Museums and the Web 2005
Sessions: Abstracts
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Speakers from around the world present their latest work at MW2005.

Digitisation of Community Indigenous Knowledge in Developing Countries: A Strategy for Uganda

Elisam Magara, Makerere University, Uganda

Session: User Content: Projects

Ugandans aspire for positive cultural values for the promotion of socio-economic development and equal opportunities for all a heritage that is free of negative cultural values, practices and traditions. However, the major constraint of developing countries has been the absence of community-based information systems to enable local people to contribute to decision-making, planning and management. While technological advancement constitutes a vital component of economic development, there is a conspicuous and persistent lack of indigenous knowledge (IK) technological advancement and a greater dependency on exogenous technologies.

A qualitative research design team collected data from various IK communities and institutions that were selected purposively. Interviews, observations, and document analysis were the main forms of data collection. IK experts, knowledgeable and skilled personnel, and community leaders, among others, were selected. Data was analyzed and presented according to the main objectives and themes of the study.

It was observed that there is hardly any system of recording, documenting, preserving and safeguarding documentary heritage, or of democratizing access and raising awareness of its significance to the achievement of community objectives. This paper attempts to establish the documented IK, the content, form and attributes of records kept about IK; assesses the digitization requirements; and propose strategies for its digitization in Uganda. This strategy would provide direction to various stakeholders towards the digitization process. A co-ordinating unit in the country, with appropriate management structures in place to set guidelines and carry out marketing and awareness strategy, is a priority for the appropriate digitization of IK in Uganda.