Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 42, Issue 7, pp 1353–1361 | Cite as

Creating the Livestock Guru: ICTs to enhance livestock-related knowledge among poor households in Orissa, India

  • Yibo Lin
  • Claire HeffernanEmail author
Original Research



The following paper details the creation and dissemination of a multi-media learning program for poor livestock keepers in Orissa, India: the Livestock Guru.


To devise the learning content, interviews were held with 240 poor livestock-keeping households in four districts in Orissa State. Methods for measuring user demand and assessing disease priorities are detailed in addition to a description of the software content, design, and dissemination strategy. The software was based on situated learning theory. Following this approach, the Livestock Guru was created to be contextually specific to the learning environment of the users. Further, to support a demand-led paradigm, the software was designed to be fully inter-active, where users have a choice over the learning material on offer.


The results demonstrate that appropriately designed information and communication technologies can help alleviate barriers to knowledge acquisition by poor livestock keepers at the community level. As such, the overall aim of the paper is to enable the software to be replicated in other contexts.


ICTs Disease prioritization Knowledge transfer Multi-media learning tools Orissa India Situated learning 



The authors are grateful to Ms Sonali Patnaik (Arupa Mission Research Foundation, Bhupaneswar, Orissa) and Mr James McGrane (Chief Technical Advisor, FAO, Indonesia) for their invaluable guidance and assistance in the launching of the Livestock Guru in Orissa.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Livestock Development Group, School of Agriculture, Policy and DevelopmentUniversity of ReadingReadingUK

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