ICT in Agriculture, the e-Sourcebook

Title: ICT in Agriculture, the e-Sourcebook
Source: www.e-agriculture.org
Publisher: The World Bank Group
Date (published): November 2011
Date (accessed): 09/11/2011
Type of information: website
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML and pdf)
"Realizing the profound potential of information and communication technologies in developing country agriculture, the Agriculture and Rural Development Department (ARD) of the World Bank in collaboration with infoDev (part of the World Bank Group) embarked in an effort to explore and capture the expanding knowledge and use of ICT tools in agrarian livelihoods. In November 2011, the World Bank released an electronic Sourcebook (e-Sourcebook) to initiate further (and better) investment in this sector. Called “ICT in Agriculture”, the e-Sourcebook provides practitioners within and outside of the World Bank Group with lessons learned, guiding principles, and hundreds of examples and case studies on applying information and communication technologies in poor agriculture.

The e-Sourcebook and website was made possible through theCreating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy program and generous funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland. Authors, reviewers, and other experts in agriculture and information and communication technology (ICT) contributed to the content, and also framed the long-term discussion on using information and communication devices in poor rural areas. This discussion—which motivates this website—is critical to understanding the impacts of ICT on agriculture and smallholder livelihoods. It is also critical to creating sustainable interventions as well as business models that will support the martialing forward of agriculture projects and investments that use ICT.

The website is managed by a collaborative group in ARD and infoDev. Intending to engage with other practitioners, the website offers opportunities for interaction with other interested persons—public and private—working in agriculture and/or ICT. Please explore the website and contribute to it where requested. Innovative applications, media, and updates on on-going projects are only some of the features this site hosts.

The e-Sourcebook is provided fully and freely on this website. Fifteen modules touch on a wide spectrum of sub-fields in agriculture, including risk management, gender, forest governance, and farmers organizations. The Introduction (Module 1) introduces users to the ‘ICT in agriculture’ topic, offering key themes throughout the sourcebook as well as more details on how to use it.

Each module is stand-alone in format, providing users with the advantage of selecting the module or modules closest to their interest or work. The modules are delivered both in html and pdf format. The pdf format can be downloaded and printed. The full book can also be downloaded. In this version, hyperlinks between modules are included to promote cross-referencing throughout the Sourcebook.

If you have any further questions on the e-Sourcebook or website, please contact us. Please also note that the sourcebook is not available in print."

Human–Computer Interaction and Global Development

Title: Human–Computer Interaction and Global Development
Author: Kentaro Toyama
Pages: 81 pp.
Source: Foundations and Trends in Human–Computer Interaction Vol. 4, No. 1 (2010) 1–79
Doi: 10.1561/1100000021
Date (published): 13/11/2010
Date (accessed): 09/11/2011
Type of information: research report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
"International development is concerned with making life better for the least privileged people of the world. Since the 1990s, HCI has engaged increasingly with development through an interdisciplinary field known as “information and communication technologies for development,” or ICT4D. This article overviews the historical relationship between HCI and international development, compares their disciplinary approaches, and suggests that both sides would gain from ongoing interaction. Inter- national development could benefit from HCI’s broad methodological tools, which include qualitative and quantitative research methods, design through iterative prototyping, and reflective inquiry. HCI could benefit from international development’s exposure to a broader base of cultures, sectors, and concerns. These issues are discussed with specific examples from published papers and several well-known projects that apply HCI to development. Finally, future directions for an ongoing collaboration between HCI and development are also indicated."

Public library in Chile links farmers to knowledge with ICT

Title: Public library in Chile links farmers to knowledge with ICT
Pages: 2 pp.
Publisher: EIFL’s Public Library Innovation Programme (PLIP)
Date (published): 28/07/2011
Date (accessed): 09/11/2011
Type of information: Impact Case Study
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
"EIFL’s Public Library Innovation Programme (PLIP) supports libraries to implement community development projects. In May 2010 PLIP supported with a grant the ‘Communicating Farmers’ service of the Panguipulli Public Library in Chile. Already after one year, the project booked remarkable results.

Farmers were not coming to the library
The Roads to the rural areas around Panguipulli (Chile) are poor and the climate is harsh. As a result, farming communities have lived in isolation with limited access to information about modern farming methods. Farmers were not coming to the library, and Panguipulli Public Library wanted to reach out to them. They saw a solution in ICT, including the Internet, radio and mobile phones.

