Information needs and seeking behaviour of orphans and vulnerable children and their caregivers, and the role of service providers in Namibia select="/dri:document/dri:meta/dri:pageMeta/dri:metadata[@element='title']/node()"/>

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Show simple item record Mnubi-Mchombu, Chiku 2014-09-22T08:56:42Z 2014-09-22T08:56:42Z 2013
dc.description Thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements and the award of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Library and Information Science) at the University of Zululand, KwaDlangwezwa, South Africa en_US
dc.description.abstract In 2000, world leaders adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which are aimed at, among other targets, halving extreme poverty and halting the spread of HIV/AIDS by the year 2015. The two MDG goals of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger and combating, HIV/AIDS are relevant to the present study (National Planning Commission, Republic of Namibia, 2004:1). In 2001, the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on HIV/AIDS met to raise world leaders' awareness of the seriousness of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and also to get their support. One of the key recommendations of the conference was to strengthen the capacity of countries to protect orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) by ensuring access to essential services (Foster, Levine and Williamson, 2005:282; MoRSS, 2007c:6; MoRSS, 2007d: 2; MoRSS, 2008a:191). The present study is set against this background. The purpose of this study was to investigate the information needs and seeking behaviour of OVC and caregivers, and to examine the role of service providers in disseminating information to OVC and caregivers in Namibia. Although several studies focusing on different aspects of the OVC situation have been done, the researcher could not identify any study that focused on the information needs and seeking behaviour of OVC and their caregivers in Namibia and how the two groups satisfy their information needs at present. In order to obtain data from the respondents, the study adopted qualitative and quantitative research methods for data collection. A questionnaire was mailed to the sampled service providers, while interviews were conducted with OVC and caregivers. Focus group discussions were also held with caregivers and key informants in order to explore the general attitudes, feelings, beliefs, experiences and reactions of the research population with respect to information needs and seeking behaviours. The study took place in the rural community of Ohangwena and the urban setting of Khomas. A total of 566 OVC, 70 caregivers, and 18 services providers from both regions took part in the study. A total of eleven focus group discussions took place; eight focus group discussions were held in Ohangwena, while three were in the Khomas region. Both rural and urban OVC indicated that they needed information in order to access financial assistance/grants, child care/support, feeding schemes, and health servtces. The most important information required, according to the OVC from Ohangwena, was information on school development fund exemption, fmancial assistance or grants, health services, child care/support and training opportunities. The OVC from Khomas had similar priorities with the exception of training opportunities, which was replaced with counselling. Both rural and urban OVC consulted relatives, teachers, and friends to satisfy their information needs, indicating that people were their most important source of information. The findings from focus group discussions (FGDs) with caregivers and key informants indicated that there are disparities between rural and urban areas in terms of information access and use based on literacy and education. For example, the rural dwellers cited their need for information on educational support, psychological and counselling services, child care/support, and job opportunities. In the urban setting of Khomas, educational support and the establishment of small businesses featured as prominent needs. The FGDs revealed that the radio, traditional leaders, regional councillors, friends and relatives were the most important sources and channels of information in Ohangwena, while in Khomas, friends and relatives, community leaders, and regional councillors were the most popular channels. Social workers and the television were also popular channels in Khomas. The findings of the study indicate that service providers provide a range of services to OVC and caregivers in both rural and urban areas. In the rural areas, the majority of the supporting organisations had health-related programmes focusing on feeding schemes and nutrition, and HN/AIDS awareness. In urban areas, service providers provided psychosocial support, counselling, and resilience services. The findings reveal that the majority of the service providers used community meetings and public forums to communicate their own information and to create awareness of their services in both regions. The channels that were most frequently used in Ohangwena were community meetings and open forums, while the use of volunteers featured prominently in Khomas. The OVC and caregivers encountered various problems in accessing information, including: long distance to access information and _services; language barrier for printed materials; shortage of service providers in rural areas; lack of coordination of service providers; and bureaucratic red tape from government departments. Major recommendations stemming from the study include: the need for service providers to provide clear information on how to' access the different services that target OVC and caregivers; service providers should collaborate and use mass media channels to disseminate information; the need for a "one stop shop" where all information related to OVC services would be made available; and the need to provide information in local languages. The study concluded that information provision is a crucial resource for OVC and caregivers because it helps them ideJ).tify and take advantage of available services. Conversely, lack of information leads to the lower utilization of available services and increased poverty and disempowerment. Several recommendations are made on how to improve the flow of information to OVC and caregivers to help them easily locate and use facilities and services that have been set up for them either by the government, or by non-governmental organisations and other service providers. The study also proposes a model to improve the provision of information to OVC and caregivers in the two regions. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Information needs en_US
dc.subject Information seeking behaviour en_US
dc.subject Vulnerable children en_US
dc.subject Service providers en_US
dc.subject Namibia en_US
dc.title Information needs and seeking behaviour of orphans and vulnerable children and their caregivers, and the role of service providers in Namibia en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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