Connecting the Information Superhighway to the Grass Roots: Some Perspectives on Community-Based Communication Centers
International Communication Association Annual Meeting,
This paper considers the importance of information and communication in rural development programs, especially their centrality to building the knowledge, motivation, and skills that lead to behavioral change in health, nutrition, family planning, economic enterprises, and agricultural development. The countries of Thailand and Indonesia, for example, have worked directly on demonstrating the role that communication and information can play in improving the well-being of people in developing nations. Although the Indian government's National Informatics Centre has made great progress in establishing extensive databases and makes them available through telecommunication links to computer facilities at the district level, other information systems in India such as local radio and television broadcasting, the agricultural extension system, and indigenous community networks rarely intersect effectively with these databases. Two parallel communication revolutions are occurring across the world: one associated with the information superhighway and characterized by its interlocking networks, and the other being the emergence of local communication enterprises which provide rental videotapes and local and long distance telephone access. The Community-Based Communication Center seems likely to link grassroots people with relevant and important information most effectively and offers suggestions as to how such centers can be best used. The paper then focuses on the issues centering around Community-Based Communication Centers raised at the World Bank's 1996 "Think Tank." Includes 17 footnotes. (NKA)
Colle, R.D. (1997). Connecting the Information Superhighway to the Grass Roots: Some Perspectives on Community-Based Communication Centers. Presented at International Communication Association Annual Meeting 1997.