Mobile laboratory with ICT travelling the Andes
With EIFL-PLIP support, the library equipped a mobile laboratory with ICT and travelled to the peaks and valleys of the Andes mountains to reach remote farming communities.

The library trained 201 farmers, mostly women, in online research and social networking skills. They also connected farmers to an online market, increased the library’s stocks of books and journals on agriculture, and hosted lectures on farming methods.

The library, working with partner agencies, also reached the farmers through local radio. Fifteen programmes on different farming topics were broadcast on a community radio station. In addition, the new service is testing the effectiveness of using mobile phones to reach farmers with news and information.

Strong platform to serve farmers
Future support for the project will come from the Municipality of Panguipulli, local government agriculture support agencies and non-governmental organizations. Panguipulli Public Library has built a strong platform to serve farmers.
via e-agriculture"

The Economic Impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on Microenterprises in the Context of Development

Title: The Economic Impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on Microenterprises in the Context of Development
Authors: Chew, H. E.; Vigneswara Ilavarasan, P.; Levy , M. R.
Pages: 19 pp.
ISSN: 1681-4835
Source: Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, (2010) 44, 4, 1-19
Publisher: www.ejisdc.org
Date (published): 06/10/2010
Date (accessed): 09/11/2011
Type of information: research paper
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
"This paper investigates the impact of information and communication technologies, especially landline and mobile phones, computers, and Internet cafés in facilitating economic growth in the developing world. Data on access to ICTs, as well as business-relevant behaviors and attitudes, was collected by a multi-stage probability sample of women microentrepreneurs in Mumbai, India. Main findings include evidence that in urban microenterprises owned by women, business growth is a function of ICT access and is related to motivation to use ICTs for business purposes; and that the more positive a woman microentrepreneur feels about her status and power because of her business, the more she will be motivated to use ICTs in support of her business. Implications for the study of digital divides and strategies for studies of communication and technology more generally are considered."

UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Version 2.0

Title: UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Version 2.0
Pages: 94 pp.
Publisher: UNESCO
Date (published): 27/10/2011
Date (accessed): 09/11/2011
Type of information: educational report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
"Two decades after the first mainstream rollout of computers in schools we have learned many significant lessons about ICT in Education and their potential transforming impact on national education systems. Yet, countries around the world face urgent challenges in this respect due to the rapid development of technologies, the required financial investments and the need to have a clear vision of the role that teachers have to play in harnessing the power of ICT in the classroom and beyond.

One key lesson is to acknowledge the many facets that ICT in Education policies have to tackle such as teacher competencies, learning materials, ICT equipment, student and teacher motivation, as well as the linkages to other areas of national policy and socio-economic development. Adopting a cross-sectoral approach through an ICT in Education Master Plan can help countries to successfully address all relevant dimensions.

In this context, the ICT Competency Framework for Teachers is aimed at helping countries to develop comprehensive national teacher ICT competency policies and standards, and should be seen as an important component of an overall ICT in Education Master Plan.

The current version of the ICT Competency Framework for Teachers is a 2011 update of the original version published in 2008, and is the result of the successful continued partnership between UNESCO and CISCO, INTEL, ISTE and Microsoft. In this version, the Framework has been enriched on the basis of feedback from subject matter experts and users worldwide, and enhanced with the inclusion of example syllabi and exam specifications for Technology Literacy and Knowledge Deepening. UNESCO and its partners aim to update this document on a regular basis, and we welcome feedback on the application of this ICT Competency Framework for Teachers at the email address: ICT-CFT@unesco.org.

UNESCO’s Framework emphasizes that it is not enough for teachers to have ICT competencies and be able to teach them to their students. Teachers need to be able to help the students become collaborative, problem- solving, creative learners through using ICT so they will be effective citizens and members of the workforce. The Framework therefore addresses all aspects of a teacher’s work:

The Framework is arranged in three different approaches to teaching (three successive stages of a teacher’s development). The first is Technology Literacy, enabling students to use ICT in order to learn more efficiently. The second is Knowledge Deepening, enabling students to acquire in-depth knowledge of their school subjects and apply it to complex, real-world problems. The third is Knowledge Creation, enabling students, citizens and the workforce they become, to create the new knowledge required for more harmonious, fulfilling and prosperous societies."

