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Question 4 (opens 20 Nov.)

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Question 4 (opens 20 Nov.)

 Question 4:  Does ICT empower or marginalize women or smallholders in producer organizations? Support examples with specific reference to an organization, the technology tool(s), and content delivered.


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Capacity of women in development program

 I would like to share this article from the Microfinance Women of Albay, Philippines

 To address the problem  of inadequate income common to many households in Albay, Social Action Center Legazpi started its Socio-economic Development Program (SEDP) more than a decade ago by granting  loans for income generating projects. With women as its main beneficiaries, SEDP adopted a lending scheme similar to the Grameen Banking System of Bangladesh.

The savings and loans projects of the Business Improvement in Bugtong Association BIBA in Bugtong, Legazpi City caters to women from the low-income gropu. The women are engaged in small businesses like vending cooked food,selling balut( duck's egg) and peanuts, tending sari-sari stores, making tombstones and hollow blocks ,raising pigs and rattan- basket weaving . BIBA is composed of 42 members, aged 18-60 years old. Groups with five members each are allowed to take out a maximum loan of Php 25,000 at two percent interest monthly, a big difference from the bank's rate of five percent. Their criteria; members should have the capacity to pay; their spouses have regular jobs; they should be ingenous; and they have to be permanent residents of the place, so they would not leave if they are not able to pay their loans.

The women  come from households with school children, said the project  eases  their lives a bit because it gives them capital to set up small businesses. Fellow group members are usually  forced to pay for the amortization of one member who is unable to pay , or else the whole group could not get another loan. The rest of the members suffer if one member is not able to pay. Maritess Granadino,41, usually comes to the aid of ailing members. Her husband works with Land Transportation Offfice ( LTO). She augments her income  by engaging in all sorts of businesses like selling plastic jackets for LTO licenses and beauty products. her income  goes mainly to the children's basic needs. She said  they live simply  and  do not indulge  in luxuries  in order to  avoid defaulting on her loan.

 The members of the organization were also taught the basic  fiscal management, leadership training, socio-economic profiling ,enterprise development and promote transparency 

 The article above  would tell us the plight of women in helping their families  improve their social conditions.  I believe the trainings given to these women,empowered them to become socially active , participative in capability building  and poverty reduction.

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Capacity of Women in Development Program

Thanks for this article Adrian. Truly that women could be empowered with this kind of program as they have passion and I know capable of manning projects. They just need support and proper training.

Kelly

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support and proper training

True, apart from access that can offer women opportunities for increased participation in productions/productivity/microenterprises, there is a need to educate and train women in science and technology. The lack of training due to cost or expense, distance from home, time and cultural inhibitions is one of the impediments to women's use of technologies. Through the organizations we have identified here, I hope more support initiatives and ICT activities will be made available and more innovative methods of reaching especially grassroots women producers.

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Grameen Foundation

Grameen Foundation helps the world's poorest – especially women – improve their lives and escape poverty by providing them with access to appropriate financial services, life-changing information and unique income-generating opportunities. Working directly with the poor, as well as the organizations that support them, we make a real difference in the lives of those who have been left behind.

For more information about our work, please see our answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

We create economic opportunities for the world’s poorest.

Grameen Foundation provides microfinance institutions (MFIs) in poor communities with access to the capital they need to make microloans and to offer other financial services to those working to develop or expand a small business. In many of the poorest regions in the world, micro-business creation is the only way for families to escape poverty and build a better future for their children.

We build large-scale, easy-to-replicate solutions to end the cycle of poverty in developing countries around the world.

We do this by helping local microfinance institutions and other poverty-focused organizations become more effective and efficient, enabling them to reach more poor people with appropriate financial services, such as microsavings and loans. In addition to helping these organizations find financing, we provide products and services that enable them to measure their results and better understand their customers.  Our mobile phone-based technology projects also fight "information poverty" and provide business opportunities for poor entrepreneurs.

Working with local and global allies, and the poor themselves, we also create mobile phone-based solutions that address the devastating effects of “information poverty.” We help the poor to better manage their health, crops, livestock and finances, and even to find new income-generating opportunities – enabling them to improve their lives and break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. For more information on our work, please feel free to explore our 2010-2011 Annual Report.

We leverage the knowledge and expertise of local partners to create the most effective programs possible.

Grameen Foundation enhances the effectiveness of our funding and impact on communities by strengthening and supporting local organizations. We respect local ways of life by building poverty-ending programs in partnership with local organizations and leaders, as well as the poor themselves, rather than imposing external ideas on developing communities.

We lead the industry in measuring impact and delivering results.

Our Progress Out of Poverty IndexTM is a country-specific tool that simply but accurately measures poverty levels, currently covering roughly 70% of countries where the world’s poor live, and 90% of active microfinance clients. It enables MFIs and other poverty-focused organizations to better determine their clients’ needs, the effectiveness and efficiency of their programs, and how quickly they are able to help people move from poverty to financial self-sufficiency.  Of course, we also measure our own efficiency -- Grameen Foundation’s high standards and efficiency have earned us Charity Navigator’s highest rating for three years in a row (which fewer than 9% of non-profits achieve), as well as certification by the Better Business Bureau’s Wise Giving Alliance..

http://www.grameenfoundation.org/what-we-do

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Support and Proper Training

I definitely agree, Arnel! We cannot expect women to be experts in ICT without proper training and the support that they need. Women have many roles to play, though it would be one new to them, as long as they are motivated with the benefits ICT could give them, they would welcome this new challenge for them.

Kelly

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ICT and empowerment of women and poor people

Dear All

When working with local communities and local producer organization there is always the risk of elite capture: the local elite taking advantage of the organization for their own benefit.

As we said at the beginning of the forum, ICT can help accountability and transparency in decision making through facilitating the sharing of information. Are you aware of example where ICT help local poor or traditionally excluded people to have their voice heard? I know that a lot of rural women are now using cell phones (all over the world) to have information on commodity prices prior going to the market. Any concrete exemples?? 

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Use of Mobile Phones

Hello Pierre, My readings led me to Tanzania where mobile phones prove to be the best answer to the problems of the small scale farmers. In their marketing, they use cellular phones instead of radio and print advertisements because their brochures, for example, are in English language to where not all of them can understand. Not only that, internet is also a problem as some of them do have difficulties in connecting and some villages don’t have electricity. Through phones, they can go straight to the buyers and hire vehicle to transport their goods directly. Though there are middlemen who take advantage of the farmers by breaking the system and under valuing the goods. But farmers are assisted by local government units so they can sustain the system and run the business on their own.

