Last Updated: February 15, 2002
The section is a repository of case-studies on use of ICT models in knowledge networking for human development. Suggest additions to the list by writing at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also see Case-Studies on ICT for better Governance on our Digital Governance site at http://www.cddc.vt.edu/digitalgov/gov-cases.html
Still pictures of African wildlife appear everywhere. There is a voracious interest in wildlife in the developed world and animals are used in adverts to exemplify product characteristics. This trade in images is now conducted largely digitally over the internet. The "new economy" was supposed to enable businesses to cut out "the middle man".
The Acacia Initiative is an international effort to empower sub-Saharan African communities with the ability to apply information and communication technologies to their own social and economic development.
The Leland Initiative is a U.S. government effort to extend full Internet connectivity to 20 or more African countries. The Leland Initiative builds on existing capacity with the ultimate aim of facilitating Internet access throughout each country.
The mushrooming of school networking projects (SchoolNets) across Africa offers a beacon of hope in bridging the digital divide, a chasm that is particularly startling when Africa is compared to the rest of the world. For instance, in 1999 there were about 100,000 dial-up Internet accounts in Africa for a population of 700 million.
The dizzying pace of the upgrade cycle for computers in North America and Europe means that millions of computers are thrown away every year. Over a million a year are buried as rubbish in landfill sites in the UK alone. Although some African IT professionals have branded the idea of recycling them to Africa "dumping", this approach must be at least one way to close the digital divide.
As Manuel Castells says: "Information technology, together with the ability to use it and adapt it, is the critical factor in generating and accessing wealth, power, and knowledge in our time. The disinformation of Africa at the dawn of the information age may be the most lasting wound inflicted on this continent by new patterns of dependency.
Internet penetration in Argentina has doubled since March 2000, when there were only 1 million Internet users. Just over half of users are more than 35 years old. (Source: NUA)
BHRN will actively promote human rights reforms both within Bangladesh and across geographical and political boundaries, and will support women, children, and marginalized communities in resisting social oppression. It will look at attempts by global forces (powerful governments, TNCs, international organizations) through surveillance, covert mechanisms and military and economic superiority to exploit and control smaller nations and communities.
The case study includes surveys of 300 potential phone users from 40 villages across Bangladesh, together with a collection of video footage interviews, in order to provide recommendations on the replicability of elements of this programme for poverty alleviation efforts.
Dozens of wires bristle from a concrete post, shooting clandestine power lines with stolen current across a garbage dump and up the twisting alleys of Latin America's largest slum.The street scene in Rocinha, Portuguese for Little Farm, reflects a past of neglect and exclusion from even basic services that has created a gulf between the haves and the have-nots of Rio's favelas, or shantytowns. Yet just a few doors down, a neat shopfront offers a digital bridge across the chasm.
The Internet has ushered in the greatest period of wealth creation in history. It's rocked the way we deliver and receive information and the way we do business. Some case-studies are as follows:
For as long as anyone here can remember, this dusty farming village deep in Cambodia's northern hinterland had been cocooned from even the weakest winds of development by a line of imposing mountains, miles of nearly impregnable jungle and the brutal Khmer Rouge regime, whose guerrillas kept outsiders away by sprinkling land mines in the countryside and ambushing traffic on the only road into town.
A former in-your-face journalist saw Cambodia up close before the Khmer Rouge marched in. He's hoping the Internet will help the country's people grasp the future and leave the dark past behind.
Robib is a group of six small villages in a remote, practically inaccessible area of Cambodia. In fact it is every such village in the world. Its situation reflects the poverty, isolation, health hazards and limited educational and commercial opportunities that is the fate of the overwhelming population of the world. But is doesn't have to be that way. The Internet now offers leapfrogging opportunities to take such villages out of their isolation and poverty into our global village.
Mbouda, Cameroon-When Fossi Yoni Mireille, 22, dropped out of secondary school two years ago, her future was bleak. She became pregnant and married her boyfriend, also a secondary school drop-out. They had no way of earning an income. Things took a turn for the better, however, when she was admitted to the Mbouda Women?s Promotion Centre, a field unit of the Ministry of Women?s Affairs. Today, thanks to the education and training in vegetable farming and poultry techniques she received from the centre, Mireille runs a vegetable farm on which her small family thrives.
Canada : Keewaytinook Internet High School
This on-line high school enables young First Nations people who reside in remote communities in Canada's north to remain in those communities for High School education. Many young First Nations people must leave their communities for the bulk of the school year and reside hundreds of miles away from their families and friends. This kind of "residential schooling" can be very damaging to the student and their family... and the communities are deprived of energetic and creative young people.
Cape Town is one of the few cities on the African continent that can make a claim for being a creative city. News Update’s Russell Southwood looks at what this means, why it’s important to the development of new media in Africa and how Cape Town measures up when looked at from this viewpoint.
