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ASLP2 Social Research ICT Workplan 2013

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ICT Workplan
1. Establish a Farmphone system based on Freedomfone in Sindh province.
2. Demonstrate and test the “Seeing is Believing” app developed by ACIAR/UC
3. Conduct youth survey to specifically explore the establishment of an ICT skills project (Community Service Centre model)
4. Establish links with UAF’s CyberExtension project Zarai Baithak (
5. Connect with Dairy, Citrus and Mango teams once the ICT trials have been undertaken in March

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ASLP2 Social Research ICT Workplan 2013

  1. 1. ICT & LINKAGES FOR LIVELIHOODSOverview of 2013 work plan for Objective 3Social research: Applying ICT for communication, collaboration and developmentthrough participatory design and engagementProfessor Robert FitzgeraldASLP2 - Agriculture Sector Linkages Program in Pakistan (Phase 2)
  2. 2. A challenge• There has been a fundamental shift in the way traditionalvalue chains and distribution systems operate that arebreaking down traditional roles and generating new waysof working with the user“The disappearance of intermediaries, new production processes, higher ITproductivity, new pricing mechanisms and new distribution systems havegenerated a “direct economy”, where the customer/user has beensucked, willingly or not, into the production process or value chain. All this isleading to new business models, some immediately profitable, others not yet buthugely successful in terms of users”.Krasna, B. (2007) ThinkStudio From Direct Economy to Direct Everything, EnglishWrite-Up, Lift 07.
  3. 3. Social research objectives1. To engage the poor and marginalized groups that canpotentially benefit from participating in the selected valuechains of ASLP2 (Sandra)2. To enhance collaboration across project teams (Barbara)3. To assess and enhance information and communicationmodalities and technologies for collaboration and valuechain enhancement (Rob)4. To foster effective collaborative development in ruralPakistan (John)
  4. 4. Baseline Survey: Some headlinesVery good access: Most men and about 50% of women have accessto a mobile phoneMobile phone skills, most at beginner level: Similar patterns formen, women and childrenPersonal device: Phones are used primarily for personalcommunicationsLimited use of SMS: Only 30 % use SMS. Similar patterns for men andwomenLimited access to computers (7-35%): About 25% have access to acomputer and only 6% have access to the internet
  5. 5. Baseline Survey: Implications• Good access to mobile phones but they are personal devices• Limited use of SMS, significant training would be required• Limited access to computers and internet• Consider the demonstration effect – pictures & videos to tell astory• Given the above and low literacy levels, SMS (i.e text) havelimited reach. A voice system may be more accessible (i.e.speech)• Regional differences, no one size solution will fit all• Consider different technologies, modalities and content• Need to address different languages: English, Urdu and Sindhi
  6. 6. Background: Mobile for Development (M4D)• M4D has been ignored in the ICT4D research largely becauseof its focus on the computer despite in developing countriesthe use of voice calls & SMS is increasing• “most of the benefits of the mobile phones in developmentprocesses remain unobserved and under-studied, inunorganized “peer to peer” voice calls and text messages”(Donner 2010: 9).• the dual heritage of M4D (the user choice and the embeddeddirectionality) “will and should continue to provide alternativeframings to inform both theoretical models and practicalpolicy” (Donner 2010: 11).Donner, J. (2010). Framing M4D: The Utility of Continuity and the Dual Heritageof “Mobiles and Development” EJISDC: the Electronic Journal on InformationSystems in Developing Countries, 44, 3.
  7. 7. Background: Research Needs• Increase integration between ICTD and non-ICTD studies -Donner sees much of this work as involving a tighterintegration between development work (ICTD) and thecommunication/recreational use of mobiles work (non-ICTD)• Understand linkages between richer and poorercommunities - Comparing and contrasting the ways rich andpoor use text messaging in order to understand the linkagesand opportunities• Disaggregate the artifact - Looking both within and aroundthe handset can yield a better understanding of the mobile asa complex technology. Developing more complex andnuanced understandings of how mobile phones work toreconfigure social relationships and networksDonner, J. (2008). Research Approaches to Mobile Use in the Developing World:A Review of the Literature, The Information Society, 24, 3, 140-159.
  8. 8. Background: Complex interaction betweentechnology and users• A reminder that the interaction between technology andusers is complex cf Adaptive Structuration Theory (DeSanctis& Pool, 1994)“So, there are structures in technology, on the one hand and structures inaction, on the other. The two are continually intertwined; there is a recursiverelationship between technology and action, each iteratively shaping the other”(DeSanctis & Pool, 1994)DeSanctis, G., & Poole, M. S. (1994). Capturing the Complexity in Advanced TechnologyUse: Adaptive Structuration Theory, Organization Science, 5, 2, 121-147.
