Resource centres and knowledge nodes

Part of Practical Action’s ambition is to get information to as many people as possible. In order to do this, we not only put as much information up onto the Practical Action website as we can, but we also run a number of resource centres and knowledge nodes in the countries in which we work.

These points of information have acquired a number of names depending on their location and on what they offer. 

Larger centres are known as resources centres or libraries while some of the smaller access points are known as knowledge nodes or local knowledge centre. In Bangladesh you will see the name called Gyaner Haat while in Peru they may use the name infocabin. Practical Action’s knowledge centres are shown below:

Impact Assessment of Knowledge Centre - Bangladesh

We are living in a knowledge driven era. In today’s world one can learn and acquire knowledge from many sources, in most cases people are usually flooded with information but one not gaining enough knowledge at the time and place where it is needed most. The main purpose of this assessment were to measure the impact of technical enquiry services at the periphery of our two knowledge centers of Satkhira (Union Parished based) and Lalmonirhat (School based). An effective way to collect enquiry from ‘local knowledge centre’ and sort them to identify most frequently asked questions to solve rural people’s problems. Practical Action established ‘local knowledge centre’ on September 2007. The centre recorded and responded more than 4,000 enquiries from rural areas for the last 3 years. A survey was done by taking 20% recorded enquires in September 2010. Collected data was analyzed aiming to identify enquirer category, wellbeing status, problem themes and ultimately impact in livelihood status. It was identified that 56% enquirers were farmers, 17% were entrepreneurs and 2%, 1%, 3%, 21% were labourers, teacher, students and others (librarian, NGO staff, government officials, etc.) respectively. There were 44% enquirer passed secondary education, 28% had primary level educated, 8% enquirers having no formal education, 19% were graduate and education status of 2% enquirer were unknown. Most of the enquirers (83%) were marginal farmers, 11% were landless, 6% were medium and 1% was landlord. Mostly enquirer asked for solving agriculture (field crop, livestock and fisheries) related problems (54%), 31% wanted to know about new technology related to agriculture, 13% were interested to learn about familiar knowledge and 1.7% were asked to know about other information (how to learn computer, asked for vacancy announcement etc.). Thus this paper describes extend of impact in rural peoples.

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