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Rural information, knowledge and business services – challenges and opportunities S. Janakiram, Champion, ICT for Rural Development, E-development and.

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Presentation on theme: "Rural information, knowledge and business services – challenges and opportunities S. Janakiram, Champion, ICT for Rural Development, E-development and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Rural information, knowledge and business services – challenges and opportunities S. Janakiram, Champion, ICT for Rural Development, E-development and Sustainable Agricultural Systems, Knowledge and Institutions Thematic Groups Parmesh Shah, Lead Rural Development Specialist, SASRD World Bank The views and opinions expressed in this presentation are the authors own and should not be attributed to the World Bank, its management, its Board of Directors or the countries they represent.

2 Overview Vision Two case studies Russia – Rural information, knowledge and services India – Rural Kiosks in Andhra Pradesh Global trends Framework for development of rural information, knowledge and business services Key principles Implementation steps Moving forward … What we hope to see in the years ahead?

3 The Vision………….. Inter-connected rural information, knowledge and business service centers within and between countries… Tailored to meet the multi-sectoral and multi- disciplinary information needs of the rural population Providing F r ee and Fee based information, knowledge and business services –To ensure sustainability Using a variety of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)

4 Two case studies… Russia – Rural Information and knowledge services India – Rural kiosks in Andhra Pradesh

5 First case study Russia – Rural Information and knowledge services * *Carried out as part of a Bank financed project: "Agricultural Reform Implementation Support (ARIS) Project, May 31, 1994. Report Number 12710-RU

6 Context Objective Approach Taken Results Achieved Lessons Learned

7 Context: 92- 93 Initial Conditions State-controlled information systems to meet centralized planning requirements Lack of free access to information to those desiring to be informed and make their own decisions High literacy rate in the world, but lack of knowledge of how to function in a market economy Availability of basic communication infrastructure

8 Objective To enable the free flow of information and knowledge to improve decision making of different types of emerging public and private rural enterprises and institutions during the transition to a market economy

9 Approach taken

10 Four M Modular approach for rural information and knowledge services* Modular approach using M ulti media to develop M ulti-disciplinary information and knowledge services from M ultiple sources to M ultiple users with built in user needs assessment and feedback mechanisms * More information is available in the following link to the case study on Russia - Rural information and knowledge system Also accessible in Google search using keywords rural information and knowledge services

11 Client Information Needs Assessment

12 M ultiusers: The First M

13 Multiusers Private FarmsCollective/State FarmsGovernmentAgro IndustriesConsumers

14 Priorities of Information for emerging private farm structures Legal and financial information Methods of processing agricultural products Agricultural mechanization and technologies Veterinary-related information

15 Multisource: The Second M Multidisciplinary: The Third M

16 Information Sources Rural Information and Knowledge Development Multisource Multidisciplinary Information Development for Client & Media (Business, Market, Technical, Legal, Environmental) Management, organization Govt. Agencies Universities Agricultural Institutions Russian Research Academies Input Suppliers Local/Foreign Data Banks Foreign Sources International Research Institutes

17 M ultimedia: The Fourth M

18 Rural Information and Knowledge Dissemination Using Multimedia PrintRadioVideoComputer TV Exhibitions & Fairs


20 Information Development for Client & Media (Business, Market, Technical, Legal, Environmental) Information Sources Govt. Agencies Universities Russian Research Academies Agricultural Institutions Input Suppliers Foreign Sources International Research Institutes Local/Foreign Data Banks Client Information Needs Assessment PrintRadioVideoComputerTV Exhibitions & Fairs Multimedia Multiusers Private FarmsCollective/State FarmsGovernmentAgro IndustriesConsumers Rural Information and Knowledge Services Feedback Multisource Multidisciplinary

21 Press Video Center Information Sources MOA Depts Universities Russian Research Academies Agricultural Institutions Foreign Univ. Intl Libraries International Research Institutes Local/Foreign Data Banks Client Information Needs Assessment PrintRadioVideoComputerTV Multimedia Multiusers Federal MOA Departments Oblast-MOA Departments Institutes Ministry of Agriculture: Multi-media Press Video Center Feedback Multisource Multidisciplinary Agricultural Producers

