ICT4D e-solutions needed to grow over the internet

KADO, since its inception, developed different interventions in computer literacy and using different ICT tools for local development. In this regards, in 2001, KADO supported to establish two village literacy centers in Murtazaabad and Hyderabad villages to impart training on software applications to villagers. These centers were later handed-over to the local community to run on cost-recovery basis.

Similarly, the first computer institute named Mountain Institute for Computer Science (MICS) was established in 2003 in order to provide computer related skills and education to students and professionals with the support of Allign Technologies Inc. USA. The institute trained 270 persons (134 male and 136 female) in computer and basic IT skills.

IDRC helped KADO to initiate an E-commerce project using the Pan Asia Networking (PAN) E-shopping Mall for its handicraft products through mail order system (MOS). KADO during 2001 developed the first homepage with the support of PAN-IDRC to promote eco- and cultural tourism potentials, share indigenous community experience and research into the ICT and internet applications in the rural mountainous areas of Pakistan.

The IDRC Canada funded project was however the major intervention, started in 2004, aimed at demonstrating the use of information and communication technology for the promotion of sustainable livelihoods and extradition of extreme poverty in the remote mountainous villages. The major components of this project included provision of internet services and action researches on e-village, e-school and business incubation concepts. Based on these successes, KADO became the first indigenous organisation in Northern Areas to successfully implement ICT projects. The Planning and Development Department (P&DD) thus partnered with KADO to establish 38 IT centres in all Six districts of Northern Areas.

Visit below links for further details about the projects.

KADO Internet Services (KIS)

The KADO Internet Service (KIS) fulfilled the long lasting dream of people of Hunza and Nager to become a part of global information society, with establishment of ISP in Hunza continued to provide internet services in Hunza and Nagar valleys. KIS remained the only internet facility in Hunza and Nagar valleys from 2004 to 2008. SCO started provision of internet during 2008 in a very subsidized rate however the demand for KIS services remained higher due to quality in service delivery. The project provided fifty percent discounts on tariff for the educational institutions and very nominal charges for Allama Iqbal Open University and Virtual University students.

 

KIS helped promoting businesses in the region. An assessment that carried out by independent team in KADO recorded an average of 30.51% net improvement/growth in tourism, business, services and other sectors due to the provision of internet. The internet café/distance learning centre Karimabad provided internet facilities for tourists and those locals who cannot afford this facility at their houses. Local students improving their education and qualification through distance learning were specially facilitated at this centre.

E-School

The main focus of the e-school action research project was to experiment potential impact of ICT on students’ learning, teacher development, school culture and synchronization of best practices in teaching-learning processes. Two schools; Khanabad, D.J School and Hasighawa Memorial Public School, Karimabad were primarily selected for the research purpose. Grade IX Mathematics and English subjects were selected in these two schools as research sample against control schools with similar situation in the project area, except provision of ICT facilities to the sample group.

 

An overall improvement of 45.6% was observed in teaching learning process and other parameters set for the action research in the focus groups as compared to the controlled groups locating in the same vicinity with the same conditions except ICTs intervention.

Business Incubation

The Business incubation process started in around early quarter of 2005, when internet connectivity was for the first time started in Hunza valley. The focus remained on capacity building of local entrepreneurs through trainings in computer, internet, web designing, and business management.

 

The project motivated the entrepreneurs to use internet to access wide network of customers and clientele especially from the tourism perspective. According to the assessment carried out in June 2007, an average of 30.51% improvement/growth was recorded in incubated businesses. This includes 36.79% improvement in tourism industry, 30.58% in trade and commerce and 24.17% in service industry.

E-Village

The project established two E-village Resource Centers (EVRC) in Altit and Hussainabad to test the potential of ICT in village planning and development. This action research project was implemented with the help of Altit Town Management Committee (ATMC) and Hussainabad Islahi Committee (HIC).

 

The centres provided subsidised internet facilities and basic computer trainings to the villagers, in order to enable them to access and use the required information from internet according to their needs and interests.

 

The human and institutional capacity of the local partner organisations were strengthened through different workshops and training session to enable them to carry out their own development at local level. A Sustainable Village Development Plan (SVDP) including a comprehensive document, Village Information System as data base and a comprehensive web site www.altithunza.org was developed for Altit Village with the active involvement of the local community. It was learnt that broader and multiple use of ICT with bigger mandate in different sectors such as education, health, rural development, or institutional or market development, is an enabling tool that produces multiplier effect if intervened in all areas simultaneously.

Women Vocational Trainings

KADO implemented a women IT literacy project of Planning and Development Department (P&DD) initiated under the presidential package named ‘Women Vocational (IT) skills training in all six districts of Northern Areas’ from 2006-2008. The project aimed to develop a cadre of female human resources equipped with knowledge and skills in Information technology in order to access social and economic opportunities.

 

KADO was selected as an implementing partner on the basis of its work for women empowerment through handicraft project and its experience as the only organisation of Northern Areas to implement a successful information and communication technology project.

 

Through this project, 34 I.T centers were established in the far-flung areas of all districts of Northern Areas. The project extensively trained 34 female master trainers in basic and advance computer and IT modules. These IT centres were established with Government girls’ collages, schools, and in some cases with the community-based education systems in order to ensure the sustainability of the centres after project phase. The actual target of the project was 3,400 students but the project successfully trained 4,208 students in basic computer skills.

E-Mandi

KADO has developed partnership with telenor cellular company to formalize and reorganize the agriculture trading business through the use of digital infrastructure using the latest Information and Communication Technology to collect and deliver real time information online; to make the operations more effective and completely transparent, thus benefiting all stake holders.

 

This aims at empowering the stakeholders through accurate and timely information for effective decision making. The infrastructure so developed would eventually lead to a virtual stock exchange and remove the need for physical movement of agriculture produce from farmers’ premises to Mandis.