LearnLink uses information, communication and educational technologies (IECTs) to strengthen learning systems essential for sustainable development. Learnlink applies IECTs to link individuals, groups and organizations and improve their capacity to access resources to meet learning needs.
China: BJ-FarmKnow (new!)
BJ-FarmKnow is a computer network project that brings information services to farmers in vegetable production in rural suburban Beijing. The project aims at developing a pilot database management system to provide the farmers with content as well as advisory and learning services in planting new vegetable varieties and in managing and protecting them.
Farmers in Beijing's suburban areas have an Internet tool to help them with vegetable production practices. An innovative website called "Farmknow" is providing content and advisory services on new vegetable varieties and crop management and protection. Farmers, agricultural experts and systems engineers participated in contributing towards developing the pilot database system.
Colombia: Conexiones II (new!)
Conexiones II aims to take the successes of the Conexiones model in schools and expand them into the community in which the schools reside. The project accomplishes this through the creation of Centros de Informática Veredal - Educational and ICT Centers for Community Development - as meeting places for families, students, and teachers, where space, technology and activities are always available to encourage learning, group development and human relations.
APC´s member in Colombia, is helping grassroots groups and communities
literally map their problem areas on a computer screen. The geo-referencing
maps look just like common street plans. The difference is that these maps
are available online and are annotated by the members of the communities
themselves, allowing them to plot geographically where particular factories,
schools, rivers, etc., are located in the neighbourhood. The first mapping
system is already available at the Kerigma telecentre which has a map of
Bosa, a marginal neighbourhood in the south of Bogotá.
For over five decades, radio has been the "most appealing tool" for participatory communication and development. It "has always been the ideal medium for change", says a new book on how radio, the Internet and other technologies are helping the poor get a better grip over their lives. Titled 'Making Waves' this 352-page report focuses on how radio stations across the globe are making a difference, often to those who lack other means of communication. It also looks at how other tools are being used for this purpose -- including computers, the Internet, multimedia, threatre and video.
Projects featured in August 30, 2000 Virtual Conference on Engagement and Empowerment in Community Networks
INFOAGRO seeks to make available to its natural users the entire societal effort of the past decades in the areas of technology, policy implementation, creation of markets, international linkages, etc., all in the form of information, a strategic input that has the ability to activate the potential for modernization, change, growth and development in the farm sector and the rural world.
Costa Rica: InfoAgro (new!)
INFOAGRO's overall aim is to activate the potential of the rural world, energizing and accelerating the process of change in its economic activity. The project seeks to make available to its users the entire societal effort of past decades in the areas of technology, policy implementation, creation of markets, international linkages, and the like, all in the form of information, a strategic input with the ability to activate the potential for modernization, change, growth, and development in the farm sector and the rural world.
Case Studies arising out of a conference conducted by WRI on Digital Divide in October 2000.
Youth form the frontline in the computer war : the corridor in the boys' primary school in Sardarpur in Dhar is clogged with excited children. Some 35 of them have turned up for their weekly date with the computer. Teacher Shireen Kureshy switches it on and the screen fills with images of a fun spelling test even as the speakers blare out a nursery rhyme. "This is so exciting," says 11-year-old Sohan Tarachand, son of a local farmworker, who joins students from 16 primary schools to take his two-hour-long computer lessons.
The project will explore the use of Internet resources with street children and adolescents in Latin America by providing alternatives for empowerment, education, income generation, opportunities for communication, and links to organization that work with street children in the region.
The best way to introduce the vast world of information technology (IT) may be to demonstrate its potential. But it is not easy to take a concept like the World Wide Web to a land which, in many places, is still tilled by the power of man and beast and where the word Internet is an enigma to most people.
InterAction Members Employ Creative Uses of Technology Overseas
In Guatemala, computers and multimedia products are helping to preserve indigenous cultures and languages in the Quiché region where the Mayan languages of K'iche' and Ixil are spoken. Until recently, schools in that region conducted classroom activities exclusively in Spanish, which prevented many Mayan children from excelling. Through a bilingual teacher-training project initiated by the Academy for Educational Development (AED), teachers learn the local Mayan languages and develop teaching and learning materials in these local languages.
New types of internet-connected business centres are springing up across the continent. News Update has heard of plans for Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe and Teltec (in partnership with Hewlett Packard) has ambitious plans for new openings.
Ghana was amongst the first countries in Africa to get connected. Although it suffers from all the usual constraints on growth - especially the high costs of connectivity - it is estimated that around half a million people have access to the web in some form. Kwami Ahiabenu describes the development of Ghana’s internet culture.
The Global Teenager Project is a network of students from both developing and developed countries. The network creates a 'safe space' for students and teachers to discover international learning.
