Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Innovation @ ICT for development sector? What does that really mean?

The ICT sector is moving fast, from ‘incremental innovation’ that involves gradual step by step innovation to ‘radical innovation’ that change the whole ecosystem radically and rapidly.
Unlike other development sectors (human rights, poverty alleviation etc.) ICT4D demands continuous innovation.
The technologies adapted in the sector are originally designed (mostly) for  Western markets. Thus innovation  is required to tweak and package them to match the developing country context where illiteracy, poverty and poor infrastructure dictate the terms.

Tweaking? Packaging? Well, the following example will show how.

Project Name: Agri-clinics (implemented in Sri Lanka, 2005-2006)
Problem answered: Transferring Pest & Disease knowledge to rural farmers, using ICTs.
Where did innovation apply?
1.Define the information access models between state run research institutions and NGOs
2. Design Information Processing Unit to translate the jargon-heavy research knowledge into jargon free simple language
3. Develop information delivery mechanisms via telecentres.

Read the complete article @ i4D online version  or  i4D special issue on eAgriculture by FAO.

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We are consultants for European organisations working in international development. Specialized in Innovation - Economic Sustainability - Social Impact Assessment in ICT4D and Mobile for Development (M4D) sectors. We have 20 + years of experiences and our clients include UN Agencies, EU, IDRC.

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