Reference:

http://www.anancy.net/documents/file_en/RRRP08-5e.pdf

Kelly

 

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another example (SLL)

Another example is the Siyakhula Living Lab (SLL) which is a multistakeholder operation, consists of academia, industry, government and marginalized communities to facilitate user-driven innovation in the ICTD domain. This not only empowers the rural communities but also integrates the innovative potential in the rural marginalized areas within the general national system of innovation. SLL exists as collaboration between public-private-civic partnerships to co-create innovative solutions for development; an understanding of the targeted rural community was essential to set a foundation for building on existing living lab activities, and a new Village Connection project aimed at offering affordable mobile phone services in rural contexts

Project Overview

Rhodes and Fort Hare Universities have been active in ICT for Development for many years, through the two Telkom Centres of Excellence in Telecommunication hosted in their Computer Science departments (www.coe.ru.ac.za; www.coe.ufh.ac.za). In 2006, this activity has given rise to a field test site, in the Mbashe municipality in the vicinity of the Dwesa-Cwebe Nature Reserve, in the rural Eastern Cape Province. This initiative, now called the Siyakhula Living Lab (SLL) is organised along the lines of the emerging RDI living lab methodology whose main underlying principle is co-creation of solutions with empowered users. SLL shows in a practical fashion how marginalised rural communities that are difficult to reach, may in future be joined with the greater South African and African communities to the economic, social and cultural benefit of all.

Sources: DOI: 10.1177/0266666910385374

               http://siyakhulall.org

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ICT helping the local poor

In our agency, a website was created known as the Agriculture and Fisheries Monitoring Information System (AFMIS) a few years ago.  This website shares information on prices of basic agricultural commodities which will give the producer organizations, individual farmers, and the public, information on the prevailing prices in the markets of the agricultural commodities.  So the farmers may decide whether to sell their produce or not, where to sell their products, where to obtain marketing assistance and other marketing information.   On the other hand, the consumers may also be well informed of the prevailing prices. This promotes transparency. And with this information, they will be able to make sound decisions, resulting to their empowerment (producer organizations, members, and the local poor). 

For their voices to be heard, those producers organizations with success stories are being featured in another DA website which is the "Matuwid na DAAN" (Department of Agriculture Accountability Network).  The major purpose of this website is to promote transparency, accountability and participatory processes.  With the success stories being featured, this may be emulated by other producer organizations and members for the improvement of their productivityprofitability.  - Joyce Wendam

 

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Empowerment through ICT

 

An important element in ICT that directly enhances women empowerment is information literacy.  The ability to find and use information is crucial because it involves increased confidence at a personal level.   Hence, ICT provides women to gain options, control and choice through the ability to make informed decisions and affect outcomes in producer organizations.   Empowerment of women in the context of knowledge societies is understood as building the ability and skills of women to gain insight into actions and issues in the external environment, which influence them.

Empowerment through employment of women ICT makes the role of time and distance less significant in organizing business and production related activities. As a result of the technology, women can participate and raise that extra income to become more financially independent and empowered.

The advantages offered by ICT gave women greater control over the activities they perform, laying the foundation for entrepreneurship development. 

Mobile phones for rural women in Senegal.  The Senegalese telephone company Sonatel and Manobi, a French company, provided cellphones with Web Access Protocol (WAB) to rural women agricultural producers in Senegal, thereby extending their access to the internet.  This technology helped women obtain information about market prices of the input of their food processing activities for the sale of their produce.  Women in the project appreciated the economic benefits of the technology, and other women were interested in becoming part of the project.

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Empowerment through ICT

Interesting to note Fatima that companies (Sonatel and Manobi) (not Government)  provided additional services for women to access internet!!

 

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ICT Empower Women or Smallholders in Uganda

The following are some of the technology tool(s) and/or content delivered to empower and benefit women or smallholders using ICT through the initiatives of Toro Development Network (ToroDev) which were discussed in this website http://www.kabissa.org/blog/empowering-rural-women-ict4d-and-small-scale.... ToroDev is an NGO established in 2005 to promote the use of appropriate ICTs for sustainable and gender sensitive socio-economic community development of both men and women in Western Uganda.  

1.  Involvement in community ICT4D awareness programs using two community radios, holding sensitization workshops and writing ICT4D articles in local newspapers and bulletins with special attention on building the lobbying capacity of the marginalized youth and women to access and use relevant community information on their own and communicate their development needs to local leaders or local government and eventually influence ICT policy formulation at central government level.

2.  Established an ICT4D Research and Resource Centre in the Toro community. The centre support its research, documentation, lobbying and advocacy; train rural men and women; and facilitate knowledge sharing for best production practices among small-scale farmers and help them to access quality marketing opportunities at local, regional and international levels. The project has brought together ten (10) main community based NGOs in the region to contribute resources and establish a bigger community owned telecenter facility "Kabarole Information Centre" whose one aim is to train 700 women community development workers.

3.  Improved small-scale agricultural production in the region using customized, affordable and relevant Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D). These are tools that efficiently facilitate cheap and instant access to information from community, regional, national and international level streams. The partnership of ToroDev with institutions like SATNET (Sustainable Agricultural Trainers Network), IMARK (Information Management Resource Kit) group in collaboration with FAO, CTA and APC, paved the way to pilot the strategy of "Building Electronic Communities and Networks" through training community workers how to use simple modern Web 2.0 Tools to produce and manage agricultural information in the two districts of Kabarole and Kyenjojo. This information is needed by local small scale farmers to improve their production practices, add value to their products and have opportunities to access regional, national and international markets. Over 80% women living in these two rural districts make their livelihood out of small scale farming. Effective use of simple ICT4D (Web 2.0) tools reduces production and post harvest costs like transportation of agricultural produce to nearest market places, increase rural women farmers total revenues and therefore, improve their livelihoods and those of their community members.

Source: Retrieved November 20, 2012 http://www.kabissa.org/blog/empowering-rural-women-ict4d-and-small-scale-agriculture

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ICT and marginalized members of producer organizations

 

Dear All,

 

Whether ICT can empower or marginalize even more already marginalized people in an organization depends a lot upon the type of technology being used, i.e whether the technology requires a good level of education and is costly to acquire or not (ie computers and web pages, or radios and mobile phones).

