Introduction

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Improved availability and access to new ICTs-especially personal computers, the internet and mobile telephones—in the last two decades have provided a much wider choice in collection, storage, processing, transmission and presentation of information in multiple formats. Some of these applications such as tele-centres, web-portals, knowledge platforms call centres, mobile phones, community radio, video, digital photography, GIS, e-mail, audio and video conferencing have the potential of getting across vast amounts of information to rural population in a more timely, comprehensive, cost-effective and interactive manner.

ICTs can also enhance knowledge processes and support knowledge workers (information intermediaries/extension and advisory service providers) to have ready access to organised information. It can also help promote better communication and interaction with fellow practitioners and also enhance interaction needed for collective knowledge creation. The Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) would like to engage more actively in this area of using ICTs for strengthening extension and advisory provision (ICTs for EAS) and has constituted working group to further elaborate how GFRAS would move forward.