Collective aspects of information literacy in developing countries: a Bangladeshi case

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to report on the exploration of women farmers' information literacy (IL) in the context of rural Bangladesh within the context of an ICT-based women empowerment project. Design/methodology/approach: This study uses thematic analysis of qualitative data collected during a culturally sensitive workshop on IL with a group of project participants. Findings: The findings showed that women understood their information needs and where to find information, which indicates that participants had some basic IL skills. However, the online environment presented challenges for them to evaluate the quality of the information and its relevance to their daily activities. The cultural complexity of IL was observed with the rural women’s information practices affected by family patterns, community and religion, amongst other social factors. Collective practices are made highly evident by the women’s natural tendency to share phones and information and by the way information is maintained. While the collective practices are very useful in utilising information for daily needs, the downside is that women are potentially vulnerable to threats in an online environment when sharing confidential information. Originality/value: This article shows that in the context of rural Bangladesh, women farmers’ information-seeking behaviour and practices of sharing and creating information are influenced by sociocultural characteristics. It describes how the women’s situational context of collectivity and power relations influence their ways of handling information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1305-1220
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Documentation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Collectivity
  • ICT4D
  • Information literacy
  • Women farmers

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