The Country Research Teams have focused their summer 2008 research activities that will inform the development of research designs for the next phase of the Global Impact Study project. The primary methodology employed for this purpose is information ecology mapping (also known as linkage or social mapping).
This qualitative data collection tool allows a group to illustrate the networks of trust that exist in a geographic community. The tool works like a photograph of people’s personal networking experience. After developing several linkage
maps, researchers can detect patterns in terms of trusted sources of information, or the information ecology around a focal point (a public access site in the context of this project). Country Research Teams are visiting a minimum of six communities in their countries, each one with one or more of the public access venue types that are the subject of this study (libraries, telecentres, cyber cafes). Francois Bar, Frank Tulus, and I joined the Bangladesh team on community visits on June 5, 2008.