  9. 9. Approach: Users in context• Our approach to exploring possible applications of low-costICT is participatory – we use the same basic participatoryapproach as we do in other situations – to ensure thetechnology is useful and used• We focus on flexible, two-way communication systems thatcan be adapted by different communities of users to meettheir particular information and communication needs• Developing more complex and nuanced understandings ofhow mobile phones work to reconfigure social relationshipsand networks will allow us to move beyond simple technicalimpact studies and understand the device in context
  10. 10. Objective 3 2013 workplan1. Establish a Farmphone system based on Freedomfone in Sindhprovince to be hosted by Mustafa Nangraj. Collaborate with BabarShubaz (UAF) to trial the software in Faisalabad.2. Demonstrate and test the “Seeing is Believing” app developed byACIAR/UC (ACIAR to consult with teams for dairy, mango andcitrus extension material)3. Conduct youth survey to specifically explore the establishment ofan ICT skills project (Community Service Centre model)4. Establish links with UAF’s CyberExtension project Zarai Baithak( Connect with Dairy, Citrus and Mango teams once the ICT trialshave been undertaken in March
  11. 11. Task1: Farmphone• Farmphone is the name to be given to the ASLP2 informationsystem using the Freedom Fone software (• Freedom Fone is free and open source software that enables you tocreate and share audio content using Interactive Voice Response(IVR), voicemail (leave a message) and SMS.• Audio content can be easily organised in multiple Voice Menuswhich callers can navigate using their phone keypad• Freedom Fone is an an interactive voice recording system thatfarmers can use to access production and marketing information
  12. 12. Freedom FoneSource: Freedom Fone
  13. 13. Pilot work to date (March 2013)1. We have established a FF server on a laptop connected to a2N Officeroute modem. We have also tested a USB modem(Huawei 173)2. Voice Menus: A sample menu called Farmphone will beavailable immediately after installation3. Leave a Message: In the sample menu Farmphone, you areable to test the Leave a Message functionality4. Polls: A simple and fast way to measure opinion on an issueis to conduct SMS-based polls. SMS polls enable your callersto respond to a structured question via an SMS responseNote: The next release of FF will offer expanded SMS capabilitiesincluding broadcast SMS
  14. 14. Farmphone Menu Structure1. Farmer calls Farmphone number– +92 300 8529014 (Pakistan)2. Selects language – English, Urdu, Sindhi (Only English available)3. Hears the following welcome message4. Hears the following menu system overview5. Selecting 1 for “News & Weather” hearsNB: All top-level menus can be nested to create sub-menus
  15. 15. Farmphone configurationUp to four concurrent usersPrepaid sim cards2N Office RouteGSM SIP Gateway
  16. 16. Creating audio information• Farmphone can be used across telephone networks in Pakistanhowever this introduces a number of issues that creators must beaware of when creating audio files for the platform• Telephony infrastructure transmits audio in a low quality format.This means that the audio content we create should be simple, easyto understand and created to specific technical specifications• Since content is accessed by calling the phone numbers connectedto a Farmphone server, playback duration will be directly related tothe cost of calling. Clarity and brevity will be valued by most callers• The best format for audio files is mono, wav with 8 kHz sample rate• Audacity & Hindenburg are two free (NGO) audio editing programs• Read more about creating audio at: FF Audio Cookbook
  17. 17. Task 2: The “Seeing is Believing”(SIB) iPad app• SIB is an iPad app connected to a web database thatallows extension workers to quickly locate and presenthigh quality extension material• SIB is based on the following principles:– Applying research methodologies to applicationdesign and replication– Best practice in extension of agricultural researchmethodologies– A review and evaluation cycle• SIB has been developed by ACIAR and Robert Fitzgerald fromUC
  18. 18. Background• The SIB app is aimed at the extension audience, to provide ameans delivering outcomes in a user friendly, technologicallyup to date, and portable way.• This approach should be able to be replicated betweenprojects, across commodities and regions/nations/locations.• Our thinking is to use the following approach as an entry pointto the app (see design example 1 below):– Case study of project success– Steps to reach this– Each step capable of being selected individually andunpacked– One or a collection of steps capable of being packaged asan output/ output group
  19. 19. SIB interface
  20. 20. Sample search results for “mango”
  21. 21. Generating SIB data• ACIAR has developed a Non Technical Reporting guide, aimedat capturing the reasons why a project has been successful inthe field, during the life of the project.• While this needs some refinement, it serves as both thegenerator of the case study, and as tech notes for extensionworkers in terms of better practice to identify barriers andincentives to adoption.• The aim is to deploy this amongst the project team inPakistan, to test the approach.
