Status of digitization process in selected institutions of Ethiopia: A baseline stakeholders’ analysis survey report
AbstractThe survey paper made an effort to analyze the status of digitization process in selected institutions of Addis Ababa city, Ethiopia, February 2009. The focal objective of the survey was to identify the scope, current practices, development endeavors and future considerations of digitization of records or archival materials in Ethiopian organizations. Data was collected from selected 27 (90%) institutions and analyzed. The
study applied survey method using instruments like questionnaire and literature study. In the process of identifying the status, progress, prospects and challenges to digitization and form the basis of providing future roadmap to successful execution of digitization projects, the result of the survey uncovered that there are gaps contributing to compromised digitization activities, questioning its futurity. It has also confirmed findings that uncertain needs, lack of awareness, unproved project executions, resistance to transition from traditional systems, intellectual property issues, the impact of organizational dynamics, the failure of organizations to gear up digitization projects,resources inadequacy, poor long-term planning, the need for management systems, unanticipated costs of technology resources, difficulties in moving into an international
arena, lack of clarity in interpreting the digital world and the like are factors affecting the digitization issues in the country. Let alone digitization of records, records/archives of originals lack clearly defined preservation management system. More than half 16 (59%) of surveyed institutions reported that there is no mechanism yet implemented for original record preservation management. Nonetheless, an in-house digitization
initiative of records/archive services was the most likely, positively considered future option by the largest number of institutions 24 (88.8%) and from which 14 (51.8%) believed that original record/archives preservation is one of the major criteria and driving force for digitization. Original record/archives digitization should be supported by a defined standard that ensures access, retrieval, interoperability and preservation. In this regard only 10 (37%) institutions of the survey expresses that they did take digitization standard into account and the rest have got no idea about the need for the standard itself. All in-house implementations were conducted exclusive of guidelines; accordingly 20 (74%) respondents confirmed that their digitization activities are on the way in the absence of implementation guideline. Moreover, Ethiopian records/archives
digitization efforts are moving forward with out national strategy.