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Revisiting the "magic box" : case studies in local appropriation of information and communication technologies (ICTs)

BATCHELOR, Simon
O’FARRELL, Clare
2003

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This book looks at the way communities and groups in developing countries are appropriating information and communication technologies (ICTs) to address their needs. It finds that ICTs are being integrated into wider community-based activities and adapted to fit different contexts. It follows on from the paper "Discovering the Magic Box". It finds that there are still few examples of community-driven and locally appropriated ICT initiatives and an absence of standards or guidelines to evaluate ICT-based projects. The book includes some analytical frameworks and indicators to identify good practice and evidence of impact A significant development has been in the growth of telecommunications, in particular mobile phones, that are relatively cheap and powerful tools for poor communities, even in remote areas. The book concludes that the power of oral communication through telephones and radio cannot be underestimated. The book proposes that the main challenge is to adapt the new, usually computer-based ICTs to the needs of poor, predominantly oral-based communities so that they can be appropriated effectively and quickly

The internet and rural and agricultural development : an integrated approach

RICHARDSON, Don
1997

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Discusses the potential benefits of using the Internet for rural / agricultural development. Contextualises the growth of the internet in development initiatives and addresses the potential of the internet in specific areas, eg community development, research/education, small and medium enterprise development, and news media. Finallly, identifies several areas of best practice to guide effective use of the internet. Recommends engaging intermediary agencies involved in (project support, research, extension, health etc) in internet initiatives, as well as stakeholders and intended beneficiaries. Warns against the widening information gap between haves and have-nots

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