22 Results

23 Results achieved…at User Level Moving towards… Attitudinal changes in new ways of doing business by different users Transforming state farm workers to private farmers Increased awareness among users to make informed business decisions and understanding of the rewards and risks of a market economy Using timely agricultural price information to make production and marketing decisions – resulting in crop diversification, efficient use of resources and meeting consumer demands rather than dictated by state quotas and fixed prices Maximize profit Creation of democratic structures and new alliances Formation of interest groups Producer organizations Citizens advocacy groups Transparency, increased accountability of public resources Government programs Disclosure of Government expenditures Stimulating competition among traders, reducing inter-regional price disparities and taking advantage of international market opportunities

24 Results achieved.. Information infrastructure development Creation of distributed computing environment connecting 30 oblasts (states) and over 300 raions (districts) across the Russian Federation providing agriculture and market information Website ( – provides weekly and bi-weekly producer, wholesale and retail prices oof up to 150 agricultural products by grades and Sections on price information, markets and agricultural information is the most frequently visited Was among the top three state web-sites among all the economic sectors in the Russian Federation A modern multi-media press video center using digital technology in the Agricultural Ministry Has capability that matches or exceeds that found in most agricultural communication/extension systems anywhere in the world Carries out daily broadcast program own land in Radio Russia and by commercial broadcasting station Free Russia covering 90% of the Russian territory and majority of CIS countries Production of video films from different parts of the world on various aspects of agricultural production, marketing, businesses, privatization, etc Production and transmission by Russian TV – Rural News Program which is carried out by regional state TV and broadcasting companies

25 Results achieved.. Institutional development A well developed Federal Training Center in Timiryazev Agricultural Academy Introduction of new curriculum on agricultural extension Retraining of agricultural professionals to suit a market oriented economy Trains specialists in various aspects of agriculture at the federal and regional levels – who in turn provide training for farmers and rural enterprises Carries out distance learning programs in various aspects of farm re-organization, management, technologies, restructuring, etc. Establishment of Farmer information and Advisory Services (FIAS centers) Operational in 27 Oblasts (States) and 148 Raions (Districts) Over 750 specialists trained in the provision of advisory services suitable for a market oriented agricultural economy Replicated the establishment of FIAS centers in additional 35 Oblasts outside the project area

26 How much did this cost? Cost Total investment and operating cost between 1995-2000 $32 million Financing: Government of Russian Federation $11 million World Bank $21 million

27 Lessons Learned

28 Involvement of as many public and private institutions as possible for information development and dissemination Such as: - Dept of Science and technology, Information, advisory services in the Ministry of Agriculture - Agricultural Universities at the federal and state levels - Research Academies - Nongovernmental organizations - Local community organizations - Public and private media organizations Build on local culture, customs and media – incorporate local mechanisms into information and knowledge transfer project activities Examples : - Annual agricultural exhibitions/fairs - Harvest festivals - Local TV and radio programs - Local newspapers, periodicals, magazines

29 Flexibility and scalability in technology hardware Incorporate internationally accepted hardware and software standards into information network design and communication Examples: - Distributed computing environment - Open Software - Effective use of available communication facilities and bandwidth Provide adequate operations support – for day to day operations Examples: - Office supplies - Communication expenses - Local transport - Incorporate performance based incentives for project staff Expect limited cost recovery during transition years – takes time to move from Free to Fee based services Such as: - Recovery of partial operating costs - Provide information and knowledge as a free public good, especially in transition and least developed economies

30 Case Study… India: Rural Kiosks in Andhra Pradesh

31 Overview Context Vision and objectives Criteria Services rendered Economics and viability Outcomes Lessons learnt

32 Context.. Strong leadership at the Andhra Pradesh Government level with a vision to bring access to Government services to the citizens at minimum cost and increase transparency A large State wide Self-Help Group and Village Organization Network of the poor with own savings and Commercial Bank linkages Builds on successful franchise model (E-Sewa) in urban areas Information Technology Rapidly developing information infrastructure – aimed at providing connectivity characterized by Declining costs – Fiber optic technology introduced in a large scale Private sector given a bigger role in delivery of Government services through franchises Proposed 8600 kiosks through two large private sector operators

33 Rural Kiosk - vision Is a center which would provide: Government to Citizen Services (G2C) Government to Business Services (G2B) Business to Business Services (B2B) Business to Citizen Services (B2C) Citizen to Citizen Services (C2C) To provide opportunities for Government Departments, Public and Private Service providers, SHG entrepreneurs to create and manage services addressed to the rural citizens and markets and operate franchises

