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Development as Freedom in a Digital Age

  1. Development as Freedom in a Digital Age The Missing Link for the Impact of ICT on development Björn-Sören Gigler Innovations in Governance World Bank April 22, 2015 @bgigler
  2. Presentation Outline I) Research Questions II) Research Focus III) Background IV) Theoretical Framework IV) Hypotheses V) Methodology VI) Case Studies VII) Main findings VIII) Conclusions
  3. Download publication here: Development as Freedom in a Digital Age
  4. I) Research Questions 1) Under which conditions can ICTs enhance the well- being of indigenous communities? 2) Which factors influence whether IP can enhance their human capabilities through the use of ICTs and thus improve their well-being? 3) What is the role of intermediary organizations, such as grassroots organizations, NGOs or governments in the process of introducing ICTs to indigenous communities?
  5. II) Research Focus • Alternative Evaluation Framework for ICT - Unpack the link between ICTs and economic/social development => going beyond access and usage (micro- level analysis) • Information as a critical Human Capability - Operationalize and expand the CA => application to the evaluation of ICT programs • ICT Impact chain - Develop a causal link between the access & use of ICTs & enhanced human capabilities • Intermediary process - Focus on change processes and on economic & human development not on technology itself
  6. III) Bolivia: Indigenous Poverty Analysis • Reduction of poverty at national level however not in indigenous communities (1992 to 2001) • Important regional differences between Western highlands and Eastern lowlands (Geographic Clusters) • Lack of economic opportunities in rural areas=> large scale migration to urban centers • Strong social networks & institutions (social capital) • Persistent challenge to achieve inclusive development • Lack of access to basic productive and social services (rural roads, education, health, energy) • Continuous severe socio-economic differences between indigenous vs non-indigenous peoples
  7. Incidence of Extreme Poverty (2001)
  8. IV) Theoretical Framework • Expand the CA by introducing the concept of ‘informational capabilities’ • Develop an Impact evaluation framework for ICT programs based on CA (outcome and process) • Integrate CA into the sustainable livelihood framework (Bebbington) • Emphasis on Information as a human capability for economic and social development • Emphasis on empowerment: Include an analysis of institutional analysis and social structures into the CA (‘Conscientization’- Freire)
  9. Informational Capabilities 1. ICT capability -to use ICTs in an effective manner 2. Information Literacy- to find, process, evaluate, and use information 3. Communication Capability: to effectively communicate with family members, friends, and professional contacts 4. Content Capability: to produce and share local content with others through the network
  10. The concept of Informational Capabilities
  11. Empowerment through ICTs framework Develop Alternative Impact Evaluation Framework based on Informational Capabilities (2004) Link to the Impact Evaluation Framework
  12. V) Hypotheses 1. The access and use of ICTs have to be facilitated by an effective and local intermediary organization, in order to enhance peoples well-being 2. ICT’s have to be locally appropriated and owned by local communities, in order to enhance peoples well- being
  13. H1: Effective and local Intermediation  How does the process work?  How is the intermediary organization perceived by the indigenous community? • Proximity to local communities is essential (High level of intermediation) • Demand-driven: respond to local needs • Clear understanding of communities information needs • Knowledge of traditional communications channels (community radios, printed media, etc.) • Integrate ICTs into development priorities of community • Combine technical know-how with knowledge of social and community structure • Support community in adopting technology to local and cultural context • Organization has to enjoy the trust of the community
  14. H 2: Local Appropriation => dynamic process of adopting the technology to people’s needs– Iterative Process of Technology Adoption---Structuration Theory ICTs have to be financially sustainable- individual business plans need to fit local markets and socio- cultural context ICT have to be socially sustainable –embedded into existing social community structures => demand-driven and respond to real needs  Strengthen local Human Capital to ensure that people can be involved in the Management of ICTs
  15. VI) Methodology Comparative Case Study Analysis (i) contextual conditions are key to understand different outcomes (how and why ?) (ii) compare two cases with each other which are similar in their socio-economic situation- variation in ICT Triangulation: (i) Quantitative Methods: - Surveys with non-users (n=365) and ICT users (n=148) - National UNDP ICT survey (n=3600 users) - Multi-variant Logistical Regression Analysis (ii) Qualitative Methods: - In-depth interviews (24) - Focus groups with specific groups (12)
  16. ICT Impact Chain Unpack the causal relationship between ICT and Development based on the concept of Informational Capabilities Link to the ICT Impact Chain
