A model for representing the digital social connectivity of immigrant workers in South Africa

A model for representing the digital social connectivity of immigrant workers in South Africa.

Mudzunga Fhatuwani Steven
MSC in Computing

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Due to its relative economic growth and stability, South Africa attracts many people from different countries in search of employment. Once they have established themselves in South Africa, immigrant workers experience challenges in communicating with their family members in their countries of origin. The extent of the communication challenges are not known but some are related to resource constraints, restrictions in interaction and the limitation of options provided by social networks such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter. The constraint of these means of communication is that immigrant workers cannot be easily located and due to some technological restrictions, communication may not always reach the receiver on time. The aim of this research is to suggest a model of social connectivity between immigrant workers in South Africa and their family members in their countries of origin. The model of social connectivity can provide the basis for the development of an application that immigrant workers can install on mobile phones.

Keywords: Mobile app, Geolocation, immigrant workers and digital social connectivity.


Abstract 1
1.1 Research background and motivation 4
1.2 Problem statement 4
1.3 Research objectives 5
1.4 Research questions 6
1.5 Expected outcomes of the research 6
2.1 Development of communication and information technology 8
2.2 Mobile App 8
2.2.1 Tracking system 10
2.2.2 Geolocation 10
2.2.3 Chatting 10
2.3 Immigrant workers 10
2.4 Digital Social connectivity 12
2.6 Summary table of the literature review 13
2.6 Choice frame work and its application to social connectivity of immigrant workers in South Africa. 16
a. Dimension of choice 16
b. Agency 16
c. Development outcomes 17
3.1 Research method 17
3.1.1 Qualitative versus quantitative research approaches 17
3.1.2 Advantages of qualitative research 18
3.1.3 Disadvantages of qualitative research 18
2.2 Population and sample 18
3.2.1 Sampling Criteria 19
3.3 Data Collection 19
3.4 Instrument for data collection 19
3.5 Technique for data analysis 19
3.6 Deconstruction 20
3.7 Interpretation 20
3.8 Reconstruction 20
3.10 Self- determination 21
3.11 Anonymity and confidentiality 21
3.12 Informed consent 21
4. Flow chart 22
Conclusion 23


This research is conducted in the field of Information and Communication Technology. Its purpose is to suggest a model that represents a digital social connectivity between immigrant workers in South Africa and their family members in their respective countries of origin. The model is intended to enhance communication between immigrant workers and their family members. Immigrant workers and their family members will have an application installed on their mobile phones which will allow them to configure (customize) their application and to send their location to specified family members. The model is also expected to cater for mobile devices without data, as it is designed with an option of sending update without any data on the user’s devices. This study will be conducted within Sen’s capability approach operationalising framework which allows immigrant workers to choose the kind of application they want.
1.1 Research background and motivation

Communication between immigrant workers in South Africa and their family members in their countries of origin is a challenge. In the past years immigrant workers relied on post mails to communicate with their family members back in their countries. This mode of communication does not always reach its recipient on time (Faith, 2012). (Dekker & Engbersen (2014) reported that migrants are scared to move to another country where they do not have people they know. Migrant workers who relocated to South Africa face challenges of getting lost and of not seeing their family members anymore, hence the need for permanent communication with their family members. Personal computers, the Internet, and mobile phones are some of the means commonly used to enhance communication between immigrant workers and their family members back in their countries of origin (Wang & Wellman 2010). The above mentioned methods of communication are more expensive as compared to the proposed model.
1.2 Problem statement

