SDC

Indigenous Knowledge Program - Sub-saharan Africa

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Communication Strategies: 

The programme works primarily through a webpage on the World Bank website that provides resources on IK. These resources include a database on indigenous local knowledge and practices with over 200 case studies, a report on IK for development, and a series of "IK Notes" which present, in some detail, locally-driven solutions to complex issues. The materials are available in the following languages: English, French, Portuguese, Wolof, and Swahili. Videos, which document success stories in applying indigenous practices, are also available for download on the website.

The programme also supported resource centres and development organisations across Africa that focus on the identification and dissemination of indigenous local knowledge and practices. Working with governments and local partners, the programme has also begun to help mainstream the application of IK in World Bank projects and in national development programmes.

In addition, the programme organises seminars and conferences that bring together development practitioners, scientists, and World Bank staff, among others, to focus on building the capacity to facilitate IK exchange. One special area of focus is traditional approaches to healing those with HIV/AIDS.

Development Issues: 

Cultural Development, Overseas Development Assistance, HIV/AIDS, Health, Agriculture.

Key Points: 

This programme begins from the premise that, while difficult to codify, IK is unique to every culture or society and is the basis for local-level decision making in areas including agriculture, health care, food preparation, education, and natural-resource management.

Following the GK 97 Conference and in the context of Partnership for Information and Communication Technologies in Africa (PICTA), The World Bank agreed to take the lead in this Indigenous Knowledge Initiative.

Editor's note (August 2 2007): There is no longer an Indigenous Knowledge for Development Program at the World Bank. However, the contact (please see below) is available to answer any questions about this now-concluded initiative.

Partner Text: 

Partners over time have included: Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), International Development Resource Centre (IDRC), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), SANGONet, UNESCO, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Health Organization (WHO), Centre for International Research and Advisory Networks (CIRAN) at Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education (NUFFIC), World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Interregional Programme to Support Self-Reliance of Indigenous and Tribal Communities through Cooperatives and other Self-Help Organizations (ILO - INDISCO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Global Mechanism of the Convention to Combat Destertification (GM), Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), German Development Cooperation (GTZ), United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), Global Research Alliance (GRA), DANIDA.

Source: 

IK page on the World Bank website; and emails from Nicolas Gorjestani and Reinhard Woytek to The Communication Initiative on January 19 2007 and August 2 2007, respectively.

The Telemedicine TeleInViVo Initiative

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Communication Strategies: 

The computer system that this programme uses is supportive of a wide range of medical applications (from gynecology to abdominal scans). The integrated workstation uses techniques -- the Internet, ISDN, a phone line, and GSM -- that allow one physician to collect three-dimensional ultrasound data of a patient and to send this data to another physician who specialises in the particular disease that the patient has. This data transmission can occur online, that is, while both doctors are connected, or offline, for instance, overnight, through narrowband channels. In the latter case waiting times are minimised, whereas in the former case additional scans may be requested by the remote expert during the teleconsultation to hone in on the diagnosis. Only the actions introduced by one user are transferred to the remote location, so that the second workstation has to calculate only the corresponding image. That is, no bulky image data are transferred over the network, enabling the two doctors to see exactly the same image on their screens in real time. Any delay between two locations reflects the latency of the intermediate network.

Development Issues: 

Health, Technology.

Key Points: 

Telemedicine involves provision of health care services through Information and Communication Technology (ICT). It supports health care service provision in areas in which the ratio of doctor- or health-worker-to-patient is too high to manage or where a particular specialty is lacking.


Currently, the Nakaseke Hospital has no telephone line and is completely isolated by both distance and communication channels from other health centres.


Two doctors from the Mulago Medical School were trained in June, 1999 in the use of TeleInViVo equipment in Coimbra, Portugal. They have in turn trained a number of doctors from Nakaseke and Mulago Hospital. Two technicians were also trained in servicing and back-up in Germany in September, 1999, when they worked to install TeleInViVo equipment at Mulago Medical School. Two young students are studying project developments: one from the Faculty of Technology (engineering department) and another from the Medical School (radiology department).


