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Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

.... Information and Communication for
Development (ICD)
Stephen Rudgard, Michal Demes
...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

What is the problem?
• Hunger & poverty concentrated in rural areas in LIFDCs
• Poor ca...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

What is the development context?
•

Millennium Development Goals
World Food Summit
FAO ...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

Definition – Digital Divide
Inequitable access to
Information and Communication Technol...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

Disaggregated data on ICT access
Urban

Rural

Population
(%)

Fixed Lines
(%)

Populat...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

Information & Communication for
Development (ICD) –
an Integrated Approach
The agents o...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

ICD – the main elements
• Information Content – in digital format

• Innovative Mechani...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

Key Constraint
Connectivity
• Telecoms growth disguises trends
– Urban vs. rural: Weake...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

Other Key Constraints
• Institutional Capacities – lack of
resources and appropriate
or...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

Institutional Capacities
• Core competencies in Agriculture
• Imperative
− to acquire i...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

Institutional Capacities
Investing in Information
•
•
•
•

New Institutional Structures...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

Who are the national stakeholders?
 Rural communities and
their representatives
 Publ...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

FAO’s Activities in ICD
Three components:
• Evidence for validated models
• Institution...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

COMPONENT
Conceptual Models & Evidence
 Case studies of existing experiences
 Develop...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

COMPONENT
International Community of Practice
 Define and develop common
themes/concep...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

Conceptual Models
Priority Areas
• Document management
and e-publishing
• Rural informa...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

Conceptual Models
Document Management
Manage/ Disseminate Local
Information

www.fao.or...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

New AGRIS Vision
(2002)
•
•
•
•
•

decentralized approach
greater diversity of particip...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

• Launched in October 2003
• FAO in partnership with more than 20
commercial publishers...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

BUT......
• Web access is costly for many countries
• Transition technologies e.g. web→...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

Conceptual Models
Rural information and communication
systems
Models for Networking
Too...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

AgroWeb Network

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

Conceptual Models
Decision-support Systems
• FAOSTAT2 and
CountrySTAT
• Food security i...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

Evidence
• Case Studies
• Pilot implementations

Food and Agriculture Organization of t...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

Human Capacities
Information Management Resource Kit
(IMARK)
Partnership-based e-learni...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

Advocacy
• Improved BRDD Website
• WSIS Tunis Session – November 2005
• FAO Conference ...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

Advocacy – Building Partnerships
National/Regional
• Ministries
• Universities
• Privat...
Bridging the Rural Digital Divide

