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ICT for Rural Development: Next Generation

Presented by: Dhara Patel, Coordinator
Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA), India

Moderator: Nagy K. Hanna, Senior Advisor, e-Development
SEWA, India, is a member-based organization of poor informal sector women workers. Two-thirds of their members live in rural areas and are home-based workers, vendors, manual laborers, service providers, and producers. SEWA's ICT unit has been exploring the use of ICT as a tool to increase the efficiency of rural micro-level enterprise activities to secure poor women's livelihood. SEWA has successfully taken an integrated and holistic approach to the use of ICT for rural development, such as providing its members with access to information; training them with communication tools and customized software; technical training on repairing their tools; generating job opportunities; and also by providing child care and health care.

Some of their current activities on ICTs include:

  • Imparting basic computer training for semiliterate women before they are introduced to communication tools such as Internet and customized software for their micro-enterprises,

  • Providing technical training such as maintenance and repairs of their tools, i.e. hand pump repairing, to enhance employment opportunities in the village at the School of Science and Technology,

  • Providing loans for mobile phones for informal sector workers, i.e. vegetable vendors,

  • Proving health advice and nutritional information by linking with hospitals via video conferencing for villagers who are laborers and service providers who do hard physical work to earn a living and survive , i.e. construction workers and salt workers, and

  • Exploring various partnerships with different medical institutes and organizations for providing better access to health care services for its members, i.e. telemedicine.


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Special Features

Presentation Materials 07/29/03