  17. Information Needs Assessment • value horizontal information exchanges (between communities) more than vertical information exchanges • strong distrust about the information provided by the national government • local government information is rated much higher • information from local organizations highly valued • information from other communities in Latin America highly valued  a large majority of IP believe that access to information is very important to enhance their well-being (75%) • information flow between national government and IP is very problematic • information flow between national organizations and IP is also with problems
  18. Information Needs Assessment Importance of Horizontal Information Exchanges 38 41 45 46 57 58 58 42 32 33 32 25 30 26 20 26 22 22 19 12 16 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Local Org. and NGOs Poor peoples Org. at the intern level. Local org. and the government Local org.and international donors Poor people orga. at the national level Between communities Local org. and Communities A lot Little Nothing
  19. Need to go beyond ICT access No Access 36% Don’t know how it works 21% Other 5% N/a 14% All 7% Language problems 6% Not useful 2% Very expensive 9% Principal Reasons for not using the Internet
  20. Primary Data: ICT user survey • What factors (individual and/or socio-economic) influence whether or not a person is able to use ICTs? • To what extent do these factors influence peoples’ ICT capabilities? Individual factors Socio-Economic Variables • Age - Geographic Location • Gender - Unsatisfied Basic Needs • Education - Human Development Index • Language spoken - Illiteracy Rates • Profession - Population Density - ICT infrastructure (Access) - ICT intermediary
  21. Results from ICT user survey • High correlation between ethnicity, geographic location, and Internet use and ICT capabilities (rural  urban) • Significant disparities among various indigenous groups • Socio-Economic factors (Literacy rates, belong to IP, poverty, location) and not individual factors (age, gender, education) are critical in explaining digital inequalities • Education is a key variable to explain differences in Internet use, however ICT capabilities are independent from education • Internet use and capabilities are independent from age, gender and profession • Intermediary factors are by large the strongest determinant influence in a person’s use/non-use and on his/her ICT capabilities
  22. Ethnicity is a key variable ICT capabilities by ethnicity 22.8 24.1 47.2 28.3 35.2 48.9 40.7 26.4 26.4 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Non-Indigenous Indigenous Total Ethnicity Percentage(%) Advanced Intermediate Basic
  23. Within Group Differences Internet Use by ethnic groups 65.0 66.7 35.0 19.6 33.3 80.4 49.2 50.8 0 20 40 60 80 100 Principal language spoken in HH % No 49.2 65.0 80.4 66.7 Yes 50.8 35.0 19.6 33.3 Spanish and/or English Spanish and indigenous Aymara Quechua
  24. Intermediary factor is a key variable ICT capabilities by program 5 19 28 45 24 28 19 50 18 44 11 36 28 26303032 43 61 70 76 31 44 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 C ID O BC IO EC /líderes C IO EC -Potosi/O r. C O NA M AQ EN LA R ED FO N D O IN D IG E N A IC O -C O M AR A PA O M AK ICT Program Percentage(%) Advanced Intermediate Basic
  25. Results from Impact user survey • In which dimensions (economic, political, social and cultural) do local communities perceive ICTs to have the greatest impact on their well-being? • To what extent does the use of ICTs enhance peoples’ human and social capabilities? • Social dimension is perceived to have the greatest positive impact • Economic dimension is the most polarized- 52% vs 24% • Political dimension is perceived to have the weakest positive impact • None of the socio-demographic variable (age, gender) influence peoples perceptions • People’s perceptions vary significantly dependent on (I) ICT program, (ii) informational capabilities (iii) rural vs urban
  26. Results from Impact Survey
  27. Results from Impact Survey Perceptions on the Impact of the Internet on people's well-being (National Grassroots-led programs) 38 38 54 62 69 77 62 62 46 23 23 15 0 0 0 15 8 8 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Political Perconal Cultural Organizational Economic Social Alot Somewhat None/NA
  28. VII) Case Studies Organization Type Highlands Lowlands Grassroots organizations High Level Intermediation CIOEC - Oruro CIOEC - Potosi OMAK – Tihuanacu* OMAK – youth CIDOB APCOB - Concepción NGOs Intermediate Level Intermediation ICO – Comarapa National organization Intermediate Level Intermediation CONAMAQ CONAMAQ International organization Low Level Intermediation Fondo Indígena Fondo Indígena Government Low Level Intermediation En la Red Municipal - Batallas, * En la Red Municipal – Comarapa *
  29. Case Study 1 : Tiahuanacu- An Andean Perspectives
  30. VII) Tiahuana- a rural Aymara community • Ayllu- traditional governance has been fragmented by syndicalism and ‘green revolution” • High levels of extreme poverty (92%) &very low HDI (0.34) • Small-scale subsistence farming (Minifundistas) • Severe effects of natural disasters (El Nino) • Very high levels of temporary and permanent migration • Lack of access to basic social services (education/health) • Most important archeological site in Bolivia, however benefits don’t reach local Aymara population • Livelihood strategies based on traditional local knowledge & partial integration in labor market • Lack of accountability of local government: limitations of Law of Popular Participation
