Knowledge Note

Community-driven programs in South Asia have traditionally used local facilitators to disseminate information and external best practices. However, the massive scale of these programs has made this strategy both a time-consuming and an expensive exercise. Livelihoods Projects in Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand & Madhya Pradesh have piloted an innovative ICT based Rural Digital Libraries project in collaboration with Digital Green, a non-profit organization in India. Digital Green trains members of local communities about group facilitation, videography and basic video production. These videographers create digital content locally, highlighting both internal and external best practices. The videos are stored at the village level (and also uploaded on YouTube) creating a local and online digital library and are disseminated widely through a network of village resource people using low-cost pico-projectors. These libraries are a decentralized, localized solution that combines the institutional platform with a digital knowledge platform to create multiple nodes of communication and learning in rural communities across the country. These localized solutions are created by face-to face experiments by communities empowering them and improving the adoption rate of new technologies. Initial results have shown that this approach can triple the adoption rate compared to traditional extension systems at one-fifth the cost. With more than 150,000 small and marginal farmers in India participating at village-level video screenings, rural digital libraries offer a promising solution for faster and more accessible livelihood knowledge sharing and extension in geographically dispersed communities. Leveraging a video production and screening platform, community organizations have started to develop a localized, scalable model for agricultural extension, financial literacy, health and nutritional awareness and technology and livelihood training.

About the Presenters

Abhishek Gupta

Parmesh Shah

Priya Surya