The spread of
ICTs throughout the world has opened up many new
economic opportunities for
marginalized groups, in particular in developing
countries. Access to ICTs and the information resources
available through the internet promise not only
social and economic development opportunities to
citizens, but help cultivate the
entrepreneurial spirit and skills of disadvantaged
peoples over the world. As evidenced by the
stories below and by
many other initiatives in developing and
transitional economies, marginalized groups do not
lack creativity, but rather the knowledge and
experience to harness ICTs to improve their professional
development and welfare.
ICT stories from the field
Digital Divide Data - Oceania, Cambodia, Laos
Digital Divide Data (DDD) is a project that involves disadvantaged youth in
Cambodia in an integrated educational, vocational training and work program. The
idea behind the project is to connect young people, who are struggling to
survive in one of the world's least developed nations, with the global economy.
DDD does this by creating non-profit data-entry outsourcing centres that only
hire individuals under 25 who are orphans, physically disabled or trafficked
operations are completely ICT based. Input is received in the form of digital
images. DDD employees convert these to ASCii files, create databases, add HTML
and then email the output to clients around the world. The centre has 50
computers and each employee spends most of his time working with ICT. DDD has
also put in place a management information system that tracks work through its
digitisation pipeline, maintains finances and monitors productivity, punctuality
benefits of the project are enormous. In developing countries like Cambodia,
most young people cannot complete secondary school education. Students drop out
of school because they cannot afford the fees and have to support their
families. DDD's employees not only benefit from having a job and wages far above
local standards, but they also receive scholarships for education, health
benefits, vocational counselling and work in a safe environment. This gives them
the confidence and self-esteem that come from self-reliance.
social mission is to break the cycle of poverty by providing training and job
opportunities. For Soy Sokorn for example, further education was an
impossibility. He supports his immediate family of five, and helps support an
extended family of 12. He now studies computers and English while working
part-time at DDD. Keo Sambath who lost a leg in a landmine explosion, is
improving his IT skills at DDD, and is enrolled in a degree programme. Muny is a
young woman disabled by polio. Her stint with DDD resulted in a rapid
improvement of her computer skills, English and self-confidence. She now works
as a translator for the Australian Embassy, netting a high income for one so
young, and has become a role model for others with polio who are struggling to
overcome the stigma society has placed on them.
business became a financially self-sustainable enterprise within 9 months, and
has to date, earned more than USD140,000 in revenue. Clients include Bain
Capital, the Harvard Crimson student newspaper, Mobitel, the local cellular
phone provider, Tufts University Library and the University of Chicago.
group: Disabled and disadvantaged youth
Partners: DDD's partners include a wide variety of institutions, NGOs and businesses. Wat
Than School - Cambodia, Future Light Orphanage, New Life Foundation, SME
Cambodia, the Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia, Cambodia Women Coordination
Council, and Cambodia Volunteers Coordination Council; CyberData - Delhi, Mekong
Project Development Facility, the Asia Foundation, USAID, World Bank, Rotary
Club of Denver, Soros Foundation and Kearny Alliance.
The project was:
the Ministry of Social Affairs, Labour, Vocational Training and Youth
Rehabilitation of Cambodia for working with disabled people finalist in
World Bank awards 2003 ;
Winner of the GKP Youth Award 2003: Employment and Entrepreneurship.
The Global Knowledge Partnership website
the website of the activity
New Bu$-ine$$ -
Information and communication technologies are evolving rapidly, and with them
the way the world of commerce operates. Businesses that do not use these
technologies may be excluded from access to the most up-to-date information
about prices, supplies and markets and so be at a disadvantage compared with
their competitors. In the many areas of the world which do not yet have
universal telephone connections, the exclusion from access to ICTs among rural
populations extends to an extreme scarcity of functioning telephones.
