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Identifying stakeholders' needs and constraints in adoption of ICT services in rural areas: the case of India

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  • Sapna A. Narula
  • Sabhyata Arora
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    Abstract

    Purpose – Information and communication technologies can work wonders for the social as well as economic empowerment of rural people, when implemented successfully. This paper aims to explore and compare the functioning of two ICT models, one each in the public as well as the private sector, in a rural area of MP state in India, identify the usage of various services by stakeholders, i.e. farmers, study the existing need-service gap and highlight constraints and challenges in the implementation of these models at the field level. Design/methodology/approach – The study is based on both secondary and primary data. The case study method has been used for describing the two models and has been supplemented with the primary data collected in the form of structured questionnaires and interviews from respondents comprising both users/non-users and kiosk operators respectively. Findings – The study finds that there exists a need-service gap in service delivery. The information services related to agriculture, i.e. agri input prices, markets arrivals and prices, weather information are valued most by the farmers followed by e-governance services, health and education. Barriers to adoption of these technologies have also been discussed. Practical implications – The research is case study-based and also gives the results of a survey of beneficiaries; therefore it is very useful for managers, policymakers, implementers as well as academicians. The research provides implications for managers as well as policy makers to successfully implement the ICT models in India. Implications for future research are also discussed. Originality/value – The novelty of the research lies in the context that no effort has been made so far to effect a comparison of ICT models. There is also very little literature available to identify the need-service gap in this area. The study adds value to the knowledge in the field of ICTs for development and also opens new vistas of research.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Social Responsibility Journal.

    Volume (Year): 6 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 2 (July)
    Pages: 222-236

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:srjpps:v:6:y:2010:i:2:p:222-236

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    Related research

    Keywords: Communication technologies; Farms; India; Rural areas;

    References

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    1. Robert Huggins & Hiro Izushi, 2002. "The Digital Divide and ICT Learning in Rural Communities: Examples of Good Practice Service Delivery," Local Economy, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 17(2), pages 111-122, May.
    2. D Smallbone & D North, 1999. "Innovation and new technology in rural small and medium-sized enterprises: some policy issues," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 17(5), pages 549-566, October.
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