For more information
www.fao.org/gil/rdd
http://www.fao.org/regional/seur/

Food and Ag...
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  • <number>
  • CONCENTRATION OF HUNGER AND POVERTY IN RURAL AREAS.
    ACCESS TO ICTs CLOSELY LINKED TO ECONOMIC STATUS -
    HENCE POOR PEOPLE ALSO HAVE LESS ACCESS TO ICTs.
  • TAKING THE LEAD FROM THE Millenium Development Goals, FOR
    THE REDUCTION OF HUNGER; AND
    GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP - ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGIES
    THE WFS PLAN OF ACTION STRESSES THE IMPORTANCE OF INFORMATION
    FAO’S STRATEGY E CONCERNS INFO/COMM –
    WAICENT FRAMEWORK DEVELOPED TO FACILITATE INFO MANAGEMENT
    RECOGNITION OF THE DIGITAL DIVIDE BY THE STAKEHOLDERS IN THE UN ICT TASK FORCE
    WSIS ALSO HIGHLIGHTING THE DIGITAL DIVIDE –
    AND FAO’S EFFORTS TO FOCUS ATTENTION ON CONTENT AND THE RURAL DOMAIN .
  • THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF FAO HAS RECOGNIZED THE NEED FOR A MORE INTEGRATED APPROACH
    There would be a significant development gain from bringing together the available expertise in bridging the rural digital divide into a more coherent programmatic approach, under the coordination of a major international agency with a mandate in this area such as FAO
    The rationale for this Programme is that the rural digital divide is not only concerned with technology infrastructure and connectivity, but rather is a multi-faceted problem of ineffective knowledge exchange and management of information content, as well as the lack of human resources, institutional capacity, and gender sensitivity.
  • MOBILIZING CONTENT INTO DIGITAL FORM
    HARNESSING THE TECHNOLOGIES WITH SOUND METHODS AND TOOLS
    CONNECTING PEOPLE & ORGANIZATIONS
  • <number>
  • <number>
  • <number>
  • <number>
    The Stakeholders in Bridging the Rural Digital Divide can be divided into three broadly defined groups within member countries. These are as follows:
    Rural communities and households - need to exchange and exploit information and knowledge more effectively using ICT to improve livelihoods and reduce vulnerability.
    Rural service providers in the public and private sectors providing agricultural, financial, and communications services - need to enhance their use of digital information resources and knowledge systems as well as the new ICT themselves, which requires training and skills acquisition.
    Policy-makers and their advisers – need an enabling information and communication policy environment, including better and more reliable poverty monitoring indicators provided in a relevant and timely manner, for accurate assessments and development of pro-poor government policy, such as Poverty Reduction and Food Security Strategies.
  • THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF FAO HAS RECOGNIZED THE NEED FOR A MORE INTEGRATED APPROACH
    There would be a significant development gain from bringing together the available expertise in bridging the rural digital divide into a more coherent programmatic approach, under the coordination of a major international agency with a mandate in this area such as FAO
    The rationale for this Programme is that the rural digital divide is not only concerned with technology infrastructure and connectivity, but rather is a multi-faceted problem of ineffective knowledge exchange and management of information content, as well as the lack of human resources, institutional capacity, and gender sensitivity.
  • <number>
  • <number>
    E.g. Rural radio programme developers to prepare guidelines for good programmes
    Resource and training material needed for people to know how to do these things
  • THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF FAO HAS RECOGNIZED THE NEED FOR A MORE INTEGRATED APPROACH
    There would be a significant development gain from bringing together the available expertise in bridging the rural digital divide into a more coherent programmatic approach, under the coordination of a major international agency with a mandate in this area such as FAO
    The rationale for this Programme is that the rural digital divide is not only concerned with technology infrastructure and connectivity, but rather is a multi-faceted problem of ineffective knowledge exchange and management of information content, as well as the lack of human resources, institutional capacity, and gender sensitivity.
  • THE DIRECTOR GENERAL OF FAO HAS RECOGNIZED THE NEED FOR A MORE INTEGRATED APPROACH
    There would be a significant development gain from bringing together the available expertise in bridging the rural digital divide into a more coherent programmatic approach, under the coordination of a major international agency with a mandate in this area such as FAO
    The rationale for this Programme is that the rural digital divide is not only concerned with technology infrastructure and connectivity, but rather is a multi-faceted problem of ineffective knowledge exchange and management of information content, as well as the lack of human resources, institutional capacity, and gender sensitivity.
  • <number>
    Information is vital in the fight against hunger!
  • Transcript of "Brdd composite"

