Knowledge for Development

Relevant publications


Scientific and Technical Information and Rural Development. Highlights of Innovative Practices: Papers and posters’ abstracts of the XIIIth IAALD World Congress, held in Montpellier (France), 26-29 April 2010

Title: Scientific and Technical Information and Rural Development. Highlights of Innovative Practices: Papers and posters’ abstracts of the XIIIth IAALD World Congress, held in Montpellier (France), 26-29 April 2010 Author: IAALD Source: XIIIth World CongressDate: 2010The renewed worldwide interest in agriculture and in issues relating to food crises in different parts of the world has highlighted the need for providing quality information to actors in rural development. Scientific and Technical Information Specialists can help provide this information by sharing and pooling their knowledge and know-how. The XIIIth IAALD World Congress, organized by IAALD and Agropolis International, will promote fruitful exchanges between information specialists and the actors of rural development who face key challenges in agriculture. This book presents the papers' and posters' abstracts developed in five main topics: Innovative learning processes Targeted information products and services Communication and information exchange between actors Integrated information systems Information as public policy enabler

11/01/2011


The Vision for a LifeWatch ICT Infrastructure

Title: The Vision for a LifeWatch ICT Infrastructure Author: A. Hardisty, J. Giddy, V. Hernandez-Ernst, A. Poigné, H. Voss, A. Voss, W. Berendsohn and M. Gebhardt Source: e-Biosphere ‘09Date 2009The LifeWatch ICT infrastructure is envisioned as a network of services providing secure access to biodiversity and related data and to analytical and modelling tools by individual and collaborative groups of researchers. The system combines the ideas of Open Distributed Processing, Spatial Data Infrastructures and Grid Computing to allow scientists to create collaborative virtual laboratories across multiple organisations. While the emphasis will be on the open sharing of data and workflows (and associated provenance information) with others, users will be able to control access where necessary.

11/01/2011


Developing research-based learning using ICT in higher education curricula: the role of research and evaluation

Title: Developing research-based learning using ICT in higher education curricula: the role of research and evaluation Author: J.A. Dempster and P. Blackmore Source: In Academic and Educational Development: Research, Evaluation and Changing Practice in Higher Education. R. Macdonald and J. Wisdom (Eds.) London: Kogan Page, pp. 129-139Date: 2002The Technology-Enhanced Learning in Research-Led Institutions (TELRI) Project sought to explore and develop the relationship between teaching, learning and research through the use of technology. The project was located at the University of Warwick, with Oxford and Warwick working in partnership, joined at a later stage by Southampton, Durham and Birmingham. This chapter explores the role of research and evaluation in assisting that process, drawing on the implementation work of the TELRI Project across a range of subject areas in a number of research-led universities. The project team found a great deal to reflect on, about what they were attempting to achieve, the way they were approaching it and what happened, and some of the issues that arose are considered here.

11/01/2011


The Role of Collaborative Networks in Sustainability

Title: The Role of Collaborative Networks in Sustainability Author: L.M. Camarinha-Matos, H. Afsarmanesh and X. Boucher Source: extending Professional Active Life: paper Presented at PRO-VE'10 in Saint-Etienne, France.Date: 2010There is a great potential for mutual beneficial synergies between the two fields of Collaborative Networks and Sustainability science. This potential has in fact been recognized in many fields where these synergies are leading to novel approaches and solutions. It is particularly evident that the challenges of sustainability call for a wide collaboration among multiple stakeholders, as the needed changes exceed the capacity and capability of individual actors. With the purpose to illustrate the possible contribution and challenges for collaborative networks in sustainability, a number of relevant cases where examples of such synergies are already identified are briefly introduced.