The World in 2011: ICT Facts and Figures

Title: The World in 2011: ICT Facts and Figures
Pages: 8 pp.
Publisher: ITU
Date (published): 25/10/2011
Date (accessed): 04/11/2011
Type of information: mini-report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
"ITU took the occasion to unveil a new mini-report, The World in 2011, which reveals impressive growth in areas such as global Internet use, particularly in developing countries. The publication confirms that ICT growth continues apace, with close to six billion mobile cellular subscriptions forecast by the end of 2011, and around 2.3 billion people using the Internet.
Growth is fastest in the developing world, and amongst the young, with almost half the world’s online population now under 25 years old. That number should continue to increase steadily as Internet penetration continues to grow in schools.

The developing world’s share of the world’s total Internet users has grown from 44% five years ago, to 62% today. Global Internet penetration has grown by over 50% in three years – from 13% in 2008 to 20% in 2011.

The new ITU figures provide a quick snapshot of broadband deployment worldwide, revealing gaping disparities in high-speed access. While international Internet bandwidth has grown from 11,000 Gbps in 2006 to close to 80,000 Gbps in 2011, Europeans enjoy on average almost 90’000 bps of bandwidth per user compared to Internet users in Africa, who are limited to 2,000 bps per user.

The report shows that the world’s top broadband economies are all located in Europe, Asia and the Pacific. In the Republic of Korea, mobile broadband penetration now exceeds 90%, with nearly all fixed broadband connections providing speeds equal to or above 10 Mbps. In comparison, broadband users in countries such as Ghana, Mongolia, Oman and Venezuela are limited to broadband speeds below 2 Mbps."

The Information Economy Report 2011: ICTs as an Enabler for Private Sector Development

Title: The Information Economy Report 2011: ICTs as an Enabler for Private Sector Development
Pages: 166 pp.
ISBN: 978-92-1-112833-8
e-ISBN: 978-92-1-055120-5
ISSN: 2075-4396
Publisher: UNCTAD
Date (published): 19/10/2011
Date (accessed): 04/11/2011
Type of information: report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
"The Information Economy Report 2011: ICTs as an Enabler for Private Sector Development (PSD) is the sixth in the flagship series published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

The Report shows that the potential of leveraging information and communication technologies (ICTs) to develop the private sector is far from fully exploited. It finds that many national and donor strategies related to PSD currently fail to take adequate account of the ICT potential, which has greatly expanded thanks to changes in the global ICT landscape. The Report then makes policy recommendations on how to remedy this situation.

The Information Economy Report 2011 identifies four facets of the ICT-PSD interface and argues that policy interventions should take into account this holistic approach.

* ICT infrastructure as a factor in the investment climate.
* ICT use as a factor to improve the performance of the private sector.
* The ICT producing sector as a strategic component of the private sector.
* ICT use as a component of interventions aimed at facilitating PSD.

In these areas, UNCTAD makes several policy recommendations, such as:
* To take a comprehensive and systematic approach when integrating the ICT dimension into PSD strategies in developing countries.
* To continue to extend affordable and relevant connectivity to locations with poor ICT infrastructure.
* To adopt regulatory frameworks aiming to improve confidence in the use of technologies and their applications.
* To include ICT modules in business skills´ training programmes.
* To harness mobile money services to meet the needs of MSEs and to make financial markets more inclusive.
* To use ICT tools to reduce the cost of doing business, and to help MSEs bring goods and services to domestic and international markets.
* To develop Donor Guidelines to ensure that the ICT potential is fully harnessed in their PSD strategies.

The Information Economy Report 2011 explores various options and examples of interventions by national governments and their development partners related to the four facets of the interface between ICTs and PSD. Among the cases cited are:
* Customs automation in Madagascar and Liberia and reforms to streamline business registration procedures in the Philippines, as a means to provide a more conducive business environment.
* Programmes to increase the number and quality of entrepreneurial and ICT skills in Egypt, Singapore, Burkina Faso, Ghana and Panama as a means to promote the development of human resources.
* Regulating and promoting the development of mobile money applications in Africa, as a means to enhance financial inclusiveness and open up business opportunities for micro- and small enterprises.
* The case of ICT freelancers in Bangladesh, as an example of existing opportunities to find low-skilled employment in the ICT producing sector.
* The use of ICTs to support women entrepreneurs in developing countries, as a means to overcome the existing gender gap in available digital opportunities.

