Sustainable and Integrated Rural Economic Development

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Project E3 - Sustainable and Integrated Rural Economic Development
Summary:

Project E3 is a Public, Private and Community Partnership Project for creating a sustainable Rural Economic Development Telecentre Network to help grass root youth women farmers and micro businessmen to improve their quality of life through economic inclusion through innovative use of ICT. Project E3 used ICT for effective addressing of rural Telecentre economic problems implementing a local language based e business development program across 6o Telecentres in Uva province, Sri Lanka.

60 Telecentres in Uva Province established by the government had faced a critical sustainability risk as they were not able to generate adequate income, lack community participation and lack of Technical and business knowledge. E fusion private ltd undertook an assignment from government ICT Agency for economic development and help sustain the Telecentres . The Uva province has the highest poverty in Sri Lanka with poverty gap index of 6.2 compared to national index of 3.1. 92% percent of community were involved in Agriculture sector, hence any economic development requires a major focus on farmers. The education and literacy rate also is very low, in Uva province challenged with critical transportation, communication and energy challenges.

The needs assessment carried out found the need for creating a foundation for a long term economic development program starting with basic capacity building, community awareness, and content and services deployment for economic progression. M & E and Research found that rural Telecentres operated in isolation, lacked ICT knowledge, e content for community involvement. Telecentre services limited to basic training in ICT literacy were not enough to generate revenue for sustainability. They had a English language barrier to use internet. The Telecentre operators lacked leadership and poorly trained. Brain drain was a major issue due to lack of economic progress in

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