Computers, telephones and fax machine, along with a library and typing service,
have been installed on an old refurbished bus in Highfield and Gazaland in
Harare, Zimbabwe, enabling many small businesses to increase production and
profit margins. The Infobus opened to clients in September 2000 offering a wide
range of services for the business as well as training opportunities for
everybody willing to become computer litterate.
The project objectives are primarily to prevent further
marginalisation of small-scale producers, and to allow small businesses access
to markets and other business information. Small electronic library containing
technical briefs and books on running a small business as well as several
databases, including a directory of micro-finance institutions have been made
available for the audience. But most of the “clients” have improved efficiency
just through the use of phone calls and fax messages to save the time and
expense of travel to speak to customers and suppliers, while others have used
the internet to find new markets and sources of raw materials.
In the first year most people came to the Infobus to use the telephone,
photocopying and typing services, and only 9 per cent used the other facilities
such as the internet. This can partly be explained in terms of information
needs, which are largely local rather than global. However, new ICTs were also
perceived as expensive, whereas the actual charges for their use were favourably
received. In addition, people are often wary of the unknown and may need
encouragement to invest valuable time in exploring new technologies.
SMEs in rural areas
Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG)and
ITDG Southern Africa (Harare)
UNDP - The Equator Initiative
ICTs in Microfinance- Bolivia
Success Strategy: In 1985,
the Government of Bolivia started the process of economic
liberalization, reducing the degree of government
intervention and participation in the economy. Two years
later, the government closed the four state-owned banks that
were the principal credit providers in the country. This
resulted in the proliferation of private, non-profit
institutions that offered credit to small-scale farmers and
entrepreneurs unable to access the formal financial system,
PRODEM (Fundación para la Promoción y el Desarrollo de la
Microempresa), being one of them.
Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) play
an important role in the economic development of poor
communities. Access to credit has usually been the province
of the well-to do, with little thought being given to the
poor who really need it. The majority of these microfinance
organizations are donor funded and usually include (NGOs),
credit unions, non-bank financial intermediaries. The
sustainability of these organizations is a challenge. To
combat this problem, some MFIs are using new information and
communication technologies (ICTs) to improve their
operations in three main areas: expanding their customer
base and extending their reach into underserved areas,
establishing secure identities for customers, and lowering
One of the biggest challenges for
providing microfinance has essentially been the high cost of
reaching the customers, due to the large costs of building
and maintaining physical bank branches, and the high
transaction costs and low profit margin on small loans. But
these days many initiatives are currently using new
information and communication technologies (ICTs), such as
smart cards, handhelds, and modified ATMs, to bypass the
traditional methods of providing bank services. In doing so,
they are lowering their overhead costs and expanding their
reach, helping to extend the availability of microfinance.
Bolivia, Prodem FFP, an NGO established in 1986, is
providing ATM-enabled banking services to Bolivians who do
not have access to traditional banks, by designing its own
ATM tailored to meet the needs of its rural customers.
The company provides its customers
with a smart card, so that the ATMs are able to verify the
customer's identity and complete transactions without being
electronically connected to the central office.
Using a combination of smart card
technology with biometrics, fingerprint ID verification of
all its customers is made possible at all of its branches
and ATMs. This removes the need for PIN numbers which would
prove a challenge for illiterate customers.
To make procedures friendlier for the
illiterate customer, the ATMs are audio enabled. Voice
activated commands and instructions are available in their
local language, currently Spanish, Quechua, or Aymara. The
touch screen with pictures allows customers to deposit and
withdraw funds without filling out a deposit slip or
withdrawal form. Additionally, the ATMs facilitate money
transfers, and provide access to government programs that
provide work for low-skill workers and make payments to
ICTs will continue to impact
microfinance operations worldwide. As prices of relevant
technology like ATMs, biometrics, voice recognition,
smart-cards, and PDAs continue to fall, more MFIs will be
able to take advantage of the benefits they offer. ICTs are
helping MFIs to finally meet the unmet demand for
microcredit throughout the developing world.