An effort towards creation of virtual communities to mobilise global support against some of the disputable environmental policies/ actions of the Government. The community has expanded rapidly since it was launched in November 2000. By December 2000 it had about 6000 members from more than 80 countries.
A Case Study of Community Business Resource Centre's Entrepreneurship Online Program.
In November, 1998, soon after hurricane Mitch had whipped through Honduras, decimating some two million homes, Candelario Reyes sent a fax. Mr. Reyes is co-ordinator of a cultural center in Honduras's mountainous Santa Barbara region. He was seeking help for 2,200 villagers whose homes had been destroyed. The villagers, including nearly 900 children, were packed together in makeshift shelters without enough food, clean water, blankets or medicines.
The International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) has developed a database containing 50,000 records on crops and resources of interest to farmers in semi-arid tropical areas. The database can be searched by individual farmers via the Internet or by extension agents who pass information along to farmers.
India: SKS-Smart Card (new!)
The Smart Card Project will revolutionize microfinance by overcoming a major problem for microfinance institutions (MFIs)-the high cost of delivering financial services to the doorstep of the poor. It will do so by using Smart Cards to reduce the time of weekly village meetings, thereby significantly increasing the efficiency of field staff, lowering costs of delivery, and enabling MFIs that target the poor to more quickly reach financial viability.
India: PlaNet Finance (new!)
PlaNet Finance is an international non-governmental organization whose goal is to use the potential of the Internet for the development of microfinance. PlaNet Finance supports organizations offering financial services to the very poor or working towards the development and promotion of microfinance in developing countries through the activities of its specialized departments.
India: nLogue (new!)
TeNeT created nLogue to address the strict demands of the current market by adapting technologies developed jointly by TeNeT, Midas Communication (P) Ltd., and Analog Devices, Inc. Specifically, the company has adapted Wireless Local Loop (WLL) technologies to specifications that address the economic realities of rural India.
India: AgriWatch (new!)
Aiming to fill the information and communication gap that exists in the agricultural commodities trade, Agriwatch.com provides information and analysis on agricultural commodities to the various participants in the Indian agribusiness sector. The site also features an online auction and e-commerce for producers and suppliers.
India: Drishtee (new!)
Drishtee is a unique socio-technological effort to create an information backbone in Indian villages. The objective of Drishtee is to create a sustainable model of rural distribution and promotion of consumer goods and basic services, and then replicate these information islands and interconnect them.
Balaji's team first adapted simple radiophones of the kind used by security guards to link them to a hub. This was then linked to the Internet. That was then used to download precise information on the height of waves in that region from data supplied by the US Navy. The result is that villagers now know when the area will be hit by very high waves.
India: Digital Empowerment: Seeds Of E-Volution (new!)
Every evening, Govardhan Angari lights a joss stick and offers a silent prayer to a computer in a poky 20-sq-ft room in Dehri Sarai, a village 40 km from Indore in Madhya Pradesh's Dhar district. Beside the Pentium II machine on a creaky table, there is a modem, a sheaf of white paper and a battery back-up. This unremarkable paraphernalia has changed the life of the 21-year-old boy, a landless Bhil tribal and son of a daily wage labourer, who takes home Rs 40 on days when he finds work. These days, Govardhan earns up to Rs 3,500 a month ferreting out crop market rates, e-mailing villagers' grouses, generating caste and land certificates out of this rural cyberkiosk.
Those living in interior Pune villages will now be able to avail expert medical council well within their means, thanks to a unique telemedicine program. The Pune district administration has teamed up with www.doctoranywhere.com and Tata Council for Community Initiatives (TCCI) to launch a telemedicine service from a government primary healthcare center (PHC). The service, says the Chief Executive Officer of Pune district administration V. Radha, will reduce the traveling time and expenditure of the poor villagers. The villagers rush to big cities to meet specialist doctors.
Surf the Net, via your satellite radio
Oct 31 -- Download a website via your radio? Unbelievable but true. Yet this is
soon to become possible across India too when a satellite-radio broadcaster
enables its receivers with data-downloading capabilities. Shortly, systems of
the WorldSpace satellite-radio broadcester will be enabled in India to offers
not only audio broadcasting but also data broadcasting capabilities. This would
enable Internet data-downloads at 128
The project will provide Internet and Voice connectivity in the villages of Madurai District, The city of Madurai will not be covered. Internet services will be provided through an ISP license and will be enabled by leasing bandwidth from BSNL in Madurai. A kiosk will be set up in each village to service the needs of the people in that village. Separate connections will be provided to schools, colleges, primary health centres, etc. Dhan Foundation, the project partner in Madurai will assist in training personnel to manage these connections and introduce people to the Internet.
