PRESENTATION DU PROJET Recherche Développement

Recherche Développement
1.1. Intitulé du projet
Towards a new Manner to use Affordable Technologies and Social Networks to Improve
Business for Women in Emerging Countries
1.2. Identification du projet
1.2.1- Mots Clés
1.2.2 Résumé du projet (250 mots)
Incessant enhancement of the role of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) has been
well perceived through the course of events at recent past. Moreover, economic analysis shows
companies aim to keep their clients and to promote one to one relationship to increase their sells and
their business. Social networks, Web sites, mails, and SMS etc. are using rationally not only to
promote their products but also to enhance brand value, to enable strong consumer relations as well as
to improve the quality of service and products through receiving feedback from the market itself.
However, what is obvious for industrialized countries may not be so for emerging countries. Costs of
the devices such as laptops, PDA, software developments to develop Web sites and even simple
mobile phones often remain beyond the utmost purchasing capability limit for a wider portion of the
population in the developing nations. Moreover, technologies are not disseminated and technical
infrastructures such as networks and relay antennas do not cover the whole country.
This project specifically aims to address women from both rural and urban areas of emerging low
income countries; who are individually or within group involved with sustainable hand craft and/or
fair trade business leading to a varying degree of economic mobility.
The project is structured into the following steps:
Elicitation: understanding the manner women use new technologies and its socio-economic
Assessing the behavioral patterns related with adopting new technologies; and its temporal
Analyzing behaviors,
Proposing new behavior, technical solutions, and training.
1.3. Problématique du projet
Sommaire (250 mots)
During last past years, several works have been aiming to offer technological products and
services in adequacy with means, needs and social habits of populations in emerging
countries. These domains concern with well education, health, agriculture,
telecommunications, e-commerce, etc. Companies are also trying to enter these markets by
using sells strategies along with market structure and its needs (such as rural phone).
One of the starting points of these works is the incorporation of the concept of “Base Of the
Pyramid”. This concept is based on a simple idea, i.e. 4 milliard people who live with less
than few dollars per day represent a set of opportunities in terms of demand of goods and
services. These set of opportunities is linked to the “non inclusive” strategies deployed by
economic actors, private or public, particularly for emerging countries.
The new technologies improve the socio economic situation of this population (Base Of
Pyramid) by bringing them information and expertise for consumers and managers. However
the results of these works remain limited and a global approach should allow combining a
local understanding of habits and needs of this population with a technical expertise of the
product or service, and a sectoral expertise. The ‘applied’ part of the global technological
innovations in this particular concern is required to be flexible enough that it can be
necessarily molded as per the physico-socio-politico-economic characteristics of regional
domain of application.
1.4. Objectifs du projet
Lister les objectifs scientifiques, techniques, technologiques, socio-économiques et/ou socioculturels. (250 mots)
Firstly, this project is based on a global approach based on synergies between specialists in
different domains in particular: sociology, economics, computer science, and marketing. It
aims to study the impacts of new technologies on populations of both countries, Algeria and
Tunisia. Focus to be given on two actors categories: very small companies and members of
formal or non formal social networks. Principal aim is to address these two categories and to
study the impact of technologies on business activities proposing new habits to use new
Secondly, the result of this study can imply the requirements of new kinds of affordable
technologies fitted to emerging countries. Moreover, these new technologies have to be
adapted to the profile of the users, for instance, the users can be analphabets and the media
have to support text to speech services. The definition of new paradigms for a great part of
humanity has the consequences to create start up to commercialize new packaged products
and allied services.
Thirdly, this project requires to be based on a performing technical infrastructure to analyze
information usage and to help users to learn new technologies usage. Moreover, this
infrastructure is based on Web services providing service based approach and interoperability
between applications. So, proposal may be given to develop and stabilize this architecture to
support marketing and social research works, and to promote a true course of actions to help
and train women to new technologies and future fitted measures for improving business.