For more information: see
Wiring Bangladesh for the
Success Strategy: Together
with domestic stakeholders, USAID/Bangladesh has helped
create the Job Opportunities and Business Support (JOBS)
programme, which is designed to help promote IT in the
country’s business sector. Having
completed a comprehensive assessment of the country’s
e-readiness, JOBS worked with the University of Maryland
(USA) to create a central online repository of information
about IT issues and the Government’s progress in reforming
its regulatory and legal institutions to facilitate the
emergence of e‑commerce marketplace and knowledge-based
society in Bangladesh.
With a focus on the small business market, JOBS also
launched an IT training seminar for about 20 businesses in
the handloom, handicraft and footwear sectors.
For more information: see
the website of the activity
STEP (Selective Tenders & Projects) - Switzerland
STEP is a service specially addressing the need of SMEs and is implemented in
the frame of OSEC Business Network, which is focused on establishing business
relations among Swiss company looking for business opportunities abroad and
foreign companies looking for partnerships in Switzerland. The extensive network
is open to everybody willing to take advantage of experience and knowledge
STEP is a database application, which collects, categorises and disseminates
tenders and private sales leads from all over the world. The Subscriber can
define a search profile (products, services, regions, type of document etc.).
Consequently an E-Mail Alert informs the subscriber about the daily
publications, news and calls for tender matching to his search profile.
The importance of this feature is growing in the context of globalisation of
commercial exchanges and service provision. The information given on calls for
public tender in Switzerland, the European Union and all over the world is a
valuable tool providing quality information on time helping thus to save time
and offering the possibility to get in touch with all the business community in
a particular sector continuously and efficiently. On the international level,
the calls for tender represent not les than 2 500 billions of CHF. The share of
the European Union is about 1 100 billions of CHF per year and the Swiss’ is at
an average level of 36 billions. Knowing the Switzerland has recently adopted a
bilateral agreement on Public Markets with the EU, one could anticipate a
considerable annual growth of the possibilities open to Swiss and Liechtenstein
companies thanks to the liberalisation and the open access given to cities and
districts on a mutual basis.
Target group: SMEs in Switzerland and Liechtenstein
- Osec Business Network Switzerland
WSIS Stocktaking Database and
website of the entity
Fencepost - New Zealand
Fonterra’s supplier website, Fencepost.com is a unique
community & business channel used by Fonterra dairy farmers
throughout New Zealand to monitor their business performance
and stay in touch with the company and each other. Fonterra
Co-operative Group Ltd is a leading multinational dairy
company investing in organic dairy industries and products,
owned by 12,000 New Zealand dairy farmers. This is the
world's largest exporter of dairy products, exporting 95
percent of their production.
is an Internet e-cooperative & e-agricultural portal,
focused on farmers' needs. Fencepost.com provides its users
with specific industry and personal output information,
market and commodity updates, free weather updates,
industry-related news, expert advice, discussion groups,
sporting news and email as well as special deals on farm
goods. Fencepost.com provides expert knowledge base
articles, up to the minute awareness of environmental issues
and solutions, sharing of information amongst suppliers
through online discussion groups, and up to the minute
communications with Fonterra.
The first channel developed as part of
the portal has been for the dairy industry. Over time it
will be joined by others, such as wool, meat and
In the past year Fencepost.com has
been refined to enhance the communication channel with
Fonterra suppliers around the country to create a nationwide
rural community of the future - online. Fencepost.com is
also an important business tool providing Fonterra suppliers
with up to the minute milk production and quality
information giving farmers fast access to information that
allows them to make decisions to better manage their farms.
One example of the portal
functionality is how farmers can view the volume of milk a
tanker has just picked up from their farm vat - within
minutes of the tanker leaving the farm! Milk quality and
component results are available the minute tests are
finalised. This daily monitoring of production gives
valuable insight into the effects and timing of on-farm
inputs designed to enhance production or maintain milk
quality throughout the season.
