Ph.D. research proposal

Title of the research

The topic of the research is “to evaluate the role of digital media and Communications in poverty alleviation in context to Nigeria.”

Introduction (background and how proposal is organized)

In this technology based era, digital communication has widely spread in different countries across the world that interconnects people to each other regardless geographical boundaries. Many countries are emphasizing the extension of telecommunications services to enhance the economic and social growth and alleviate poverty (Jensen, 2013). It is because digital media and communication help to connect people from rural areas and provide benefits to rural communities by improving their lives and livelihoods. In context to Nigeria, it is observed that in today’s economy, Nigeria is one o the leading telecom markets all over Africa which attracts large number of foreign investors.  In addition, there are large number of agencies, government bodies and private who are focusing on improving the poverty and overcoming the economic conditions effectively by managing the introducing new policies and guidelines for the below poverty line people.

Digital media and communications provide opportunities poor people to do business. Explosive growth in affordability and availability of the internet and mobile phones and communication services has made it easy to provide better business and job opportunities to poor people to grow their earnings and enhance the living standard (Park, 2012). There is a significant correlation between the GDP per capita and digital communication penetration as this media helps to provide several benefits like education and health information, social cohesion, disaster relief, etc. that contribute to a reduction in poverty. Similarly, in Nigeria, GDP growth rate is low which is not efficient to improve and develop economy situation. While studying, it is found that government of Nigeria and other country developed policies with the help of Human Rights Council and African Council (Human Rights Watch, 2017). On the other hand, UK country took step to support the Nigeria in terms of financial support by providing them donation of about $8.4 million. Furthermore, digital media and communication can empower the poor by increasing their access to the government services resulting in poverty alleviation.

According to the World Bank Group, in 2013, the livelihood of 10.7% of the world’s population was less than US$1.90 per day as compared to 12.4% in 2012 and 35% in 1990. It means there is a decrease from 881 million living on less than $1.90 a day in 2012 to 767 million in 2013 and 1.85 billion in 1990. It shows that poverty rate declined in all regions of the world. At the same time, in Nigeria, it is found that the poverty rate is very high in earlier times i.e., 60.9% in year 2010 because there are 100 million people who are living less than $1 per day which is very low in terms of economic growth. But on the other hand, when a digital media and communication service enters into the market of Nigeria, it is observed that there is change in poverty ratio which is declining. In year 2017, Nigeria has increased its growth rate by 25% due to increase in flow of digital communication services and media.

This research endeavors to examine the role of digital media and communications in poverty reduction especially in rural poor. This proposal is aimed to provide an overview of the research related to the role of digital media and communications in poverty alleviation. It is organized in a background, literature review, research methodology, aims, and objectives.

Research Justification

This research will be beneficial for identifying and understanding the importance of digital media and communication services which are made available to people at different geographical areas. Reduction in an alleviation of poverty is an organized effort of digital telecommunication and media services which used effective communication processes in emerging areas so that social and economic conditions get improved (Mansell and Ang, 2015). This research topic will help in developing academic purpose and conceptual knowledge to large extent as this proposal will help researcher by assisting in identifying importance of digital media and communication services which will result in completion of research. At the same time, this research helps in identifying and understanding the economic condition as well as importance of digital media and communication in Nigeria. In addition, this research study will enhance the knowledge about effective digital media and communication activities that adds value or contribution in an improvement of poor people condition to a develop living standards through targeting below poverty people with their effective and best digital communication services. Digital media and communication is playing significant role in development of economic as they are focusing on development of economy by providing their service support to government activities which are taken place to improve poor people conditions or other social conditions (Servaes and Lie, 2015). In context to it, government of Nigeria got support from other countries in terms of digital media and communication so that poverty line gets reduced and GDP growth rate. At the same time, this research proposal outlines the factors which are getting influenced by the digital media and communication services in order to alleviate the poverty condition in the economy. This research study will also assist and justify the further study by developing the ability and capability of researcher in respect to understand and analyse this particular research topic with different perspective.

Literature Review

Digital telecommunication services are supported by different developing country government and by agencies in order to extend the digital communication services to rural areas. According to Jensen (2013), digital media and communication is providing their services to rural and poverty areas in order to alleviate poverty and develop and encourage social and economic development. The importance of digital media and communication is very high in terms of development and improvement in sustainable poverty alleviation and economic conditions. In supporting to this, Chinapah and Odero (2017) added his view point by stating that information and communication technology are very necessary requirement in today’s developing economy as this development of technologies leads to increase in economic opportunities as well as provides with direct & indirect benefits to the rural areas people efficiently. Servaes and Lie (2015) elaborated the importance of digital communication services by stating that by providing basic telecommunication services in rural areas where poor people are living in can result in the poverty eradication.  In oppose to it, Park (2012) depicted that providing digital media and communication service is very difficult because there is need of training which is required to be provided to poor people so that they learn the usage and benefits of communication services. In supporting this statement, Fox (2016) clarified that development of economic and social condition of poor people highly depends on the availability, affordability of communication services at a vulnerable situations so that it leads to reduction in poverty.  On the other hand, Sarkar (2012) explained that new digital media and communication technology are supporting people in developing their understanding related to economic, social and environmental issues.  In addition, Mansell and Ang (2015) illustrated that new media and social communication services are developing employment opportunities for the poor people in order to enhance their living standards and their income condition. This significant opportunity for poor people helps in reducing poverty issues as well as will also supports the poor people to understand the importance of digital media and communication in today’s economy. In simple words, development in new technologies of digital media and communication will lead to reduction poverty situation and improvement in economic and social growth. From the research study of Mansell (2014), reduction of poverty has transformed with the growth in digital media and communication services which are made available at vulnerable areas of people. This transformation led to sustainable development and change in economic condition and increase in GDP rate and employment rate.