The device will be tested in different socioeconomic conditions and adjusted to meet the needs of developing countries and countries in transition. It currently comes in two versions: a fully portable, self-contained device, and a workstation version (a PC attached to an ultrasound scanner for internal hospital use). A fixed station for expert diagnosis support will be situated at the Coimbra University Hospital in Portugal. The field test sites include Azores and Canary Islands; UNESCO will evaluate EU-TeleInViVo in Uganda and Kazakhstan at two different sites for each country.


By the time of the project's completion, it is hoped that a medical teleconference emergency workstation will be available in Europe as well as in other regions of the world that provide health care services to underserved areas like ecological disaster areas, remote rural areas, and isolated islands.

Partner Text: 

Mulago Hospital (Kampala Uganda), HPD Hospital de Ponta Delgada (Acores), Nakaseke Telecenter, Nakaseke Hospital (Uganda), HUC Hospitais da Universidade de Coimbra (Portugal), Central Area Hospital (Aralsk, Kazakhstan), Almaty Laboratory (Almaty, Kazakhstan), The European Union, Fraunhofer Institut für Graphische Datenverarbeitung (IGD), Dr. Stärk Computer GmbH (DSC) (Langen, Germany), PIE Medical (Maastricht, Netherlands), Centro de Computação Gráfica (CCG) (Coimbra, Portugal), Computer Graphics Center (ZGDV) (Darmstadt, Germany), Center of Advanced Technology on Image Analysis (CATAI) (Tenerife, Spain), UNESCO (Paris, France), Hospitais da Universidade de Coimbra (HUC) (Portugal), Hospital de Ponta Delgada (HPD) (Azores, Portugal).

Poll Comments - New Technologies #1 Priority for Funders

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Publication Date
March 14, 2002


This poll was conducted March 2-14, 2002:

Internet in African LDC: Uganda Case Study

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Publication Date
January 15, 2001

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Isang Bagsak: Planning Participatory Development Communication

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Agricultural Knowledge and Information System for Rural Development (AKIS/RD)

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CHANGE Strategic Approach

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Development Broadcasting Unit - Malawi

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Communication Strategies: 

Development Broadcasting Unit (DBU) has established a network of Radio Listening Clubs (RLCs) who are supported through training and mobilisation activities to generate content for a 50-part radio series called 'Kanthu N'Khama'. The 30-minute weekly programme consists of three main segments:

  1. "Village Voice" - in which the RLC presents through drama, music, poetry and prose, a priority problem the members have identified after community consultations: the village voice is an invitation to a service provider to fill the gap; this is played to the appropriate service provider who is then invited to visit the community.
  2. "Dialogue" - which takes place between the service provider and the community, facilitated by the DBU facilitators, where a plan of action is agreed upon.
  3. "Action Update" - recorded by the RLC of progress made to date: lack of progress (and steps taken to get action) as well as successful project outcomes are broadcast. This process is then edited for a national audience with a message that is meant to increase the practice of good governance and accountability by communities and service providers.


The project has also implemented a number of additional activities, including training in rural animation techniques and communication planning models to strengthen capacity within Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) for development concerned programming and community access. Thus the creation of the DBU as a repository for such capacity within the institution.


The idea was to create democratised structures at three levels:

  • Institutionally - within the MBC (the unit is part of the MBC structure), by providing the broadcaster with capacity for locally generated material
  • At the community-level - through the RLCs and their organisation by providing them with hardware and opportunities to participate in national information flows. Access to and management of their own information and communication technology (ICT) has also been an important catalyst for increasing the assertiveness of the community.
  • Nationally - by broadcasting case studies for other service providers and communities to emulate and so agitate for policy change. In this way, using ICT for a multitiered impact.
Development Issues: 

Rights, Political Development, Technology.

Key Points: 

The rationale for the project lay in the ratification of the Communications Bill in 1998, which paved the way for the state broadcaster, MBC, to operate in accordance with democratic principles, including the participation of civil society in determining the content of broadcast material. RfD aims, therefore, to work with MBC to democratise their communication structures. The structures will provide the corporation with a sustainable resource through which community-generated programmes will be produced. This will encourage a participatory, needs-based approach to communication and support democratic development through creating effective dialogue between civil society, the media and politicians.