The ability for farmers to select
their first and last collection of milk online has also been
added, reducing administrative costs for the company and
providing more accurate information for farmers and for
scheduling of Fonterra's 450-strong tanker fleet, that is
responsible for collecting over 14 billion litres of milk
has an ongoing aim to leverage the power of the internet to
ensure best farming practises and productivity tools can be
shared across the supplier base to ensure Fonterra suppliers
remain as world leaders in milk production and milk quality.
Online voting in elections,
calculations affecting capital expenditure for farmers in
maintaining their co-operative memberships, forecasting of
annual supply trends and payout predictors, livestock
trading and classifieds advertising are other services
provided by Fencepost.com while its Rural jobs database is
hugely successful both within New Zealand and
Today more than 70% of Fonterra’s
11,500 farms are registered to utilise the site - these
farms account for more than 80% of the company’s national
milk production. A wide range of communication tools,
productivity tools and interfaces with company systems are
used on a daily basis by farmers spread throughout rural New
Although in its early days,
Fencepost.com has succeed in establishing a truly national
community and a truly national business tool. Supporting and
optimizing business practices for the farming and rural
sector right across New Zealand, the platform is favouring
the creation of new business models, based on a set of
interactive tools, is developing the ability to spread best
practice among farmers nationwide.
Kiwi Co-operative Dairies Ltd; Jade Systems
Awards: Winner of
the national contest Best Digital Content and Applications -
New Zealand 2005, Category e-Business Nominee for the WSIS-Award
2005, Category e-Business
WSIS-Award - New Zealand
Jade Systems website
For more information:
Note: Screen shots have
been used as viewers are unable to access this site for
detailed viewing due to security and privacy issues.
El Correo del Agricultor (The farmer's mail) -
In Santa Cruz, Bolivia, a simple means of using the radio, with information
sourced from the internet and communicated through e-mail, has helped improve
the lives of 14,500 families.
As the farmers rarely ventured from their villages, they depended on middlemen
and brokers who collected the products directly from the farms. The brokers
would take the vegetables to the markets in Santa Cruz without paying the
producers. After selling the products in the market, they would return to the
farms and pay the farmers whatever they wanted as they were not aware of the
market prices of their produce. Many times farmers were not even able to cover
the cost of production.
All that has changed since the creation of a radio programme called El Correo
del Agricultor. Itsprogrammes has helped change things around for farmers in the
region by offering them information, such as the price list for the main
agricultural products for that day.
The radio programme also contains two other important sections: a discussion
about the environment and sustainable development, and a segment on Health,
Nature and Life that deals with natural medicine and local practices. These
segments incorporate information found on the internet, which is made relevant
to local issues.
The program has been broadcast on local radios every Monday to Friday since
January 2001. As a result of the programme, the terms of negotiation between the
middlemen and the producers have improved considerably. This in turn has
improved the income of thousands of families by at least 10 per cent. The number
of farmers who take their produce to the market themselves has also increased.
The quality of the radio program has also led to the improvement in the quality
of other local radio programs. One of the radio stations actually went as far as
copying all the digital editing equipment of the project, including the
furniture! Today, the farmers have access to all sorts of more pertinent and
relevant information, through the radio, which was formerly dominated by foreign
content. They feel more wired and connected and are able to discuss issues that
are important to them.
of Instituto de Capacitación del Oriente (ICO), Central de Asociaciones de
Pequeños Productores de Vallegrande (CAPA)
GKP Tony Zeitoun Award 2003 - Winner
The Global Knowledge Partnership and
the website of
VillagePhone - Bangladesh and Uganda
Success Strategy: One success story, the Grameen Village Phone program in
Bangladesh has become quite famous. GrameenPhone is a commercial operation
providing cellular services in both urban and rural areas of Bangladesh, with
approximately 40,000 customers. A pilot programme is enabling women members of
the Grameen Bank's revolving credit system to retail cellular phone services in
rural areas. This pilot project currently involves 950 Village Phones providing
telephone access to more than 65,000 people. Village women access micro-credit
to acquire digital GSM cellular phones and subsequently re-sell phone calls and
phone services within their villages. Grameen Telecom staff have announced that
when its programme is complete, 40,000 Village Phone operators will be employed
for a combined net income of $24 million USD per annum.
