Making ICT more Meaningful for Governance in the Rural Areas: Role of the Community Knowledge Systems

Making ICT more Meaningful for Governance in the Rural Areas: Role of the Community Knowledge Systems

Charru Malhotra (Indian Institute of Public Administration (IIPA), India), V.M. Chariar (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India) and L.K. Das (Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-713-3.ch005
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The speed and outreach enabled by information and communication technologies (ICT) have improved mechanisms of delivery of information, services and products to the public. ICT as an enabler of governance, christened as e-governance, is seen as means of attaining good governance. The millennium development goals (MDG) of targeting the poor, listening to the poor and learning from the poor seem to be more within the reach through the use of ICT. However the sustainability of majority of rural ICT interventions has not been very encouraging. The study of literature attributes this negligible success rate to several factors including neglect of traditional indigenous knowledge in the projects designed for rural masses. Authors of this study propose that by defining a proper framework and by use of proper methodologies, community knowledge systems (CKS) of a rural region, when incorporated in an e-governance initiative can assist various actors and processes of governance to attain good governance. Projects based on the proposed CKS based G2C2G framework are expected to be more sustainable and effective for ushering development in the rural areas. However, implementation of such projects would however require synergistic efforts between the government functionaries, aid agencies, non-profit organizations and the rural citizens. The prime hypothesis is that the assimilation, improvisation and dissemination of the traditional community knowledge systems (CKS) using ICT initiatives for rural governance, would help to liberate local ingenuity to catalyse sustainable rural development.
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Sustainable Rural Development can make a powerful contribution to four critical goals of: Poverty Reduction, Wider shared growth, Household, national, and global food security and Sustainable natural resource management (World Bank, 1997).

Development is a dynamic process that is entirely an aftermath of human decisions and multiplicity of choices available to them (Sen, 1987). Modern goals of development have laid emphasis on poverty reduction to provide people with better means and resources (for details see Leys, 1996; Rahnema and Victoria, 1997). Emergence of ICT has accelerated development towards its goals and led to economic growth and social empowerment of people in the developing countries (Nandi, 2002). Rural economies too can be benefited from ICT by focusing on social production, social consumption and social services to be rendered in the villages (Malhotra, 2001). Any improvement, in the social or economic status of rural areas would not just directly benefit rural poor but would also bring down the migration-pressures on cities and contribute by positive ripple effect in global stride towards Development. Rural Development is the prime concern of governance in the global context.

The chapter is divided in three sections. In the first section of the chapter titled ‘Governance for Rural Development using ICT’, the authors examine the changing paradigm of governance to usher rural development. The chief focus of Governance stays on economic growth and social empowerment of the rural communities that can be enabled by implementation of new-technologies. Several thinkers have therefore studied application of Information and Communication technologies (ICT) in the processes of governance some of which are summarised in this section. The authors also define and demarcate between the popular terms like ‘e-Government’ and ‘e-Governance’ and further tapers to the issues confronting ICT implementation in rural governance. Research studies indicate that not all ICT initiatives have been successful in improving the quality of life of the rural poor. Some remedial considerations such as ‘Inputs to ICT from Community Knowledge’ and ‘Design of rural e-Governance Projects using Systems Approach’ have been delineated in the subsequent section titled ‘An Alternative Design Strategy’. The review of literature puts forth that the improvement of the quality of life in the rural areas, particularly the poor and socially disadvantaged sections of society is possible by prudent use of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) especially if fused with the prevailing Community Knowledge Systems (CKS) of the region. On basis of this, the final section suggests ‘An Integrated Approach to Rural e-Governance Projects’. In its first part titled ‘The Proposed CKS based G2C2G framework’ the authors propose a Systems-based, inclusive framework by the same name. The next part of the section referred as ‘Projects Based on CKS based G2C2G Framework’, the authors summarise the goal, objectives, phases of the project lifecycle, suggested methodology as well as the key deliverables and benefits that are expected of the projects emanating from the proposed framework. The chapter concludes after putting forth the ‘Future Directions’ for implementation of such projects that are based on CKS based G2C2G framework.