Since the event of democracy, South Africa has attracted an increasing number of immigrants from different parts of the world. (Snyman, 2013) report that more than 10,000,000 people have immigrated to South Africa since 1994, and these figures increase by more than 5% every year. Different factors are associated with such exodus, including economic, political, and social motives, as most of the immigrants are from countries experiencing political and economically instability. The increasing number of immigrants in South Africa, however, is characterised by a range of challenges. Amongst these is the limited communication with family members in the countries, regardless of the availability of means of communication such as telephone and internet, due to the cost (Icrc & Policy-makers, n.d.). Recent studies have proven that most of the immigrants are unaccompanied by their relatives due to uncertainty to settle securely in their second country of choice (Es, Idemudia,William & Wyatt, 2013) . As far as communication between the immigrants and their relatives, the South African government experiences a lot of challenges in managing the social situation. For example, social services such as hospitals and home affairs offices are unable to get in touch with family members of the immigrants in case of death, serious illness or crime committed by an immigrant. The solution to such challenge is complex and multidimensional. It requires the use of an appropriate technological mechanism to facilitate communication between immigrants living in South Africa and their relevant family members. Several studies have been carried out to address and alleviate such (Icrc & Policy-makers, n.d.). Most of the investigations conducted so far focus on the diagnosis of immigration as social issue. Despite the high media attention that is given to immigrants living in South Africa Limited research is done in developing technical mechanisms that will facilitate social connectivity between immigrants living in South Africa and family members in other countries.
1.3 Research objectives

From the above problem statement and research background and motivation, the research objectives can be formulated in terms of general research objective and specific research objectives.
The main aim of this study is to suggest a model representing digital social connectivity between immigrant workers in South Africa and their family members in their respective countries. The specific objectives of the study are:
• To determine factors influencing the digital connectivity between immigrant workers in South Africa and their family members in the countries of origin.
• To identify challenges which constitute barriers in enhancing digital connectivity between immigrant workers in South Africa and their family members in the countries of origin;
• To improve the communication system between immigrant workers and their respective family member.

1.4 Research questions

To attain the above objectives, the research wants to answer the following questions.
Main research question:
• How can the digital social connectivity between immigrant workers and their respective family members in the countries of origin be conceptualised?
• What factors influence the digital connectivity of immigrants with their families?
• What are the challenges that constitute barriers in enhancing digital connectivity between immigrants in South Africa and their family members in the countries of origin?
1.5 Expected outcomes of the research

The worthiness of the study can be assessed in terms of the expected results from the perspective of the app user and from an Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) perspective. It is anticipated that the results of this study will benefit our understanding of immigrant workers in South Africa and eventually the immigrants by facilitating and enhancing connectivity with their family members in their countries of origin. This proposed model will allow future developments of mobile applications customised for the needs of immigrants. For example, to be configured to store cell phone numbers of immigrant workers’ family members so that it will be easier to get their real time location and ping the user of the app in order to view their current location

This study will focus on the immigrants who have relocated to South Africa with the aim of finding employment across all age groups. Although the study is concerned with immigrants living in South Africa, it will focus on immigrant workers who have arrived in South Africa since 2008. The choice of this time frame can be explained as follows: since 2008, South Africa has experienced a major problem of cohabitation between South African citizens and Non-South African citizen due, among other things, to the scarcity of resources (HSRC, 2008).

This chapter is concerned with the literature review. The aim of a literature review is to provide a background to a study by means of previous research and to acknowledge the work done by previous researchers in the subject under investigation. In this study, a literature review will be used to explore previous studies to which the development of social connectivity can be related.
To achieve its objectives, the chapter will present a short description of the key words involved in the study, namely communication and Information technology, Mobile app, Geolocation, immigrant workers, and digital social connectivity. By means of the existing literature review, the chapter further discusses a model for digital social connectivity between immigrant workers in South Africa and their family members in their countries of origin. Some techniques currently used by immigrant workers in the process of communicating with their family members in their countries of origin will also be addressed in the literature review. A summary of some of the sources explored throughout the literature will be presented in the form of a table. The chapter will end with a concluding section which summarises the main points discussed throughout the literature. In the conclusion, the study limitations will be presented and new perspectives for further research suggested.
2.1 Development of communication and information technology

