rural regions

Nokia Taking a Rural Road to Growth

Title: Nokia Taking a Rural Road to Growth
Author:Kevin J. O'Brien
Source:NYTimes.com
Publisher:The New York Times Company
Date (published):01/11/2010
Date (accessed):04/11/2010
Type of information:article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
"On Saturday at dawn, hundreds of farmers near Jhansi, an agricultural center in central India, received a succinct but potent text message on their cellphones: the current average wholesale price for 100 kilograms of tomatoes was 600 rupees ($13.26).

In a country where just 7 percent of the population has access to the Internet, such real-time market data is so valuable that the farmers are willing to pay $1.35 a month for the information.

What is unusual about the service is the company selling it: Nokia, the Finnish cellphone maker, which unlike its rivals — Samsung, LG, Apple, Research In Motion and Sony Ericsson — is focusing on some of the world’s poorest consumers.

Since 2009, 6.3 million people have signed up to pay Nokia for commodity data in India, China and Indonesia. On Tuesday, Nokia plans to announce that it is expanding the program, called Life Tools, part of its Ovi mobile services business, to Nigeria."

Mobile Telephony in Rural Areas: The Latin American perspective

Title: Mobile Telephony in Rural Areas: The Latin American perspective
Authors: Lisa M Cespedes and Franz J Martin
Source: i4d (Information For Development), January - March 2010
Publisher: Centre for Science, Development and Media Studies
Date (accessed): 02/06/2010
Type of information: article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
Mobile phones offer individuals in rural populations the ability to access and interact with information services and databases.
Consider the numerous ways in which mobile telephony facilitates every day endeavours in addition to offering phone calls and text messaging. The technologies and applications vary from the developed areas to the developing regions, however, people in the most remote and marginalised places of the world are also benefiting greatly from the opportunities that the technology offers to improve their social and economic conditions.
There are 179 million people using mobile phones in Latin America; 82% of those users browse the Internet, 73% send text messages, and 55% are transferring data in different ways1. As a result of the expansion of mobile infrastructure and relatively affordable prices, the use of mobile telephony increasingly takes part of the everyday life of many rural families. As an example, in countries such as Peru, only 0.01% of rural households have access to the Internet while 36.5% have a mobile phone. In Chile, the penetration of mobile telephony is 94.7%.

Demystifying Internet

Title: Demystifying Internet
Author: Linda Raftree
Source: Wait… What?
Date (published): 25/05/2010
Date (accessed): 26/05/2010
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
I was in a workshop in the Upper West Region of Ghana this past week. The goal was two-fold. 1) to train a small group of staff, ICT teachers and local partners on social media and new technologies for communications; and 2) to help them prepare for a project that will support 60 students to use arts and citizen media in youth-led advocacy around issues that youth identify.

I was planning to talk about how social media is different from traditional media, focusing on how it offers an opportunity to democratize information, and how we can support youth to use social media to reduce stereotypes about them and to bring their voices and priorities into global discussions. But all those theories about social media being the great equalizer, the Internet allowing everyone’s voices to flourish and yadaya, don’t mean a lot unless barriers like language, electricity, gender, and financial resources are lowered and people can actually access the Internet regularly

Review of E-governance for Development: A Focus on Rural India

Title: Review of E-governance for Development: A Focus on Rural India, 2009, Palgrave Macmillan, London ISBN 978-0-230-20157-6
Author: Chris Westrup
Pages: 2 pp.
ISSN: 1681-4835
Source: The Electronic Journal of Information Systems in Developing Countries, (2010) 40, BR1, 1-2
Publisher: www.ejisdc.org
Date (published): 08/01/2010
Date (accessed): 03/05/2010
Type of information: peer-reviewed article
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
Shirin Madon’s book is a welcome addition to a select corpus of monographs addressing issues in ICTs and development. It is fitting that Madon has written this book as it gives her space to articulate her position and findings on e-governance based on twenty years of fieldwork in India. This experience makes her well placed to address a key theme in the book understanding e-governance for development in relation to ‘historical processes of development and governance’ (p.166). The book sets out to question commonly understood assumptions about e-governance. First, that good governance is a key feature to achieve human development and second, that e-governance is supportive of good governance in a variety of ways including improving government’s efficiency and effectiveness; improving the relationships between government administration and citizens; improving transparency and accountability; and enabling access to information and participation in the processes of public policy. These are, as Madon notes, ambitious claims. Her approach is to critically review the relationship between governance and development which is then exemplified through description and analysis of three case studies of e-governance projects in the rural parts of the states of Gujarat, Karnataka and Kerala in India.