What’s more, the service to the community is invaluable. Business owners in
Bangladesh use the village phone to receive market information to better
negotiate prices for the goods they produce. Entrepreneurs use the technology to
identify new business opportunities. Others use it to stay in touch with family
members and friends who have left the village. All save the expense of
travelling great distances to contact others outside of their immediate
The Village Phone programme yields significant positive social and economic
impacts, including relatively large consumer surplus and immeasurable quality of
life benefits. The consumer surplus for a single phone call from a village to
Dhaka, a call that replaces a physical trip to the city, ranges from 2.64% to
9.8% of mean monthly household income. The cost of a trip to the city ranges
from 2 to 8 times the cost of a single phone call, meaning real savings for poor
rural people of between 132 to 490 Taka ($2.70 to $10 USD) for individual calls.
mainly men, from the rural areas of Bangladesh seek employment outside the
country and send some of their earnings to the family at home. In one of the
villages studied, some 75% of the households have at least one person working
abroad so the total amount of money being sent to the village is quite large.
Mainly, these funds are sent in the form of foreign currency which has to be
changed into Bangladeshi Takas (Tk). These transactions are often
made through currency dealers who visit the villages. Unfortunately, some of the
dealers are unscrupulous and offer poor exchange rates to the villagers.
However, the VPP system is being used increasingly to find out the real rate of
exchange by telephoning the city. When the dealers visit, the villagers are
fully informed so the trader cannot exploit them and they can negotiate a better
return on their foreign currency.
Rural telephone service in Bangladesh is very profitable and, due to the
existing regulatory environment, telecom operators are unable to meet the demand
for services. The VPP owners themselves - Telephone Ladies - add significantly
to the household income by selling telephone services to the villagers. The
typical Village Phone Operator earns an income three times the national average.
(an average of $100/month versus $30/month). The income that Village Phone
operators derive from the Village Phone is about 24% of the household income on
average - and in some cases it was as high as 40% of the household income - and
Village Phone operators become socially and economically empowered. The ladies
use the extra income mainly to provide benefits to the family, such as
education, clothing and health.
The Village Phone programme appears to be the best available technical solution
for rural universal access under current regulatory and commercial
circumstances. The Village Phone programme is a technical and organizational
solution to rural telecommunication access partly necessitated by a regulatory
environment that is not conducive to advancing rural telecommunication
Grameen Bank, Grameen Phone, and Grameen Telecom
Grameen Telecom's Village Phone Programme: A
Multi-Media Case Study and
the Equator Initiative website
For more information:
the website of the activity
The success of the Grameen Model for rural development and poverty reduction
inspired partners to replicate it in other developing countries.
Village Phones were brought to Uganda, changes were made to the Bangladeshi
model to elaborate it to suit for Uganda. The MTN village Phone was formally
launched in November 2003.
of the Village Phone of extending telecommunications access to rural villages in
partnership with local microfinance institutions is based on the creation of
opportunities for rural community members to become 'village phone operators';
operating a payphone. A big advantage is that these Village Phone businesses can
be established in areas where electricity is unavailable and in areas where the
MTN network can only be accessed with a booster antenna.
MTN VillagePhone service is available in most districts of Uganda. MTN VillagePhone
provides special airtime rates to the Village Phone Operators to enable them to
provide affordable telecommunications services to people in their village.
Upcountry, people are now able to make a call without traveling many kilometers
to the nearest town. They can simply go to their community Village Phone
Operator who serves and supports the community by making affordable
communications services available.