Communication and information technology play a major role in development. Development is a broad concept which entails social, economic, political and human growth. According to Walsham (2017) ICT4D refers to information and communication technology in relationship to the role it plays in international development. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) focuses on the transformation and changes of the society through information technology. Currently ICT plays a major role in international development by implementing devices that people use to communicate with each other. Immigrants rely on mobile communication means to keep ties with their family members and friends from the country of origin (Bunmak 2012). Immigrants constitute a vulnerable population who have suffered from active and passive social exclusion (Sen, 2000). Active exclusion means that a person or group of people who have been excluded because of something being deliberately done to them. Passive exclusion occurs when deprivation happens due to a process which did not deliberately attempt to exclude a person or a group of persons from the society (Sen, 2000). For example, immigrants can be excluded from the process of communication due to a lack of resources to communicate. The deprivation of means of communication can provide a rationale to a study in understanding how digital social communication can be enhanced used available resources. Cell phones, for example, can be easy to use and affordable because it can be owned by lower income people. Immigrants can install the social media applications on their cell phones to connect with their families through social media networks. In the past years, immigrants used letters and package sent by mail to communicate with their families in their country of origin (Dekker ; Engbersen 2014). Nowadays immigrants are using social media platform to maintain strong ties with their family and friends in their native countries (Dekker ; Engbersen, 2014). Social media such as Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn and others help immigrants to communicate with their families and friends back in the country of origin but all those require data which has a cost implication. Digital communications are configured to run on the “Mobile app” installed on phones or computers.
2.2 Mobile App

The term “mobile app” is used interchangeably with the term “app”, which was initially called “mobile application” and refers to a software technology that runs on mobile phone, computers, tablet and other mobile devices ( Inukollu,Keshamoni,Kang, and Manikanta, 2014). Other sophisticated tracking systems such as global position system (GPS) and general packet radio service (GPRS) can be mentioned when referring to mobile applications and operating systems. Sharma ; Morwal, (2015) define global position system (GPS) as satellite navigation that resides on the space and provide real time tracking information anywhere on the earth. Kiattisin (2015) explored a real time vehicle tracking system which uses GPS modules to read the current location of vehicles and send it to microcontroller so that it can be connected to general packet radio services (GPRS) in order to display real time location. Hoq (2017) developed an application that can pinpoint the position of family and friends using GPRS. This application also has the functionality to send SMS to other people notifying them about the other person location. Jobe (2013) presents that native application support caching and users do not need data to connect to their application, user can work with the data offline.
Native apps are developed and compiled using the following programming languages: Java, javascripts, Ajax, html CSS. (Chaudhari et al. 2015) explore a mobile application that reads information from external news portal such as newspapers, and virtually community services. Once this application read news from the external portal mobile application user will be able to read the news from that mobile application. Ahmad, Riaz and Salman (2015) developed android application OS that pinpoints user location automatically and sends the current location to the selected number. The address is sent in the form of latitude and longitude which is then converted into a normal address (street name, street number, city and suburb). Furthermore, his Mobile app user can also press a panic button which will send the current location and SMS to police service.
Islam, Rashedul, Rofiqul, and Tahidul (2010) define mobile application as an application that is installed on a mobile device to perform certain task on a mobile device. Mobile app was further defined by Venkata, Divya , Taeghyun and Manikanta (2014) as an application designed to work on cell phones, tablet and other mobile devices. This study defines Mobile App as a special application designed to run on the mobile device with the purpose of situating immigrant workers’ current location (Geolocation) in South Africa, Tracking System and Chatting functionality which include Text, Video, Audio and Emoji.
2.2.1 Tracking system

Tracking system is a system that locate the item current location and movement without user intervention (Fernandes 2015). Chaudhari, Bohra, Karma & Dhupadale (2015) define tracking system a tracking person live location.This study define tracking as tracking immigrant workers current location with the use of geolocation functionality. Family and friends can use the tracking to views immigrant workers location when immigrant not communicating with their family members.

2.2.2 Geolocation

Geolocation is any position in the world that can be located by means of latitude and longitude (Soliman & Wheatley, 2002). Soliman & Wheatley (2002) defines Geolocation as Location base service (LBS) that answers the following questions “Where am I?”, where X is the target object, place, person and it also answers this question” how can I move from Point A to B ?”. Geo-Location in this study is referred to point in South Africa that can be located using the latitude and longitude to locate the immigrant workers location. Immigrant workers can also use the chatting functionality to communicate their location or social chats with their family and friends
2.2.3 Chatting

Zinkhan, Kwak, Morrison & Peters (2003) define chatting as a tool installed on mobile device that allow people to interact to each other online. Chatting help people to share messages any time at a low cost, example of chatting platform is WhatsApp (Castrillo, Martín-Monje, Martín, & Bárcena. 2014). This study define chatting as a functionality that allows immigrant workers to send and receive text, emoji audio and video using their mobile application.
2.3 Immigrant workers

