Application of ICT to Improve Rural Livelihood in Vietnam

Chapter
Part of the Topics in Intelligent Engineering and Informatics book series (TIEI, volume 11)

Abstract

Education and access to information are important factors for improving the livelihoods of rural communities and in the development of human resources in developing countries. Conventional approaches to education via schools and other government facilities, such as public libraries and post offices, are too slow to be adopted widely by communities. Recent progress in telecommunications technologies has now opened new opportunities to accelerate the process at a much lower cost. This has led to active research into community and telecentre based education systems. The World Bank, UN, and UNESCO have supported such projects in many developing countries, such as India, Bangladesh, and Vietnam in collaboration with their governments. However, many rural telecentre models have been conceived and tried but met with limited success. Many of the problems with these models have been traced to the lack of proper understanding of ownership, influence, native social patterns and their impacts. We reviewed and compared rural telecentre models that had been developed and studied over the last 10 years to better understand the key social concepts. A new model was proposed and two year pilot study was conducted. We report on the effectiveness and limitations of the new model.

Keywords

ICT Rural telecentre Information service Socio-economic systems Socio-economic applications 

Notes

Acknowledgment

This paper is based on the fieldwork and research conducted specifically in the Rural Telecenter Project under the framework of the Public Administration Reform (PAR) Project at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam (VIE/02/016), funded by the Government of Vietnam, Royal Government of Netherlands, UNDP and supported by Intel USA, where John Vong was the UNDP Senior Technical Consultant. We would like to thank UNDP (United Nations Development Program) and Royal Netherlands Embassy for the grants and support. We are truly grateful to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, District People’s Committee, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Provincial People’s Committee, and all villagers in Vietnam for their participation and support in the project.

We would like to thank UNDP, in particular Jordan Ryan, Subinay Nandy, Steven Gieger, Jonas Lovkrona, Ninh Thi Hoa, and Le Le Lan. The Government of Vietnam, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, provided strong national leadership especially under Vice Minister Nguyen Van Dang and Project Manager Nguyen Duc Son, without which the success of the Rural Telecentre Project may be dampened. The baseline study conducted by the Centre for Water Resources Economic Research and Centre for Water Resources Software was important prior to the start of the Rural Telecentre pilot. The final evaluation of the Rural Telecentre pilot under research consultant Roger Harris was fair and accurate. The strong support of the Government of Royal Netherlands, in particular Ambassador Gerben de Jong, provided impetus to the overall framework of the PAR in MARD Project. Lastly, the opinions and findings expressed herein are those of the authors alone.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Financial IT AcademySingapore Management UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.School of Business (IT)James Cook UniversitySingaporeSingapore

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