GIS diffusion in Uganda

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Despite myriad studies having been carried out on the diffusion of geographical information systems (GIS) technology, only a limited number have been done within the context of developing countries. This paper addresses the research question, how did the diffusion of GIS technology occur in Uganda? Mixed methods were used for data collection, and analysis was performed using a theoretical framework called the diffusion of innovations (DOI). The results of the study showed that the adoption of GIS by institutions in Uganda occurred in a classic diffusion pattern consistent with diffusion theory. Adoption of GIS was promoted by its relative advantage over, and compatibility with, existing technologies. It was characterized by both heterophilous and homophilous communication channels, and influenced by change agents and champions. Its rate of adoption followed an S-shaped diffusion curve, and was hampered by bureaucracy, and patronage-based societal norms. This study makes a contribution to literature on GIS diffusion in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)884-906
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 4 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC) and the Compton Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Diffusion of innovations
  • GIS diffusion
  • Uganda
  • developing countries


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