When skilled or unskilled workers move from their country of origin to another country looking for work opportunities in order to provide for themselves or their families, they are considered as immigrant workers (Snyman, 2013). The concept immigrant worker is made out of two notions, namely “immigrant” and “workers”. UN (United Nations) (2002) apply the word immigrant to non-residents who have left their country of origin and have immigrated to another country with the aim of acquiring permanent or non-permanent resident status.
For James, Romine, & Zwanzig (1998), the words “immigrant” and “foreigner” can be used interchangeably. This view is shared by (Anderson & Blinder, 2015), who assert that the concepts immigrant and migrant as well as foreigner are used interchangeably by academic researchers and in public debates. This study will target immigrants with valid South African work permit and other relevant documents such as work permits. For the purpose of this study, the notions of immigrant workers will be applied to people who have left their countries of origin and moved to South Africa and have found employment in this country. The notion of immigrant workers will include workers with legal documents and legal work permits.
(Dekker & Engbersen 2012) found that immigrants are reluctant to move to another country where they do not have contacts or people they know. In the past years immigrants depended on mail to communicate with their family members in their native countries. Despite its low cost, this mode of communication is time consuming and the content of communication may delay before reaching the recipient or the receiver (Faith 2012). Another setback concerning mails is that some people cannot use them as they are illiterate. As a result confidentiality factor may be compromised since the intended recipient has to rely on other people who can help them understand the content of communication. Social media platform is cost effective and makes communication simple, quick, and reliable (Dekker & Engbersen 2012). Social media, however, also have some limitations. For example, some people do not have internet to connect to social media (Dekker & Engbersen 2012). Immigrant worker need to be connected with their family and friends to avoid being missing. The following are some of the reason why immigrant go missing:
Maintaining contact with families can be challenging especially when the immigrants do not have a means of communication to help them get in touch with their families. They get missing in a way that their remains will never be found by their families (Icrc & Policy-makers n.d.)
For every missing immigrant there is a family living not knowing that their family member is missing or not knowing that their relative are dead or still alive. Icrc & Policy-makers (n.d.) report that the suffering caused by immigrants going missing can be significantly minimized. The same organizations also suggest that working with authorities, communities, immigrants and families can prevent immigrants from being separated from the migratory routes and help immigrants and their families to restore contacts and facilitate communication between them as well as the relevant authorities.
2.4 Digital Social connectivity

Before defining the concept of digital social concavity it is important to describe the notion of social connectivity. Ways of communicating have significantly evolved to include the use of the internet which plays a major role in social life. The new ways of communication have since then affected sociability and people’s relationship. The use of face to face relationship or communication is also minimised because of the new ways of communicating involving the internet. This is referred to as digital communication (Long 2010).
Holmberg (2014) uses the concept “social connectivity” to refer to the use of electronic media, such as mobile devices, e-mails, and online social networks used by people, with the aim of connecting to one another with ease and without restrictions. For Holmberg (2014) social connections should not be restricted to a specific category of people. Having a close and positively experienced relationship with one another in the social world is the main rationale behind the establishment and use of social connectivity ( Seppala, Rossomando ; Doty, 2008). Wang ; Wellman (2010) report that people do not rely anymore on third parties to send or receive messages. They can use their personal computers, personal Internet accounts, and mobile phones to interact with one another. In this study, the concept “social connectivity” will refer to the process of communication aimed at keeping immigrant workers connected to their family members in their country of origin.
Digital connectivity is referred to when citizens communicate with each other online using chatting platform e.g. Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Gmail (Philip, Cottrill, Farrington, Williams ; Ashmore, 2017).
In the related literature review the concept of digital social connectivity has not yet been clearly investigated. This concept is derived from two well-known notions namely digital connectivity and social connectivity. In the context of this study digital social connectivity is defined as communication happening between immigrant workers and their family members and friends online using different social media platforms.
According to Ahmed and Ahmed (2016), digital communication has played a major role in social network . Digital communication has taken over face-to—face communication and most people never spend time together looking at each other’s face, they spend most of their times looking at tablets , cell phones and other communication devices (Drago 2013).
Digital connectivity was developed to connect the “Unconnected” (Friederici & Graham, 2017). Internet connectivity can be used interchangeably with digital connectivity because they all require internet connection. Digital connectivity happens through the following platforms: facebook, whatsApp, gmail, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter and many more. These platforms are installed on mobile phone using the Mobile app.
2.6 Summary table of the literature review

