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The Impact of Culture on Information Behaviour: A case study of the Polio Eradication Campaigns in Nigeria

The AIM: To investigate the impact of cultural orientation on information behaviour of selected categories of people within some chosen states in Nigeria by focusing on polio eradication campaign in Nigeria.

OBJECTIVES: The objectives to be adopted in achieving the aim of this study are as follows:

  1. To identify the relationship if any, between particular cultural characteristics of a group and their information seeking behaviour.
  2. To identify whether culture influences the acceptance or rejection of source(s) of information, and/or perception of the correctness or validity of that information (how individuals relate to the source of information).
  3. To explore whether cultural factors, such as religion, language, etc., affect the level of significance placed on information in daily life activities of individual/group within Nigeria.
  4. To explore if culture plays a role in information sharing among individual/groups within Nigeria.
  5. To explore the role played by culture in information dissemination in Nigeria by investigating how information on Polio Eradication (campaign) is being disseminated in Nigeria and whether aspects of culture affects the dissemination.
  6. To explore whether aspects of culture, such as religion, language, gender orientation, etc., affect the level of significance of information in peoples’ daily life activities by investigating whether culture play an impact in the success or failure of the Polio Eradication (campaign).

Research Questions: In order to fulfil the aim and objectives of the study, 7 (seven) research questions were generated:

  1. Is culture a contributory factor to human information behaviour in Nigeria? – does culture play a significant role in the effective access and usage of information by ethnic or cultural groups in Nigeria.
  2. Is the acceptance or rejection of source(s) of information based on cultural factors such as religion, language, gender orientation, and political orientation, rather than the correctness or validity of that information?
  3. What cultural factor(s) influence individual/cultural groups to suppress, distort, or ignore information and information seeking?
  4. What are the cultural factor(s) that make information seeking to be more salient in one ethnic group over another?
  5. What are the cultural factor(s) that make certain type of information to be more salient or important among one ethnic group over another in Nigeria, especially the case of polio eradication campaign in Nigeria?
  6. Does the level of educational attainment play a significant role in the success or failure of polio campaign in Nigeria?
  7. Does the level of technology play a significant role in the success or failure of polio campaign in Nigeria?

My theoretical framework is based on Wilson (1995) revised general model of Information seeking behaviour, and Niedźwiedzka (2003) general Model of information behaviour. While Wilson’s model of information seeking behaviour has more to do with individual’s IB, that of Niedźwiedzka is more appropriate for the explanation of a cultural group’s IB.

The research methodology that is considered appropriate to fulfil the aim of this research in line with the listed objectives  – adapting Saunders et al., (2009) research design and methodology

(A) Research philosophy: Interpretivism (IB is contextually analysed and interpreted)

(B) Research reasoning/approach: more of inductive reasoning than deductive reasoning, i.e. using my finding to deduce a theory; to confirm or to discard my hypotheses.

(C) Research strategy: survey observation – semi structured interview and samples drawn using purposive sampling method

(D) Research method: Mixed methods – a combination of both qualitative and quantitative methods. Qualitative method of data gathering and analysis for the purpose of interpreting cultural elements in relation to IB, and quantitative method for comparison of the cultural elements of IB among and across the chosen cultural groups.

(E) Research time horizon – cross sectional with a snap shot view of the cultural elements relating to IB. Although longitudinal study would have been appropriate as this would enable researcher to see the cultural elements of IB in motion, i.e. over time and thus provide robust data suitable for periodical/historical comparison of the cultural elements of IB, which could help in generalising as well as for predictions after data analysis

(F) Data collection and analysis – In all 122 people were interviewed – 39 in Lagos (Southern Nigeria secular city and the economic capital of Nigeria); 33 in Abuja (Northern Nigeria secular city and the political capital of Nigeria); 25 each in Minna (predominantly Muslim state) and Abia (predominantly Christian state). Also 2 focus groups at Lagos and Abuja (unable to have any focus group in any of the non-secular states due to prevailing security reasons in Nigeria as at the time of data gathering). All data collected are now coded and being analysed using SPSS. In view of the nominal and ordinal measurement scales of this research data, the nonparametric tests applicable in this research are: (1) Test of differences between the chosen groups – Mann-Whitney U test and the Kolmogorov-Smirnov two-sample test; (2) Test of differences between variables – Kruskal-Wallis analysis of ranks and the Median test; and (3) Test of relationships between variables – correlation between selected variables using the nonparametric tests of Spearman Rank, Kendal Tau and Gamma for categorical variables (dichotomous variables).

 

 

 

One comment on “The Impact of Culture on Information Behaviour: A case study of the Polio Eradication Campaigns in Nigeria

  1. I am so grateful for your article. Much obliged.

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