 

One of the problem with that women and the poorest face when participating in an organization is their ability to participate in meetings where discussions take place, information is shared and decisions are taken.  Women have little time to spare, the poorest cannot afford to leave their economic activities, and for both it requires being able to afford the cost of transportation.  Not attending meetings, they also miss the opportunity to communicate their concerns/needs which are often different from that of the richer or male members.  POs can use simple technology that most rural people own and know how to use, such as cell phones and radios, to communicate information, and also to gather information from them.

 

One of the POs'  weakness  is often the lack of transparency about the functioning of the organizations and lack of communication between leaders and members. This is even more the case  with marginal members precisely because they do not attend meetings and cannot participate much in the life of the organization. As Pierre pointed out, ICT can be a tool to improve transparency and accountability as well as bringing marginal members and leaders closer via two way communication.   As a number of forum participants pointed out for question #2, ICT can help empower the most resource-poor members and women.  

 

The result is obviously different when information is communicated via more sophisticated ICT tools.

 

Does any of you have examples of either cases?

 

Marie-Hélène

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example case

Hi Marie, one example is the case reported by Huyer and Carr (2002) on Radio for Development in Zimbabwe (recognizing the radio as an important aspect of information technology) records village meetings among women who discuss local issues and concerns. These meetings are broadcast on the national radio broadcaster, and have increased women's influence on local and national policy considerably (Source : http://gtd.sagepub.com/content/6/1/85.full.pdf+html).

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Use of Quadmedia

Our agency uses both the traditional media and the new media (quadmedia - radio, television, print, internet)  to reach out to almost everyone especially those living in the far-flung areas.  Last 2009, a Farmers' Contact Center was established to take charge of the information needs of the producer organizations and their members including the rural women.  All they have to do is text/SMS their queries through the use of mobile phones and immediately they have a reply to their questions.  The question may be about the appropriate fertilizer to be used, the amount of fertilizer to apply, and other agricultural information.  Aside from text, voice call is also allowed.  Or email through the internet.  -  Joyce Wendam

 

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ICRAF Study Cites Evidence of ICT Improving Farmers' Livelihood

Research conducted by World Agroforestry Centre scientist Kenneth Masuki on the use of mobile phones in Uganda confirms that the use of mobile phones enables farmers to have greater access to markets and build social capital. The study sought to assess the effectiveness of mobile phones for agricultural information dissemination and natural resource management

As part of the study, a base station was established in a county telecenter and farmers in the participating parishes were given mobile phones. Mobile phone usage was tracked and recorded either as social, market, natural resource management or agricultural. Some of the key results of the study:

  • Peak usage for the mobile phones coincided with planting and harvesting when farmers inquired about crop plantation time, where to source seeds and what types of inputs to buy.
  • During harvesting, most calls were about prevailing market prices.
  • Male users mostly logged calls for social purposes and for market price inquiries.
  • Female users made calls for natural resource management and agricultural enquiries.
  • 80% of farmers said the use of phones improved their livelihood.
  • Social capital was increased as shown by market bulking which helped establish links with new buyers. Farmers say mobile phones helped them to get market prices for commodities and to network with other farmers to collectively negotiate better prices from buyers.  
  • Farmers found it challenging to navigate the phones and this was compounded by literacy deficiency and poor network access in some areas.

While the study confirmed the benefit of mobile phone use, it needs to be replicated at a wider scale, perhaps at a regional level so it can present results that are robust enough for use by NGOs to lobby for further support by governments, donors, and private sector telecommunications providers.

It is worth noting that women's role and use of mobile phones to access more information on natural resource management is cited in they survey, showing how in this instance ICT is empowering women and giving them voice in agricultural production process.

 (Source: Chris Mesiku, World Agroforestry Center; http://www.worldagroforestry.org/newsroom)

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Re: [e-Agriculture] Question 4 (opens 20 Nov.)

We have used electronic handheld scales which then relay the data via GSM or Bluetooth to mobile storage devices for onward processing in a farmer organization’s data processing facility. The accuracy and tamper proofing perspective in the digital weighing ensures that clerks procuring produce do not cheat illiterate women and youth who deliver produce to the buying/aggregation centre. In our assessment this has been empowering to both women and youth, whether literate or illiterate. Furthermore, since the producer cooperatives using the technology are able to establish consumer outlet shops, women are able to procure items on credit on the basis of their digital weights rather than wait for the pay-day and deductions to be done when everybody gets their pay for the delivered produce. On the same basis, women are able to get cheques paid directly to schools for school fees on the basis of the produce they have delivered to their collective and which is held in the computer systems of the collective. What this has meant is that women and of course their children, have the ability to spend money earned from their sweat , for the household necessities and by taking consumables and household items, including fees on the basis of their produce (on credit) leaving the remainder to the men…many of whom use the money to ‘feel good’! In my view, the technologies that we promote empowers the communities where we have seen incomes exceed $200 per month before dividends are paid at the end of the year for the dairy sector. For tea, we have not been able to do the household economic/financial benefit assessment. We are now linking them to the for produce not marketed jointly reducing the layer from production to market/consumption using a market linkage website and through mobile phones for information, again benefiting those who have been marginalized. BUT of course there are technologies that disenfranchise the women and children, those we do not touch! Regards, Kiringai

_____________________________________________________________________ Kiringai Kamau *WillPower Enterprise Development Limited *Development Consultant - Founder, Knowledge Specialist & Value Chain Analyst PO Box 35046 00200 Nairobi-Kenya Tel: +25420-2719733/2728708 Fax: +25420-2724389 Cell: +254-722800986/733375505 Websites:www.willpower.co.ke , http://rural-agriculture.wikispaces.com Office Email: info@willpower.co.ke @e-agriculture.org>

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ICRAF study of women's use of mobile phones

Lucy,

A very interesting study highlighting the gender and women's empowerment implications of mobile phone use. I fully support your recommendation that more of these studies should be conducted in more countries. The findings would be extremely useful for extensionists as well as producer organizations that have  or want to attract more women members

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Re: [e-Agriculture] Question 4 (opens 20 Nov.)

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Re: [e-Agriculture] Question 4 (opens 20 Nov.)