    1. 1. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide .... Information and Communication for Development (ICD) Stephen Rudgard, Michal Demes WAICENT Capacity Building and Outreach Improvement of Information Exchange between Education institutions in the SEE Region Godollo, Hungary, 1- 3 June 2005 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    2. 2. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    3. 3. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide What is the problem? • Hunger & poverty concentrated in rural areas in LIFDCs • Poor capacity to access information in rural areas • Information/knowledge gap for rural stakeholders How many people? 75% of 1.3 billion people living on less than $1/day live in rural areas Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    4. 4. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide What is the development context? • Millennium Development Goals World Food Summit FAO Strategic Framework WAICENT – World Agricultural Information Centre World Summit on Information Society Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    5. 5. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide Definition – Digital Divide Inequitable access to Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) between wealthy and poor – countries and social groups The divide has a Urban-Rural dimension. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    6. 6. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide Disaggregated data on ICT access Urban Rural Population (%) Fixed Lines (%) Population (%) Fixed Lines (%) Asia 37 67 63 33 Europe 64 88 36 12 Americas 75 82 25 18 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    7. 7. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide Information & Communication for Development (ICD) – an Integrated Approach The agents of change are the new ICTs but all components must be addressed: – Connectivity – Content – Capacity - institutional and human Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    8. 8. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide ICD – the main elements • Information Content – in digital format • Innovative Mechanisms and Processes – for information digitization and exchange, and for communication • Networks - amongst key stakeholders Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    9. 9. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide Key Constraint Connectivity • Telecoms growth disguises trends – Urban vs. rural: Weaker infrastructure, Lower reliability and quality, Higher costs – Major growth is in mobile telephony – Internet access still difficult/expensive • New technology options • Doubtful commercial viability Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    10. 10. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide Other Key Constraints • Institutional Capacities – lack of resources and appropriate organizational structures • Human Capacities – lack of awareness and skills • Partnerships – poor outreach to key service providers and audiences Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    11. 11. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide Institutional Capacities • Core competencies in Agriculture • Imperative − to acquire information − to communicate/disseminate outputs • Opportunities in the New Technologies Many Organizations are not addressing the challenge adequately. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    12. 12. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide Institutional Capacities Investing in Information • • • • New Institutional Structures New Skills and/or New People New Content – Digital New Technologies Minimise impact of change – • learn lessons from others • use existing technologies Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    13. 13. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide Who are the national stakeholders?  Rural communities and their representatives  Public and private sector service organizations  Government policy-makers and their advisers Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    14. 14. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide FAO’s Activities in ICD Three components: • Evidence for validated models • Institutional learning platform • Advocacy Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    15. 15. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide COMPONENT Conceptual Models & Evidence  Case studies of existing experiences  Development of conceptual models  Pilots to test and validate models  Studies to capture evidence of good practice Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    16. 16. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide COMPONENT International Community of Practice  Define and develop common themes/concepts  Share documented experiences and evidence  Develop and disseminate :  tools and methodologies  training materials  Advocacy Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    17. 17. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide Conceptual Models Priority Areas • Document management and e-publishing • Rural information and communication systems • Decision support tools Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    18. 18. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide Conceptual Models Document Management Manage/ Disseminate Local Information www.fao.org/agris Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Access Global Information www.aginternetwork.org
    19. 19. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide New AGRIS Vision (2002) • • • • • decentralized approach greater diversity of participating organizations strengthened role in capacity building focus on full text documents greater availability of associated information about activities/organizations/people • set of web-enabled standards (AGMES), methodologies (AGRIS Application Profiles, AGROVOC), and tools (WebAGRIS) Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    20. 20. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide • Launched in October 2003 • FAO in partnership with more than 20 commercial publishers, WHO, Cornell University, and several other organizations • Free online access to over 500 journals in agriculture and related fields • 69 countries eligible (39 from Africa) • 50 countries & 250 organizations registered Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    21. 21. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide BUT...... • Web access is costly for many countries • Transition technologies e.g. web→email • Other content offerings available: – TEEAL (CD-ROM product) – PERI (CD-ROM and Web-based) Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    22. 22. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide Conceptual Models Rural information and communication systems Models for Networking Tools and Processes VERCON (Virtual Extension, Research and Communication Network) Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations FarmNet - Farmers Information Network
    23. 23. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide AgroWeb Network Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    24. 24. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide Conceptual Models Decision-support Systems • FAOSTAT2 and CountrySTAT • Food security information system Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    25. 25. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide Evidence • Case Studies • Pilot implementations Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    26. 26. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide Human Capacities Information Management Resource Kit (IMARK) Partnership-based e-learning initiative • Modules – CD and Web-based curricula & resources • On-line Community - a "virtual" community for experts and learners Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    27. 27. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide Advocacy • Improved BRDD Website • WSIS Tunis Session – November 2005 • FAO Conference – November 2005 • Regional Conferences – 2006 • Expert Consultations • Publications Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    28. 28. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide Advocacy – Building Partnerships National/Regional • Ministries • Universities • Private Sector • NGOs • IICA • etc…. International • World Bank • European Union • V4 region • Balkan region • Bilateral donors • etc… Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    29. 29. Bridging the Rural Digital Divide For more information www.fao.org/gil/rdd http://www.fao.org/regional/seur/ Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
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