34 Objectives To provide the population living in the village access to information needed for empowerment and development To give the marginal farmers information on markets, productivity tools, best practices, and other needed information to move up the value chain To bring domestic and global markets closer to those making products and artisans making handicrafts To serve as a hub of information for employment opportunities To build the infrastructure and achieve statewide networked economy To provide localized content and interface to meet the needs of various degrees of literacy levels Developing a fully e-literate state with at least one member of each family acquiring proficiency in computers

35 Elements of Knowledge Based Enterprises at Village and Peri-Urban Levels Information Based Services (land records, crop forecasts) Family Based Services (rural emergency 911 response service, postal service) E-Governance Services (government records and services) E-Commerce Services (financial transactions, delivery of goods) Venture Capital and Know How (setting up mini enterprise, providing start-up funds) Educational services (distance learning, computer education) E-Health – telemedicine

36 Criteria for setting up a Rural Kiosk Owned and managed by Mandal Samakhya and operated by self help groups Availability of power Telephone connectivity Easily accessible Proximity to a bank


38 Services offered in Rural Kiosks Government Services Electricity bill collection Telephone bill collection Land Records Certificates Death, Birth, Income Certificates RTO, Commercial Tax and other tax collection Non-Judiciary/Postal Stamps Information Services Government programs/schemes Promotion and awareness programs Health – Education – Employment Computer Education Tele-Medicine Sale of various application forms Results and marks Placement services Insurance Premium Collection and new insurance policies Distance Education Matrimonial Services

39 Computer education in rural kiosk


41 Services offered by Rural Kiosks Private and Other Services Self Help Group Accounting Information Services Market Information Money Transfer Courier and Cargo Services Sale of Bank Products ICICI personal loans, etc. Sale of HLLs I-Shakti Products Mobile phone handsets and activation cards Sale of various retail products




45 Economics and Viability of a Kiosk (in Rupees)

46 Income received from Rural Kiosk operations

47 Outcomes It has proved to be a boon to Rural citizens Citizens Better services to citizens Computer Literacy for citizens Human Development in rural areas RAJiv Kiosk operators Change in Income generation activity from traditional dairy employment to IT based services Empowerment of women Self sustainability

48 Lessons learnt Better services to Rural citizens Saves time Saves money Transactions are synchronized at central level and operations of kiosks are monitored Financial perspective Operations perspective Self-sustainability of SHG group is critical Selection of Kiosk operators is critical Jurisdiction of Panchayats vis-à-vis Kiosks

49 Challenges Self-sustainability Less no. of transactions per service Hence, more number of services is required Entrepreneurial skills Women office bearers Network connectivity Technical and Business Handholding Financial reconciliation on daily basis Monitoring on daily basis

50 New partnerships envisaged Tie ups with Microsoft, ITC and Byraju Foundation (Satyam) for increasing the range of services Radiant Technologies is a revenue sharing partner ( 25%) provides maintenance and service delivery support and is developing tie ups with ICICI Bank, Rural Naukri. com, Aptech ( computer education) and Nokia Program works with bankable SHGs and encures Bank financing and SGSY linkages

51 Way Ahead MoU signed with eGovServices to establish Kiosk Support Center PPP model Sustainability of system Incorporate standard business practices More services Telemedicine Satellite based kiosks Property Transactions


53 First trend Changing information, knowledge and business needs.. From simple to complex

54 More holistic information, knowledge & services – multisectoral and multidisciplinary in nature are being demanded by the population.. from A….Z A griculture – AIDS - Advisory Services Business – Biology – Bills - Banking Culture – Credit - Capital Debt - Data Education – Employment - Entitlements – Empowerment - Entertainment – Environment - Extension Foods – Forestry – Finance – Farming - Fees Government services - Genetics - GMOs Health – Horoscope Industry – Information Job Opportunities - Justice Knowledge Land titles – Laws – Licenses Market – Microfinance – Manufacturing - Matrimony Nutrition Permits – Procurement Registration Social benefits – Social Security Technology – Trade – Transport – Tourism – Tax – Tickets Utilities Weather – Wisdom Z oology

