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Connecting the first mile:investigating best practice for ICTs and information sharing for development

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* A useful summary of the findings of a project researching the use of information communication technologies (ICTs) for development* Includes a functional best practice framework--who should do what, and when--and suggestions for further research* Features a review of the literature and illustrates lessons learned through the example of a case study of a project in PeruThis paper summarizes the findings from a research project conducted by ITDG and Cranfield School of Management (Bedford, U.K.) into using ICTs (like the Internet or mobile telephony) to share information with people at grassroots level "connecting the first mile."Across the world, development agencies are piloting projects to use ICTs to provide people with improved access to up-to-date information, equip them with new skills, or connect them to an international market. Evidence suggests that many of these projects are not succeeding. "Connecting the First Mile" outlines the challenges involved in sharing information with people who have little experience with ICTs, low levels of literacy, little time or money, and very specific knowledge and language requirements. It provides a best practice framework that embraces many applications of ICT (eg for agriculture, e-governance etc.) and many technologies, and it includes suggestions for further research.Of interest to Development, and ICT for Development: practitioners, students, academics, and donor organizations.

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