Through its first project (the Civic Education programme), the DBU has provided 30 communities with leadership and participation management skills, basic rights training and basic radio production skills which has led to more than 200 dialogues between these communities and about 60 service providers drawn from the public and private sector and civil society at large. In approximately 60% of cases these dialogues have resulted in the extension of service or an amendment in policy. The more than 100 radio programmes produced and broadcast by the DBU so far has also led to the establishment of a further 35 self-initiated RLCs across the country.

Partner Text: 

Implemented by Radio for Development (RfD), a UK-based consultancy in collaboration with the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), with support by the Department for International Development (DFID). There is also an advisory panel of 12 made up of civil society and goverment stakeholders.

Source: 

Emails from Aida Opoku-Mensah and Mary Myers to The Communication Initiative on February 18 2002 and May 23 2007, respectively.

Colnodo

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This programme establishes Neighborhood Information Units (NIUs), which are public internet access centers located in marginal areas of the city of Bogota.
Communication Strategies: 

Initially open only half-day on weekdays, the centres now offer extended schedules of more than eight hours a day. While an hour of access can cost up to US$3 in downtown Bogota, rates at the NIUs do not exceed US$.75 per hour.

Each NIU is located within a community base organisation (CBO), and is run entirely by that organisation. These CBO's include Kerigma Theatrical Foundation (Bosa), AVP Foundation for Social Development (Suba), and the Southeast Adult Education Program Foundation (PEPASO) (San Cristobal). They are legally incorporated and recognised within the community, have all been in operation for at least three years, and encourage participation by women both in their management structures and in their activities. For example, all NIU activities and services are coordinated by a group of women that belong to the local community, and who have additional responsibilities within the host CBO.

Their responsibilities include:

  • rendering services to the public, including introducing customers to the use of the computer and internet;
  • promoting the NIU within the community;
  • designing and executing informational and training activities, both for members of the CBO and for the community at large; and
  • conducting routine administrative tasks.

The most popular applications at the centres are e-mail for communicating with relatives abroad, use of the internet for job searching, and, for young people, access to music.

Development Issues: 

Technology, Women.

Key Points: 

Because individual NIU's have near-total responsibility for the administration and operation of the centres, the extent to which each has flourished has depended largely on the amount of time and initiative its coordinators have been able to devote to it. Isolated technical problems and national political and economic crises have slowed some centres' development. However, all three NIUs recently celebrated 5 years in operation, and all have been self-sustaining for the past two.

Modifications of the original project include revisions of CBO organisational plans, reevaluation of coordinators' responsibilities and time constraints, and strengthening of the relationship with Colnodo to include more than merely technical support.

The project has sought to motivate coordinators to learn and to value themselves as women, as professionals, and as people capable of taking on new challenges. The goal has been to strengthen their self-esteem and security as well as their commitment to the community. In addition, training has sought to enhance their overall professional development.

The programme has worked to contribute to public recognition of the CBOs' goals and initiatives. In the same way, the NIUs have fostered documentation and diffusion of local information, to the extent that several centers have come to be included in official plans for local development as projects of support for communications initiatives.

This programme was initiated in mid-1999 by the Colombian Ministry of Communications, which asked Colnodo to assist in the development and implementation of the third phase of its plan called COMPARTEL. In contacting Colnodo, the Ministry hoped to glean best practices from the first Colombian experience in offering community access to ICT.

Today, two of the NIU CBOs (the Kerigma Foundation and PEPASO) operate AMI-COMPARTEL centres under commercial licensing with Telefonica Data Colombia.

In response to ideas generated during the NIU development process, Colnodo has undertaken two parallel activities: one dedicated to developing a low-cost local Georeferencing System; and the other dedicated to developing a Community Internet Access Center Registration System. Two NIUs have recently been converted to AMI Centers under the COMPARTEL plan.

Partner Text: 

Colombian Ministry of Communications; International Development Research Center (IDRC); World Resources Institute (WRI).

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