Drylands connected: mobile communication and changing power positions in (nomadic) pastoral societies

TitleDrylands connected: mobile communication and changing power positions in (nomadic) pastoral societies
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsM.E. de Bruijn, Q. Zhang, H. Abu-Kishk, B. Butt, N. Hashimshony-Yaffe, T. Sternberg, and A. Pas
EditorA.K. Garcia, T. Haller, J.W.M. van Dijk, C. Samimi, and J. Warner
Secondary TitleDrylands facing change: interventions, investments and identities
Date Published2022
Place PublishedLondon
Publication Languageeng
ISSN Number9781003174486
KeywordsDrylands, Kenya, mobile phones, Mongolia, Negev Desert, Sahel, social change, social media

The new connectivity, through mobile phones, social media, and wireless internet, is an agent in social change in the drylands. In this chapter, we present four case studies: the introduction of mobile apps in Mongolia and Kenya, the role of mobile telephony in the Sahel, and the introduction of online learning in the Negev Desert. Each of these case studies develops an argument around the role of connectivity in ‘giving a voice’ to the people living in drylands. Indeed, as the studies show, the new technology of communication is a resource for such populations, especially when we focus on the benefits of improved communication and access to information. However, the effective use of such a resource is hampered by the lack of knowledge of dryland dynamics among the developers of the new technology and by the imposed power relations of the State. Also, the technology may follow its own pathway, being appropriated by the population in unexpected ways and creating new power relations that may also lead to conflict.

IR handle/ Full text URLhttps://hdl.handle.net/1887/3505516
Citation Key12185