Information and Communication Technologies for Rural Development: Issues and Options

The report is based on field visits, interviews with local and central government and non-government organizations and desk reviews carried out between December 2004-April 2005. It aims to identify policies, technologies, institutions and investments needed to improve access to information and communication technologies (ICT) in rural areas in Indonesia. A critical part of this study is a gender specific component, to ensure that the strategies developed and recommended are informed by a comprehensive gender analysis, and further integrate gender considerations into national ICT policy, planning and implementation.

While it is fully recognized that ICT cannot be a panacea, it is expected that the development of an engendered rural ICT strategy will empower rural Indonesian women by improving their access to information and communication, expanding the market base, enhancing access to education and training, enhancing employment opportunities and ultimately contributing to gender equality in access to ICT. The strategies developed by this gender analysis follow four broad aspects:

Policy dialogue: Where gender experts facilitate the development of gender-sensitive strategies for rural information systems through outreach to potential partners, and provide recommendations for interventions to facilitate the development of shared perspectives and priorities between the Government of Indonesia (GOI), civil society, the donor community, and the private sector.Leveraging resources: To identify opportunities for collaboration with the private sector in resource mobilization, as well as establishing multi-stakeholder partnerships that can contribute to the successful implementation of ICT access projects in rural areas. Institutional Strengthening: To ensure that Government, national regulatory and other entities involved in the governance of the ICT sector have the necessary capacity to analyze and incorporate a gender perspective in the policy making and planning processes. Improving Livelihoods of Rural Women: To examine and identify innovative ways in which ICT can be used to improve income-earning opportunities for women entrepreneurs in small and micro-enterprises in rural areas as well as women farmers. This includes a focus on two important aspects: a) development of relevant local content; and b) choice of technology, including innovative ways to combine traditional technologies such as radio, video, CD-ROMs, and printed matters to reach the illiterate and the poor in rural community tele-service centers (CTCs).
To ensure that country's rural ICT policy and programs address the particular needs of rural women and gender equality goals are integrated in Indonesia's national E-strategies, the report presents recommendations in four main areas:
Connectivity and access to informationCapacity building and ICT in education. Use of ICT for grassroots women's organizations. Gender mainstreaming and ICT.
Publication date: 
Friday, December 8, 2006
Year of publication: 
2005