Africa Development Research Series: Ghana Quantitative Survey Report

Title: Africa Development Research Series: Ghana Quantitative Survey Report
Author: Hannah Bowen
Pages: 112 pp.
Source: InterMedia AudienceScapes
Publisher: InterMedia Survey Institute

Date (published): 26/02/2010
Date (accessed): 13/03/2010
Type of information: research report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf - 4,8 MB)
Abstract:
This report is based on a quantitative survey in Ghana and gives development practitioners a concise but rich description of the development information environment in Ghana. It offers insight into how information is gathered, shared and used at the grassroots level. In addition, it showcases the power of the AudienceScapes national survey instrument to help
the development community better target their communications and information efforts.

This unique dataset addresses some of the toughest questions in development program management: From which information sources do various segments of the population learn about development issues? How can we share critical information with target demographic groups efficiently and effectively? What sorts of information do people want, need or lack?
The nationally representative survey in Ghana was conducted over three weeks in July and August 2009 with a sample of 2,051 respondents selected from the adult population (15 and over) according to a probability-proportional-to-size (PPS) sampling plan
Key elements of the dataset include:
Descriptions of general media use, ICT use and communication habits.
In-depth sections on radio, TV, print, mobile phone and internet use.
In-depth sections on access to and use of information covering personal finance, health, and agriculture issues.
Demographic and socio-economic status information.
Respondents’ opinions about selected development issues.
Measures of trust in information sources and institutions.

Structure of This Report
The report summary provides a detailed rundown of the main findings.
Chapter 1 provides a brief overview of the development context in Ghana when the research took place.
Chapter 2 describes how Ghanaians gather and share information in general, while Chapter 3 focuses on the use of specific media and ICTs.
Chapter 4 discusses communication in the context of three important development sectors: health, personal finance and agriculture, including case studies that highlight ways the AudienceScapes data can inform development programs in each sector.
The appendices provide additional details on research methods, InterMedia and the AudienceScapes team.

Africa Development Research Series: Kenya Quantitative Survey Report

Title: Africa Development Research Series: Kenya Quantitative Survey Report
Author: Hannah Bowen
Pages: 129 pp.
Source: InterMedia AudienceScapes
Publisher: InterMedia Survey Institute
Date (published): 26/02/2010
Date (accessed): 13/03/2010
Type of information: research report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf - 4,8 MB)
Abstract:
This report is based on a quantitative survey in Kenya and gives development practitioners a
concise but rich description of the development information environment in Kenya. It offers
insight into how information is gathered, shared and used at the grassroots level. In
addition, it showcases the power of the AudienceScapes national survey instrument to help
the development community better target its communications and information efforts.
This unique dataset addresses some of the toughest questions in development program
management: How much and from which sources do various segments of the population
learn about development issues? How can we share critical information with target
demographic groups efficiently and effectively? What sorts of information do people want,
need or lack?

Structure of this Report
The report summary provides a detailed overview of the main findings.
Chapter 1 introduces the information and development context in which the survey was conducted.
Chapter 2 highlights findings about media and communication habits, with special attention to word-of-mouth networks and to the particular challenges of communicating with rural populations and women.
Chapter 3 details Kenyans’ access to and use of various media and ICTs, while Chapter 4 applies the AudienceScapes data to three key development sectors: health, personal finance and agriculture.
The appendices provide additional details on research methods, the AudienceScapes team and the AudienceScapes project research advisory board.

via http://www.onlineafrica.net/

OLPC + FM radio = lessons beamed to computers

Title: OLPC + FM radio = lessons beamed to computers
Author: Bruce Girard
Source: Radio 2.0 for development
Date (published): 25/02/2010
Date (accessed): 13/03/2010
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
... a project of some students in New Zealand using FM radio to beam lessons to the XO computers used by the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative...There are 1.2 million OLPC laptops now in use, but there remains a big problem – third world countries don’t really have the communications infrastructure to get content out to those laptops in a reliable fashion. Mobile networks often don’t extend into rural areas, satellite and fixed wireless systems are too expensive options. Team Beep came up with a great idea – why not use the readily available FM broadcast frequency to send out a stream of data that can be picked up by a bog standard FM radio.