Source Study Description Purpose Results
Holmberg, L. 2014. Seeking Social Connectedness Online and Offline: does happiness require real contact? : DOI: diva2:736737. Retrieved on 25th April 2018. This study describes the nature of online and offline connectedness among young adults. It also examines the relationship between online and offline connectedness and happiness. The aim of the study is to understand the role played by online and offline connectedness in building social cohesion among young adults. The study found that 75.6 % of young adults use social networks on a daily basis to connect with their families and friends. The study also shows that young adults were happier about online social connectedness than with offline connectedness.
Dekker, R. & Engbersen, G. 2014. How social media transform migrant networks and facilitate migration. Global Networks, 52(4): 401 – 418. This paper assumes that social media are not only new communication channels in migration networks, but they also actively transform the nature of these networks and thereby facilitate migration. The purpose of the study is to explore the impact of social media in the process of transforming migrants’ networks and facilitating immigration.

The study found that social media are transforming migration networks and thereby lowering the threshold for migration.
Wang, H.,Wellman, B. 2010. Social connectivity in America: Changes in adult friendship network size from 2002 to 2007. American Behavioral Scientist, 53(8):1148 -1169. The paper investigated the concept of social connectivity in America and focused on changes that social connectivity may bring about in adult friendship network. The purpose of the study was to explore the use of Social connectivity in adults’ social network. The study findings revealed that the majority of those who took part in the research have built ties which they maintain and nurture on a daily basis. The study also revealed that friendship network size differs depending on the amount of time one spent on internet.
Thet, K. 2014. Pull and Push Factors of Migration: A Case Study in the Urban Area of Monywa Township. Myanmar. World of Statistics,1(4): 1 – 8 The study investigated factors know as Pull and Push Factors or factors regarded as cause of Migration. The aim of the paper is to address factors that push people to move from their countries of origin to another country. 90% of migrants migrated from different areas and the majority was having low level of education, was unemployed and they their age varied between 50 to 59 years.
Salman1, WH., Riaz, A., Salman, S. (2015). A research on mobile applications for location tracking through web server and short messages services (sms). VFAST
Transitions on Software Engineering.7 (2):12 – 17. This study explore the mobile application developed to track the current location and send the location to the number stored on the mobile application. This application also allow users to press panic button which will be sent to police. The aim is to be able to locate family and friend current location, and also allow mobile application to notify police and family when they are in danger. There are two type of application developed mobile app and web app. mobile application will require login and IME as part of registration. The application was successfully developed.
Long, S.M., 2010. Exploring Web 2 . 0?: The Impact of Digital Communications Technologies on Youth Relationships and Sociability. The study discusses the digital mobile application .digital connectivity allow people to get connected with seeing each other face to face. The aim of this study is to connect people worldwide without seeing each other. There are digital platform that people can use to get connected with their families and friends. People can connect other people from different areas using digital connectivity also known as internet connectivity.
Soliman, S.S. & Wheatley, C.E., 2002. Geolocation technologies and applications for third generation wireless. Wireless Communications and Mobile Computing, 2(3):229–251. The study explore the geolocation which allow mobile application to point immigrant workers current location. The use of this concept is to locate immigrant workers current location Locate the immigrant workers current location by immigrant workers family and friends

2.6 Choice frame work and its application to social connectivity of immigrant workers in South Africa.

This study will follow a qualitative approach guided by choice framework operationalizing Sen’s capability approach theory (Sen 2000) as its theoretical lens. Sen’s theory (Sen, 2000) is applicable since it goes beyond physical resources to consider capabilities and how this affects people from living the kind of life that they value. Here, digital social exclusion is capability depravation, whereas digital social connection is capability expansion. In this context, capability expansion is development.(Sargeant, 2012) describes a research design as the structure of research which is also known as the “Glue” which combines all elements in research and helps to plan the research project.
Choice framework consists of the following: Dimension of choice, agency, structure and development outcomes (primary and secondary) (Kleine, n.d.).
a. Dimension of choice

