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Brdd composite

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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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