<p class=""><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:rgb(31,73,125)">We have used electronic handheld scales which then relay the
data via GSM or Bluetooth to mobile storage devices for onward processing in a
farmer organization’s data processing facility.</span></p>

<p class=""><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:rgb(31,73,125)"> </span></p>

<p class=""><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:rgb(31,73,125)">The accuracy and tamper proofing perspective in the digital weighing
ensures that clerks procuring produce do not cheat illiterate women and youth
who deliver produce to the buying/aggregation centre. In our assessment this
has been empowering to both women and youth, whether literate or illiterate.</span></p>

<p class=""><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:rgb(31,73,125)"> </span></p>

<p class=""><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:rgb(31,73,125)">Furthermore, since the producer cooperatives using the
technology are able to establish consumer outlet shops, women are able to
procure items on credit on the basis of their digital weights rather than wait
for the pay-day and deductions to be done when everybody gets their pay for the
delivered produce.</span></p>

<p class=""><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:rgb(31,73,125)"> </span></p>

<p class=""><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:rgb(31,73,125)">On the same basis, women are able to get cheques paid directly
to schools for school fees on the basis of the produce they have delivered to
their collective and which is held in the computer systems of the collective.</span></p>

<p class=""><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:rgb(31,73,125)"> </span></p>

<p class=""><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:rgb(31,73,125)">What this has meant is that women and of course their children,
have the ability to spend money earned from their sweat , for the household
necessities and by taking consumables and household items, including fees on
the basis of their produce (on credit) leaving the remainder to the men…many of
whom use the money to ‘feel good’!</span></p>

<p class=""><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:rgb(31,73,125)"> </span></p>

<p class=""><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:rgb(31,73,125)">In my view, the technologies that we promote empowers the
communities where we have seen incomes exceed $200 per month before dividends
are paid at the end of the year for the dairy sector. For tea, we have not been
able to do the household economic/financial benefit assessment.</span></p>

<p class=""><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:rgb(31,73,125)"> </span></p>

<p class=""><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:rgb(31,73,125)">We are now linking them to the for produce not marketed jointly
reducing the layer from production to market/consumption using a market linkage
website and through mobile phones for information,  again benefiting those
who have been marginalized. </span></p>

<p class=""><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:rgb(31,73,125)"> </span></p>

<p class=""><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:rgb(31,73,125)">BUT of course there are technologies that disenfranchise the
women and children, those we do not touch!</span></p>

<p class=""><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:rgb(31,73,125)"> </span></p>

<p class=""><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:rgb(31,73,125)">Regards,</span></p>

<p class=""><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:rgb(31,73,125)"> </span></p>

<p class=""><span style="font-size:11pt;font-family:Calibri,sans-serif;color:rgb(31,73,125)">Kiringai</span></p><div class="gmail_extra"><br><div class="gmail_quote">On Wed, Nov 21, 20

Michael Riggs's picture
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please focus on the context of producer organizations

A gentle reminder that this forum is focused on the context of Producer Organizations. Please ensure that your comments respect this.

There are many important issues around gender and ICT, as well as the impact mobiles have on rural communities. The e-Agriculture Community has previously helf forums on these topics and continues to curate information on these issues under the "Key Topics" menu item. However, this points are too broad for the current forum.

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Re: [e-Agriculture] Question 4 (opens 20 Nov.)

Noted and appreciated...

_____________________________________________________________________ Kiringai Kamau *WillPower Enterprise Development Limited *Development Consultant - Founder, Knowledge Specialist & Value Chain Analyst PO Box 35046 00200 Nairobi-Kenya Tel: +25420-2719733/2728708 Fax: +25420-2724389 Cell: +254-722800986/733375505 Websites:www.willpower.co.ke , http://rural-agriculture.wikispaces.com Office Email: info@willpower.co.ke @e-agriculture.org>

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Re: [e-Agriculture] Question 4 (opens 20 Nov.)

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Strengthening Rural Women’s Leadership in Farmer and Producer Or

 

Strengthening rural women’s leadership in farmer and producer organizations is a fundamental step aside from technical training in order to increase production.  The economic empowerment of women, increased knowledge and skills are essential preconditions to improve status and livelihood to be able to assume effective roles in producer organizations.

Many leadership training programs fall short of their goals because when women return to their producer groups they are under-represented in decision-making roles, and the organizational culture favors a leadership style more often associated by aggressive and masculine tendencies.  

ICT's improve women entrepreneurs' marketing skills in Zimbabwe by linking the production end of the value chain to the markets.  

HOMENET Philippines is a twelve-month project to replicate DWMA (Distributed Work Management System, cloud based ICT application) platform promotes marketing the women’s products as Fair Trade products, using DWMA will help lower transportation/communication costs, respond faster to buyer enquiries, group source raw materials and group market products to large buyers.  

ICT as a tool should help empower women in producer organizations by preparing women members as leaders and change agents in their organization.

 

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Share

 I would like to share this  research I got from the  Bulacan State University authored by Myrna S. Guia and Susan Santos. The  paper entitled " Capacity  Enhancement of Women in Bulacan for Small Business through Gender and Development. The Gender and Development Program  was implemented by Bulacan  Agricultural  State College to enhance the capacity of women in Bulacan  in establishing strong associations and its significance in the growth of rural enterprises  as alternative means to raise  the standard of living in rural areas. The program aimd to strengthen  the organizational and leadership capacities of women in mobilizing their own  resources that can provide viable and sustainable  services to their  members  while provided  with funding  from the said program.Livelihood projects were initiated  that can increase  women's access to income generating opportunities.  Selected cooperative associations  from each municipality were the beneficiaries. A staring capital of  Php 3,000 was provided to each association with an interest rate of 6% for six months. Trainings on livelihood projects and community-based resource management  were condcuted to help women become competetitive and develop their skills in entrepreneurial activities. The trainings  were about fruit,fish, vegetable, and meat processing focusing  on indigenous products available in the localities such as banana,tilapia,santol etc... Technical assistance  was also provided  to the associations in terms of capital, technologies, and marketing for estabslishment of small rural enterprise. The beneficiaries gained more than  50% monthly return on investment from the initial capital. The results showed  that the livelihood  projects helped increase the income of the beneficiaries for six months of operation and sustained  the daily needs of the family.

I know that this is not  about ICT and women, but  about empowering the women in helping their families. 

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Re: [e-Agriculture] Question 4 (opens 20 Nov.)

Noted and appreciated...<div class="gmail_extra"><br><div class="gmail_quote">

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Digital weighing scales and impact on women in cooperatives

Kiringai,

 An interesting example of how one small ICT device, a digital weighing device, can have a positive impact on empowering women. Could you explain in more detail what you mean by  "The results are transferred via GSM to a mobile storage device"? A nd what would bebthencostmimplications of such a set up?

 

Thanks

 

john

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Re: [e-Agriculture] Question 4 (opens 20 Nov.)

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Re: [e-Agriculture] Question 4 (opens 20 Nov.)