11/01/2011


Sustainable ICT in Further and Higher Education

Title: Sustainable ICT in Further and Higher Education Source: JISC Author: P. James and L. HopkinsonYear: 2009The report shows that: ICT within further and higher education has a large and increasing (both absolutely, and relative to other activities) energy and environmental footprint, and growing social impacts. There is a compelling financial and corporate responsibility case for the sector to take action to minimise this footprint, and to take other actions to encourage environmentally and socially positive applications. The sector has sufficient examples of existing good practice to demonstrate that, in many areas, further action is cost-effective and technically straightforward, but there are some areas where it will be hard for individual institutions to take the actions that are desirable, without greater support from sector bodies such as JISC. The latter is particularly true with regard to environmental impacts, which at present have no strong organisational focus or support within the sector. This is less true of many of the social impacts relevant to sustainability, such as access to education and privacy, as many of them are closely related to e-learning, where there are well-established networks. One important point with regard to environmental opportunities in ICT is their synergy with many of the other strategic drivers of further and higher education. Action to make a difference is easily possible in the short–medium term. There is relatively low risk, in that universities and colleges would be moving in step with external organisations and could, in most cases, build on best practice examples that already exist within the sector. Financial benefits can accrue, within a total cost of ownership framework, and a context of rising energy prices in the medium–long term, and there are many synergies with other ICT trends.

11/01/2011


The World in 2009, ICT Facts and Figures

Title: The World in 2009, ICT Facts and Figures Source: ITU Date: 2010This paper gives a good summary of ICT figures Statistic/indicators) around the world, focusing on its growth in accordance with the rise in popularity of mobile technology. ICTs in the home and the use of broadband are quantified, and the disparities between technological presences in various parts of the world explained. Finally the paper examine the prices we pay for such advances in technology.

11/01/2011


ICTs transforming agricultural science, research and technology generation: Summary of the ICT Workshop at the Science Forum

Title: ICTs transforming agricultural science, research and technology generation: Summary of the ICT Workshop at the Science Forum Author: P. Ballantyne Source: ICT Workshop at the Science Forum, Wageningen, 16-17 June 2009Date: 2009The Science Forum workshop on information and communication technologies (ICTs), held in Wageningen, 16-17 June 2009 aimed to map trends and opportunities for ‘ICTs’ to help transform and mobilize Agricultural Science for Development. A wide definition of ICTs was used to encompass various dimensions of information, communication, and knowledge-sharing as well as information technologies.

11/01/2011


Future Directions in Agriculture and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) at USAID

Title: Future Directions in Agriculture and Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) at USAID Author: Winrock International Source: USAIDDate: 2003This report examines the impact that new ICTs have had in agriculture, outlines trends and emerging ICT opportunities in the field, and offers some guidance on how the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Agriculture and Food Security (AFS) division can build on its considerable experience to take advantage of ICTs effectively in development assistance. ICTs can help mobilize science and technology for agriculture by linking agricultural specialists into virtual communities and accelerating agricultural research exchange between developing and developed countries. They can help develop trade opportunities for farmers by linking smallholders into increasingly globalized production chains. ICTs can bridge the knowledge divide by permitting geographically distributed organizations to work together more effectively, allowing them to provide mutual mentorship and support. Finally, ICTs can support taking the long-term view, with tools for understanding and planning the future effects of today’s economic and land use decisions.Understanding the place of ICTs in developing country agriculture depends on four key concepts: that knowledge is an increasingly significant factor of production; that all actors in the agricultural sector are part of an evolving Agricultural Knowledge System (AKS); that ICTs accelerate agricultural development by facilitating knowledge management for AKS members; and that ICTs are essential coordinating mechanisms in global trade. Expanding the use of ICTs in developing country agriculture will demand a more active and empowered role for rural intermediate organizations. These organizations will increasingly act as local knowledge brokers: they will identify client needs and suitable knowledge management methods, and provide feedback on the quality of existing agricultural knowledge services as well as identify new ones. Effective ICT applications in the rural developing world face significant hurdles, especially inaccess provision for off-grid or remote areas. Rural telecenters have a poor sustainability record, but they remain critical tools and have potential for future improvement. Alternative models of connectivity ready for pilots utilize shared and inexpensive cell phones, pagers, DVDs, and personal digital assistants, combined with CD-ROMs or server-side Internet processing models. Sustainability needs to consider dimensions other than the survival of telecenter organizations: digital content, ICT training and awareness, and demand for ICT services may continue even where specific telecenters fail, and emerging technologies may start to address those needs. USAID peer organizations such as the World Bank, FAO, Foundations, and other bilaterals are taking similar approaches to ICT opportunities – connectivity provision, capacity building for users, agricultural content development and aggregation, as well as a conducive policy advocacy.

