Assessing the impact of institutional e-readiness for provision of archival information to researchers: the case of Kenya national archives and documentation service
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The rapid rate of internet penetration throughout the world and the dramatic advances in the use of information and communication technologies in government and industry has occasioned a growing interest and literature on e-readiness in both developed and developing countries. E-readiness at the Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service is in the infant stages comprising only of online database, availability of computers in a few sections and the use of microfilm readers and printers. This has made information provision and access at Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service largely a manual process compelling researchers and other users to fill in requisition forms and wait for attendance to retrieve information for them. This study assessed e-readiness at Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service and its impact on provision of archival information to researchers with a view to coming up with a best-practice model to enhance access to archival information. The objectives were to: Evaluate e-readiness infrastructure at the Kenya National Archives & Documentation Service; examine how access to archival information and documents was practiced; determine the challenges experienced with regard to access to archival information and documents; examine the role of Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service staff in provision of archival information and their professional capacity and competencies to achieve efficiency and effectiveness and propose a best-practice framework or model for provision of archival information. The study employed qualitative research methods in which interview guides were developed and administered to respondents’ one on one. This study was informed by International Records Management Trust E-readiness model. The study sample size comprised of 9 respondents from Kenya National Archives and Documentation Service and researchers whose number was only determined at the conclusion of data collection. The study established that the KNADS had inadequate e-readiness infrastructure, lack of an ICT policy and e-readiness model; inadequate space and personnel to provide efficient and effective services to researchers. The researcher recommends that the department develops a written ICT policy customized from the Government of Kenya ICT policy; and adopt the International Records Management Trust E-readiness model as part of its e-readiness strategy. The researcher hopes that this will enhance provision and access of archival information to researchers and other users.
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