In the Statistical Annex of the Report UNCTAD presents among other things new data on ICT use by enterprises of different size and in various industries"

AfTerFibre Update

Title: AfTerFibre Update
Author: Steve Song
Source: Many Possibilities
Date (published): 21/10/2011
Date (accessed): 25/10/2011
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
"This is a short summary of progress and learning from the first couple of months since launching AfTerFibre, a project to map terrestrial fibre projects in Africa. From the beginning AfTerFibre has been designed as an open project both from the point of view of transparency and from the point of view of participation. So the first goal was to make it easy to share information. This involved setting up a AfTerFibre Google Group so that anyone could contribute information or ask questions. Next we needed a place to store resources as we found them so a wikipedia page was set up to capture information and links to maps of terrestrial fibre projects. That part has gone reasonably well. We now have 83 people in the Google Group and the Wikipedia page now has 67 African operators known to have fibre projects listed, for which about half have links to maps. Where possible I have linked directly to the map on the web if it exists. In other cases, I have uploaded map images that I have found to a Flickr set. Finally there is also a Diigo list of news links related to AfTerFibre.

Having gotten the repositories for the raw information in place, the next challenge was to find out how to create an information chain that would make it easy not only for people to contribute map information but also to submit updates. I’ve been working with some of Google Africa’s GIS team in Nairobi to solve this."

DSpace in Africa: Growing Open Access to Knowledge and Culture

Title: DSpace in Africa: Growing Open Access to Knowledge and Culture
Author: Carol Minton Morris
Source: Open Access Week
Date (published): 21/10/2011
Date (accessed): 25/10/2011
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
"PART ONE: Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana This is the first of a five-part series that looks at Open Access repository development in twelve African countries in celebration of Open Access Week Oct. 24-30, 2011…

In Africa and in many countries around the world the need to manage, preserve and create open access to formerly “locked down” knowledge and culture has become apparent. Developing countries have recognized the need to utilize knowledge resources in order to leverage economic development, research and educational opportunities. One example is Kenya Open Data (http://opendata.go.ke/) which creates greater government transparency by providing open access to original data.
“This site makes public government data accessible to the people of Kenya. High quality national census data, government expenditure, parliamentary proceedings and public service locations are just a taste of what's to come. There's something for everyone: maps to start exploring, interactive charts and tables for a deeper understanding, and raw data for technical users to build their own apps and analyses. Our information is a national asset, and it's time it was shared: this data is key to improving transparency; unlocking social and economic value; and building Government 2.0 in Kenya.”

DSpace has been a player in creating open access to information since it was launched in 2002. This open source, easy-to-use repository application has been instrumental in providing universities and institutions all over the world with a tool for getting resources online and making them accessible. In 2004 there were 9 DSpace instances in Africa. Due the work of DSpace Ambassadors and other community outreach efforts that number has increased to 46 today. For the next five days DuraSpace will offer a glimpse into what’s “in” some DSpace repositories in Africa on each day in celebration of Open Access Week 2011 (http://www.openaccessweek.org/)."

mAgri programme case study - India

Title: mAgri programme case study - India
Pages: 6 pp.
Source: GSMA
Date (published): 07/06/2011
Date (accessed): 18/10/2011
Type of information: report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
"IFFCO Kisan Sanchar Limited (IKSL) is a tri-lateral joint venture between the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd (IFFCO), the largest farmers’ cooperative in India and airtel, the largest mobile network operator, along with Star Global Resources Limited, rural telephony experts who acquired 25% shares. IKSL provides voice-based agricultural information to empower rural farmers and reinforce the cooperative through the mobile network. After a successful pilot, the service launched in 2008.IKSL distributes airtel SIM cards branded ‘Green SIM’ to its IFFCO members and other farmers.

The Green SIM functions as a normal SIM as well as providing the agricultural valued added services (Agri VAS). The user receives 5 recorded voice messages, free of charge, each day covering both local and national agricultural topics. Green SIM users access an Agri Helpline where they can get answers from agri-experts to any farming question they care to raise.

The GSMA mAgri Programme provided a grant and technical assistance to IKSL. Our work aimed to strengthen the service and improve the ICT content systems to ensure efficacy and relevance for the end user - and to leave the project ready for further scaling. Today, the IKSL Green SIM service has 3 million users."

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