The IT-families project is part of a larger development project that aims at developing business structures and local know-how around information technology and its application in the southeast area of Finland. The larger project was initiated in collaboration between national and local authorities. The town mayor in the town of Loviisa took the initiative to the local 'IT-families'-project. The project was initially a joint project between the town and a research institute at the Swedish School of Economics and BA in Helsinki. It has later been transferred from the research institute to the Department of management and organization. The research institute has been responsible for all local and practical arrangements of the project, as well as for the research conducted around it, whereas the town has been in part funding the project. Other funding has come from the local area project and from the EU regional development fund. The project is set up as a pilot experiment for developing individual IT-skills at a community level. The research approach in the project is longitudinal and explorative. Both quantitative data on computer use and qualitative data about information technology and the information society at larger context are gathered. The aim is to understand how the information society is perceived at a grassroots level and how ICT affect peoples' everyday life in general. On the basis of applications and interviews 50 young families of different types (i.e. traditional, single parent, mixed) a total of 180 people, were selected to participate in the project. Participation criteria were that the family did not own or have access to a computer at home and that a research team was allowed to access any information they wanted about how and for what the family used the computer during the project time. The participating families received a computer with office software, a printer, an Internet connection (through a modem), an e-mail account for each family member over six years old, and a project homepage. Also training and technical support for a period of two years was provided. The project started in April 2000 and continues until December 2001, after which the family can choose to either buy the computer for a small fee, or return it back to the research team.
|Effective start/end date||01.01.2000 → 31.12.2001|