Connecting the First Mile: A Best Practice Framework for ICT-Based Knowledge Sharing Initiatives
Surmaya Talyarkhan (Practical Action, UK), David J. Grimshaw (Practical Action, UK) and Lucky Lowe (Practical Action, UK)
Copyright: © 2006
This chapter characterises the use of information communication technologies (ICTs) to share information with people at grassroots as connecting the first mile. It examines the literature about connecting the first mile and identifies the key debates: whether solutions should be participatory or top-down, technological or social, whether they should focus on global or local information, and the overall potential of ICTs for development. The chapter synthesises the lessons from a range of practical studies to identify the factors that contribute to the success of a project. A framework of best practice is offered, divided into three dimensions: the environment, the project level, and the local level. Whilst recognising that initiatives will vary according to the local context, the authors offer the best practice framework to support practitioners in addressing the challenges of connecting the first mile and empowering marginal communities to participate effectively in the information society.