Aims and Objectives

The main aim of this research proposal is to identify and understand the importance of digital telecommunication services in regards to an alleviation of poverty in best possible manner. So, to achieve this objective, following objective will help in accomplishing this research study:

  • To examine the factors of telecommunications that influenced on the poverty reduction: In context of Nigeria
  • To evaluate the significance of digital media and communication in reduction of poverty: In context of Nigeria
  • To recommend the ways to enhance the effectiveness of digital media and communication in poverty alleviation : In context of Nigeria


Research method

The aim of this research study is to identify and understand the importance of digital media and communication by examining the factors which create influence on poverty alleviation. In research methodology, there are three research methods such as qualitative, quantitative and mixed research method from which the researcher will use the quantitative method for this research study (Cohen, et al., 2013). The quantitative research method is best effective as it will help the researcher is developing the knowledge by understanding the research issues in an efficient manner.

Data collection method

Data collection method is widely used a systematic method for collecting data for research purpose. The data collection method involves two data collection method such as primary data and secondary data.  For research, the researcher will use primary data collection method, in which questionnaire will help the researcher to collect accurate data from different respondents including marketing persons of telecommunication companies in Nigeria (Rhodes, et al., 2014).  The quantitative data collected related to global poverty will help the researcher in determining and evaluating the digital media and communication growth.

Data analysis method

In a research study, there will be a need to evaluate the data or information that is collected with the help of different sources by the researchers in order to accomplish research objective efficiently. The use of statistical data analysis will help the researcher in using the regression and correlation method so that researcher will able to achieve the valid result (Thomson and Emery, 2014). The data analysis will also help in determining the digital media growth in respect of poverty reduction in Nigeria by using the best effective analysis method which will support the researcher in doing an in-depth analysis of dependent and independent variables. The use of analysis method will assist the researcher in reaching to a valid and accurate outcome which will define the validity of the research data.


In this research study, the researcher will contribute to a large extent as he will identify the importance and factors which influence on the poverty eradication. The research findings will be used by researchers in the further research study will enhance the understanding as well as conceptual knowledge about the need of digital media and communication.

Time Scale

Area of Work/Weeks 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Starting of the research
Meeting with managers for discussion and get Feedbacks
Reading of research background
Critical analysis of Literature Review
Identification of Gap and Conduct Survey Prepare the Questionnaire
Data analysis and report writing


Chinapah, V. and Odero, J. O. (2017) Towards Inclusive, Quality ICT-Based Learning for Rural Transformation. Journal of Education and Research, 5, pp. 107-125.

Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (2013) Research methods in education. UK: Routledge.

Fox, L. (2016) Hardship in the headlines: global poverty and neocolonialism in western news media. Media & Jornalismo, 16(29), pp. 191-200.

Human Rights Watch (2017) Nigeria Events of 2016. [Online] Available at: (Accessed: 13th June, 2017).

Jensen, K. B. (2013) A handbook of media and communication research: Qualitative and quantitative methodologies. UK: Routledge.

Mansell, R. (2014) Power and interests in information and communication and development: Exogenous and endogenous discourses in contention. Journal of international development, 26(1), pp. 109-127.

Mansell, R. and Ang, P. H. (2015) Introduction to the international encyclopedia of digital communication and society (Vol. 1). Wiley-Blackwell.

Park, S. (2012) Dimensions of digital media literacy and the relationship with social exclusion. Media International Australia, 142(1), pp. 87-100.

Rhodes, J. D., Upshaw, C. R., Harris, C. B., Meehan, C. M., Walling, D. A., Navrátil, P. A. and Kumar, H. (2014). Experimental and data collection methods for a large-scale smart grid deployment: Methods and first results. Energy, 65, pp. 462-471.

Sarkar, S. (2012) The role of information and communication technology (ICT) in higher education for the 21st century. Science, 1(1), pp. 30-41.

Servaes, J. and Lie, R. (2015) New challenges for communication for sustainable development and social change: A review essay. Journal of Multicultural Discourses, 10(1), pp. 124-148.

Thomson, R. E. and Emery, W. J. (2014) Data analysis methods in physical oceanography. USA: Newnes.

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