In its goal to connect rural India to the Internet and promote livelihood generation through e-commerce and access to information, TARAhaat.com faced the fundamental problem: connecting rural villages to the World Wide Web in the first place. Many villages in the Bundelkhand region where TARAhaat is in its pilot phase do not have access to telephone lines. The quality of the lines reaching other villages is not sufficient to transmit data. TARAhaat therefore had to come up with an alternative if it was to achieve its mission: that alternative was the use of VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) technology.
Give me the Internet and I'll tell you what I can do with it" was the response of a TV dealer when he was asked how he would use the Internet, says Elizabeth Alexander, Project Coordinator, Sustainable Access in Rural India. The SARI (Sustainable Access in Rural India) project seeks to provide Internet and Voice connectivity in the villages of Madurai district. Internet services will be provided through an ISP license and will be enabled by leasing bandwidth from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. Work on this project, being launched in mid-February, began in October 2000.
There's an amazing story coming in from North India, for a change. A Jaipur-based centre has worked out a software that allows users to create an interactive water-map of the village. This means, villagers would be better equipped to cope with drought. Thanks to IT. This software, Jal-Chitra, was developed by Jaipur's Ajit Foundation, in close collaboration with the Barefoot College of Tilonia. Says Ajit Foundation's Vikram Vyas: "The advent of Personal Computer together with the development and expansion of Internet has provided us with a unique opportunity to bring the tools of scientific modelling and computation to rural development."
toward a Knowledge System for Sustainable Food Security
It is increasingly understood that the future of food security in the developing world, especially in South Asia, is dependent less on resource-intensive agriculture and more on knowledge.1 In the coming years, agriculture will need to be developed as an effective instrument for creating more income, more jobs, and more food. Such a paradigm of sustainable agriculture will require both knowledge and skills.
In terms of arrivals, Azadpur Fruit & Vegetable Market is the biggest fruit & vegetable market in Asia. This is the Market of national importance as it has assumed the character of a National Distribution Center for important fruits like Apple, Banana, Orange, Mango and vegetables like Potato, Onion, Garlic & Ginger.
The earthquake in Gujarat in 2001 caused massive damages to lives and livelihoods.
More than 60,000 of SEWA’s members were severely affected. The article shares the
relevance and importance to the access of right type of Information Technology medium in facilitating relief and rehabilitation measures.
India : Telemedicine from Apollo
Children and the Internet- an experiment with minimally invasive education
Urban children all over the world seem to acquire computing skills without adult intervention. Indeed this form of self-instruction has produced hackers - children who can penetrate high tech security systems. Is this kind of learning dependent only on the availability of technology?
In recent years, the milk co-operative movement initiated by India's National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) has led to a substantial increase in milk production in India. The two main reasons for this increase are more efficient collection of milk and higher profits for producers, both of which have been influenced by IT. This case describes the automation of the milk buying process at 2,500 rural milk collection societies.
In what is probably the first ever attempt to integrate shrimp farmers in remote coastal areas of Andhra Pradesh with the national and international markets, a Telugu Web site -- aquachoupal.com -- was launched. The Web site will provide aqua farmers of Andhra with the latest technological and scientific knowhow and tell them the prices prevailing in major shrimp markets all over the world.
Gyandoot is an intranet in Dhar district connecting rural cybercafes catering to the everyday needs of the masses. The site has following services to offer in addition to the hope that it has generated by networking, the first district in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India:
Commodity/ Agricultural Marketing Information System
Copies of land maps
On-Line Registration of Applications
Public Grievance Redressal
Kolkata, Jan 23 - The next time the postman rings the doorbell, don't be surprised if you are simply handed a piece of paper with a few words on it rather than a postcard, envelope or aerogramme. And mind you, the sender would spend nothing. It's the person the mail is addressed to who would have to shell out money to receive the message.
This is how things will be when the Indian government goes hi-tech with its postal system. To start with, the e-post scheme would be introduced in the six states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal.
Andhra Pradesh has become the first Indian state to provide videoconference links between jails and courts, a measure that will help 'produce' undertrials before magistrates without their physical presence. The video linkage facility between the Chanchalguda central jail, which has more than 1,600 undertrials, and the Nampally City Criminal Courts here has been provided by Stan Power Technologies at a cost of Rs.150,000.
ITC plans to set up 25 internet kiosks in the southern Karnataka state to connect coffee planters to the Web, according to an official. "The main purpose is to let planters understand the market realities and sell their produce at the right time, taking into account global prices," said Ninad Bhosle, senior manager, trading, at ITC's International Business Division.
Traffic moves at its own leisurely pace in the western Indian region of Warna. For centuries farmers here have cultivated sugar cane, and the cane fields dominate the countryside, feeding the sweet tooth of one billion Indians. Farmers pride themselves on producing more sugar per acre than anywhere else in India.