<div class="gmail_extra"><p style="font-family:verdana;font-size:1em;margin:10px 0px 0.9em;border-bottom-width:0px!important;border-top-width:0px!important">Thanks John,</p><p style="margin:10px 0px 0.9em;border-bottom-width:0px!important;border-top-width:0px!important">
<font face="verdana"><span style="font-size:1em">During weighing, weighments captured using the digital scale are either stored in the scale memory, printed on a portable thermal printer or relayed to a hand held tablet or relayed to the producer collective action server using mobile GSM communication, which is real time while the others call for data to be delivered to the server when the produce collection/</span><span style="font-size:12px">weighing</span><span style="font-size:1em"> track gets to the server room.</span></font></p>
<p style="margin:10px 0px 0.9em;border-bottom-width:0px!important;border-top-width:0px!important"><font face="verdana"><span style="font-size:1em">The cost for the field solution for each option is different with the cost of just having the scale storing the data being US$ 900, 950 with a thermal printer, 1000 with a </span>Bluetooth<span style="font-size:1em"> scale and 1500 with the GSM data transmission scale. You can also have smart/mayfare cards recording going with the scale integrated with the Bluetooth scale. Where the tablet is used, the costs are higher as the tablets come from different suppliers from the scale and introduce new dimensions in terms of data security..</span></font></p>
<p style="font-family:verdana;font-size:1em;margin:10px 0px 0.9em;border-bottom-width:0px!important;border-top-width:0px!important">I trust that is sufficient explanation.</p><p style="font-family:verdana;font-size:1em;margin:10px 0px 0.9em;border-bottom-width:0px!important;border-top-width:0px!important">
Regards,</p><p style="font-family:verdana;font-size:1em;margin:10px 0px 0.9em;border-bottom-width:0px!important;border-top-width:0px!important">Kiringai</p><div class="gmail_quote">On

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Some Examples

Hello Everyone,

As per various experiences in the our city, there have been numerous projects illustrating how ICT can empower women and smallholders in producer organizations. Some of these examples are:

1.  SCALA - the Sharing Computer Access Locally and Abroad (SCALA) program of the City has had numerous scholar beneficiaries who have been trained with basic computer skills.  Many of the graduates of this program are workers and smallholders in producer organizations composed mainly of women such as the dried fish producer organizations, basket or mat weaving producer organizations, etc.  The program has allowed the women members of these producer organizations to assist their organizations in the field of ICT and hence, improve operations.

2. The Local Council for Women and Children - a program implemented through the initiative of the Department of Interior and Local Government has allowed smallholder members of cooperatives and producer organizations to improve their stakes in their businesses by giving free trainings on the use of internet and the entrepreneurial applications of mobile technology specifically to women cooperative and producer organization members.

3.  The CSWDO Bakery Project - smallholders in the City's project which established a bakery business for young adults with disabilities have been recipients of small instructional sessions on accounting and auditing software for use in their business.

Clearly, in all of these examples, women and smallholders are empowered in terms of their stakes in their respective organizations.  Nonetheless, it cannot be denied that the reason why trainings specific to the needs of women and smallholders are conducted is because they are in fact, marginalized, and so, ICT knowledge and skills acquisition contributes to their removal from the margins, specifically, because they have become more capable in the applications of ICT to their respective fields.

Regards,

Bryan 

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re: Local Council for the Protection of Children (LCPC)

Hi Bry,

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) sees to it that the local government units (LGUs) complied with the organization of the LCPC and monitors its' functionality. The LCPC fund - 1% of the LGU's Internal Revenue Allotment - is mandated that is courtesy of RA 9344 or the Juvenile Justice Welfare Act of 2006, for the purpose of providing programs/projects/activities that will serve as interventions for child at risk to be a child in conflict with the law (CICL) and for the diversion and rehabilitation programs of the CICL. Some LGUs utilized it for programs and projects which addresses child's survival, protection, development and participation. I am happy though that there are LGUs who used their funds responsibly.

For women empowerment, LGUs are mandated to allot 5% of their total budget for gender and development and related programs, projects and activities. This amount is much bigger than the 1% LCPC fund which the government (when the PPAs are well planned by the LGU and other sectors conecerned, especially marginalized women) can address gender and development gaps.

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ICT can empower women or smallholders in POs

To directly respond to the given question, I would say that definitely, ICT can empower women or smallholders in Producers' Organizations. From obervations, farmers' organizations are often dominated by farmers of higher level status in terms of economic resources. ICTs promotes transparency that leads to wider range of participation because everyone in the organizations know what are going on in the organization.

In most Producer Organitions who invest in ICT, they always starts on financial and accounting services, specially the farmers' cooperatives. These allow the members (and not only the leaders and officers) to have better access to information regarding financial status of the cooperatives. These information are important to members since most cooperatives have services to provide credit/loans to farmers' projects and women's projects. Cooperatives have also been encouraged to be gender sensitive and have been providing equal services to both men and women. Most cooperatives in the Cordillera Administrative Region (Philippines) are already improving service delivery as they have created e-mail addresses where information can be exchanged. Information are also exchange through mobile phones as well as through the available social networking services (e.g. facebook) where announcements/other information on available services and technologies are posted and shared. Though ICT, transparency is promoted and thus reducing discrimination and marginalization.

The Farmers' Information and Technology Services (FITS) Information System developed and supported by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) is a great step towards the use of ICT to facilitate access to information to stakeholders in agriculture, forestry and natural resources. The FITS which are web-based systems are set up at the local levels accessible to small farmers and women to be able to access information to technology and service providers. Although this is government supported, the centers helps empower women and small farm holders in the rural areas as information on opportunities and potential ventures becomes available.

There are some issues however that have to resolved even with the success of having ICTs. One is in terms of available time. Rural women are recognized to be doing multi-functions - doing household chores early at dawn and late at night and farm activities during the day, leaving little or time for them to look through or browse on information. Another issue would be on language/dialect barriers - information are written in language/dialect not familiar to readers or that information are written with so many technical terms that cannot be understood.

 

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Q4

Question 4:  Does ICT empower or marginalize women or smallholders in producer organizations? Support examples with specific reference to an organization, the technology tool(s), and content delivered.

 

An interesting question, though I cannot give any specific examples because I am not working with small holders or women in producer orgs. In general, I think that "new" technolgies and approaches, particularly when they require a personal investment (ie time & effort) and may be "untested" from the view point of current membershave a great appeal to those who are not as relatively sucessful as others in the a partiocular organization. The marginalized groups may be more likely to utilize this "new" idea, because are marginalized and probably less sucessful that they more empowered members.

