FAO Investment Centre
TechKnowLogia, July - September 2002.
FAO Investment Centre
TechKnowLogia, July - September 2002.
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.
Cultural Development, Overseas Development Assistance, HIV/AIDS, Health, Agriculture.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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).
Freelance Journalist and a founder of Bytesforall