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Community Networks - II

Ladies & Gentlemen

Continuing my response to Sanjeevs mail.

>I am being a devil's advocate; not being harsh. Think of why your idea
>is economic, worthwhile, feasible, and how it will be implemented.

I agree that its a tall order.

It might be interesting to note that Infosys Technologies has taken a
step towards to disseminating I.T. to rural masses. It started with
trying to involve software engineers to develope training modules in
Kannada for popular software like MS Word, MS Excel, Windows-95. It has
also oraginsed trainig sessions and developed software in native
languages. The Infosys Foundation is one example of a Business taking
steps to disseminate I.T. I am sure there are others too.

We need to co-ordinate efforts and draw up an action plan to test and
see how Linking Developemental Activists through a Virtual Community can

be effective.

I think a good test would be to see how it can help disseminate a draft
policy initiative, build up public opinion and debate and momentum to
see it translate into legislation.

The action plan should be on the following lines
   - Identifying as  many grassroots Development Agenices as possible.
   - Obtaining from them a data bank of grassroots workers and the
     profile of the areas in which they work and the activities they
     are involved in.
  - Collating all this data from multiple development agencies and
    identifying identical development programs being undertaken by
    different individuals in different parts of the country.
  - Choosing a development area as a test area and contacting workers
    working in those areas. Initially we choose regions which are
    are connected by telephones and the workers have access to a
    private telephone.

Once this has been done. We need to identify a policy initiative which
has a direct bearing on the development area we are targetting. We
parallely build a plan to carry this policy initiative into the
mainstream with the clear objective that it would be lobbied for and
campaigned to ensure translation into appropriate legislation. Once this

has plan has been firmed up we build our TEST BED community network by
  - Obtaining inputs from all of these workers on
     - what budgets they operate
     - what components of their budgets are taken up by
        - travelling for orientation, training and information
          resource acqusition
       - spending on information resources
     - How much of money and time is spent on communication thru
       phone, terrestrial mail.
     - How often is "Time to Communicate" & "Time to Respond" crucial
       in their activities.
     - How often they have felt hampered by lack of access to
       information which could have made a difference to their
 - We then have the necessary data which can be analysed to evaluate
   the cost effectiveness of linking these individuals.

 - Once such an analysis is complete, we have the necessary budget
  estimates before us and the infrastructural requirements viz.
  Servers and dedicated dial-in phone lines.

 - We can then approach corporates like Infosys which have a track
   record of sponsoring developmental activities to dedicate some
   bandwidth and server space for this test bed.

 - We then deploy the test bed and throw the policy initiative across
  it for debate.

 - We then simultaneously use and test this virtual community to drum
   up public opinion on the policy initiative and see how it leads
   to Legislation.

Thats about as far as I can see at this point in time. I would like to
see more inputs coming to translate this to a fool proof blue print
 for action.


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