According to Alsop and Heinsohn’s Dimension of choice, choice must exist first, the structure and the resource must allow them to use choice that exist. In this study digital social connectivity is the choice that should first exist so that immigrant workers can use this choice .there are list of resources to support the choice that immigrant workers have made e.g. Immigrant workers use social resources (Facebook, whatsup, Gmail, LinkedIn and tweeter) need to communicate with their family and friends.
b. Agency

The study is about the immigrant workers in South Africa who need financial resources to keep connected with their families and friends. Their material resources is not enough to keep them in touch with their family members , however they need social resources in order to be connected with each other .the immigrant workers geographical resources play a major role connecting with their families.
c. Development outcomes

The primary development outcomes in this study is Digital social connectivity were as the secondary development outcomes are: easy to communicate, save money and easy to locate immigrant workers. The secondary choice is the immigrant workers choice depending on what they values in life.

Under this chapter, the study will discuss the research design which includes the research method, research population, Sample and sampling strategy, research instrument for data collection, technique for data analysis, and ethical considerations.

3.1 Research method

This study will follow qualitative research methods. According to Wasserman, Jasonada, Jeffrey, and Kenneth, (2013), qualitative research depends on observation and experience. Preconceived ideas are not supported in qualitative research. (Rahman, 2016) added that qualitative research can be any research that produces findings which do not depend on statistical procedures or anything that involves quantification. It can be referred to as individual lived experience, lives, behaviors, emotions and feelings. Anderson (2010) describes qualitative research as a research approach which is applicable to policymakers since it describes the setting of how the policies will be implemented.
3.1.1 Qualitative versus quantitative research approaches

In the past years debates and arguments have been happening concerning the suitability of choosing qualitative or quantitative research approach when conducting a research.(Robson, 2002) discovered that “there has been a paradigm war between constructivists and positivists”. These two concepts are two different notions which are incompatible to each other because they are used for different purpose and in different research approaches (Brannen, 2005) .
3.1.2 Advantages of qualitative research

Anderson (2010) lists the advantages of qualitative research as follows:
• Issue can be analysed in details;
• There are no specific questions when conducting interview, as it commonly uses open ended questions;
• The data the researcher collects are based on experience and this can be very useful since it is from experience;
• Usually data are gathered from few cases or individuals, hence we do not need large population to conclude on findings;
• The research framework and direction can be quickly revised as new information emerges.
3.1.3 Disadvantages of qualitative research

Anderson (2010) also provides some disadvantages of qualitative research as follows:

• Anonymity and confidentiality result in complications when presenting findings;
• Accuracy is more challenging to demonstrate, to maintain, and to assess;
• It is time consuming to conduct data analysis and interpretation;
• In scientific community qualitative approach is not accepted and well understood;
• In some instances, the researcher needs to be available during data gathering which sometimes makes interviewee reluctant to give information to the researcher;
• It is more difficult and time consuming to visualise findings;
• Research quality is heavily dependent on the individual skills of the researcher and more easily influenced by the researcher’s personal biases;
2.2 Population and sample

According to (Nath et al, n.d.) “Population in research refers to all components (individuals, objects and events) that meet the sample standard for inclusion in a research project”. In this study, the population will consist of all immigrants who moved to South Africa with the aim of finding work and who are effectively in the labour market. This study will also include immigrant workers with or without proper documentation or work permits.
This study will use sample methods with 10 subjects. (Teddlie, 2007) define sample as random elements taken from the total population aiming to find the average of the population sample it was taken from.
3.2.1 Sampling Criteria
The subjects selected to participate in this study must meet the following Requirements: Must be immigrant workers; Immigrant workers must be willing to participate; No gender and race restrictions; must be mentally fit; must be older than 18 years
3.3 Data Collection

Data collection is the process of gathering or collecting data while ensuring that data gathered is accurate and will also provide accurate results (Mala & Yogi 2011).This study will collect data through Interview and Observation to ensure that the data we receive is accurate. Data collector will require permission from Unisa to proceed with data collection.
3.4 Instrument for data collection

