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Impact of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on Livelihood of Rural People

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) is considered as important tool to empower rural people with the ability to communicate instantaneously facilitating rural development process and information needs.

In developing countries potential of ICT4D still not understood, what ICTs can do in rural people life and how ICTs are used by rural people, so it has become area of discussion.The study was conducted in rural Nangi village of Ramche VDC at Myagdi district of Nepal which is located at the height of 2300 m in western part of Himalayan region.

Qualitative case study research design was adopted for the study. Research study manages structured interview with hundred fifty five users and non-users of ICTs. To provide supplementary information for data collected from individual interviews, four FGD (four focus group discussion) were conducted including both ICTs user and non-user of Nangi village of Ramche VDC. Semi-structured interview was conducted with two telecenter operator, two health workers and one NWNP project responsible person to know in depth of ICTs use and its effect on life of rural people.

Majority of ICTs users were male having higher secondary education (Grade 11 & 12) while minorities were female in study area.Telecenter have failed to consider underrepresented groups in the provision of ICTs services in study area. Necessary conditions to access ICTs exist while sufficient conditions such as ICTs skill, and awareness still lacking.

In Nangi village of Ramche VDC, technologies do not support socio-economic development totally but have some effect on various aspects of livelihoods. Socially, technologies help for better communication, and knowledge sharing. Economically, technologies help for better income generation, savings and technologies facilitate for better access to information, and ICTs literacy as human capital.

Language problem (illiteracy), lack of ICTs skill, lack of time, lack of electricity supply, low bandwidth of internet with timely disconnection, terrible road and poor infrastructure were found significant obstacles for effective use of ICTs in telecenter.

The study recommends NWNP project leader and telecenter operator should do regular information need assessment of poor, disadvantaged and underrepresented groups to redesign or restructure the program to bring them in provision of ICTs service instead of looking them as passive users of ICTs services.

There should be collaboration between telecenter program and LDC (local development committee) to develop localized application for rural people. The developed localized ICTs application should meet needs of rural people to serve them efficiently and effectively.anufacturing as a bottle neck, could make an important factor tough while making a decision.
Source: Linnaeus University
Author: Karki, Biswa

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