Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Smart Devices to poor communities! Too early?

We all know Smart Devices have now  surpassed PCs in the global marketplace. But how relevant is that progress to the Bottom of the Pyramid communities? Are they ready to take up Smart Devices? Will they impact positively on their livelihoods? How sustainable (and scalable) are they?

We have gathered encouraging evidence from Sri Lanka to answer many questions and test underlying assumptions (if you are an optimist, as we are).

Are the BOP communities ready to take up smart devices?
There are two very interesting projects progressing in this area in Sri Lanka: Smart Villages and Android Village Hubs, both implemented by Sarvodaya-Fusion since 2011. Both projects have been introducing smart devices (Android Smartphones and Tablets) to about 15 rural communities in five districts as community-owned, shared devices.

With training kept as simple as providing basic instructions on how to operate the devices, plus some instruction about social media, the project team reports: 'a magical connection sparks on-the-spot' which fuels collective engagement, and unleashes creativity and enthusiasm. Udara Dharmasena, the project manager, reports that the best evidence of their excitement with these devices is the remarkable change of language from “who will support us?” to “how can we buy these?”.


My photo
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.

What we can offer you?

Are you involved in International development, introducing Information Communication Technologies and Mobile Phone applications to support disadvantage communities? Are you concerned about effective products and services in this sector, we can help to innovate them. Do you want to see their sustainability beyond funding cycle? We can help converting the project into a social enterprise. Do you want to understand the social impact? We can design a tailor made model to surface the social impact.