Very simple as it may sound, but the identification of the need for such a unique communication service and the translation of the idea into a profitable business proposition requires a certain amount of creative thinking and oodles of confidence which they seem to possess in abundance. So, what started out as a solution to their distinctive problem now helps the entire Net population and provides them with an easy and effortless way to interact with more than 90 percent of the one billion-strong Indian population, which does not have access to the Net.
India : Fund a School Campaign of Government of Madhya Pradesh (new!)
The Government of Madhya Pradesh through its Education Guarantee Scheme has facilitated the creation of a Primary School facility in every habitation of Madhya Pradesh, the largest state in India. These schools need to be strengthened. Fundaschool seeks to use the Net to bridge the gap between the connected and the isolated, between the knows and the know-nots. This is just one of the ways in which the Government is using the Internet to build partnership with the Civil Society.
A pilot study undertaken by MSSRF in villages in the Union Territory of Pondicherry has yielded encouraging results on the impact of IT on rural societies. For success, the approach should be the promotion of a user controlled and demand driven system. The local language should be the medium of communication.
Provide networking access in remote areas where there is no scope for access to information through electronic communications thus strengthening the NGOs role as a networker and knowledge-broker.
The Simputer Project, initiated by the Simputer trust, aims at developing low cost access device that can pervade the rural landscape, especially in third world countries.
The Web site in Hindi (main Indian Language) will give soyabean farmers access the latest information about the weather, crop position, arrivals in markets and crop prices. Besides functioning as an information bank, the site also has an interactive element where farmers' queries would be answered within 24 hours.
A portal site developed by the organisation "Development Alternatives", India, to cater to the needs of village users. It connects the user to information services, government agencies and to all kinds of markets.
TWINS is a unique IT project taken up by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, India, to take the benefits of Information Technology to the Common man.
A pioneering Indian Initiative toward e-vigilance. Its function is to advise and guide Central Government agencies in the field of vigilance.
An unusual library in Mumbai offers help to those wanting information on medical issues. Those unable to come can rely on something quaintly acronymed MISS-HELP (Medical Information Search Service for HELP). In keeping with the cyberage, HELP's Internet link even provides info on the latest medical research from all over the globe. HELP has become a prototype of the modern digital library too.
Kunjal Panje Kutchji is a pioneering experiment in social change communication that is interactive and participative. It is also the first time that a voluntary organisation, the Bhuj-based Kutch Mahila Vikas Santhan (KMVS), has bought airtime on the radio as part of its communication strategy. The serial is broadcast on commercial time with the UNDP and the Government of India providing financial support for the first 104 episodes.
Hawra Adel owns a small shop in Hilla, Iraq -- Computer Services and Stationery 2000 -- and is blazing trails for women and the disabled. Hawra is the first woman shop owner in the city in Babil governorate,100 kilometres south of Baghdad. Disabled since birth and working in a wheel chair, she says: "It is a matter of proving I exist -- and especially in the world of computers."
Prof. Edna Aphek, Jerusalem, Israel email@example.com
This paper describes an on going program initiated by Prof. Edna Aphek and carried out at the Alon School in MateYehuda, in Israel. The program aims at minimizing the intergeneration gap and the digital divide by having elementary school children tutor seniors at computer and internet skills and at the same time write together with the seniors a digital "mini ebook" based on a chapter from the senior’s personal history.
Tutoring Seniors at internet Skills: An Experiment Conducted at one Israeli
The Internet which connects about 200 million people and millions of pages, voice , sound, image and video files has become a most powerful tool in the hands of those who know how to navigate it .The opportunity to use this powerful tool exists and is open to most strata of the population, regardless of the limitations of age, education, etc.
Prof. Edna Aphek
Israel is a multicultural country, a country made up of different ethnic groups : many having their own culture, language and even religion. There isn't much contact between some of the groups, especially between the secular Jews and the ultra orthodox Jews and between the Jewish population and the Arab population which comprises about 1/6th of Israel's population. The new technologies and especially the technology of on- line computer telecommunication endow us with new tools and possibilities for on- going multi- cultural and multi- age communication between different ethnical groups.
Prof. Edna Aphek
In a world where many children speak the language of computer and the internet as theirä mother tongueä, where many of them possess the qualities that make good teachers, it would be most appropriate and only logical to train the children who know, how to teach other children ( and adults) computer and internet skills, be it other children in their schools, or children in other schools. This short paper describes and discusses only one case of children teaching children computer skills.
The library of ITU contains reports of ongoing projects to develop rural applications and planned projects that make new combinations of technology. There are also reports of how equipment has been used in special environments.
The aim of the Agri-Business Information System is to develop and implement an information system that will provide farmers better access to useful, timely and accurate agricultural information. The project will start with the development of a limited number of services including market and production information, registry services and technical guides.