  22. 22. Data capture• A database would act as the repository for project informationto populate the app (see design element 2). A series of fieldsand templates would need to be identified and the databasestructured to accept and house these.• The fields may include (not discounting the amount of designwork):– Project name– Locations (including by geo-coding)– Commodities– Step/phase notes– Step/phase instructions
  23. 23. Case study (3-5 mins – before ACIAR project andafter project)Commodity – ie mangoStep 1 – PruningStep 2 – Orchard managementStep 3 – Diseases and pestsStep 4 – HarvestingStep 5 – Postharvest management
  24. 24. Presentation templates• SIB will contain a range of templates to allow users to createextension presentations• A presentation will could comprise:– Posters– Video– Audio files– Technical notes– Case studies
  25. 25. Example: A presentation assembled “on the fly” fromfour video resources located in the data base
  26. 26. Design cycle• Each step could have a video file, and a set of technicalnotes, or could utilise whichever of the existing templateshave been filled – ie a poster for step 3 showing the type ofpests• The user could select a step and skip those before it, or walkthrough from the start. The user could also self select thetechnical notes for all or some of the steps for printing as an i-book• Each step would be designed to represent a ‘package’ oftechnologies used in the project. In the above example thepruning package would likely show:– Tree before pruning– How to prune – ie correct cutting technique– How tree should look after pruning
  27. 27. • This could be done via a video, with supporting tech notes toillustrate this using photos and explanatory text. Theextension worker could show the farmer, thendemonstrate, then the farmer could do the cutting• The app does not replace the extension worker, rather it isalmost a conversation starter. The extension worker wouldeffectively translate/interpret the video and tech notes for thefarmer• The idea of a cycle – action: (show, do), reflect: (listen, think), improve drives the app. The app would therefore alsointroduce best practice extension approachesStep design
  28. 28. Non-technicalreportingguidetemplateD’baseInputfields(Commodity andlocationsensitive)D’basetemplatesPostersVideoAudioTech notesCase studiesOutputsI bookE-pubsYou tube videosMulti-mediapresentationsOther ACIARand projectreports andmaterialsDashboardCase studyCommodityStepsUtilise linksto existingresourcesProjectteam topopulateReview and evaluationUser feedback – star ratingCommunity of users developtaxonomy/ folkso= template for channelSIB Information Ecology
  29. 29. Task 3: Community Service Centres• A conveniently located public place that is recognised and valued in the localcommunity as a gathering place for people and an access point for a wide range ofcommunity activities, programs, services and events (Rossiter 2007)• Following on from the youth survey we are currentlyundertaking, we want to explore the idea of establishing an ICTskills and resource centre• Learn from Hole-in-the-wall and Internet café models• Encourage youth to run centre• Recently in Dolat Leghari we identified a community room thatcould be used• Other villages include Nachang (Mango), Sargodah (Citrus with MrIlyas) and Okara (Dairy)• Possible configuration: fixed computer with internet, walls paintedwith Ideapaint (writable) and large LED screen or wireless projector
  30. 30. The following images are from our recent visit to Daulat Leghari, SindhProvince, Pakistan (26 March 2013)1. Youth focus group facilitators2. Youth focus group (12-17 males)3. Youth focus group (18-25 males)4. Youth focus groups (12-17 males) showing SIB app in foreground5. Two boys try the SIB app installed on iPad with ruggedised case6. RF with villagers trying out the Farmphone information service
  31. 31. The following images are from our recent visit with UAF team to Nachang, PunjabProvince, Pakistan (29 March 2013)1. Nachang Community House2. Youth survey in full swing3. RF & Izhar conducting youth focus group (18-25 male)4. Youth focus group (12-17 male)5. Young man (17 yo)6. RF demonstrating SIB7. RF talking to a young teacher about education in the village
  32. 32. Task 4: Zarai Baithak Cyber Extension• “Technology transfer through cyber extension” is an outreachproject being undertaken by the Department of AgriculturalExtension, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (Pakistan)• An online agricultural information portal and VillageInformation Centres or VICs (cyber extension units) to beestablished• We see opportunities to connect and share information andintegrate the Farmphone system and SIB as complementarytechnologies• RF is working closely with Dr Babar Shabaz from UAF andevaluate this project• Create an account at: