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Rural Networking in Solomon Islands Randall Biliki PFnet Manager People First Network P.O. Box 919 Honiara Solomon Islands

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Presentation on theme: "Rural Networking in Solomon Islands Randall Biliki PFnet Manager People First Network P.O. Box 919 Honiara Solomon Islands"— Presentation transcript:

1 Rural Networking in Solomon Islands Randall Biliki PFnet Manager People First Network P.O. Box 919 Honiara Solomon Islands

2 Country Facts and Constraints Small Island Geography – 100s of remote, scattered communities High Costs – Monopolies, restrictive regulations, costly imports Lack of Focus in government – Limited awareness, no ICT strategy Effects of conflict – Collapsed economy, mistrust, ICT perceived as low priority in reconstruction

3 The People First Network (PFnet) ……to promote and facilitate equitable and sustainable rural development and peace building by enabling better information sharing and knowledge building among and across communities forming the Solomon Islands…… Rural Development Volunteers Association (RDVA)

4 Facilitate affordable access 1. Facilitate affordable accessObjectives

5 2. Facilitate rural development and peace-related information flows among all social groups; 3. Facilitate the exchange of information between communities and stakeholders;

6 Rural wireless networking in HF band

7 Management Committees Operators Community intermediaries Technical intermediaries

8 12 stations with another 12 scheduled by June 2004

9 Distance educationSustainable livelihoods Rural credit + solar power + communications = Rural “business incubator” Farmer’s networking Applications

10 Disaster managementWomen’s networking Community consultations: i.e. Constitutional reform Community policing Rights awareness

11 Services – community and private accounts – community and private accounts Searching on the Internet Searching on the Internet News reports (2-way) News reports (2-way) Sharing information from/with partners Sharing information from/with partners Secretarial services Secretarial services Rural consultations and feedback Rural consultations and feedback Weather warnings and disaster reporting Weather warnings and disaster reporting

12 TEK search engine (MIT) Tools for creative bandwidth management RANET / Worldspace

13 Internet Centre in Honiara generates revenues to support the activities

14 Rural Development e-Citizen Portal

15 Film UN in Action, (4 min) by UN TV at PFnet Pirupiru station, July 2003

16 Monitoring and Research

17 Insert graphs of station usage from Selo’s latest monthly report

18 Insert summary of user profiles in bullet points, for all the s sent so far, all stations. Consult selo’s latest data on the web site. Summarise sample size % women educational level ages destinations main subjects Only briefly! No time for detail – say it is all on the web site

19 Current Research Social impacts Social impacts Factors affecting uptake / appropriation Factors affecting uptake / appropriation January 2004 January 2004 JICA funded JICA funded USP with UNDP and PFnet USP with UNDP and PFnet 5 locations to be studied 5 locations to be studied

20 Research on National ICT Strategy Currently no ICT Strategy in place in S.I. Currently no ICT Strategy in place in S.I. Regional ICT Policy Plan (2001) Regional ICT Policy Plan (2001)Effects: Lack of focus Lack of focus Partners not collaborating – no synergy Partners not collaborating – no synergy Dependant on personalities Dependant on personalities ICT not used widely in Solomon Islands ICT not used widely in Solomon Islands

21 ICT Strategy Building workshop Held to: Identify why ICT4D is not use more widely Identify why ICT4D is not use more widely Build a consensus on priority objectives Build a consensus on priority objectives Provide guiding documentation for ICT strategy building Provide guiding documentation for ICT strategy building

22 Outcomes Problem and objectives trees constructed using OOPP Problem and objectives trees constructed using OOPP Priority objectives clusters identified Priority objectives clusters identified Document published (e.J.o.I.S.D.C) Document published (e.J.o.I.S.D.C) Solomon Islands ICT Working Group created as national steering council Solomon Islands ICT Working Group created as national steering council Included in e-Pacifika (UNDP) Included in e-Pacifika (UNDP)

23 Problem Tree 55 problems associated with the use of ICT in development in Solomon Islands Mapped onto a corresponding Objectives Tree Objective clusters identified

24 ICT4D strategy: Objective clusters

25 Distance education trials People First Network University of South Pacific Centre, Honiara

26 Objectives OVERALL To provide improved educational opportunities for Solomon Islanders, especially in rural areas SPECIFIC Pilot a distance learning computer centre Pilot a distance learning computer centre Trial the delivery of USP modules by Trial the delivery of USP modules by Provide baseline research data on impacts Provide baseline research data on impacts Build rural and national capacity and awareness Build rural and national capacity and awareness

27 What we did Computer centre in rural village Computer centre in rural village Enrolled and trained 20 USP students Enrolled and trained 20 USP students Supervised 10 students in distance studies Supervised 10 students in distance studies Assignments, tutorials and counselling by Assignments, tutorials and counselling by Research interview program Research interview program Participatory evaluation and workshop for education stakeholders Participatory evaluation and workshop for education stakeholders (June-October 2002)

28

29 Evaluation The trials proved the utility of the ICT The trials proved the utility of the ICT Improved success rates, turnaround and student-tutor relationships Improved success rates, turnaround and student-tutor relationships All participants needed training to use the low-bandwidth system All participants needed training to use the low-bandwidth system All academic staff should be involved All academic staff should be involved Main problem concerned access to reference material Main problem concerned access to reference material

30 Follow up Proposed project starting March 2004 Proposed project starting March 2004 E-learning centres in 9 rural schools E-learning centres in 9 rural schools Funded by EU (circa Euro 1.2m) Funded by EU (circa Euro 1.2m) Integrated education strengthening Integrated education strengthening Need for local solutions Need for local solutions VSAT VSAT Partnership with Solomon Telekom Partnership with Solomon Telekom

31 Funding since Oct 2000 (US$) Government of Japan 140K Government of Japan 140K NZAid 125K NZAid 125K UNDP (direct)66K UNDP (direct)66K UNDP (through SIDAPP)60K UNDP (through SIDAPP)60K Government of Britain60K Government of Britain60K EU – supported 4 community stations directly 32K EU – supported 4 community stations directly 32K Government of R.O.C.20K Government of R.O.C.20K APDIP9K APDIP9K AusAid – supported 1 community directly 8K AusAid – supported 1 community directly 8K Oxfam1K Oxfam1K


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