Websites that really reach the poor


March 10th, 2014

In contrast to Nepal’s hands on – ground based strategy for knowledge sharing, our colleagues in Peru, have made fantastic use of websites and portals over recent years to promote knowledge on appropriate technologies.

In addition to their main Spanish language site Soluciones Practicas they also run specialist sectoral sites – one for dairy, one for coffee, one for livelihoods in the forest,  and one for renewable energy. These specialist sites are incredibly popular and effective. Their work has been so successful that they now have other organisations coming to them for advice and support. When Peru’s First Lady was looking for someone to build a website to support the international year of Quinoa – she came to Practical Action.quinua.org

The team have also been involved in online learning through the Peruvian Ministry of Production’s Innovation in Woodwork centre . This is a new initiative and the first 24 students graduated just before Christmas. And UNEP have commissioned us to provide an Ecosystem-based adaptation community of practice bilingual portal  with unique simultaneous translation of user generated comments.

Having these dealings with external bodies has helped us with our own innovation (some have SMS facilities, some have an app), but also allow us to play a wider role in making knowledge systems work better for poor communities.

In total since April 2012. The Spanish language websites have delivered more than 2.5 million downloads. Some people think that web based materials can be of only limited value to poor communities – but a significant proportion of our users are NGOs, micro-entrepreneurs and other infomediaries/knowledge brokers who can take the materials out into poor communities where there is no web.

One government worker from Bolivia recently said of the information he had found on our websites: “The publications on the operation and maintenance of micro hydroelectric power plants have been useful for improving the handbooks we have designed for projects of this kind, also benefitting the peasant communities we work with in Bolivia.”

One response to “Websites that really reach the poor”

  1. smruti ranjan das Says:

    A group of fisherwomen on the verge of producing 8 tonnes of dry fish weekly,can you help them in marketing their produce to distant market in a branded form

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