Strengthening Rural Livelihoods: The impact of Information and Communication Technologies in Asia

Posted by admin on Aug 10, 2011
Strengthening Rural Livelihoods: The impact of Information and Communication Technologies in Asia data sheet 918 Views
Grimshaw and Kala (eds.)
ISSN/ISBN Number: 
Publication Date: 
Mar 2011
Publication Type: 

Enthusiasm amongst international development agencies about harnessing the potential of Information and communications technologies (ICTs) for development has waned as observers have recently questioned the Impact and sustainability of such interventions. By presenting the findings of research specifically designed to measure Impact on livelihoods, Strengthening Rural Livelihoods offers new evidence for the development benefits of ICTs.


The book presents an overview of SIX research projects within the 'Knowledge Networking for Rural Development In Asia Pacific' (ENRAP) research programme. It asks if ICTs enabled farmers to sell beyond local markets and at better prices, and whether there have been social gains in linking geographically disparate households and social networks.


Using a control trial approach In four out of the SIX project case studies, and critically assessing the pros and cons of this methodology including the ethical Implications, the authors have provided significant new Insights Into how to overcome the challenges of mainstreaming lCTs Into rural livelihoods and more effectively measuring its effects. This book will appeal to academics, civil society organizations, practitioners and students who are Interested In what works and what doesn't work when applying ICTs to rural livelihoods.

The Mobile Minute: RIM Layoffs, Smartphone Penetration in Asia, and the Growth of Near Field Communication Payments

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Aug 01, 2011

The Mobile Minute is back with the latest mobile news. What's happening today? Nielsen Wire looks at smartphone penetration in Asia, RIM lays off 11% of its worldwide workforce, CGAP investigates how network operators can incorporate mobile financial services into their operations, [x]Cube Labs turns Android's history into an infographic, and Read Write Web looks into the latest developments in the use of near field communication technology for mobile payments.

  • Curious about the smartphone market in Asia? Nielsen Wire looks at the rapid growth of smartphones in Asia. Although current smartphone penetration in the region is less than 20%, a Nielsen survey of consumers revealed that nearly half of respondents plan to buy a smartphone within the next year. Nielsen Wire investigates what the anticipated increase in smartphone ownership will mean for how people access the Internet, how network operators will price their data plans, and how mobile advertising will adjust to a new market.
  • Wired reports that RIM (the makers of BlackBerry devices) announced on July 25th their plans to lay off 2000 employees, roughly 11% of its worldwide workforce. The move comes as RIM has lost market share to the growing popularity of newer operating systems like Apple's iOS and Google's Android.
  • CGAP's "How to Run with Mobile Money and Not Fall" article examines how mobile network operators can incorporate mobile financial services into their current business models. Some of the advice for successfully incorporating mobile money services includes using multiple distribution methods (such as both on-phone purchases and traditional street airtime sellers) and getting support from/sharing knowledge among multiple departments.
  • If you like charts and graphs, check out this history of the Android operating system. Covering everything from its founding date (2003), to the Google buyout (2005), to the launch of the first Android device (2008), to present day releases, the infographic maps out each update in Android's development.
  • Near field communication (NFC) technology allows smartphone users to transmit information to nearby contacts. Read Write Web recently investigated some of the new developments in the NFC field for turning smartphones into credit cards. The first article looks at how the company Isis partnered with four major American credit card companies (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover) to develop wireless payments. The second article looks at the Jumio payment company's launch of Netswipe, which "turns any webcam into a credit card reader, both on the desktop and on mobile."

[Mobile Minute Disclaimer: The Mobile Minute is a quick round-up of interesting stories that have come across our RSS and Twitter feeds to keep you informed of the rapid pace of innovation. Read them and enjoy them, but know that we have not deeply investigated these news items. For more in-depth information about the ever-growing field of mobile tech for social change, check out our blog postswhite papers and researchhow-tos, and case studies.

Image courtesy Flickr user QiFei

Extending the Technology-Community-Management Model to Disaster Recovery: Assessing Vulnerability in Rural Asia

Posted by MarkWeingarten on Feb 22, 2011
Extending the Technology-Community-Management Model to Disaster Recovery: Assessing Vulnerability in Rural Asia data sheet 1096 Views
Chib, Arul and A.L.E Komathi
Publication Date: 
Jan 2009
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper

The recent increase in natural disasters has a significant impact on the lives and livelihoods of the poor in Asia. The spread of information communication technologies (ICTs) in this region’s rural areas suggests the potential of technologies to enhance recovery efforts. While many ICT initiatives have been implemented to aid disaster management, from providing early warning to immediate relief, there exists a gap in the theoretical understanding of the role of technologies in disaster recovery and rehabilitation.

We propose a conceptual framework for understanding the implementation of ICTs in recovery operations, drawing attention to vulnerability reducing potential of the initiatives. We review theories on ICT use in disaster management, and propose the Extended Technology-Community-Management model focusing on vulnerability assessment for the design and implementation of ICT programs for development in rural areas. We illustrate this model using case studies from ICT deployments in post-disaster Asia, particularly India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and China, and suggest implications for theory and practice.

Social Influence in Mobile Phone Adoption: Evidence from the Bottom of the Pyramid in Emerging Asia

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Oct 26, 2009
Social Influence in Mobile Phone Adoption: Evidence from the Bottom of the Pyramid in Emerging Asia data sheet 3662 Views
Harsha de Silva, Dimuthu Ratnadiwakara
Publication Date: 
May 2009
Publication Type: 
Journal article

This paper empirically considers the importance of various influencing factors in mobile phone adoption discussed in theory.  Using data from a large sample survey among the bottom of the pyramid in Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines and Thailand, the paper finds compelling evidence for significant social influence in the purchase of mobile phones by this population.

This influence is assessed both from a 'social pressure' angle as well as a 'social benefit' angle to recognize the importance of adoption behavior of one's close network and the perceptions of benefits in one's own adoption.  Evidence is also found to confirm the importance of perceived economic benefits in mobile adoption among this group even though such benefits are found to be closely tied with social benefits.

Call for Grant Proposals/ICT4D Research

Posted by drenched85 on Aug 27, 2008

Strengthening ICT4D Research Capacity in Asia (SIRCA) Programme is announcing a call for grant proposals.

The SIRCA Programme seeks to identify research leaders, and to facilitate their development through the support of research grants. The awards are focused in the area of Information and Communications Technology for Development (ICT4D or ICTD) in Asia.  There are three (3) categories of funding – 20,000 Singapore Dollars (SGD), 26,500 SGD and 33,000 SGD. Project proposals exceeding 33,000 SGD must specify the source of additional funds.

The program is seeking emerging researchers based in Asia who are relatively new to ICTD research and interested in undertaking theoretically-based and methodologically rigorous research. Additionally, applicants need to indicate how they benefit from concerted capacity building exercises, including a mentorship arrangement.