Electronic Government and the Rural Poor: The Case of Gyandoot
Information Technologies and International Development, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 65-75, Winter 2004
12 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2006
In the poor and drought-prone rural district of Dhar in Madhya Pradesh, India, Gyandoot has tried since January 2000 to make government services more accessible to villagers through information and communications technology (ICT). Two recent surveys of this e-government project allow us to evaluate whether the local population is benefiting. Main findings are that while service satisfaction is quite high, usage is low, and that poorest people are not using Gyandoot. We conclude that much of the potential benefits of e-government are not realized. Lessons for ICT projects that intend to benefit the rural poor include the use of appropriate technology, implementation of the project by agents who have incentives to serve the poor, community participation and ownership, availability of pro-poor services, and execution of awareness-raising campaigns.
Keywords: ICT, technology, poverty, local, India, rural, government
JEL Classification: O18, O20, O33, R58, I30
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