Grameen Foundation USA,
Uganda Women's Fincancial Trust,
Uganda Microfinance Union
WSIS Stocktaking Database and
the website of the activity
Reaching the global market with PEOPLink
Success Strategy: PEOPLink,
a non-profit organization, employs a grassroots strategy to
help artisans in over 22 less developed countries use the
internet to reach world markets. Working at a grassroots
level, PEOPLink has opened doors for many aspiring artists
the world over by providing them with digital imaging and
internet technologies. To demonstrate the effectiveness of
the PEOPLink’s e-commerce strategy, there are a couple of
ongoing programmes in Nepal and India that illustrate how
the organization brings producers and potential buyers
together via the internet. These two projects highlight how
PEOPLink establishes links at the community level to help
them express the unique features of their culture, while
helping the small businesses gain access to the global
For more information:
the PEOPLink case study
Development of a Microfinance IT Banking Systems
The "GTZ-FAO MicroBanking System" is software built for financial institutions
providing micro credit and other financial services for low-income households
and small-scale entrepreneurs. The project is to foster small financial
institutions, including credit cooperatives, savings banks and microfinance
institutions especially in rural areas. The software is specially adapted to
developing countries particular financial environment and the needs of local
is designed to consolidate and merge branch level databases at the head
office of an institution. The system imports branch databases regularly (e.g.
monthly or weekly) and then generates consolidated reports as well as
branch-wise reports. It also includes a number of charts. This allows easy
monitoring, comparison and analysis of branch operations. Financial reports
include consolidated as well as branch wise trial balances, balance sheets and
income statements. The MIS system has its own built-in reporting tool with which
trained users can design and generate their own reports.
committee of GTZ and the UN specialized agency FAO has been set up to support
further development and quality management. Various specialized consulting firms
in several countries implement the system worldwide. A global technical centre
is the "MBWin Center of Excellence" (CoE), located at the FAO Regional Office
for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand. Two "MBWin Competence Centers"
(MBCC) are located
in Nepal and
the Philippines. These MBCCs are primary
responsible for MBWin installations, training, and for support to end-users. New
competence centres are currently being established in Indonesia and in Honduras.
software is one of the few affordable systems, which can be easily adapted to
different cultural backgrounds, languages and banking regulations. License fees
for the MIS system depend on the number of branches that you wish to merge into
The first MBWin system was
piloted in Nepal in the Energetic Women
Cooperative (EWC) in late 2000. Currently it runs in banks in more than 15 countries, namely Bangladesh,
Cambodia, West Timor, Indonesia, Honduras, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Nepal, South
Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, Yemen.
Small business in rural areas of developing countries
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO),
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit
WSIS Stocktaking Database and
website of the activity
For more information:
International Foundation website
Global Giving: Give Online.
Change the World.
connects individual and
institutional donors directly to
social and economic development
projects, as well as
environmental causes, around the
The GlobalGiving platform was designed as
a highly efficient marketplace on
the Internet. The platform enables more funding to reach projects throughout the globe, and,
at the same time, provides a more transparent, engaging way for donors to give.
Potential donors can browse and
select from a wide offering of projects, organized by geography or by themes such as health care,
the environment, and education. Once a donor chooses a project, he/she can contribute any amount,
using a credit/debit card, check, PayPal, or stock transfer. Gift registries can be set up for
special events, and donors can "give" any project as a gift.
These contributions directly support the entrepreneurial work of project leaders throughout the world,
who are bringing innovative, empowering solutions to challenging social problems at the local
Because donors are enabled to give directly to projects, they know exactly where their money is going.
Donors can see progress updates on most projects as funding is received and goals are met.
Donations made through GlobalGiving are higher impact because:
Money is going directly to a well-defined project versus supporting general operating expenses
Projects on globalgiving.com have exposure to thousands of donors, enabling us to aggregate multiple sources of funding for each project
Many projects on globalgiving.com are located in the developing world where a little money goes a long way
For more information: please visit
the website of the platform.
