Using Theory to Understand Digital Preservation Management in Ghana

Eric Boamah, Daniel George Dorner and Gillian Oliver
Eric Boamah
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  • Eric Boamah is a faculty member at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand/Kuratini Tuwhera, School of Social Sciences. He earned his doctorate from the School of Information Management, Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand (with a Vice Chancellor’s Strategic Research Scholarship). His master’s degree, in Digital Library Learning, was from the European consortium of Oslo University College, Norway, Tallinn University, Estonia, and Parma University, Italy. Dr. Boamah’s research areas include digital libraries, information literacy, and digital preservation issues—particularly those involving ICT policy development and strategy implementation in developing countries.
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, Daniel George Dorner
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  • Daniel George Dorner is Senior Lecturer, School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington. Dr. Dorner is currently the Chair of Division 5 (Regions), in the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. In 2010 he was awarded a LIANZA Fellowship, an honorary award by peer nomination and a prestigious award in the New Zealand library and information profession. Dr. Dorner’s research interests fall into two areas: information literacy education in developing countries, and issues affecting the management of digital information over time. He is a prolific scholar.
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and Gillian Oliver
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  • Gillian Oliver is IST Programmes Director, School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington. Her Ph. D., from Monash University, was awarded the Emerald/EFMG Outstanding Doctoral Research Award in Information Science and the Mollie Holman Doctoral Medal. She has represented New Zealand’s information studies education sector on the National Librarian’s strategic advisory forum and in 2013 was appointed to Archives New Zealand’s Archives Council. Dr. Oliver’s professional practice background spans information management in the UK, Germany, and New Zealand. Her research interests reflect these experiences, focusing on the information cultures of organizations. She is actively involved in digital preservation, including research at HATII, the University of Glasgow.
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In this paper we discuss how Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation theory and Davies’ Policy, Strategy and Resources (PSR) troika model were used to underpin a Ph. D. study that explored contextual factors influencing the current state of digital preservation management in Ghana. Our goal is to explain how these theories were employed so that other researchers will be able to use them effectively to understand other related research problems. The research on which this paper is based employed an interpretive single-case-study approach. Four main clusters of contextual factors—attitude-related, resource-related, policy-related, and management-related factors—were found to be influencing digital preservation management in Ghana. We present a summary of these factors at the end of the paper. Awareness of these can enable the effective development of a digital preservation program and lead to the establishment of a national digital memory for Ghana and other developing countries.

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Preservation, Digital Technology & Culture (PDT&C) is an international journal which focuses on preserving digital content from a wide variety of perspectives, including technological, social, economic, political, and user. Its scope is global, covering projects and practices from key international players in the field. The goal of the journal is to provide a timely forum for refereed articles, news, and field notes from around the world.