Information needs and seeking behavior of women with no formal education: A case study of Ng’ombe township in Lusaka, Zambia
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This study focused at exploring the information needs and seeking behavior of women with no formal education in Lusaka, Zambia. The specific objectives of the study included the kinds of activities participants were involved in for daily living, information needs, information sources and challenges they faced to meet their information needs. The study was qualitative in nature and a case study design was adopted for the study. Twenty-five women purposively selected participated in the study. A structure interview guide was used to solicit information from the respondents. Findings of the study revealed that participants were involved in a number of activities for daily living including small-scale businesses, knitting, gardening, taking care of the family, design and tailoring, employed (e.g. as maids, chefs and cleaners) and hair dressing. Participants needed information on health (i.e. hypertension, diabetes, care for children, HIV/AIDS, cancer, nutrition, family planning, conception and sanitation); finance (i.e. credit, savings, budgeting, insurance and pensions); education (child’s school, child’s performance, sponsorship); politics (participating in politics, voting, rights); family welfare (child marriages, GVB,); personal security; employment; and entrepreneurship. The study revealed that participants looked for information from a variety of interpersonal sources including community clubs/groups, church, friends, relatives, police posts, television and radio. The study results showed that participants faced challenges such as language barrier, poverty, ignorance, limited time, distance, limited skills, inadequate information centers and intimidation to effectively meet their information needs. Provision of information in local languages, introduction of literacy programmes and establishment of information centers were some of the suggested solutions made by participants to effectively meet their information needs.
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