A systems thinking approach to value-added services adoption in national research and education networks

Kasandra Pillay, Louwrence Erasmus, Jan Harm Christiaan Pretorius

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The growing importance of advanced or value-added services (services over and above basic connectivity services) in national research and education networks (NRENs) is well understood in the research and education community. These services are made available to further distinguish and enhance national research and education networks' offerings from that of commercial internet service providers. Systems thinking allows a 'bigger view' of a situation to be analyzed. This paper presents a model that was developed, refined and validated using design science research methods and a systems thinking approach. The model is a causal diagram developed to enable the visualization of how factors in the NREN services adoption context are interrelated. The model was refined and validated with international NREN experts. As a result of the evaluation stage, a shared mental model and understanding of the NREN's advanced services delivery ecosystem was developed. The model can be used as a communication and decision-making tool to facilitate services adoption from NRENs to their research and education communities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of 2021 IEEE AFRICON, AFRICON 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781665419840
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2021
Event2021 IEEE AFRICON, AFRICON 2021 - Virtual, Arusha, Tanzania, United Republic of
Duration: 13 Sept 202115 Sept 2021

Publication series

NameIEEE AFRICON Conference
ISSN (Print)2153-0025
ISSN (Electronic)2153-0033


Conference2021 IEEE AFRICON, AFRICON 2021
Country/TerritoryTanzania, United Republic of
CityVirtual, Arusha


  • Advanced services
  • Causal diagram
  • Design science research
  • ICT service adoption
  • NREN
  • Services management
  • Value-added services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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