  31. VII) OMAK- Tihuanacu (Grassroots Organization) • High ownership by local women’s organization • Strong linkages to traditional community structures (Mallkus, Ayllu, women’s groups) • Responsiveness to local demands • Dynamic process of cultural appropriation of ICTs • Lack of information needs assessment • Strong family and kinship networks (bonding social capital) • Issue of indigenous leadership and patronage system early enthusiasm => controlled by a small group of leaders  High level of local intermediation  Enhancements in Human Capabilities (Self-esteem, political dimension)  Limited capacity to implement project  High dependency on international donors  Lack of continuity due to changing priorities by donors
  32. VII) NGO: Instituto de Capacitación del Oriente • Information needs assessment • ICT fully incorporated into agricultural project • Continuous capacity-building program • Convergence of technologies (radio and Internet) • Special focus on youth and indigenous women  Intermediate level of intermediation through local NGO- issue of dependency & overly technocratic approach => Increased self-esteem of vulnerable groups (women, youth)  enhanced informational capabilities (market prices, education)  economic capabilities enhanced? (i.e. negotiation power)  Market structures remain the same (small-scale producers, intermediaries, transportation costs)
  33. Case Study 2: Comarapa- A perspective of small- scale farmers
  34. Comarapa- a community in the Santa Cruz Valley • 75% of population lives from agriculture produced for the Santa Cruz market • Improvements in living conditions and access to basic services • Important inequalities between rural and urban population • Relatively strong local governments but weak social control by the community • Low Vertical accountability of the local government • Lack of strong community-based organizations • Strong presence of international donors and local NGOs
  35. Comarapa- A perspective of small-scale farmers Promote Sustainable Economic Development i) Improve access to markets ii) Strengthen productive organizations iii) Improve access to rural infrastructure (electricity, irrigation, roads) iv) Develop regional development plans based on the common cultural background of communities (Mancumidades) Reduce Existing Regional Disparities i) Abolish existing gaps in agricultrual productivities ii) Improve incomes in the informal sector Support Income Generating Activities (i) Promote the production and export of products in agricultural market niches (i.e. fair trade, organic products) (ii) Eliminate price discrimination by middlemen (transport) Enhance Access to Rural Finance (i) Improve access to microfinance (ii) Set up financing mechanism through Micro-credit institutions
  36. VII) Case Study 3: En la Red Municipal- Comarapa (Government) • Context: Decentralization- Law of Popular Participation • Pilot program in 15 municipalities • Very ambitious and poorly focused objectives • Overemphasis on technology (Portal, connectivity) • Lack of local ownership by municipalities and communities • Local content production and dissemination (radio, newspapers) • Information needs and evaluation (surveys)  Low level of intermediation through centralized approach  Political character of implementing agency (FAM)  Low capacity of local governments to implement project  Political changes in local governments <=> Sustainability  Low level of appropriation of technology  Limited Effects on the Enhancement of Human Capabilities
  37. VIII) Main findings Hypothesis 1: Intermediation • Local intermediation is key (content, training, sustainability) • Absence of National government ICT program • Strong role of local and international NGOs • Uncoordinated and isolated programs • Limited local impact • Overemphasis on technology issues • Continuous dependency (same approach as in other sectors)  Hypothesis confirmed however it is key to strengthen the capacity of central government  Structural problems: high costs, lack of basic infrastructure, low-level of education
  38. VIII) Main findings Hypothesis 2: Appropriation of ICTs • ICT programs are being frequently managed outside the community • Existing inequalities within communities impede widespread benefits • Danger that a few community leaders appropriate themselves of the ICT program • Capacity-building and local presence are key success factors • Convergence of Technology (Internet and Community Radio– (Comarapa) • Badly managed project– negative effects on community
  39. VI) Conclusions • ICTs can play an important role in enhancing the human capabilities of the poor (literacy-ICT skills) • The extent to which the uses of ICTs expands peoples ‘informational capabilities’ is critical for positive impact of ICTs on economic and social development • The expansion of peoples ‘ICT capabilities’ is not sufficient • Need to fully integrate ICTs into other sectors (i.e. education, agriculture) <=> Stand alone projects • Local intermediation is key (Content, Capacity-building, Connectivity, Continuity) • Convergence of technologies most effective (Radio & Internet)
  40. VI) Conclusions • Dynamic interaction between people, cultures and technology • Program evaluations should be based on the priorities of ICT users themselves • Social, organizational, political and cultural factors key while technical issues are minor for the outcomes of ICT program • Direct impact of ICTs on ‘self-esteem’ (subjective well- being) • Long-term financial and social sustainability is critical for ensuring a positive impact of ICTs
  41. Please contact me for any questions or comments: @bgigler