Rickshaws Connect India's Poor
But still only around 23
million people have access to mobiles out of a population of 1.1 billion. A
regional mobile phone company in India is taking a novel approach to drive up
business and help the poor at the same time. Shyam Telecom operating in the
state of Rajasthan has equipped a fleet of rickshaws with one or a couple of
mobile phones. Drivers pedal these mobile payphones throughout the state
capital, Jaipur, and the surrounding countryside providing exclusive opportunity
for disadvantaged rural community members to make a call or send sms. The hand-pedalled
rickshaws are equipped with a battery, a billing machine and a printer.
The rickshaw drivers,
numbering around 200, are largely drawn from those at the margins of society -
the disabled and women. The telecom company charges nothing for the initial
set-up costs despite the 75,000 rupee ($1,641) price of the tricycle and
equipment. The drivers take a 20% on every call, earning between 6,000 (US$131)
to 9,000 ($197) rupees per month. Through these mobile payphones, some drivers
are now able to be entirely self-reliant and even support a family of five
people, says the company.
"The operator gets traffic on its network, the driver
gets a commission and the consumers get access to affordable calling",
she told BBC News Online, saying many companies could learn from Shyam's focus
on customer service.
But Shyam is not limiting its
novel interpretation of mobility just to voice services nor to tricycles. The
company's latest innovation is a camel equipped with a wirelessly connected
computer, for use in the desert, though just two animals are currently in
commission at present.
And after discussion with the
drivers, Shyam is also planning to add internet-ready laptops to the rickshaws.
communities, disabled, women
BBC News website
e-Forms - New Zealand
The New Zealand Fisheries Ministry plans
to provide portable computers to some of its observers so they can directly
input catch information while aboard ships at sea.
currently record data from catches – such as the species, quantities of fish
caught and information on processing – on more than 50 forms which are made from
waterproof paper. The data must then be re-entered into the ministry's databases
when the observer returns to port. The ministry estimates it can save at least
$150,000 each year by moving to entirely to electronic forms at sea cutting this
double-entry and eliminate delays caused when several ships return in the same
computers would also boost the accuracy of reports by automatically making
calculations and checking electronic forms are properly filled in. pilot trials
will be led during 2005.
says the ministry wants a system that can transmit data back from the ship,
probably once a day, but the cost of this might be too high. GPS capability is
also preferred, if the costs can be kept down. If the pilots reveal further
potential of the digital fisheries systems, the Ministry would be ready to
replace nearly all its forms with electronic versions on handheld PCs.
Zealand Fisheries Ministry
Stuff website, May 2005
Economic Advancement Project (REAP) - South Caucasus
REAP has worked on developing and promoting appropriate processing technologies,
that will enhance marketing opportunities for horticultural and poultry produce,
thus resulting in higher income for participating households. Also, the project
aims to improve access to technology and market information.
project is regional in scope with activities in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and
Georgia. The overall goal is to improve the household livelihood security of
smallholder farmers by improving agricultural production; income generation and
marketing; and developing business linkages between farmer organizations, the
private sector, and local institutions in order to promote sustainable
privatized agricultural production. The project targeted approximately 1,500
vulnerable households in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.
Armenia, the project targeted 480 farmers in the villages of Azatan, Akhuryan,
Beniamen, Karnut and Hatsik. The project had a specific gender objective and
anticipated that at least 60% of the beneficiaries would be women. The project
approach was to train and support community based facilitators (CFs) who in turn
would mobilize and train other farmers (Participatory Household Representatives
– PHRs) in new technologies and business development issues. The CFs would also
learn about and support PHRs in gaining improved access to local and distant
agricultural support services. It was also proposed to establish involvement of
the local government through the development of local coordination committees.