11/01/2011


Trends and challenges of eLearning in national and international agricultural development

Title: Trends and challenges of eLearning in national and international agricultural development Authors: J. Leary and Z.L. Berge Source: International Journal of Education and Development using ICT 2: (2) (2006)Year: 2006Compared to other business and management fields, e-Learning in agriculture-related fields is still in the early phases of adoption. Early pioneers, primarily American and Australian agribusinesses and colleges of agriculture, are now utilizing e-Learning methods as a major part of both their education and strategic management programs. There are plenty of challenges, involving the faculty and trainers, students and farmers, technology, finances, and other complications, but agricultural instructors absolutely must find ways to overcome these hindrances and aspire toward the plethora of opportunities that e-Learning presents for the field of agriculture. E-Learning is dramatically improving how agricultural education is done. It is allowing greater access to more students and farmers, more efficiently, with better information. The evaluation results of the first international e-Learning projects in agriculture show that much good can be done toward ensuring food security in the world if developed countries assist developing countries to implement e-Learning methods. This paper explains the major trends in e-Learning in agriculture and the challenges of e-Learning in agriculture. It describes the major developments and uses of e-Learning in the field of agriculture and investigates the international opportunities with e-Learning in agriculture.

11/01/2011


VERCON, the Virtual Extension and Research Communication Network

Title: VERCON, the Virtual Extension and Research Communication Network Author: S. Treinen Source: Agricultural Information Worldwide 3: (1)Date: 2010In technology-based rural information and communication systems, the human component and the technological components need to be combined appropriately. In the last ten years, FAO has supported national initiatives related to rural information and communication based on new information and communication technologies (ICTs) in seven countries, spread across four regions (Africa, Asia, Middle East and Latin America). Conceptual models, methodologies and tools have been developed to strengthen linkages among rural institutions and individuals using Internet-based ICTs, such as the Virtual Extension and Research Communication Network (VERCON). Such initiatives involve different types of stakeholders: agricultural researchers and extension agents, small-farmers, non-governmental organizations, private or public agricultural service suppliers and the media, such as rural radio. The aim is to harness new ICTs in combination with traditional communication channels to enable these rural stakeholders to be better informed, to manage information and also to share their knowledge; complementing, enriching and reinforcing existing pathways with new ICTs

11/01/2011


ICTs for agricultural livelihoods: Impact and lessons learned from IICD supported activities

Title: ICTs for agricultural livelihoods: Impact and lessons learned from IICD supported activities Author: IICD Source: IICDDate: 2006This booklet explores the potential contribution of ICT to the livelihoods of small-scale farmers and the efficiency of the agriculture sector in developing countries. The experiences and lessons documented here are placed in the context of their contribution to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Goals are widely accepted targets for international development, and are generally used as a guiding framework for setting priorities by international donors and developing country governments.

11/01/2011


Closing the Digital Divide in the Caribbean: A Leadership Challenge

Title: Closing the Digital Divide in the Caribbean: A Leadership Challenge Author: G.M. Marcelle Source: CARICOM Date: 2004This paper discusses the challenges of closing the gap in access and control of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in the Caribbean. It takes the view that the existing “digital divide” mirrors economic, social and political global realities and is not a phenomenon that can be explained in isolation. From this perspective, it makes recommendations for how engaged leadership at all levels can be mobilised to ensure that the digital gap is closed and that ICTs serve development needs. The paper argues that implementation of the transformative agenda, requires public leadership. However, since leadership of the development agenda is too important to be left to a single stakeholder, governments must be made accountable to and seek the involvement of civil society including private sector, NGOs, professional associations such as ACCURIL, academic and research institutions. The Caribbean region will not realise benefits of ICTs without improving the manner in which it engages with global ICT governance and diplomacy. The paper is optimistic that Caribbean citizens, in the region and the Diaspora will rise to these challenges.

