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Uses of ICTs for Development. Devyani Mani, UNCRD. Is there sufficient knowledge on ICTs for Development?. Focus on need for incorporation of ICTs but… Limited documentation of best practices Documentation does not include political, cultural, and social concerns. ICTs and Human Security.

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uses of icts for development

Uses of ICTs for Development

Devyani Mani, UNCRD

is there sufficient knowledge on icts for development
Is there sufficient knowledge on ICTs for Development?
  • Focus on need for incorporation of ICTs but…
  • Limited documentation of best practices
  • Documentation does not include political, cultural, and social concerns
icts and human security
ICTs and Human Security
  • Economic development of poor communities
  • Social development, empowerment, and social capital
  • Environmental management
  • Cultural preservation
  • Accountability and good governance
economic development of poor
Economic development of poor
  • Creation of new economic activities and opportunities
  • Increasing efficiency in existing activities
    • Productivity
    • Access to markets
    • E-commerce
constraints in using icts for the poor
Constraints in using ICTs for the Poor
  • Heeks:
    • Source proximity
    • Trust
    • Knowledge
    • Confidence and security
what do the poor need
What do the poor need?
  • Ability to assess and apply information
  • Locally relevant information
  • ICTs to give them voice
  • Intelligent and dedicated intermediaries
    • Poor and development agents, markets
  • Community intermediaries
  • Control over technology
social development
Social development
  • Education
    • Teachers vs. computers
    • Topic-specific education
    • Adult education
    • Radio, TV
  • Health
    • Health related information dissemination
impacts on women
Impacts on Women
  • Access to information for empowerment and participation in economic, community, and household activities
  • Grameen mobile phones
  • Women as sources of information
  • Child care, crops, nutrition, local indigenous medicine
empowerment and social capital
Empowerment and Social Capital
  • Strengthening of communities for participation in development
  • Liberation of marginalized groups
  • Linking diverse communities (bridging)
  • Linking communities with government (linking)
environmental management
Environmental Management
  • Natural resources management
  • Disaster mitigation
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Information dissemination
  • Communication between stakeholders
cultural preservation
Cultural Preservation
  • Cultural heritage and diversity
  • Fundamentalism and ethnocentricity
good governance transparency and accountability
Good governance, transparency, and accountability
  • “The right to information has often been described as one of the most effective tools in the hands of citizens not only to fight corruption and the arbitrary exercise of power in the structures of government, but also to participate in governance.”
good governance
Good governance
  • Efficiency
  • Decision-making
  • Coordination
  • Information dissemination
  • Multi-stakeholder participation
  • Reduced corruption
risks in using icts for improving governance and service delivery
Risks in using ICTs for improving governance and service delivery
  • Acceptance of concerned agency
  • Reform agenda
  • Identification of information systems requirements
  • Evolutionary approach
  • Prioritization
  • Consultation and participation of stakeholders
two best practices
Two best practices
  • Gyandoot, Dhar District, Madhya Pradesh, India
    • Initiated 2000
    • Stockholm Challenge Award 2000
  • Village Knowledge Centres, Pondicherry, India
    • Initiated 1998
    • Stockholm Challenge Award 2001
icts for the rural poor
ICTs for the rural poor:
  • Increase economic activity
  • Provide social services
  • Empowerment
  • Both best practices have been replicated successfully throughout their regions
the gyandoot project
The Gyandoot Project
  • Aim: Establishment of
    • Community owned
    • Innovative and
    • Sustainable IT project
    • In a very poor and backward area (income < US$ 250/year).
  • Social and economic development needs
  • E-governance, e-commerce, e-education
information demand from villagers
Information Demand from Villagers
  • Participatory Rural Appraisals Results
    • Information on agricultural produce auction rates
    • Land records
    • Complaints and redressal – government services
services provided
Services provided
  • Agriculture produce auction centres
  • Copies of land records
  • On-line registration of applications
  • On-line public grievance redressal
  • Information on government programmes
  • Rural e-mail
  • Village auction
  • On-line matrimonial site
  • Ask the expert
  • Free e-mail facility on social issues
project reach
Project Reach
  • 31 village information kiosks
  • Covering > 600 villages (1 kiosk for 25-30 villages)
  • Population 500,000 people (60% poor)
  • Kiosks are located in village committee buildings, schools, or markets
mode of operation
Mode of Operation
  • Operator – Soochak
  • Selected by village committee and local community after preliminary training
  • Soochak is trained by District Council
  • The kiosk is run on commercial lines
  • Soochak is an entrepreneur and earns from user charges
  • 10% of income is commission to District for maintenance of network
setting up a kiosk
Setting up a kiosk
  • Cost of a kiosk US$ 1500
    • Private investment
    • Bank loan
    • Community
  • Entrepreneur pays US$ 100/year as license fees
  • Operational cost US$ 20 per month
  • Recovery from user fees
  • Income > US$ 800/ year
funding of project
Funding of Project
  • Network Cost US$ 55,000
  • No burden on government
  • Sources of project funding
    • Private investment
    • Village Committee
    • Community
  • Role of kiosk manager
    • Familiarize users with the technology;
    • Manage the kiosk; and
    • Collect and send feedback from the user to the main office at the district level that develops the content of the system.
  • Empowerment with information
  • Accountability and transparency in government
  • Resistance overcome by people’s demand
issues to be overcome
Issues to be overcome
  • Low participation of women
  • Low community involvement in content creation
  • Need for multimedia content
  • High dependence on kiosk managers
  • Increasing usage of systems
    • Number of users
    • Number of uses
village knowledge centres
Village Knowledge Centres
  • Initiated by an NGO
  • Initial 10 telecentres established with donations from private group in Japan and Motorola Corporation
  • Adopted by Union Territory Government for replication in all villages in jurisdiction
  • Pro-poor, pro-women, pro-environment
  • Community ownership of technology
  • Collective action
  • Local knowledge with value addition by experts
  • Demand-driven content
  • 50% of population in this area poor (income < US$25/month)
  • Agricultural inputs- and outputs-related
  • Market information
  • Entitlements
  • Healthcare
  • Livestock care
  • Transport information
  • Weather
  • Information gathered by local people, mostly women and fed into the intranet
  • Value addition to raw information by local volunteers
  • Content in local language and multimedia
  • All volunteers are trained
  • Active participation of villagers
  • Culture-specific aspects
issues to be overcome1
Issues to be overcome
  • Financial sustainability
  • Introduction of user charges
  • Increasing usage of systems
    • Number of users
    • Number of uses
  • Connection to government machinery
    • Efficiency of Service Delivery and Accountability