Web - Internet tools
The web offers a powerful way to reach the "web-connected" fraction of your audience. Given issues of access, Extension and Development workers will be the primary target group - who then pass on the information they get to the rural communities.
Examples: e-Afghan Ag ; Cereal Knowledge Bank ; Infonet-biovision
The internet is a great way to deliver information in a range of forms.
The internet is a powerful way to provide comprehensive diagnostic tools, raise awareness and provide technical information in a range of forms (written, pictures, video).
The web is a powerful tool for reaching extension and development workers active with rural communities
Access to computers and the internet can be limited
People often need to physically see a technology to believe its potential for them.
Checklist - Developing your own Knowledge Bank (PDF)
- Why? Always ask why someone would use my site? Why would they do want I suggest? Why is this site needed?
- Audience - Focus? Clearly identify who is the audience and what is the information they need.
Start with the audience in mind – Have a clarity of both the system users and the ones they are serving. What are the needs and circumstances and what is the access to the tool?
Ensure each message is clear, simple, practical and doable.
- Demand driven? What is the information the audience needs and can use?
- Credibility? Is the information from a credible tested source? Valid under the conditions of the users?
- Accuracy Have a mechanism to ensure links are active and information correct
- Added value? What extra does your product add in terms of information already available – how does it make it easier for people to access and apply?
What are the incentives to use the system – are there other (better) options out there?
- Application and feedback Make sure the project is linked to those who are using the information and that they provide feedback on content, format and ease of use?
- Be open to criticism Listen to openly to feedback – You do not have to accept all suggestions – but evaluate if there is a valid point to be made – and if so respond to improve your system.
- User conditions? Does the technology match with the access options of the users?
Do you need material available in different forms – written, CD/DVD and/or web
- Site links. Regularly check and ensure all links are active. Broken links quickly reduce site credibility.
- Simplicity Keep simple and intuitive – include a search option.
- Sustainability? How will the project be maintained, updated and sustained?
- Project driver? Is there someone passionate about the project – committed to making sure it succeeds with support from institute or organization management? What happens if that person leaves?
- Acknowledgement? Acknowledge all those contributing – builds support and willingness to contribute
- Bells and whistles. Don’t get lost in the technology and the "bells and whistles" – ensure technology is appropriate to the user conditions.
The Rice Knowledge Bank - a case study Link