Information as “Commons”: Applying Design Principles to ICTD Projects

Abstract : Information is considered as a prerequisite for development in today’s world. This belief has led to several measures to make information freely available to the citizens. Use of ICTs for development is a step in that direction, as they are expected to make communication more democratic and easy, leading to developmental outcomes. It is estimated that 60% of all ICT projects in Asia are located in India. Many players - national and state governments, private business organizations and civil society groups are engaged in their implementation. Despite huge investments, studies indicate that the developmental use of such projects is very low. ICTs for development projects have been studied using diverse tools and theories. Failure has been attributed to several factors including various types of barriers, faulty institutions, and technology related issues. This paper places analysis on ICTD projects within the context of CPR (Common Pool Resources) studies. In recent years, the definition of CPR has been expanded to include information as “new commons” and robust institutions are deemed essential for survival of all CPRs. In this paper, ICT based development projects have been interpreted as CPR institutions and CPR design principles have been used to explain the functioning of two ICTD projects. Both these studies were carried out in the state of Uttarakahnd, India and analysis is confined to use of agricultural information by the farming community.
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V. Kameswari. Information as “Commons”: Applying Design Principles to ICTD Projects. InternationalWorking Conference on Transfer and Diffusion of IT (TDIT), Jun 2013, Bangalore, India. pp.407-419, ⟨10.1007/978-3-642-38862-0_25⟩. ⟨hal-01467793⟩

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