Published on November 29, 2007
Rural ICTs: Scaling up the Successes.: Rural ICTs: Scaling up the Successes. A Study of ICT Projects in India Shahid Akhtar Chief Technical Advisor and Programme Co-ordinator Roger Harris Consultant UNDP Asia Pacific Development Information Programme: UNDP Asia Pacific Development Information Programme PROGRAMME STRATEGY Mobilize Awareness and Support Develop a Strategic Vision Assist Implementation Plans DEVELOPMENT OBJECTIVES To raise awareness To promote equity Enhance regional and national public-private partnerships The problem: The problem Economic growth in Asian countries with widening income disparities India’s ICT leadership Software outsourcing boom Wealth of pro-poor ICT initiatives Low impact of ICTs nationally Absence of scaling of promising pilots The study: The study Method – Project selection criteria: Method – Project selection criteria Use ICTs substantially for poverty alleviation and/or governance Geographical and cultural spread Making use of newer technologies: Internet, community radio, satellite phones, wireless technology.... Different models of financing: private, public and public-private The projects: The projects Method – Data Collection: Method – Data Collection Site visits User Questionnaire; 2,156 respondents Interviews and observations Data analysis Roger Harris Associates: Roger Harris Associates To bring the benefits of information and communication technologies to rural communities in Asia by:- Influencing governments and aid agencies to sponsor the provision of ICTs to rural communities. Researching the new knowledge required to make ICTs fully capable of improving rural life. Building educational resources to accelerate the application of ICTs towards solving the problems of rural life. The Respondents: The Respondents The Respondents: The Respondents Typical respondent was a 30-something ‘Other Backward” (= “lowest”) caste, male farm worker with some schooling, earning close to US$2 per day, and living at about the same standard as his neighbours. Results: Results Findings - overall: Findings - overall Findings – by project: Findings – by project Findings – by project: Findings – by project o Findings – by project: Findings – by project Categorising Rural ICTs: Categorising Rural ICTs Experimental Research Telecentres Subsidized Access Points Cyber Cafés Mature Development Telecentres Development Outcomes Sustainability High Low High 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Categorising Rural ICTs: Categorising Rural ICTs Development Outcomes High Low High 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 VISP Tamilnadu Janmitra Akshaya CIC Sikkim FRIENDS India Agriland Tarahaat Warana CARD E-SEVA E-Choupal Anand Gyandoot N-Logue Gramdoot Mahitishakti Bhoomi Tamil Nadu Touch Screen SEWA Sustainability Findings – Significant Relationships between:: Findings – Significant Relationships between: Satisfaction and: equality in benefits community acceptance service delivery staff capability Leadership and equality in decision making Equality in benefits and: technology awareness influence on project management Sustainability and usefulness Community acceptance and: sustainability policy environment Staff capability and: community acceptance service delivery Empowerment and: usage technology awareness influence on project management Social environment and: community acceptance policy environment Findings: Findings Strong results for user satisfaction, usefulness and sustainability, even with only moderate usage Despite unfavourable policy and social environments High levels of staff capability and community acceptance Moderate degree of technology awareness Service delivery shows room for improvement Community participation is low (yet community acceptance is high) Low indicators for equality in decision making, leadership development, influence on project management and management of expectations Low scores for empowering users and moderate equality in the enjoyment of benefits Conclusions: Conclusions High usage, community acceptance and satisfaction Government interactions are desirable Followed closely by information on; prices farming practices business contacts Usefulness and community acceptance affect sustainability Satisfaction and staff capability affect community acceptance Community acceptance is the strongest influence on the social and policy environment Conclusions; the Scaling Question: Conclusions; the Scaling Question Project results are generally positive, but could be better Individual projects can thrive within unfavourable political and social environments, but widescale implementations cannot Mostly, the political and social environments are unfavourable Improving community acceptance fosters improved political and social environments Widespread scaling up requires widespread community acceptance by targeting user satisfaction through high levels of staff capability Thank you: Thank you Roger Harris Shahid Akhtar
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