1.5. Description du projet
1.5-1- Etat des connaissances sur le sujet (500 mots)
Formally, a social network is a social structure made up of a set of actors (such as individuals
or organizations) and the dyadic ties between these actors (such as relationships, connections,
or interactions); the connexions between actors can be directed or not, weighted or not;
networks of different natures can be combined (multi-level analysis), and some of them can
structure the dynamics of the others. A social network perspective is employed to model the
structure of a social group, how this structure influences other variables, or how structures
change over time. The study of these structures uses methods in social network analysis to
identify influential nodes, local and global structures, and network dynamics. Social
networks are distinct from information, biological, or electrical networks, but theories and
methods generalizing to all of these complex networks are studied in the emerging field of
network science (f.ex. Newman et al., 2006, Watts, 2004). Social networks and their analysis
is an inherently interdisciplinary academic field which emerged from social psychology,
sociology, statistics, physics and mathematical graph theory. Jacob Moreno is credited with
developing the first sociograms in the 1930s to study interpersonal relationships as structures
in which people were points and the relationships between them were drawn as connecting
lines. As recalled by Freeman (2004), the mathematical graph theory is at the heart of
development sociometric techniques (social networks analysis) since the late 1940s, more
precisely since the pioneering intuitions of Bavelas (1948), Luce and Perry (1949), Smith
(1950) and Leavitt (1951), to more formal work of Frank Harary and his colleagues at the
University of Michigan (Harary and Norman, 1953, Harary, Norman and Cartwright, 1965).
It returned, according to Freeman, to what he calls "the school of the Sorbonne," with Claude
Flament (1963) and Claude Berge (1958) mainly, to fix a "first general synthesis explicitly
showing that a vast field of social problems could be understood as a special case of a more
general structural model" (Freeman, 2004, p. 114). Topological analysis by Claude Ponsard
(1968, 1972) and Lantner (1972a, 1972b, 1974), following reflections of François Perroux on
power phenomena in economics (1973/1994 for a summary), is the more concrete
manifestation of this research tradition in the field of political economy.
In this project proposal may be given to to apply new tools directly issued and developed
from the Lantner’s work. In doing so, the study will deal with the problems of the formation
and dynamics of "(socio-economic) communities" (cf. Newman et al.). The study may
necessitates to combine the tools of the mathematical graph theory with qualitative
treatments (e.g. Wellman et al.) designed to identify local usages of ICT, their
transformations over time, and how these transformations reconstruct the personal networks.
Ultimately, sociometric analysis will serve as a basis for assessing the implementation of
hardware and software tools promoted by the project at the economic and social levels.
1.5-2- Méthodologie détaillée (300 mots)
Pragmatically, the project will be divided into four main steps as follows:
- Firstly, the behavior of Tunisian and Algerian professionals is observed and the way
to use of new technologies as well as social and commercial spheres will be studied.
These behaviors are based on formal and informal knowledge to collect and analyze
qualitative and quantitative data with rules. These techniques were already used to
collect qualitative and quantitative data. Knowledge on Algerian and Tunisian
professionals will be modeled, structured and validated according to business experts,
computer scientists, marketing experts and sociologists. Sociologists, marketing
experts and computer scientists provide a behavioral and habits patterns repository
proposing and improving fitted solutions to facilitate the integration of new
technologies and social networks during commercial transactions initiated by
professionals. These knowledge are parameterized, aggregative, changeable,
modifiable and flexible, according to functional, non functional, and technical needs,
but also according to ambient context, economical and social environment.
- Secondly, the study will link the current behavior of professionals faced to new
technologies and social networks to offer solutions or improvements.
- The third step proposes to dynamically updated users’ profiles and behavioral
patterns through the data from data mining analysis, data warehouse, marketing
analysis and sociometry. This approach is iterative and incremental according to the
manner users appropriate new technologies and social networks usage. New manners
are proposed with feed backs. In the same time innovative approaches and/or
technologies is to be framed.
- The fourth step proposes to use innovative solution defined in the third step, to check
the way it is appropriated and to train people to improve their business.
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1.6. Impacts attendus
Impacts directs et indirects (Scientifiques, socio-économiques, socioculturels)
Benefits are numerous. Firstly, for all the researchers who will find an opportunity to meet
and to combine their expertise to propose new solution, to submit publications and research
reports. Secondly, for all the students who will work on this project to help finding new
solutions and who will find a fitted application for their research work.
On top of all, the greatest benefits will be for the women who will be involved on the project
to develop their business. And we hope defining a new way to use fitted technologies and to
propose all the social and marketing studies to decide investors and companies to propose a
new kind of affordable technologies. We also hope proposing a prototype of a futurist
technology addressing emerging and poor countries offering a new way to communicate, to
learn and to increase business. We shall be helped by associations, Public organisms, etc.
Their implications as facilitators, disseminators, financial initiators, etc, make this project
more than credible.
1.7. Planning des taches / année
1) T1.1
2) T2.1
3) T1.2
4) T2.2
5) T1.3
6) T2.3
semestre 1
semestre 2
semestre 3
Pour plus de détails veuillez consulter la figure page suivante et/ou l’annexe.
semestre 4