This study will use interview to collect data. The use of interview will help the research to get firsthand information from the participants who have knowledge and experience with the concept. Moreover (Castillo-Montoya, 2016) explore that Interview provide detailed qualitative data which help research with the full understanding of participants’ experience. Unstructured method will be used in this study because the main purpose of using qualitative research is to get quality responds from respondent based on their life experience (Moser ; Korstjens, 2017).
3.5 Technique for data analysis

Once the researcher completed the data collection process, data will need to be analyzed. This study will follow the qualitative analysis to interpret data collected through interview.
According to Sargeant (2012) qualitative analysis can be done using interpretive analysis which can be conducted in 3 stages: deconstruction, interpretation, and reconstruction.
3.6 Deconstruction

Deconstruction refers to breaking data into components parts to see the composition of data. This method is similar to content analysis technique. Following this technique, the researcher needs to do a lot of reading the interview and break down data into components parts or codes that describe the content.
3.7 Interpretation

“Techniques for interpreting data and findings include discussion and comparison of codes among research team members while purposefully looking for similarities and differences among themes, comparing findings with those of other studies, exploring theories which might explain relationships among themes, and exploring negative results (those that do not confirm the dominant themes) in more detail” (Sargeant, 2012).
3.8 Reconstruction

This is when the researcher recreates or rebuilds the important codes and themes in a way that presents the relationship and insight resulted in the interpretation phase and explains them in details in light of existing knowledge and theoretical perspective.
“Reconstruction requires contextualising the findings, i.e, positioning and framing them within existing theory, evidence, and practice” (Sargeant, 2012).
3.9 Ethical considerations

When conducting the research project it does not requires only skills and diligence, honesty and integrity should also be considered. The rights of human subject must be protected. To conduct research ethically the following must be taken into consideration: The rights to self- determination, anonymity and confidentiality, confidentiality and informed consent must be observed. Consent must be obtained from the subject before conducting the interviews. (Nijhawan, 2013) define Informed consent as an agreement between the subject and the research after the subject fully understand the information about the study. The subjects will be informed that if they feel like they do not want to proceed with the interview they are allowed to withdraw to participate without penalty. Researcher will also reveal to the participants the importance and the purpose of the study. Furthermore, the researcher will also assure to participants that there are no potential risks or costs involved.
3.10 Self- determination

The participant has rights to choose to participate through the process of data collection. Participants approached by the researcher are expected to participate at no cost. During the interview, the interviewer will ask permission to record the interview when necessary (Dasgupta et al, 1993).
3.11 Anonymity and confidentiality

According to (Saunders et al, 2015) ‘Anonymity’ is the term which is used interchangeably with the term ‘confidentiality’, moreover ‘confidentiality’ is defined as all information that are kept hidden from everyone and are only used to serve its purpose. This study will not reveal the participants to second party and all information will be kept private and confidential.
3.12 Informed consent

Participants will have voluntary agreement to participate in a research (Nijhawan, 2013). The researcher will explain all the process which will be used to collect data. From the information given by the researcher, potential participants can decide if they want to voluntarily take part in the research. If participants want to withdraw from participating, they will be allowed with no cost and negative impact on them.

4. Flow chart


The purpose of this research proposal is to suggest a model representing digital social connectivity for immigrant workers in South Africa. The research has presented a study background, rationale and a literature review on digital social connectivity and proposed Sen’s Capability approach as a theoretical lens which guides the study in looking beyond physical access to consider a broader view of exclusion. Capabilities are properties of individuals and not a community, that is useful in this context where the immigrants come from different communities but it may be useful to consider community needs if the demographic profile allows that. The interviews will help the researcher to get firsthand information from the participants who have knowledge and experience of the context and the issues under investigation. The researcher anticipates that the research findings will provide an improved understanding of digital social connectivity for immigrant workers in South Africa. That can be useful in assisting immigrant workers in South Africa to easily communicate with their family members from their countries of origin through the use of a mobile app. The South African government and other social services can also use the research findings to locate immigrant workers and to share relevant information with their family members in their countries of origin. South African government, through the departments of home affairs, social development, and the department of health can also benefit from the research findings. For example, using this app, these departments may contact the family of an immigrant worker in case of social or health-related need.


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