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ICT EMPOWERMENT
"Access to information and knowledge can change the scenario of rural poverty. In a country like ours with a large rural population and limited resources, a sustainable model for ICT empowerment needs to be explored."
 
CURRENT SCENARIO

  Lack of access to information is a critical source of disempowerment of the rural poor, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation, preventable diseases, and injustice.
     

  Most part of the rural population does not have access to electricity and reliable telecommunications - Information is restricted to a handful of educated elite only.
     

  Locally relevant and accessible content, as well as local management and ownership of ICTs are severely lacking.
     

  Despite a large rural population, a sustainable model for the cost-effective use of ICT among the country's rural poor is yet to emerge.
 
CRITICAL SUCCEESS FACTORS

  To develop a sustainable ICT-based model
     

  Study specific end-user information requirements by the rural communities, taking into account gender differences and social patterns of information needs and usage.
     

  Develop and test the most suitable information content in terms of e-modes of presentation and degree of conversion of existing necessary livelihood information, so that community people can handle them and share among themselves.
     

  Identify the effectiveness (both appropriateness and cost-effectiveness) of different ICT-based delivery channels to make the
digital content available to the end-users.
 
OUR INITIATIVES

  A participatory research-based analysis of the needs and service requirements of the people of rural Andhra Pradesh was conducted.
     

  Based on this analysis, Digital content and an ICT network has been developed.
     

  Content is tailored to the needs of the rural communities, and accessible even to those with little education or resources .
     

  These trainings are disseminated by explorinTg local ownership models by training the local infomediaries to be leaders and empowering them.
 
Seven Livelihood Training modules that make up the entire kit for Livelihood Training has been developed by Cause an Effect Foundation. Cause an Effect and its partners have collaborated to deploy these ICT based Training modules in various parts of India for the benefit of a larger population. These Training Modules have been primarily developed in Telugu.
 
In designing the ICT-based intervention a set of factors have been considered:
1.
  Computer, mobile phone, the Internet and other ICTs are just a tool. They can be meaningful when they are used in dissemination of relevant livelihood information in local language.
     
2.   Poor cannot have the luxury to buy computer, mobile phone or other ICTs
     
3.
  Majority of the community people are illiterate, even cannot read and write mother tongue.
     
4.   It is not feasible to implant an urban person in village on regular basis to serve required information to the poor
     
5.   Ownership of information resources by the rich cannot benefit the poor.
 
To Address these factors, a five-pronged approach was applied
A
  Creating local content
B   Establishing a common access point
C
  Using multiple information exchange channels
D   Introducing information intermediary and
E   Ensure ownership of the poor on the information dissemination system.
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