Internet, schoolchildren and rural Pakistan: How to get community buy-in including for girls

Title: Internet, schoolchildren and rural Pakistan: How to get community buy-in including for girls
Source: Association for Progressive Communications

Date (published): 10/03/2010
Date (accessed): 12/03/2010
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
It was by coincidence that 29 year-old software developer Huda Sarfraz got involved in the Dareecha project. It was the first time the Centre for Research in Urdu Language Processing (CRULP) had directly taken on the social perspective of a project by taking technology to the people and the Lahore resident decided she would stay on and give it a try. Huda as part of Dareecha (meaning “window”) set about training school children and teachers from the rural Punjab to use the internet so that they could eventually create their own content.
And create content they did – with their new skills, students and teachers in rural villages created 57 new, locally-relevant school and community web sites, which they presented in a competition held by Dareecha in June and August 2009. The judging panel, comprised of government officials, academia and ICT experts couldn’t help but notice the strong presence of women and girls among the winners. This was a sign that the Gender Evaluation Methodology (GEM), an evaluation methodology the Dareecha team had used to compliment other planning methods for the project, had helped them get through to a segment of the population other more traditional planning methods may not have achieved: women and girls.

Telecentres in Uganda do not appeal to rural women

Title: Telecentres in Uganda do not appeal to rural women
Author: lisac
Source: www.genderevaluation.net
Publisher: Gender Evaluation Methodology for Internet and ICTs (GEM) Practitioners Network
Date (published): 19/01/2010
Date (accessed): 03/02/2010
Type of information: blog post
Language: English
On-line access: yes (HTML)
Abstract:
In rural Uganda, telecentres that have been established to promote rural access to information and foster development are not getting the results they had hoped for. Using the APC WNSP's Gender Evaluation Methodology (GEM) to understand why this is so, UgaBYTES, a Uganda-based NGO that works to promote access to ICTs in rural East Africa, has found that beyond the common obstacles to access like technical infrastructure, connection costs and computer literacy, women face numerous additional barriers if they want to use ICTs to improve their lives.

via http://twitter.com/phat_controller

Transformative Impact of ICT: Change stories from rural India

Title: Transformative Impact of ICT: Change stories from rural India
Authors/Editors: Arundhathi, Suchit Nanda and Subbiah Arunachalam
Pages: 31 pp.
ISBN: 978-81-88355-16-7
Source: www.photonicyatra.com
Publisher: Jamsetji Tata National Virtual Academy (NVA) M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai
Date (published): 19/01/2010
Date (accessed): 29/01/2010
Type of information: report
Language: English
On-line access: yes (pdf)
Abstract:
ICT is now recognized as a technological tool which can serve as a catalytic intervention in respect of transforming the lives and livelihoods of rural families. The economic and income divides between urban and rural areas can be overcome only by the technological upgradation of rural professions. The present publication provides examples of the transformational role of ICT in a wide range of rural professions. For example, artesenal fishermen going out into the ocean in a catamaran can now carry a cell phone with GPS data on the location of fish shoals and information on wave heights at different distances from the shore line. The Village Knowledge Centre or Gyan Chaupal (VKC) provides information on sanitary and phytosanitary measures and Codex Alimentarius standards of food safety, so that Salmonella and other infections can be avoided.
The present publication contains 12 case studies, which illustrate the transformational role of ICT in villages. I hope the men and women who have mastered the technologies and are applying them in day today life will serve as role models for other rural families. We should convert the small programme started by MSSRF in 1992 into a mass movement, bringing hope and cheer in the lives of the rural poor.

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