GFRAS Working Group ICT for Rural Advisory Services (ICT4RAS)
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.
ICT in Rural Advisory Services
In rural advisory services ICTs have four broad functions namely: (i) addressing the need for localized and customized information - adapted to rural users in a comprehensible format and appropriate language; (ii) helping document and store information that is usually available in very diverse qualitative and quantitative forms; (iii) enabling collaboration and partnerships for innovation among rural actors; and (iv) helping rural communities “gain a voice”.
(from: ICT in Agriculture, The World Bank, 2011)
Putting the horse in front of the cart. A presentation about ICT design strategy held at the ICT4Ag conference in November 2013 in Kigali by Andrea Bohn
Other presentations from this event:
Extension & GFRAS Saravanan Raj (pdf 1.7MB)
Information and Communication Technologies for Agriculture Maximo Torero (pdf 7MB)
ICTs for Agricultural Extension Saravanan Raj (pdf 2.2MB)
Revisiting Extension with the ChangingArchitecture of ICTs Benjamin Addom (pdf 1MB)