Headlines (cont.)
Friday, 30 September 2011 11:04
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Africa's New Communications Users - Household Survey Findings

  • Surprising numbers of African households use phones regularly, 70% + even where there is limited coverage
  • Email and Internet aren't money makers (yet), less than 3% of households are using them
  • Universal Access strategies should be undertaken with an understanding of low-income markets
  • There are financial benefits when public access providers are supported
  • Development agencies need to offer support and further research

Energy in Slums - Barriers to access to energy

  • If innovative "official" solutions are put in place for electricity provision to informal settlements, the poor will respond
  • There is a universal willingness to pay for metered supplies, households are prepared to pay for a good quality supply
  • While connection costs do indeed present a barrier, it is the lack of availability of formal connections that is more important
  • Relaxing the requirements for metered connections will reduce barriers, this requires the political will to address the barriers

Economic Impact of Telecommunications Access on Rural Livelihoods and Poverty Reduction

  • Research from 2300 interviews India, Mozambique and Tanzania indicated that telephones are:
  • Considered very important for use in emergencies
  • Extensively used to maintain social networks, especially contact within the family
  • Valued more for saving money than for earning money
  • Valued more by richer and better educated people than by the poorer, less educated or more marginal members of society – especially where financial value was concerned
  • Considered unimportant for information gathering

Evaluating the Impact of Wind Generators in Inner Mongolia

  • Reasons for preferring a wind generator – economics is not the main driving force; ease of repair and reliability are important values
  • Electrical equipment - light for people and TV are most important; light for animals was also regarded as important, although only needed for a couple of months during Lambing
  • General equipment - items for economic activities (e.g. fencing, transport) are more important than electrical items
  • Energy availability – remarkable agreement with figures based on measured data from a wind farm site in Inner Mongolia shows that herdsmen are well aware of the performance of systems, and indicates how important they are

Senegal Household Survey Analysis

  • The data demonstrates that radio can have an influence on health knowledge, although it is perhaps losing ground to television in urban areas (which is growing in use and can communicate with less gender bias).
  • There are clear links between the use of telecommunications and improved livelihoods (beyond health alone). Family relationships are enhanced by telecommunications and this has an impact on income and other livelihood factors.

Impact of The Withdrawal of Modern Energy on the Urban Poor

  • The greatest impact of higher energy costs will be upon health
  • The impact will not be greatest among the poorest as they already use some alternative fuels
  • Responses of the poor are constrained by accommodation type and local fuel markets

Barriers to the Adoption of Efficient Energy Strategies Among Refugees in Northern Ghana

  • The new survey technique show how to target messages intended to change behaviour
  • The TORA identifies the psychological and social barriers concerning a proposed change of behaviour
  • In this research TORA was tested on environmental and energy concerns
  • It resulted in a considerable uptake of improved stoves for cooking, and revealed the need for management of wild wood collection

Extension Processes In Rural Energy

  • The provision and use of energy is an important consideration in all environments
  • Processes seeking to identify household problems should be participatory – and ideally without a pre-set agenda
  • Broad general knowledge is needed to facilitate agenda free needs assessment
  • Facilitators or animators of participatory processes are often to blame for communities not reporting energy needs
  • Workers can be trained to "see" energy issues, basic energy awareness should be a part of broader training programmes

Community TeleCentres for Urban Youth

  • Focused on a very poor community
  • Designed and run by individuals (youth) drawn form the local community
  • Contributing to an established locally-driven ongoing project rather than being set up as a new venture
  • Content led rather than technology led with an active encouragement to design and publish local content
  • Based on an integrated approach to livelihoods rather than set up purely as an information and communication centre
  • Risk averted by utilising technology in a strategic way – Alternative information appliances, open source software, alternative connectivity options

Exit Strategies for the Resettlement of Drought Prone Populations

  • Agencies and donors that have been involved with water supplies during emergency or resettlement programmes should have planned exit strategies regardless of their entry strategies
  • Confidence in local technical competence is found to have the strongest relationship with the sustainability of the system
  • Participation of the wider community and organisation both contribute to competence but are not the defining factors
  • Good technical training is necessary to create sustainable systems
  • Another defining element to the process of repairing the pump is the availability of spares
  • Social-mobilisation is valuable in itself as a prelude to community problem solving and future development activities

Community Participation in Urban Water Services

  • Extension of services to the urban poor will increasingly be a part of future business in the international utilities sector
  • Community participation makes commercial sense
  • Corporate social responsibility is becoming more and more important for private companies

Linking Field Level Findings to Policy and Decision-Making in Nepal

  • Information and knowledge from recent and current land management research which can be applied on a wide scale identified
  • Constraints to uptake and adaptation of land management strategies, which are amenable to policy intervention, identified and promoted
  • Sustainable processes for informing policy discussions at national level, within government policy making structures and within organisations that provide support services to rural land users, identified, validated and promoted

Using ICTs for Vocational Training in East Africa

  • Digital Video used to enhance capability of training centres in East Africa
  • Collaborators moved from a relatively disengaged and hesitant position towards engagement with the medium and acceptance of its application
  • The use of the Internet to promote networking was found to have severe practical limitations and had low acceptance. The rich media being created were handled through offline delivery and networking
  • The group of three collaborators have established an apparently sustainable and continuing programme of content creation for vocational training
  • The model of regional collaboration is believed to have wider application in local content creation

Community Television for the Poor

  • Community radio is known to have strong developmental benefits
  • There is a strong trend towards television, even among the poor
  • There will be new opportunities for audiovisual media presented by digital convergence

E-Commerce Options for Third World Craft Producers

  • Trading organisations are advised to focus on the importance of local markets before global markets
  • Consumers are currently wary of buying handicrafts directly online but commercial buyers can effectively use the internet to identify and peruse larger orders
  • Websites are good for advocacy, building awareness and improving working conditions for artisans
  • ICTs can improve supply chain of existing handicrafts and give access to new sources of information and advice
  • The internet can protect and even market indigenous knowledge, trading organisations are advised to do this
  • Ethical tourism has a growing market that can be supported through the internet

CATIA - Catalysing Access to ICT in Africa

  • CATIA has played a part in achieving changes and benefits in more than 10 African countries; for example:
  • Improved conditions for political reporting through successful regulatory lobbying
  • Lower international call charges (by almost 20%) by legalising calls using the internet (VoIP)
  • Adoption of common guidelines for wireless policy and regulation in three regions (14 SADC, 22 COMESA and 16 ECOWAS groups of countries). This has improved the:
    • licensing procedures and reduction of licensing fees
    • bureaucracy involved with technical standards - assigning of frequency
    • transparency in procedures for users
  • Good policy environments that enhance services and support economies (for example, the Kenya Revenue Authority saw a 7% increase in tax revenue in the first year when it started using the internet exchange point (IXP)).