55 Second trend… Changing Information and Communication Technologies – from single to integrated systems

56 Print Radio Telephone Films Audio Television Video Computer Internet GIS RFID Other… Multimedia information, knowledge, & business centers providing Multi-sectoral – Multi- disciplinary content From Multiple sources To serve Multiple users With feed-back mechanisms Essential elements Enabling policy environment to promote access in rural areas – pricing, competition, regulatory env., etc Incentives for retaining skilled people and private sector involvement Relevant Content in local language Telecommunication infrastructure Institutional linkages and capacity building Existing tools Present… future Integrated ICT systems Emerging Trends

57 Third Trend…. International investment in ICTs shifting from manufacturing to service activities Marketed services become a larger share of economic activity –Because of.. –greater domestic de-regulation –competition –trade liberalization Outsourcing

58 Information and Communication Technologies – ICTs Are tools that help build human network, increase public awareness and provide access to information, knowledge and services for the use of people Consists of a range of communication media and devices Print- Internet Telephone- Remote Sensing Fax- GIS Radio- RFID Television - and technologies on the drawing boards… Video Audio Computer Definition of ICT

59 Key Principles…. Need to place more emphasis on… I : Information - needs assessment, indigenous knowledge, intellectual property rights, freedom of information, developing relevant institutions and to make it as another BASIC NEED C: Improving Communication, Content, Connectivity, Capacity building, Culture of sharing information – to bring about Change in attitudes, behavior and more efficient ways of doing business and delivery of services T: Build on existing traditional technologies along with modern technologies – to bring increased Transparency and gain public Trust

60 How to design rural information, knowledge and business services ? - implementation steps

61 Mechanisms for Content Development and Partnership arrangements with Users Sources Partners NGOs Academic Institutions Government institutions Private sector Internet Multi-national Cos International Institutions Diaspora User Information Knowledge Capacity Needs Assessment PrintRadioVideoComputer/InternetTV Exhibitions & Fairs M ultiple – Communication channels M ultiple Users Rural HouseholdsEntrepreneursGovernmentSchoolsHospitals Framework for Rural Information, Knowledge and Business Services Feedback M ultiple-sources -partners M ultiple-disciplines -sectors content

62 Replicability Modular nature of the approach taken Lends itself to the design of the least cost and most appropriate ways for developing and disseminating rural information and knowledge services To address the user needs of the rural population – using a range media - from traditional and tested radio, print and television dissemination mechanisms to modern high technologies using high speed computers and internet.

63 Scalability Builds on Available Information Technology Infrastructure Capacity in existing institutions involved with provision of information, knowledge and business services and training

64 Implementation Steps.. Step One: Participatory diagnostic information and knowledge needs and capacity assessment of a variety of end users in rural areas to define and prioritize needs assess both the demand and nature of information, local problems, constraints, and the expectations of the various users from rural information, knowledge and business services strengths and weaknesses of existing communication systems Step Two: Development of appropriate content and partnerships to meet end user needs Public, private, academic, non-governmental institutions, etc Publicly available content from the World Wide Web and adapted to meet the needs of the rural population Step Three: Dissemination of content and development of partnership linkages using a variety of information communication technologies Such as TV, radio, telephone, video, CD ROM, print, E-mail, fax, internet, teleconferencing, etc. Step Four: Ongoing feedback for monitoring and evaluation Content improvement, media selection, cost recovery mechanisms, assessing changing demands and creating demand for new types of information, knowledge and business opportunities by different types of end-users, evaluating impact of investments in ICT aimed at poverty reduction

65 What we hope to see in the years ahead… Emphasis on both institutional and IT infrastructure in country assistance strategies Development of information and knowledge based enterprises Value added E-services using the vast network of community organizations and micro-enterprises Protection of Intellectual Property Rights of the poor – and indigenous knowledge as a marketable asset Development of information and knowledge markets at the local level Increased role of public sector to provide ICT connectivity to central nodes in rural areas to stimulate private sector involvement and to provide value added demand driven services More robust evaluation methodologies to evaluate impacts of investments in ICT aimed at poverty reduction

66 What we hope to see in the years ahead…realization of the vision… Establishment of inter-connected rural information, knowledge and business centers within and between countries providing a range of services: Tailored to meet the multi-sectoral and multi- disciplinary information needs of local rural population Providing Free and Fee based information, knowledge and business services Using a variety of ICTs

67 Many thanks for your attention Questions, Comments, Suggestions are most welcome..

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