ICT4HD. Experiences in Research on ICT4D within the Master Telecommunication Networks for Developing Countries

Notes from the I International Workshop on Research in ICT for Human Development, at the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, and held in Fuenlabrada, Spain, on May 13th and 14th, 2010. More notes on this event: ict4hd10.

Experiences in Research on ICT4D within the Master Telecommunication Networks for Developing Countries

Voice over IP in Tutupali-UTPL Network (Ecuador)
Katty Rohoden and Patricia Ludeña

Installed wireless network to connect Health care centres, which enables them to be connected to the capital and amongst themselves.

Alternative Rural Telecommunication Network in Ecuador
Danilo Corral de Witt

Project in Equador, where 60% of people live in rural areas, that are usually have no Internet coverage.

The “Red Alternativa de Telecomunicaciones Rurales de Ecuador” [Ecuador Rural Telecommunication Alternative Network] seeks to find a solution to that, with a new wireless infrastructure and adding GIS technologies to optimize its deployment.

Using GIS allows for a clever management and design of the new infrastructures, and to see what the overall coverage will be.

Design of Clinical History and Tele-ECG Services
José García Muñoz y Ferney Beltrán

Wireless services for the comprehensive management of hospitals, including software to for a more efficient management, monitoring and impact assessment.

Problems:

  • Epidemics monitoring.
  • Drugs supply.
  • Emergencies.
  • Pacient monitoring.
  • Lack of equipment in health centres.
  • Limited access to health care services
  • Cerebrovascular diseases not detected.

Goals: improve management and health care, and designing and implementing a network to send and receive signals.

It was key to the project to have an array of indicators of usage of the tool (management software) to test its strengths and weaknesses.

Connectivity was provided by Bluetooth, as it required low power consumption, allowed for high bandwidth and was a spread standard.

Sustainability of Rural Telecommunication Networks
Inés Bebea

The project analyses how ICTs have contributed to the Millennium Development Goals.

Problems:

  • Projects in developing countries have low rates of success, under 20%
  • Public institutions play a very important role.
  • Financial, technological, social and human factors that make sustainability a tricky issue.

How to design and implement a Sustainability Comprehensive Plan?

Three sub-plans:

  • Operative maintenance plan
  • Institutional and financial plan
  • Content and human plan

That provide five kinds of sustainability:

  • Financial sustainability
  • Technological sustainability
  • Social sustainability
  • Content sustainability
  • Human sustainability

Inter-institutional Network in Santa Clotilde (Loreto, Peru)
Rico Hario Abilowo Hardjono and Elsa Feliz

Goal: improve the administrative and coordination processes between the staff at local public administrations. This was done with a WiFi network of inter-institutional interconnexion that, amongst others, could provide voice over IP services.

The project was a success, but some important areas need much improvement: power supply still and issue, and capacity building and training should be strengthened.

WiMAX solutions for rural areas
Nydia Mendiola and Carlos Rey

Context: big zones without coverage, scattered population, low resources.

WiMAX is a standard solution, runs on a free wave spectrum, is designed for long distances, and its parameters are quality-of-service oriented.

It has, though, high costs when users are highly scattered, as it is designed for a unique connectivity leap: how then to maintain the quality of service while reducing costs? Could WiFi and WiMAX be hybridized?

A hybrid and working solution was created. Then a new standard (802.16j) was issued and seems to perfectly fit with into the hybrid solution.

Analysis of National Policies for Information Society in Latin America and the Caribbean. Are integral strategies in reducing the digital divide?
Amagoia Salazar

Research on the different digital divides and the different national plans to fight against e-exclusion.

Most countries in Latin America have designed and implemented national plans to foster the Information Society, but it is yet to be found whether their approach was a comprehensive one or just focused in specific parts or conceptions of the digital divide.

  • Comprehensive approach?
  • Where is the focus put?
  • What are the thematic priorities?
  • What are the regional priorities?
  • Is there a commitment with free software?

Maintenance Plan for a Rural Telemedicine Network in Mozambique
Valentín Villarroel, Camilo Garzón

[connection failed during the event]

Discussion

David: what was the non-technical part and what the main barriers in this area? Elsa Feliz: human interaction and logistic coordination was the toughest, and, on the other hand, all the things you can not foresee and that once on the field are much more difficult to solve. Carlos Rey: teamwork is always a challenge.

[worth knowing array of projects, rich in insights, and difficult to summarize in a single post]

If you cannot see the slides please visit <a href="http://ictlogy.net/?p=3369">http://ictlogy.net/?p=3369</a>

I International Workshop on Research in ICT for Human Development (2010)

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

Peña-López, I. (2010) “ICT4HD. Experiences in Research on ICT4D within the Master Telecommunication Networks for Developing Countries” In ICTlogy, #80, May 2010. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
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