Fourth Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (V). ICTs and Health and Rural Development

Notes from the Fourth IPID ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium 2009, held in the Royal Holloway University of London, Egham, United Kingdom, on September 11-12th, 2009. More notes on this event: ict4d_symposium_2009.

Economic Impact of ICTs in Rural Markets
Giacomo Zanello

Most people live in low income countries, in rural areas, in small scale agricultural economies, farm oriented and non-market oriented.

Market orientation is required if you do not produce everything you need. To get what you lack, you need money, which you get by selling your production in the market. But the market implies transaction costs: proportional transaction costs like transportation and packing, and fixed transaction costs, like search for customers, bargaining or screening.

Research questions:

  • In rural areas, transmission of information is difficult or impossible. Do ICTs have an impact on household production and market participation?
  • Price dispersion across markets is common in developing countries. Do ICT affect the price dispersion and make market efficient?

Empirical framework: perform econometric analysis using treated-untreated group in Tanzania, taking the mobile network as the discriminating factor. With that, try and see the impact of ICTs at the household and market levels in matters of transaction costs, flow of market information, etc.

Contextual factors of e-Participation in the online global youth HIV/AIDS social movement
Santosh Vijaykumar

HIV problem: early sexual debut, lack of access to preventive & treatment services, poverty, education, unemployment, lack of youth involvement, lack of integration of youth into HIV programmes. Solutions? Integrating youth efforts, providing a common platform, representation of youth in policies & conferences. All by means of ICTs.

Global Youth Coalition for HIV/AIDS (GYCA):

  • Online tools: e-consultations, e-courses, discussoin forums, listservs, online resources, social networking
  • Different program areas: networking, technical assistance, policy advocacy, etc.
  • Structure: decentralized

Research to analyze the success of the GYCA: what is the role of ICTs, how do Internet-based prevention programs work, understand the emerging trend of online collaborative networks in public health, see how different disciplines (social ecology, social informatics, social movements & social networks), computer-mediated communication) work together. The research will focus on what factors determine participation and collaboration in online platforms, in the specific case of online platforms that address HIV/AIDS topics.

A strength-based approach for innovative design of ICTs for Rural Development (ICT4RD) in Finland
Silvia Gaiani

94% Finland is rural and quite heterogeneous: How to deliver public services in the context of a decreasing and ageing population? How to overcome the difficulties for rural population to launch profitable activities and to fight unemployment, lower earnings and exclusion from the society? How to make rural areas appealing?

On the other hand, the latest ICT4RD projects reflect mainly a Web 1.0 idea of delivery, while the contemporary development in IT calls for Web 2.o idea of collaboration and participation and for Web 3.0 idea of pervasiveness.

Thus, develop a strength-based rather than a needs-based approach to rural development by means of ICTs, involving:

  • the enhancement of the innovation capacity of communities: traditional knowledge for innovative practical solutions
  • the valorization of the territory and of the human capital: enhancing the qualities and positive aspects of the rural villages and people
  • the involvement of local inhabiants: capacity building + social inclusion and interaction
  • aim at the promotion, preservation and valorization of local activities through the use of ICTs
  • aim at the creation of a Global ICT4RD Network involving rural villages from all the five continents

The project intends to establish a Finnish ICT4RD Network made up of 3 rural villages, see their similarities and differences, etc.

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Fourth Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (2009)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2009) “Fourth Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium (V). ICTs and Health and Rural Development” In ICTlogy, #72, September 2009. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=2712

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