Social Inclusion, CCRN – Centre for Community Networking Research, Prato, Italy. (2008).

Coward, C., Gomez, R., Ambikar, R., “Libraries, Telecentres and Cybercafes: a study of public access venues around the world,” IFLA – International Federation of Library Associations, Quebec City, QC, Canada. (2008).

 

Book Chapters

Gomez, R., Fawcett, P., & Turner, J. (2014). Dando una mano: Los “infomediarios” en centros de acceso público a Internet en Colombia. In Baron, Luis Fernando & Gomez, Ricardo (Ed.), Mas que Teclas y Pantallas: Acceso a TIC en Colombia, 89-114. Cali: Universidad Icesi. Link

Gomez, R. (2014). El impacto del acceso a Internet en los Centros de Acceso Público en Colombia: Cómo perciben los usuarios sus beneficios. In Baron, Luis Fernando & Gomez, Ricardo (Ed.), Mas que Teclas y Pantallas: Acceso a TIC en Colombia, 115-140. Cali: Universidad Icesi. Link

Baron, L. F., & Gomez, R. (2014). Las políticas públicas sobre TIC en Colombia: de la infraestructura a la apropiación social. In Baron, Luis Fernando & Gomez, Ricardo (Ed.), Mas que Teclas y Pantallas: Acceso a TIC en Colombia, 15-46. Cali: Universidad Icesi. Link

Baron, L. F., & Gomez, R. (2014). No es lo mismo pero es igual: Diferencias y similitudes entre bibliotecas, telecentros y cibercafés en Colombia. In Baron, Luis Fernando & Gomez, Ricardo (Ed.), Mas que Teclas y Pantallas: Acceso a TIC en Colombia, 47-88. Cali: Universidad Icesi. Link

Baron, L. F., & Gomez, R. (2014). Relaciones sociales y sentido de conexidad: los usos de CAP y su impacto en las redes y el capital social. In Baron, Luis Fernando & Gomez, Ricardo (Ed.), Mas que Teclas y Pantallas: Acceso a TIC en Colombia, 141-164. Cali: Universidad Icesi. Link

Gomez, R. (2013). Success Factors in Public Access Computing for Development. In S. Chhabra (Ed.), ICT influences on human development, interaction, and collaboration, 97-116. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. Link

Gomez, R., & Camacho, K. (2013). Users of ICT at public access centers: age, education, gender, and income differences in Users. In S. Chhabra (Ed.), ICT influences on human development, interaction, and collaboration, 1-21. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference. Link

Gomez, R. (2012). Behind the Scenes: research methodology and analytical framework. In Ricardo Gomez (Ed.), Libraries, Telecenters, Cybercafés and Public Access to ICT: international comparisons, 95-112. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Link

Gould, E., & Gomez, R. (2012). Challenges for Libraries in the Information Age. In Ricardo Gomez (Ed.), Libraries, Telecenters, Cybercafés and Public Access to ICT: international comparisons. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Link

Clark, M., & Gomez, R. (2012). Free Service or Good Service: what attracts users to public access computing venues?. In Ricardo Gomez (Ed.), Libraries, Telecenters, Cybercafés and Public Access to ICT: international comparisons, 43-50. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Link

Terry, A., & Gomez, R. (2012). Gender and Public Access to ICT. In Ricardo Gomez (Ed.), Libraries, Telecenters, Cybercafés and Public Access to ICT: international comparisons. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Link

Gould, E., Gomez, R., & Camacho, K. (2012). How do Public Access Venues Meet Information Needs in Underserved Communities?. In Ricardo Gomez (Ed.), Libraries, Telecenters, Cybercafés and Public Access to ICT: international comparisons. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Link

Gould, E., & Gomez, R. (2012). Infomediaries and Community Engagement are Key. In Ricardo Gomez (Ed.), Libraries, Telecenters, Cybercafés and Public Access to ICT: international comparisons. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Link

Clark, M., & Gomez, R. (2012). Libraries, Telecenters and Cybercafés: a comparison of different types of public access venues. In Ricardo Gomez (Ed.), Libraries, Telecenters, Cybercafés and Public Access to ICT: international comparisons, 1-10. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Link

Gomez, R., & Gould, E. (2012). Perceptions of Trust: Safety, Credibility, and “Cool”. In Ricardo Gomez (Ed.), Libraries, Telecenters, Cybercafés and Public Access to ICT: international comparisons,32-42. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Link

Gomez, R. (2012). Success Factors for Public Access Computing: beyond anecdotes of success. In Ricardo Gomez (Ed.), Libraries, Telecenters, Cybercafés and Public Access to ICT: international comparisons, 82-94. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Link

Gomez, R., & Camacho, K. (2012). Who uses public access venues?. In Ricardo Gomez (Ed.), Libraries, Telecenters, Cybercafés and Public Access to ICT: international comparisons, 11-23. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Link

Barzilai-Nahon, K., Gomez, R., & Ambikar, R. (2010). Conceptualizing Contextual Measurements for Digital Divide/s: Using an Integrative Narrative. In Enrico Ferro, Yogesh K. Dwivedi, J. Ramon Gil-Garcia, and Michael D. Williams (Ed.), Overcoming Digital Divides: Constructing an Equitable and Competitive Information Society. Hershey, PA: IGI Global. Link