11/01/2011


Survey of ICT and Education in the Caribbean: Volume 1 - Regional Trends and Analysis; Volume 2 - Country Reports

Title: Survey of ICT and Education in the Caribbean: Volume 1 - Regional Trends and Analysis; Volume 2 - Country Reports Source: ICT for Development / Comminit / World BankDate: 2009This Survey of ICT and Education in the Caribbean: Volume 1 - Regional Trends and Analysis; Volume 2 - Country Reports comprises 16 country reports, primarily Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), that provide an overview of the current activities and developments related to information and communication technology (ICT) use in education in each country. Many SIDS in the Caribbean have worked over the last 10 years to increase both ICT skills instruction and more general use of ICT in education despite regional challenges, such as limited ICT capacity of the private sector (where those skills might be used) and the more traditional exam-focused orientation of instruction. These efforts have increased student access to ICT at the secondary level, and enhanced the knowledge, capacity, and experience of the region’s education personnel, especially among those now responsible for furthering ICT.

11/01/2011


Background Paper for Identifying the Best Practice of ICT implementations in Asia and the Pacific

Title: Background Paper for Identifying the Best Practice of ICT implementations in Asia and the Pacific Source: UNESCAPDate: 2009This 36-page paper describes and assesses major and strategic information and communication technology (ICT) projects that have been undertaken in Asia and the Pacific with a view to expanding ICT access. It emerges from an October 19-20 2009 meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)'s Information and Communications Technology and Disaster Risk Reduction Division (IDD). The "Sub-regional Workshop on Strengthening ICT Policies and Applications to Achieve MDGs and WSIS goals in South-East Asia and the Pacific" presented the findings of the in-depth research and analysis on the current status of ICT access in the region and examined policy options at the national level, taking into account new and emerging technologies. The satellite based education service provided by the University of the South Pacific (USP), Fiji is featured.

11/01/2011


Proposal for a Pacific Plan for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Integration

Title: Proposal for a Pacific Plan for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Integration Source: Pacific Regional Digital StrategyDate: 2006In the Pacific, ICTs are the key to ending the ‘tyranny of distance’. The Pacific has problems caused by large distances, small scale and scattered populations and markets, and a low level of investments in telecommunications and human resources. All these problems can be addressed and the development of ICTs accelerated, by selection of appropriate mechanisms for cooperation, market integration and provision of services on a regional basis. In this context, Pacific leaders have requested that a regional Digital Strategy be developed as an essential component of the Pacific Plan.

11/01/2011


Africa’s struggle against the digital divide (in French)

Title: Africa’s struggle against the digital divide (in French) Author: G. Mutume Source: Afrique Relance 17: (3)Date: 2003New information technologies are rapidly transforming the lives of a small but increasing group of Africans. For example, in rural areas of Togo, farmers can instantly learn the current market prices in the capital Lome, using a cell phone. But of all the world regions, Africa has the fewest telephone lines, radios, televisions, computers and Internet facilities. These technologies, designed to offer an information and knowledge exchange, are what are commonly known as information technology and communication (ICTs). The gap between those with access to ICTs and others is generally called the "digital divide". It is in Africa that the gap is the widest and the polarity is even more important between rural and urban areas.

11/01/2011


Information and communication technology (ICT): Bridging the Digital Divide in Africa (in French)

Title: Information and communication technology (ICT): Bridging the Digital Divide in Africa (in French) Author: UA/NEPAD Source: In: Plan of action for Africa UA/NEPAD, 2010-2015: Promoting regional and continental integration in Africa Afrique, p. 29-35Date: 2009Efforts to bridge the digital gap between Africa and the rest of the world will contribute greatly to the reduction of poverty in the continent and its social and economic development by improving the efficiency and productivity, improving public services, creating jobs, generating knowledge, facilitating trade and regional integration. There is a significant demand for broadband in Africa, because rapid increase of the use of mobile voice communications so far (in spite of their relatively high price and their availability in many parts of the region) shows the value that people attach to communications technology. The programme for the development of infrastructure in Africa (PIDA) will undertake a complete study of the scientific infrastructures in the ICT sector and will guide these activities in the future. PIDA examines an integrated set of priorities for the ICT infrastructure of the continent between 2010 and 2015.

