Akshaya and E-Krishi

This case study is a part of the broader research study Locating gender in ICTD projects: five cases from India, undertaken by IT for Change, which sought to understand how principles promoting women’s inclusion and gender sensitivity can be incorporated into Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD) projects through an analysis of five interventions. These specific projects were selected on the basis of their representation of different development typologies, geographical coverage, scale, type of ownership (government or civil society sector) and their stated approach to gender and social justice.

In addition to the field research undertaken between February and April 2007 using qualitative methods, the research also built on secondary sources. Each of the five interventions aims to improve community development and linkages with external institutions to better address community needs, while women’s empowerment was not necessarily an explicit objective for all cases. This case study is about the Kerala government's ICTD model – the Akshaya project – which seeks to provide village level connectivity infrastructure along with universal household e-literacy within a broader social process. The E-Krishi initiative is conceived as an online forum for agriculture, that leverages the Akshaya system.

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