In addition to training, CFs and PHRs were to be provided with inputs in support
of new technology testing and adoption.
preliminary evaluation undertaken after 18 months of operation (in 2002)
indicated that this type of project, which assists small householders to learn
together, work together and market together, could have significant impact in a
very small period of time. REAP households experienced a 47% increase in gross
income from wheat and potato production from the baseline, compared to a 4%
increase for non-beneficiary households. In addition, REAP households increased
potato and wheat consumption from their own crops by 27% and 5%, respectively,
compared to non-beneficiary households. In addition, REAP households experienced
a 34% average increase in gross income from key dairy products (milk, cheese),
vs. a 27% decrease in gross income for non-beneficiary households. REAP
households also increased consumption of home produced milk by 26% and
consumption of raised eggs 26 by 17% compared to a reduction in family
consumption of non-beneficiary households of 27% and 30%, respectively. In a
country where potatoes and dairy products are staple foodstuffs, and where cash
is limited, the ability of households to increase consumption without increasing
their cash expenditures is a significant benefit that should not be discounted.
results captured by evaluation indicated that significant benefits could be
obtained with this approach. Accordingly, CARE and CIDA have invested income
from other sources to continue to support the farming groups in the project over
another harvesting cycle, in order to ensure sustainability of farmers’ gains.
Canadian International Development Agency - CIDA,
WSIS Stocktaking Database
Digital Freedom Initiative - United States of America
Freedom Initiative of the Bush Administration has place volunteers in businesses
and community centres to provide small businesses and entrepreneurs with ICT
skills and knowledge and knowledge to operate more efficiently while competing
in the global economy. These objectives are achieved in partnership with U.S.
business entities whose voluntary, innovative and entrepreneurial participation
in the DFI provides access to new markets and competitive opportunities for
developing products and services in emerging economies. Over 90 U.S. business,
non-governmental organizations and academic institutions now comprise the DFI
objectives of the Initiative clearly stated are the following:
Enable Innovation through Volunteer-led Business and Entrepreneur Assistance
will place volunteers from the private sector and NGOs with small businesses and
entrepreneurs to assist in growing their businesses through the application of
technology and the transfer of business expertise.
Drive Pro-Growth Legal and Regulatory Reform
Department, Commerce, USAID, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and
other public and private sector organizations will assist DFI countries in
developing pro-growth regulatory and legal structures to enhance business
Leverage Existing Information and Communications Infrastructure to Promote
will identify opportunities to leverage existing infrastructure (e.g.,
in-country cyber cafés and telecentres) to generate information and services
(e.g. financial services, commodity price information, etc.) to help
entrepreneurs and small businesses better compete in both the regional and
global market place.
The DFI was
initiated in Senegal in March 2003, followed by Peru, Indonesia and Jordan. More
countries are anticipated to join the program in the next four years to increase
business activity, develop more efficient markets, create more jobs in the U.S.
and DFI beneficiary countries, and help establish a business friendly regulatory
framework conducive to U.S. investment and partnerships.
Target group : SMEs, rural communities in developing countries
U.S. Agency for International Development,
US Department of Commerce, US Department of
State, Peace Corps, US Small Business Administration, and USA Freedom Corps
WSIS Stocktaking Database and the
website of the activity
Geo-database Cadastre and Land Registry System in Georgia
The project developed and introduced a nationwide computer-based and fully
integrated cadastre and land registry - the first ever in Georgia. This
significantly improves the development opportunities of the private sector
particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises and agriculture, as
verifiable land property rights are a perquisite for access to credit and
investment. Moreover, an efficient multi-functional cadastre and land registry
is a source of local and central government revenue. The project also helped
create a private-sector land surveyor industry with highly qualified jobs and
long-term business opportunities.
Rural population, SMEs, farmers
KfW Entwicklungsbank, Germany
WSIS Stocktaking Database
website of the entity
SPU New Initiatives Programme
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