Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Development

Today’s scenario illustrates effective communication through appropriate technologies. Information, document as attachment, pictures, audios and movies are shared by electronic media like email for better leaflet communication. Telephone, email, web site has been common communication media even in remote areas of Nepal like in far western region’s districts (Darchula and Baitadi since Feb 2007). It is a new innovation of Code Detection and Multiple Access (CDMA) technology in Nepal by Nepal Telecom.

Most of the part of Nepal has no connectivity of telephone and email. They are excluded from information technology. Connectivity was so hard with Darchula before. Even for sending mails, people of Darchula had to travel Dhanaghadi through Indian road. One of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) projects called Micro-Enterprise Development Programme (MEDEP) is working in Darchula. Before Feb 2007, MEDEP’s staffs had to send their emails from Dhanaghadi. Now, they are in relaxing mode sending emails, visiting different web sites for information and calling anywhere with their CDMA phone.

Downloading essential files and screening information stuff are easily possible though web sites. Intentionally for better leaflet, most of United Nations (UN) organization like UNDP and UNDP projects such as MEDEP are using electronics media vehicles, web site, for conveying much-needed information. This type of web site is based on Content Management System (CMS) technology of WEB 2.0. A CMS is a piece of software that manages website development. It can keep track of all changes to a website. It will record who changed what, and when, and can allow for notes to be added. A writer can create a new page (with standard navigation bars and images in the same location on each page) and submit it, without using HTML software. Most of CMS using in Nepal is developed in PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP). PHP is Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML)-embedded scripting language. It is free and open source language.

Short for management information system, and pronounced as separate letters, MIS refers broadly to a computer-based system that provides managers with the tools for organizing, monitoring, evaluating and efficiently running their departments. In order to provide past, present and prediction information, an MIS can include software that helps in decision making, data resources such as databases, decision support systems, people management and project management applications, and any computerized processes that enable the department to run efficiently. MIS in MEDEP has been implementing in district level for entrepreneurs’ monitoring and evaluation (M&E), regional level for district M&E and centre level has used analytical MIS for M&E propose so that management can go through national level data to each and every entrepreneur’s status in district.

In a nut shell, our biggest challenge today is to maximize the power of ICT in addressing the issues relating to rural development and poverty reduction. There is, therefore, a need to focus research efforts on design, test, and learn from innovative electronic media-based strategies, supported by ICT on strategies. We must bring down the ownership, use and control of selective and digital technology from the elite and government regimes to the level of communities and the poor that they serve. We must vitalize the community media on large scale with the involvement of people. It is vital to bring information to the doorsteps of the poor (the beneficiaries).

Thank you

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