Sunday, 23 November 2008

How can we increase innovation among the digitally deprived community?

Innovation is important among the rural just as it is among those in the urban society. Aside from economic benefits, progress would arise in terms of social and cultural life. Areas to consider when enabling an innovative driven rural society are as follows:

  1. Have instruments to make knowledge more accessible for the community

- Instruments such as libraries and even Telecentres may not be enough. Knowledge can be accessible in other various ways from setting up a calling centre – allowing farmers to get Internet information by calling a free 1800 number, creating mechanisms to make computer based device cheaper or simply by distributing Internet based devices among field agencies who continuously visits farmers for inspection, assessment or other various purposes.

  1. Generally improve the network of telecentres, schools and libraries and offices

- ensuring operations of telecentres, to be more connected to a network of other similar organizations would certainly raise the sustainability as well as the progress of the telecentre. With such network, the centre would be able to learn on best practices and new ideas of others to create a more effective service to the society. This connectivity should not be limited to telecentre but should include other “points of information” such as schools, libraries and district/agency offices. “Points of information” would also benefit since it will assist them in benchmarking the ideal set up for their organizations.

  1. Promote open telecom infrastructure

- Promoting to telecom companies to set up various infrastructures in the community will increase the accessibility of knowledge among society. Although the government can play a major role, communities can assist in terms of setting up various terrain or towers deem fit for wireless access points and offer it freely to companies or ISPs for the benefit of the society.

  1. Reduce Government bureaucratic processes

- Sales and purchase of land, taxes, security issues, registration offices and various other government applications are important to be accessible for transaction online not only for those living in the city but more so for those in the rural areas. Aside from high transportation cost, the rural areas are facing increasing criminal activities and rising natural disasters. These activities are typically not monitored in detail by central governments who only respond to such activity when it is already too late. A case in hand is the forest fires that has been consistently troubling Indonesia and the region

Culture is the key

- Many a times, Governments fail to see that in order to create an innovative society; the culture plays the most vital role. The framework laid above will only lead to failure in efforts if the culture for innovation is not inculcated among the community. The need to persuade farmers to use IT must be done not only by advocators such as champions of telecentres but also by the community themselves. More importantly, the budget to build programmes that can blend differing cultures among the community by setting up domains to express the feelings of both the community and those outside of the community is necessary. It will create a spiral need to communicate and learn from one another to gain better economic benefits. The aim to build a civil society will be more effective in the long term.

Obviously, when more creativity is applied, innovation even among the deprived will inevitably increase.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Mira Razman Azrai

My daughter is so pretty. Mira Razman Azrai. I love you till death
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