Dr John Onunga
The Information Technology Standards Association (ITSA) of Kenya has launched an Electronic Graft Management pilot project whose aim is to increase public awareness and encourage public participation in fighting corrupt practices. The pilot project intends to use the Internet and e-mail as the channel for communication by the public for reporting.
NairoBits teaches young Africans from slum areaâs the technical and creative skills of webdesign enabling them to express themselves through the internet. For this purpose, a one-year curriculum was designed in which the participants learn how to be a webmaster. In their turn they train their peers.
Latin America- True Stories: Telecentres in Latin America & the Caribbean (new!)
The challenge is to make the communication and information infrastructure serve people’s primary needs and legitimate interests, especially those of marginalized populations. People need to be able to exercise their responsibilities and rights of citizenship, using information and communication to practice active citizenship. They also need the capacity to acquire knowledge and information to improve economic productivity (supported by a modern public sector, which is conscience of its role as a development catalyst).
Laylan Rhayem, Chief of Information at Lebanon's Ministry of Agriculture, had a problem. She was in charge of a comprehensive Biodiversity Survey, her Ministry had just completed - the first such survey ever conducted in her country. The document would obviously be an invaluable resource for scientists, environmentalists, educators, planners and policy-makers. It was Ms. Rhayem's job to make it available for public use. But when the survey was completed in 1995, she had no place to put it.
IPKO is an independent non-profit organization based in Prishtina, Kosova. Its mission is to help provide the tools, knowledge, and environment required for Kosova to participate in the global information society. We are the leading Interent Service Provider in Kosova, providing fixed-wireles Internet service to more than 100 organizations.
LaGrange, Ga., has launched a city-wide Community Link program that allows residents with common interests to share information through highly-interactive, organization-specific Web sites. Groups and membership organizations such as neighborhoods, sports teams, schools, religious congregations and civic associations can create and respond to content which can include calendars, newsletters, classified ads, surveys, meeting notices, message boards, and community alerts. Site administrators can provide sites with up to five custom news links and 18 global news feeds selected from a menu of 60 categories.
With the introduction of its own national internet hub, Lesotho has cut the umbilical cord with South Africa. The authors of this week’s story (for names see the end of the article) describe how this was achieved and Lesotho’s future ambitions in this field. Three privately owned ISPs - Leo, Square One and Adelfang have introduced internet access in Lesotho since October 2000.
Madagascar : Project Radio
The project aims to empower local people to develop new methods of farming and resource management, which can increase their food security, and basic standards of living. Villagers are actively involved in all aspects of programme making, and produce music and songs to accompany some of the broadcast dialogues and messages.
Mobile Internet Unit (MIU) is a development project on computer-mediated education for teachers and students in schools of Malaysia. It is a self-contained, mobile library cum computing center in the form of a bus, driven by a "smart" driver and co-driver, which goes around the non-main stream schools in the country to conduct basic ICT (Information Communication Technology) literacy programs.
Malaysia: TaniNet (new!)
TaniNet is an interactive online agricultural and biotechnological Web site aimed at providing the agricultural community with information on advances in planting materials and practices. The goals of TaniNet are to get rural farmers to use ICTs as means of accessing and sharing information and online services, and to familiarize them with the latest biotechnology advances and their applicability in the Malaysian agricultural context.
Malaysia: SMASY (new!)
The SMASY project adopts a holistic and integrated approach aimed specially at enabling and empowering people to improve their quality of life. It is made up of several synergistic components aimed at overcoming the digital divide and creating a more level playing field by leapfrogging entire communities into the IT age.
The introduction of the smart card would bring comfort for the people who would need to carry only a single card with multiple uses. Using chip and biometrics technology, the GMPC contains details on identity and driver's licence information, passport details and medical data. The GMPC also has facilities to conduct e-commerce and e-cash transactions.
A method to achieve fixed low-cost universal access to IP communications in Mexico through the development of a non-profit public/private partnership Internet infrastructure initiative.
Mexico: Implementation of a Hospital Library Automation Project. Learning from Experience
Health library automation has been a well established field of academic work and practice among developed countries. In developing countries, this field is practically non-existent. Health libraries in these countries however, are acquiring new information and communication technologies in an attempt to modernise their services. In many developing countries, information technologies are transferred without previous analyses of existing information processing procedures; less interest is placed on the social and cultural elements involved.
The "Wireless Networking Solutions for Rural Internet Programme in Mongolia" project is aimed to carry out a comparative study of different wireless TCP/IP networking equipment and to test two different experimental content-carrying networks using wireless technologies, one in Ulaanbaatar capital city and another, in an aimag (provincial center) for selecting of model system for implementation in the rest of 20 aimags of Mongolia.
