Toward Global Knowledge Sharing for Farmers

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* Article: Toward Global Knowledge Sharing: Examples from the Philippines. By Roberto Verzola.



Strategies for Low-Cost Deployment of ICT in Developing Countries

"As these examples indicate, we need to develop strategies for low-cost deployment of ICT. Five core strategies proposed for developing countries are as follows.

1. Use an appropriate (i.e., intermediate) technology, which may not be the latest or the most advanced, but still improves significantly on the current ways of doing things and is much more affordable to those who will use it;

2. Use free/open software (e.g., Linux/GNU, OpenOffice, etc.), to drastically reduce the cost of software and to invite deeper knowledge about the technology through the availability of the source code;

3. Where commercial software must be used, encourage the government to apply genuine compulsory licensing;

4. Deploy pay-per-use public access stations which do not require users to pay fixed monthly charges (the public phone booth model); and

5. Explore community/public ownership mechanisms to minimize private rent-seeking.

With these strategies, low-cost knowledge sharing is even more feasible, because of the nature of information itself. However, the low cost of global knowledge sharing presents some difficult issues for developing nations. These issues must be addressed for the proposed strategies to be effective." (