 

I believe that they have more incentive and can benifit more from new technolgy  (as the study Lucy cited mentions seems to indicate) if AT the initial stages they are drawn into the use of ICT. I think it is fair to say that most societies have some kind of social compoent that is intermixed with economic activity and to varying degrees, personal networks and other social dynamics WILL directly impact the sucess of participants. 

 

I believe that ICT can help marginalized groups because it may help them to transcend or even neutralized some of the cutural, social or "business practices" that act as barriers or deterents to their sucess.

 

Cheers

 

Peter

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On Question 4

Deal All,

Women could be very much treated as partners in most of the ICT endeavors of producer organizations. They can become leaders and managers in most of the projects, but some consider them as lacking in training, time and education the reason why most of them are not valued and are still marginalized.

ICT-based initiatives are good activities to empower women. An overview on the best practices of e-commerce/e-retailing projects showed that it contributes to women’s empowerment and capacity building in numerous ways that is why in the areas where women were given training in management and business practices, they found success in their ICT ventures.

Below are some successful E-commerce projects by women:

  1. Village Pay Phones (VPPs) in Bangladesh – aside from leasing cellular phones to women members, where they sell the gadgets to villagers, the venture also facilitated savings on children’s education, clothing and health care and better access to emergency medical care.
  2. Computer Facility at Kasargod, Kerala, India – women below poverty line were requested to be part of the training on desktop publishing course to where they use it to be exposed to so many business opportunities, helped them make connections that led to business deals.
  3. E-Seva Centres in Andhra Pradesh, India – these centers are run by women that caters to bill payments, issuance of land/birth certificates, internet browsing, telemedicine and tele-agriculture, access to online auctions, filing of complaints and grievances, and matrimonial services. Through this, their savings increased significantly.
  4. Delivering IT @ School: Divine Computers of Vadakara, India – Women, who are below poverty line, were chosen to provide computer trainings to school aged children and other citizens in communities. With this, these women feel that they are valued, respected and satisfied in their roles. They also became self-reliant and acquired personal freedom as they travel and are given networking opportunities.

Readings from:

http://www.uncsd2012.org/index.php?page=view&type=1000&nr=307&menu=126

http://itidjournal.org/itid/article/viewFile/255/125

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Marie-Claire, Rwanda

Marie-Claire, Rwanda

 

   

HIV doesn’t stop Marie-Claire from running a successful mobile phone business

Marie-Claire Ayurwanda stands on the rock foundation of the house she is building in Setwara, Rwanda, looking at the progress. “I want to finish building this house for my children before I die,” she says.

Although she smiles when she talks about her present and future, her past has not been easy. In addition to her own son, she cares for her brother’s two children who she took in after her brother was killed in the 1994 genocide. Her first husband died in 2003. She remarried and had a daughter, but left her second husband because of his problem with alcohol. Soon after, she discovered she had HIV.

After her second husband died, Marie-Claire decided to start a business. She took a 20,000 franc ($40) loan from Village Phone microfinance partner URWEGO to open the Isimbi Restaurant. The profits from the restaurant help support the four children in her household and pay school fees. If a customer wants to make a phone call, she proudly takes them to a separate, private room where she has set up her Village Phone. Her Village Phone business was so profitable that she was able to pay off the loan for it in five months (rather than the standard six months). She is one of the top five Village Phone operators in Rwanda, generating about US$624 a year for herself and her children in a country where the average income is around US$230 year.

Marie-Claire is honest about her HIV status. “I am very strong because of the medicine,” she says. “And I was able to tell my friends, and now they are on the drugs too.” In her village, she is the president of IMPUHWE, an association of people living with HIV.

She is now interested in adding a second phone that she can run in another small village. She also wants to buy a pickup truck to help others in IMPUHWE thrive economically. “People in the association have their own gardens with Irish potatoes. With a pickup, I can take the potatoes to Kigali and sell them.”

http://www.grameenfoundation.org/our-impact/marie-claire

 

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human capital

 

Does ICT empower or marginalize women or smallholders in producer organizations?  Definitely,  ICT can empower women in producer organizations. 
 
One of the objectives in organizing smallholder farmers, especially women, into producer organizations is to build their capacity to produce and market cash crops collectively to chain buyers.  On other hand, it is clear that ICTs have brought to the fore new ways to stimulate agriculture. Still, while women now represent many of producer organizations, they are still often concentrated in the less profitable stages of the value chain and to engage in its more lucrative activities. In fact, in the CARE report, the gender training component had a limited impact on strengthening women's empowerment and gender equality.  Nevertheless, the ICT can empower women as the  producer organizations  need to invest in building the human capital  to help create a viable and sustainable business model.  
 
One example of an organization  is the Adarsha Mahila Samaikhya in India which is the beneficiary of the idea from International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) which establish a system for innovative knowledge  sharing with regard to drought preparedness through a Virtual Academy for the Semi-Arid Tropics (VASAT) involving advances in ICTs coupled with Open Distance Learning.  By interacting with scientists at ICRISAT via audio and video conferencing, representatives for Adarsha Mahila Samaikhya women learned how to overcome the effects of drought and pests through a virtual academy.  The network assistants also help disseminate information on cropping practices (drought-tolerant crops, cultivating practices, pest control, soil fertility, etc.) that can also help farmers maximize their harvests. VASAT's training equip the women to communicate the problems affecting farmers directly to scientists.
 
 
 
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Does ICT empower or marginalize women or smallholders in PO

Dear All

Reading the different posts it seems that ICT does empower women and smallholders in POs. 

To have a cell phone may be easier than to have an internet or e-mail account in rural areas. ICT need however, a minimum of public and private infrastructure + a minimum of knowledge to be used and accessible: electricity, internet connection, wifi or bluetooth, computer and or cell phone with chargers etc...

Let me be provocative by saying that ICT may also marginalize smallholders or people who have no access to these modern technologies, thus increasing the gap between those who can use ICT and access knowledge and services and those who can not use ICT (for whatever reason), who will be left behind. 

In remote rural areas of Yemen or Morocco or in Africa or in Asia, who are those who can access and use ICT? How producer organizations can make sure that ICT is bridging the knowledge gap for all members and not only for those who can have access and use ICT?

I have seen often older women or smallholders telling us that ICT is for young people as they are not used to it and they did not grow up with such technology.