Applications in the Financial Services Sector in The Kingdom of Nepal -Executive
This Executive Summary provides a synopsis of the findings and recommendations of the report, “Information Technology Applications in The Financial Services Sector in The Kingdom of Nepal - A Report to The Asian Development Bank.”
Creating a healthy Internet presence in Nepal has been an uphill struggle. In order to thrive, the Internet requires a complementary telecommunications infrastructure, trained technicians, demanding users, and networking and end-user equipment, but these are not abundant in Nepal. Situated between China and India, Nepal has a population of 22 million. Nepalese life expectancy is 55.6 years, adult literacy is 38.7 percent, and per-capita annual income is $1,186 (UNDP, 1998).
There are unusual challenges in providing Internet connectivity to a "sparsely" populated rural community separated by vast distances from nearest urban development. This case study details how we combined existing Internet access technologies to overcome various obstacles such as the lack of existing telecommunications infrastructure, remoteness of area, as well as political and economic issues.
On a stifling day in May, 1993, two and a half tons of an unidentified chemical substance were found near a railway station in Karachi, Pakistan. A warehouse owner, thinking the material might be useful for something, picked it up. He and his driver died soon afterwards from inhaling toxic fumes. The local police then impounded the material, dumping it into the already polluted Lyari River. When the story was reported by the press, it caused alarm. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which had assisted the Government of Pakistan in producing a National Conservation Strategy, took the lead in demanding the safe disposal of the material.
Welcome to Peshawar, capital of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP). In this conservative and male-dominated society Kakar's father belongs to the educated minority. Most others struggle to keep pace with the changing times, reflected in the growing popularity of the Internet among young people.
PEOPLink is training and equipping traditional artisan groups all over the world to use digital cameras and the Internet to market their crafts while showcasing their cultural richness. Normally artisans produce beautiful handmade crafts that express the cultural richness of their traditional societies.
The motivation for this project is based on the nedd for: a) Educational applications (e-books, CS lessons, etc); b) People need to quick access to news, weather, Web, or digital books; and c) People need peer-to-peer voice or data connectivity, especially in infrastructure- poor places.
Quipunet; a "virtual" educational organization, with the use of Internet's simple tools has been acquiring valuable experiences since the latter part of 1995. The volunteers of Quipunet have learned to work with "virtual teams" and have thus presented seminars in cooperation with UN-IDNDR; have established communication networks with rural areas in Peru which allowed them to reach out and help the victims of disasters; have used same networks to build "bridges" to embrace needy schools; and have sponsored virtual Writing Contests among the schools of Peru, involving students, teachers, schools and city officials.
Generating work particularly for women is a big problem in developing countries. Providing a second income to the family and take care of the children is a great dilemma for the housewives. Facing that problem, Maria del Carmen Vucetich and her husband Edwin San Roman created Tortasperu, an E-business that targets the over 2 million Peruvian's who live outside Peru and who might like to surprise their family and friends back home with a home-made "torta" or cake.
Philippines: Merge (new!)
The MERGE Foundation aims to democratize computer utilization in communities where marginalized groups have no access to the technology yet have the most need for it for leverage in their efforts to improve their social and economic conditions.
Philippines : How technology helped kick out a President
ADVANCES in information and communication technology create both peril and opportunity, said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her inaugural speech two weeks ago. The peril was certainly not lost on former President Joseph Estrada, who was driven from office by hundreds of thousands of angry citizens mobilized by electronic messaging.
faith in the Net, Church plans to wire Philippine Villages
The social capital invested in a community technology center determines its role in the community and in the continuing African American freedom struggle. Community technology center outcomes, presented with quantitative and qualitative analysis of eight years of social activity, are measured as cyberpower. The overall question is whether social capital and cyberpower are creating a new Black counter public in the information society.
Telemedicine in South Africa (new!)
Sitting in an office in Pretoria and locating the beating heart of a foetus in a Free State hospital through a TV screen, a remote control and tele-ultrasound brings home the magic of telemedicine - the latest project of the health services in their drive to bring health care closer to people. While still in its pilot phase, the nationwide telemedicine project is promising to have far-reaching effects in improving access to specialist services for rural communities and in improving the quality of health care.
E-commerce was meant to completely rewrite the business model. Bricks and mortar suppliers were meant to become a thing of the past. Now e-commerce is struggling to reach the second generation, "hybrids" is the buzz word: sites that put together more than one approach to e-commerce. South Africa’s Digital Planet combines a combines a community-based site (for IT professionals) with e-commerce and auctions. Its Marketing Manager Debbie Whittaker describes how it’s working.
Africa: The use of ICT in South African Township schools
While the potential benefits of ICT and Internet connectivity might lead some to rapidly deploy expensive resources to developing communities, Africareâs experience in the establishment of sustainable community technology centers suggests that careful attention paid to the management and planning capacity of local stakeholders will more readily ensure that resources made available now continue to exist far into the future.
