DEVELOPMENT OF AN ADOPTION MODEL OF DIGITAL SERVICES FOR UNEMPLOYED YOUTH IN AN INFORMAL SETTLEMENT IN NAMIBIA

Author: Kambunga, Asnath Paula

ABSTRACT Youth unemployment has become an increasing socio-economic issue in Namibia. Thus, numeral initiatives have been started to fight this trend in order to empower the current marginalised and unemployed youth to sustain a livelihood. This includes skills training opportunities, services and technology development. However, the adoption and integration of such services and technologies has not always been successful. Consequently, this study aims to investigate and implement an appropriate adoption model for youth services in Namibia. Different existing technology adoption models were evaluated in relation to the context of marginalised youth in urban areas, especially informal settlements of Windhoek. For the purpose of this study, youth from the Havana informal settlement were involved in designing and assessing technologies and services suitable to them, at the same time as the development of the proposed technology adoption strategy. The technology adoption strategy was adapted alongside the successful deployment of NamStarter a crowdfunding system for social entrepreneurship initiatives in Havana. An action research methodology was used as the approach to carry out the research and interventions. Based on our empirical results we argue that an appropriate technology adoption model in the context of informal settlements does not rely on the assumption that users pre-formulate intent before an action, as framed in the theory of reasoned action, which has been the basis for many mainstream technology adoption models. Contrary we propose a technology adoption model relying on behaviour or technology use prior to attitude change. The model emphasises factors of social influence and enablers creating capabilities as the main drivers for technology adoption in informal settlements.