ICT can be a fantastic tool to promote transparency and accountability; it can also increase the gap between those who can use the technology and those who have difficulties with it, here again whatever the reason.

 

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Hi Pierre Thank you for your

Hi Pierre

Thank you for your post:

You said:

 

In remote rural areas of Yemen or Morocco or in Africa or in Asia, who are those who can access and use ICT? How producer organizations can make sure that ICT is bridging the knowledge gap for all members and not only for those who can have access and use ICT?

I hate to be be a pessmis but I believe that this is to some degree unavoidable. T is creating gaps in all nations (though I believe that their are more factors that act as barriers in developing nations). 
 
While it would be ideal if everyon could adopt and benifit, but I think it might be more realistic to try and target one person per family- focussing on younger people (especially women) to get more long-term return on the eductional effort.
 
Where do you draw the line of what IT is supposed to do- Frankly speaking if there is no electricity, then, I think that ICT is not the right method to use. I think that mentoring and using peers for education and dissemination of information would be more appropriate and perhaps using ICT for HUBS of communicators who would deliver content to people without access.
 
Cheers
 
Peter
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ICT and empowerment of women and poor people

Thanks Peter for your remark. You are not pessimistic but realist.

This is because Technology including ICT, creates gap in all nations that Governments in all nations, including the US and Europe, are supporting producer organizations in rural areas, to among other things, help them reduce this gap. Producer organization can be much more effective than Government institutions in doing this, if properly supported.

The role of Government in that case is not to do the job but to help producer organizations do the job.

As of today, in developping countries more than a quarter of people do not have access to electricity. This does not prevent them to listen to radio nor to have a cell phone. 

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/EG.ELC.ACCS.ZS?display=map

Internet user are even less

http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/IT.NET.USER.P2?display=map

 

What I what to underline is that ICT can realy help bridge the knpowledge gap and the smallholder to be better off if Producer Organization are careful to help those who have difficulties to access and use ICT. This is the role of Government to support PO to bridge this gap.

 

 

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Digital Divide

Hi Pierre,

I agree that there is a gap called digital divide among the POs and farmers, making ICT a double-edged sword.  Indeed, the ones who are left behind are further marginalized, and I admire the people that can manage their farms/livelihood without ICT.  

In this study by Lumbo, Declaro and Casanova (2010) in Occidental Mindoro, Philippines, a vast majority of the women farmers are not affiliated in any community organization, had not attended any training, and had not recieved any assistance from outside organizations.  They still practice gama (farmers and household exchange labor with others) and pakyawan (arrangement that requires negotiating with one or two persons for labor supply) among farming communities.  Also, the extension programs available to them may have been designed for men as some regarded them as housewife material.  

In another study by Lu (2010) in Benguet, Philippines, women are not aware of the hazards of pesticide use.  They are not aware that chronic illnesses can develop over a long period of time.  They also believe that injuries/illnesses occur because of fate, and not because of unsafe conditions/practices.  Sad to say, the absence of ICT lead to negative effects.

Harv

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Digital divide

Hi Harv,

I agree with you on this as per my vicarious observations of farmers in some very rural areas of the Philippines. And this applies not only for the womenfolk but for the men as well. Thus I feel the divide is more felt between rural and urban areas. However in terms of the divide between male and female, I do not perceive it. Since in the urban areas more women are technically adept in the use of their ICT devices or may be as equally adept as men are. 

 

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On mentoring and using peers for education

I agree with you Peter.  If there is no electricity, the appropriate method to be used is mentoring and using peers for education and dissemination of information.  We are utilizing that in our agency.  We are into face-to-face contacts, actual field visit, information caravan, cliniquing, developing members of producer organizations as local farmer technicians/farmer scientists to share their knowledge and best practices to their fellow farmers in their communities, and others.  But as I have observed, majority of the people in the rural areas own a cell phone so they could also utilize their mobile phones in accessing information through the use of text messaging.  Immediately, they may receive  a reply to their queries through our facility, the Farmers Contact Center.  This is in partnership with Smart, Talk & Text, Sun and Globe.  But connectivity is sometimes a problem.  Distributing IEC materials is also one way of educating our farmers and dissemination of information.  We have this project called Barangay Agricultural Information Center (BAIC) established in the barangay itself in partnership with the Barangay LGU wherein IEC materials are being provided for use of the residents in the community.  All these strategies are effective in educating and disseminating information to our farmers and other agriculture stakeholders. - Joyce wendam

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where ICT is N/A?

 

Good point Peter, that is why there is a need to engage the full range of actors to bridge this big gap and make things happen.  If there is a broad consensus that bolstering the participation and position of smallholder farmers in agriculture is key to economic growth specifically in developing countries, continuous improvement on areas requiring support should be prioritized. The process of integration must account for investments, knowledge, capabilities, etc if the most gains are to be made.

Reality check, these constraints are often ignored, thus identifying opportunities to enhance current practices are not properly assessed and no actions are taken.

If ICT is beyond reach in isolated communiteis, i guess at he moment, the sytem that works best should be used.  A system working for the people and not the people working for the system. 

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Marginalized women

 

Hello Pierre,
 
I agree with you.  ICTs can help mobilize science and technology for agriculture by linking agricultural specialists into virtual communities and accelerating agricultural research exchange. ICTs can bridge the knowledge divide. However, ICTs can also marginalized women or smallhoders.  There are still countries/cultures that discriminate women.  Those living in rural areas who suffer from higher levels of poverty are more likely with limited education and training, and poorer access to information and technology.  In other areas, women farmers are ignored in policies and programmes.  This is partly a result of weak farmers' organizations and cooperatives which often fail to represent their interests.  There is often a disconnect between women's potential and their actual access to ICT resources. 
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There is no gap when there is interest to learn ICT

Hi Pierre and all,

In my own experience working with a group of women in the rural area (wives of seafarers) I found out that age does not be the barrier of learning ICT.  At their age nearing and past 60's, still they are eager to learn and  discover the ICT's world.  When I organized a seminar on ICT they were being taught how to use ICT such as online communication (chatting, emailing, and text messaging from computer to cellular phone and from cellalur phone to computer), they were so happy and thankful.  

This category of women may not be materially poor, but they can be ICT's less fortunate and remain as "techno peasant" when they did not find the secret of learning it. So these group of women they are practicing what they learned until now; they are employing and enjoying the knowledge to use it in communication with their husbands working at sea on board ships.  These group of seafarers wives are usually some of them have own land and farm in the province, definitely they are the ones training their household and farm's workers to properly use the equipment otherwise they cannot exchange better communication.  So, I think there is gap in learning ICT when interest to be trained is present and when purpose and value of using it is also clear to them.