Section 1: Governance For Rural Development Using Ict

Rural Development is a strategy to enable a specific group of people, poor rural women and men, to gain for themselves and their children more of what they want and need” (Chambers, 1983). It involves use of physical, financial and human resources for economic growth and social development (Burkey, 1993) and improvement in the quality of life (Singh, 1999) of rural people in villages. The goal of governance “should be to develop capacities that are needed to realise development that gives priority to the poor, … and creates needed opportunities for employment and other livelihoods” (World Bank, 1992; UNDP, 1994).

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Marijn Janssen
Ganesh P. Sahu, Yogesh K. Dwivedi, Vishanth Weerakkody
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Chapter 1
Bharat Maheshwari, Vinod Kumar, Uma Kumar, Vedmani Sharan
Electronic government (E-government) portals are considered one of the most popular conduits for offering government services online. Successful... Sample PDF
A Framework for E-Government Portal Development
Chapter 2
Petter Gottschalk
The mobilization of electronic information across government organizations has the potential of modernizing and transforming information exchanges.... Sample PDF
E-Government Interoperability: Frameworks for Aligned Development
Chapter 3
Mahfuz Ashraf, Jo Hanisch, Paul Swatman
While there is hope that ICT interventions will lead to socio-economic development in developing countries, there is a dearth of research concerning... Sample PDF
An Explorative Study of Dynamic Influences on ICT-Led Developmental Impact at Community Level
Chapter 4
Marc Holzer, Aroon Manoharan
The chapter is based on a study of global municipal Web portals conducted through a collaboration between the E-Governance Institute at... Sample PDF
Tracking the Digital Divide: Studying the Association of the Global Digital Divide with Societal Divide
Chapter 5
Charru Malhotra, V.M. Chariar, L.K. Das
The speed and outreach enabled by information and communication technologies (ICT) have improved mechanisms of delivery of information, services and... Sample PDF
Making ICT more Meaningful for Governance in the Rural Areas: Role of the Community Knowledge Systems
Chapter 6
Sandeep Kaur, N. Mathiyalagan
ICTs in general and e-governance in particular offer tremendous opportunities for improving demand-driven transparent and accountable service... Sample PDF
Impact of E-Government Implementation on Poverty Reduction in Rural India: Selected Case Studies
Chapter 7
Subhajit Choudhury, Sudhir Kumar
The chapter introduces information communication technology and its importance with respect to digital divide. Digital divides is the connotation of... Sample PDF
E-Governance: Tool for E-Democracy and Citizen Empowerment in the Horizon of Information Technology Era in Developing Society in India, Nepal and Bangladesh
Chapter 8
Siddhartha Ghosh
E-governance is the public sector’s use of information and communication technologies (ICT) with the aim of improving information and service... Sample PDF
Application of Natural Language Processing (NLP) Techniques in E–Governance
Chapter 9
Anand Agrawal
A primary goal of e-governance is providing online-services to citizens over the internet (Web portals) to facilitate government-to-citizen (G2C)... Sample PDF
Assessing E-Governance Online-Service Quality (EGOSQ)
Chapter 10
Sundresan Perumal
As the world is streaming into an electronic world there are still huge communities that don’t understand the evolution government into the era of... Sample PDF
The Success Model of Evolution from Government to E-Governance
Chapter 11
Shafi Al-Shafi, Vishanth Weerakkody
This chapter examines the adoption of free wireless internet parks (iPark) by Qatari citizens as means of accessing electronic services from public... Sample PDF
Technology Acceptance of Free Wireless Internet Park Initiatives
Chapter 12
Yogesh K. Dwivedi
The main purpose of this chapter is to provide readers an exhaustive list of references focused upon electronic government related issues.The... Sample PDF
A Bibliometric Analysis of Electronic Government Research
Chapter 13
C.S.R. Prabhu
The National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) proposes citizen service delivery up to the village level through various channels including village kiosks.... Sample PDF
Towards an E-Governance Grid for India (E-GGI): An Architectural Framework for Citizen Services Delivery
Chapter 14
Swamy Tribhuvananda H.V., Gopakumar K.
ICTs are increasingly being recognized by the people across the globe as essential tools of development – tools that can empower them, enhance... Sample PDF
E-Halli: An Opportunity to Become Rural Entrepreneurs
Chapter 15
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With the advancement of the Internet and supporting information and communication technologies, e-government has emerged as an effective means of... Sample PDF
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Chapter 16
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