Tanzania is one step ahead of South Africa in privatisation of its telecoms infrastructure. This has resulted in a rush to upgrade data networks in a bid to stay competitive and offer continuous improvements in service to the end users. These end-users are anyone from the private individuals who use the country's extensive network of public-access Internet facilities (similar to the community IT centres in South Africa), to businesses of all sizes and the public sector. One of the largest of the new projects falls under the Ministry of Health, which is co-ordinating a vast academic research network joining Tanzania to neighbouring nations and research centres in Europe and America.
A comprehensive software application launched Friday with an ambitious mission to provide reliable information on Tanzania's socio-economic situation and human development is offering high-tech solutions to the country's data point woes. The aim of the Tanzania Socio-Economic Database (TSED) is to provide correct and reliable information on education, health and the economy from a centralised pool.
The official website of the community of Bermi village in Northern Tanzania's Rift Valley. The site has been made by Andy Carling with the permission of the community . He had several discussions with the village elders and they wrote the village history. The site gives an introduction to Bermi and the Iraqw tribe, with information on the village, it's government and the role of the Wazee or village elders. Further, for the first time, the community has written their history down -from oral tradition to its availability on the internet.
Artisans from the Middle East and North Africa Region have always crafted high quality products using traditional techniques and ancestral know-how. However, the shrinking of local markets and the great distances to more lucrative national and international markets, aggravated by limited access to Information, new technical skills, financial services and a tight control of the commercial chain by the tourist oriented intermediaries is leading to a dwindling income of the small artisans and a gradual disappearance of culturally rich crafts.
Thailand's Department of Agriculture (DOA) has its own plan for bridging the digital divide - e-commerce for farmers. To test the waters, the department will set up pilot projects in four regional areas of Thailand to find the most suitable e-commerce business models for the agricultural sector.
When you ask Cambodian kids what they want to be when they grow up, the answer used to be "a truck driver." Or a cook, or a waiter in one of the fancy new hotels. But ask the kids at the orphanage, and the answer is, "I want to be a computer pioneer."
UGANDA : Mobile Phone Use Has Improved Public Discourse (new!)
The growing number of mobile phones is transforming the Ugandan society. While there is evidently increased excitement about the emergent technology, the ease and convenience of communicating has improved public discourse and given impetus to development initiatives. Now villagers can even fire questions at the Ugandan president, both parties, of course, living worlds apart.
A project of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), TropRice is a portal geared towards rice farmers that provides information on everything from pest control to irrigation. Serving as a decision support system, it helps producers make more informed choices about rice production.
UGANDA : ITU Brings Telemedicine
The minister of state for health of Uganda, F. Byaruhanga, inaugurated in August, leads the country's first telemedicine pilot project between the University Teaching Hospital of Mulago and Mengo Hospital in downtown Kampala.
This project applies information and communications technologies (ICTs) to agriculture and farm management in support of women farmers who identified lack of information and networking tools as the major obstacle in order to become successful entrepreneurs in a new market economy.
VIETNAM : Of Rice and Men
For 3 billion people across the globe, there is no more essential food than rice. In Vietnamese, the word for rice literally means "food." In paddies throughout Asia, it's planted and watered by farmers knee-deep in mud. What if the farmers could close that loop and get directly in touch with those overseas buyers or the major exporters at home?
Remote Wireless Telecommunications Limited is the first telecommunications company seeking a licence from the Communications Authority to develop Zambia's rural telecommunications infrastructure. According to documents at the Registrar of Companies office, the company has been formed with a view to contributing to the development of the country by designing and studying projects concerned with wireless communications solutions in areas where there are no landlines and no cellular networks, connecting such areas to the global information infrastructure.
During the June 2000 elections in Zimbabwe, MDC campaigners and other citizens took advantage of the internet and email to promote and disseminate the aims and objectives of the Movement for Democratic Change. This strategy ran alongside the traditional campaigning of talks, meetings, rallies and word of mouth. Whilst the ruling party used a variety of campaign strategies from old-fashioned intimidation to exploiting their control of the print and broadcast media, the MDC had no option but to look creatively at other ways of campaigning.
Zimbabwe: Kubatana.net (new!)
Harnessing the democratic potential of email and the internet in Zimbabwe
The NGO Network Alliance Project (NNAP) aims to strengthen the use of email and internet strategies in Zimbabwean NGOs and civil society organisations. The NNAP will make human rights and civic education information accessible to the general public from a centralised, electronic source.
TONGA. ONLINE is a project on media, information & communication technology and art focusing on the Tonga people in the remote Zambezi Valley bordering Zimbabwe and Zambia. The project goal is to promote a Tonga voice on the Internet. In turn it provides people in the Tonga area with the most advanced tool to communicate and to represent themselves to the outside world.
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