Developing Understanding of the impact of technologies on the nature and production of records

Vusi Tsabedze

Archives and records management (ARM) education is not yet established in Eswatini (previously known as Swaziland). As a result, organizations in Eswatini either send their information management/ records management staff to neighboring countries such as South Africa, Botswana and Namibia for training, or engage external consultants to conduct in-house training. Sending employees out of the country for training is expensive for organizations and it also paralyses operations during the absence of these staff members. Furthermore, in-house training does not address the in-depth needs and requirements of ARM due to time limitations. In light of this the University of Eswatini has recently introduced a BSc in information science to address these challenges. In 2020 one of my responsibilities as a lecturer for the programme was to develop course content that is relevant and addresses the challenges of the ARM industry. The DRCP course material has helped me to develop modules/ units that will help students to understand the impact of technologies on the nature and production of records and on records management as well as the preservation of digital archives and planning a digital records programme in a low- resource environment. I strongly believe that DRCP material was even more relevant to the modules that I have developed since the government of Eswatini is embarking on e-government and rolling out the electronic document records management system (EDRMS). There is, however, need to pay special attention to digital preservation. This is so because digital transactions carried out through e-government applications produce e-records whose quality and integrity need to be preserved in order to ensure that they remain accessible to users for a long time and for future generations.