11/01/2011


Gender Assessment of ICT Access and Usage in Africa

Title: Gender Assessment of ICT Access and Usage in Africa Author: A. Gillwald, A. Milek and C. Stork Source: Research ICT Africa (RIA)Date: 2010Most of the studies in recent years on women’s access to and usage of ICTs argue that there is a significant gender divide in ICT access and usage, particularly in developing countries. A study carried out in 2005 by the Gender and ICT Network, reveals that, globally, women’s chances to benefit from the advantages of the information society are one third less than men’s (Mottin-Sylla, 2005). Important factors such as income, education and social position play a major role in explaining ICT access and usage. When men and women share similar backgrounds (data is controlled for factors such as education and income) the differences in access to ICTs and their use are less.However, women access to ICTs decreases as the technologies and services become more sophisticated and expensive, requiring greater levels of income and education to access and to operate. This paper aims to provide the kind of disaggregated data required to identify areas of inequity in access to ICTs between men and women and any differences in their usage at the national level and comparatively across countries. This should provide a basis for policy makers to develop interventions aimed at ensuring greater gender equity in relation to access and usage of ICTs.

11/01/2011


Applying Information and Communication Technology to Enhance African Capacity in Agriculture and Food Policy Research

Title: Applying Information and Communication Technology to Enhance African Capacity in Agriculture and Food Policy Research, Outreach and Teaching: A Collaborative Internet-Based Initiative to Build a Food Security and Policy Information Portal for Africa (FSIP). Paper presented at the Annual CTA-Seminar, Role of Information Tools in Food and Nutrition Security in ACP-Countries Author: J. Dioné, M.T. Weber, J. Staatz and V. Kelly Source: Michigan State UniversityDate: 2004 This paper identifies opportunities and constraints facing a program being undertaken by the UNECA, several regional African policy research networks, and MSU to: (1) improve the skills of African technical and social scientists to use more effectively the wealth of scientific knowledge and experience currently available on the Internet to carry out applied policy research, outreach and training; (2) make the work of Africans more visible to others, thereby fostering south-north and south-south learning; and (3) strengthen learning communities to make food security and food policy research and outreach more effective. The paper discusses a collaborative internet-based tool being developed to achieve these objectives. The Food Security and Food Policy Information Portal for Africa (FSIP) 3 gives researchers and policy makers a one-stop and multi-language location for: (a) easily accessing key data and analyses on food security and food policy for every country in Africa; (b) sharing their own work with colleagues across the world; (c) finding training materials on more effective use of the ICT, and on improved applied research and policy analysis methods; and (d) spotlighting experiences on how to improve the effectiveness of policy extension efforts.

11/01/2011


The Internet diffusion in Sub-Saharan Africa: A cross-country analysis

Title: The Internet diffusion in Sub-Saharan Africa: A cross-country analysis Author: Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka and Kaushalesh Lal Source: UN University INTECH Date: 2003This paper discusses the notions of digital inequality and digital divide to describe two levels of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). On the one hand, there is the inequality of access to the cluster of technology measured by Internet use intensity and on the other are the confluence of skills and other resources that differentiate countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using cross country data, hypotheses developed from a review of the literature are tested from which are drawn preliminary conclusions on the nature and pattern of digital access in the region. The variables are analysed through a simultaneous equation system because the high correlations ruled out the use of a single econometric model. This paper confirms the vital importance of a telecommunications infrastructure - represented by the high correlation of telephone density - with Internet use, no matter the per capita income level of a country.

11/01/2011



E-mail Newsletter

 English  Français

» Download latest

Members