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On ICT marginalizing smallholders in PO

ICT may marginalize smallholders in producer organizations owing to the fact  that poor smallholders have no funds to invest in ICT, the PO has no funds to acquire ICT equipment, no access to ICT, lack of training of the smallholders, age, etc.  Thus, producer organizations may not be able to tap ICT as a "formidable and effective development tool" that in some cases can allow "leapfrogging" (Steinmueller 2001 - the idea that countries and societies can jump over one or more generations of technology and that poor nations can thus move more rapidly to the modern information age (Sunden and Wicander 2003, p. 21).  In the absence of supporting capacities and institutions, ICT may entrench inequality."  -  Joyce Wendam

http://ieg.worldbank.org/content/dam/ieg/ict/app

 

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ICT Empowering Kenyan Women

The Kenya AIDS Intervention Prevention Project Group (KAIPPG) is an organization that focuses its work on improving the status of women and young people living in rural areas, where HIV/AIDS, poverty, malnutrition, and illiteracy are prevalent. One of the group’s capacity-building objectives is to promote formation of micro-enterprise activities among HIV/AIDS households as a way of positively contributing to poverty reduction, and training community groups in advocacy through Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and project management so as to increase sustainability.

In the pursuance of its vision and mission, KAIPPG established community-based informal learning centres in western Kenya, giving priority to orphans, widows, low-income women and older vulnerable children from HIV/AIDS affected households. The participants are taught about nutrition, and receive training in relevant skills to enable them to care for people living with AIDS and to become economically and socially empowered. The project organized a health and agriculture community radio network for women who had completed the training. The participants were organized into six radio listening groups, and were trained in the use of audio and video recording equipment to enable them to exchange information, for example, on farming techniques, and to raise public awareness about HIV/AIDS.

The groups were also trained in photography and the use of drama and traditional oral storytelling as tools for learning, education and development. A radio/cassette player and a mobile phone were distributed to each of the groups, and the participants were encouraged to communicate with national FM radio stations—to respond to programmes, obtain information and share their experiences with a wider audience.

Terry and Gomes (2010) identified individual and collective benefits women get from ICT. Thus:

Individual Benefits

  • Empowerment
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Reduced isolation
  • Access to markets
  • Access to health information

Collective Benefits

  • Economic growth
  • Improved health
  • Improved education
  • Capacity building
  • Cultural transformation

 

These benefits however could only be realized after overcoming barriers, such as:

  • Location, infrastructure and connectivity
  • Time and money
  • Lack of relevant content
  • Low education and literacy
  • Social norms and perceptions

 

Sources:

http://www.kaippg.org/programs.html

http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/public/w2000-09.05-ict-e.pdf

http://www.ajol.info/index.php/jolte/article/viewFile/66724/54610

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ICT and Women Empowerment

Women are increasingly taking advantage of ICT in all spheres of life, thus confirming that ICT can be a tool to promote gender equality and enhance the economic, political and social empowerment of women.  ICT is a powerful tool for advancing women's status, promoting gender equality, and enhancing women's economic, political and social empowerment.

Experiences throughout Africa, Eastern Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean illustrate ingenious and creative solutions to provide access to ICT, to use ICT as a tool for participation and most importantly to contribute to women's advancement and empowerment.

For example, the Multimedia Caravan project in Senegal exposed rural women to the benefits of ICT for development and provided the opportunity for women to develop their own ideas on how ICT can be used to further their development needs and goals.

In Kenya, women and men weavers were trained on using the Internet to learn new weaving techniques and develop more realistic prices for their products.  In Uganda, the Uganda Media Women's Association established a radio programme - Mama FM- where women can actively participate and learn about development issues such as human rights, children, governance, nutrition, health, among others.  In Poland, the Network of East West Women disseminates information to enhance women's participation in the EU accession process in EU candidate countries.  - Joyce Wendam

http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/egm/ict200

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ICT empowers or marginalizes women or smallholders...

4. Does ICT empower or marginalize women or smallholders in producer organizations? Support examples with specific reference to an organization, the technology tool(s), and content delivered.

      Certainly, ICT empowers or marginalizes women or smallholders in producer organizations, as supported by the examples below:

  1. Women have lower levels of income and access to resources. They value affordable access as well as ways to increase their income.To meet women's pricing constraints/cost barriers, SMART (Philippines) provides Panolo Phone, a low-cost mobile with cheap airtime top-ups. It comes with an FM radio, a flashlight, calculator, access to a mobile money service, and a trial subscription to a job referral service.
  2. Technologies should take into account issues of illiteracy, lack of comfort with technology, and cost effectiveness. Strategies include providing options for non-literates, being easy to use, integrating into existing networks, and utilizing different ICT channels. To meet women's resource and education constraints,  Enhancing Access to Agricultural Information, WOUGNET (Uganda) supports the two-way linkages with women farmers through radio, SMS, audiotape, videotape, CD-ROM, and local notice boards.
  3. Long work days, lack of resources, and their family responsibilities lead women to choose options that are perceived to improve their workload, quality of life, children's health and education, and increase incomes.T o help women achieve their life and business goals, Cell phone use and reselling of airtime by women's farming cooperatives in Lesotho increased their income and public profile so that members will be able to participate in agricultural shows, trainings, and conferences through national programs to encourage small-scale farmers.

4.  Women make up the majority of population in rural areas in most regions, with less access to reliable power. Decreased earning power leaves them vulnerable to poor energy access. To use a reliable and affordable power supply—solar, renewable, wind-up radios, a) Community Listening Clubs in Niger encouraged women to call local radio stations over their mobiles with questions and comments for local broadcast. Solar/wind-up radios and solar-charged mobile phones provide consistent access in remote areas b) The Turning Ox, used by Radio Maigaro (Central African Republic) and the Mobile Power bicycle phone charger (Uganda) are examples of renewable power generation.

5.  Women need to reduce transaction and travel costs to increase profits and make their enterprises more productive. They do not have the same access to producer organizations, technical support, and capacity building. To improve efficiency through time and money saved, a) Market Extension and Mobile Phones for Women Chicken Farmers (Bangladesh) provided women farmers new leverage with a local trader and allowed them to increase the volume sold. Prices increased by 60 percent and prompted expanded production b)FEPPASI (Burkina Faso) provided female farmers with computers and training to manage their revenue-generating activities more efficiently.

http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/sis/newslog/

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