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Efita2007 update2011

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  • 1. Rural empowerment through access to knowledge: a comparison of two projects on two continents With some reflections in 2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Julian Swindell Principal lecturer Royal Agricultural College julian.swindell@rac.ac.uk 10 11 12 Royal Agricultural College
  • 2. Knowledge access for the rural poor • The first UNMG is “… to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger…” • Knowledge access is fundamental to poverty alleviation • Paradigm shift possible through knowledge acquisition: – Why are they poor? >> – Why am I poor? • The barrier of ignorance is immense • ICT may help overcome that barrier 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Royal Agricultural College
  • 3. The impact of ignorance • What is my crop really worth? • What big are the waves? • How can I learn? • What jobs are there? • What’s wrong with my crop? • What’s wrong with my child? • What’s wrong with me? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Royal Agricultural College
  • 4. Honduras-India (Pondicherry) 1 2 3 4 5 6 • 7.5 million – 53% BPL • • • • • GDP $25 billion $3,100 PPP 80% literacy 25/1000 IM 69.3 years LE • 1,130 million – 25% BPL • • • • • GDP $4.2 trillion $3,800 PPP 61% literacy 34/1000 IM 68.6 years LE 7 8 9 10 11 12 Royal Agricultural College Source: CIA World Fact Book, 2007
  • 5. The “Honduran Project” • “Methodologies for integrating data across geographical scales in a data-rich environment: examples from Honduras” – Instigated and driven by an international NGO, CIAT – Stakeholder participation invited after the instigation – Stakeholders at lower level were not really interested 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Royal Agricultural College
  • 6. Honduran stakeholders 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Royal Agricultural College
  • 7. Project outcomes • Research papers • Final project report for funding agency • Final project workshop in 2000 • Funding ceased, the consultant team dispersed • Honduran farmers carried on much as before. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Royal Agricultural College
  • 8. Village Knowledge Centres of Pondicherry • A local project instigated within India by an Indian research foundation, MSSRF – Acquisition and sharing of knowledge by rural villages – Use of ICT to empower the disadvantaged. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Royal Agricultural College
  • 9. Local knowledge, local people 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Royal Agricultural College
  • 10. Comparison of the projects Honduras • International instigation CIAT • Significant project funding • Top-down, institution/ government led • Participatory during the running of the project • Outputs claimed by the consultants • Finite timescale – 1997-2000 Pondicherry • Local instigation MSSRF • Start up funding, plus user contribution • Bottom up from what the villager needs • Participatory from the outset. No participation, no VKC • Outputs claimed by the villagers • Open ended – 1997-continues 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Royal Agricultural College
  • 11. Which approach is best? • International, top down, closed projects are unlikely to have clear, perceptible local impact outside of the project team • Locally instigated projects aimed at establishing a local service can become embedded if adopted by the stakeholders 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Royal Agricultural College
  • 12. Recommendations • Development funding should be channelled in two directions: – Developing localised NGOs which instigate and support development in their own environment – Developing international projects for knowledge transfer and coordination 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Royal Agricultural College
  • 13. Knowledge transfer • International knowledge transfer may be the better realm for major international development funding 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Royal Agricultural College
  • 14. But things change… • In the first decade of the 21st century. – Desk top computing was seen as the target – Access to knowledge was seen as access to managed data in a managed way • In the second decade… Royal Agricultural College
  • 15. Mobility is the key word • Mobile phones changed everything – Almost everyone who wants one can get one – Mobile telephony has lead to mobile computing – A modern smart phone can access everything offered by the Village Knowledge Centres, and it sits in your pocket Royal Agricultural College
  • 16. Assam 2009- NE India • No power or water • Mobile phones common • Charged vi solar panel Royal Agricultural College
  • 17. Nagaland 2010-NE India • Some power • Mobile phones universal • Charged via solar panels and in shops • Facebook and email very common Royal Agricultural College
  • 18. Summary • Technology changes • What is cutting edge will be ordinary • Access to electricity is the major blockage • Social networking and mobile ICT can bring more benefits to emerging economies than to developed economies Royal Agricultural College
  • 19. Organisation summary • CIAT, Cali, Colombia – Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical www.ciat.cgiar.org • MSSRF, Chennai, India – M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation www.mssrf.org • RAC, Cirencester, United Kingdom – Royal Agricultural College www.rac.ac.uk • Contact 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 julian.swindell@rac.ac.uk 12 Royal Agricultural College