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Creating opportunity by connecting the unconnected : mobile phone based agriculture market information service for farmers in Bangladesh
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis is framed within the research area of Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D), which is concerned with how ICT can make a difference to the lives of the poor. This study focuses primarily on mobile phones and how they can be used as part of an Agriculture Market Information Service (AMIS) in order to provide crucial information to farmers in Bangladesh. AMIS principally collect, manage and disseminate agricultural market prices and related information through various processes and media. These services are mainly used by farmers. The research question of how mobile phone-based AMIS can be designed and deployed in order to improve opportunities for farmers in Bangladesh is investigated through a design science research approach in four steps; understanding the scope and challenges related to AMIS in least developed countries; diagnosing the situational realities of farmers of Bangladesh; understanding the process of adopting mobile phones and investigating market information practices and preferences in a rural context; and finally designing and implementing a mobile phone based AMIS and evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of it for the farmers of Bangladesh. In this thesis, development is viewed in terms of bringing about an in-crease in farmers’ capability set directed towards the utilization of resources for the purpose of production and trade. Information and knowledge are important drivers of development and poverty reduction: ICT can create new opportunities to expand the availability, exchange, and impact of information and knowledge. This thesis contributes to ICT4D research and practice through empirical findings, the design of an AMIS, test results, and the development of analytical tools. Its major contributions include an increased understanding of farmers’ attitudes and preferences towards the use of technology in general, and mobile phones in particular, and a broader understanding of ICT for human development in the context of poor rural regions.

Place, publisher, year, pages
Örebro: Örebro universitet, 2011. 185 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Informatics, 4
Keyword [en]
ICT4D, agriculture market information service, design science research, mobile phones, farmers, technology acceptance, artifact design, Bangladesh, least developed countries
National Category
Information Science
Research subject
Informatics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-17216 (URN)978-91-7668-822-9 (ISBN)oai:DiVA.org:oru-17216 (OAI)diva2:440147 (DiVA)
Public defence
2011-11-10, Hörsal Bio, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Informatics or ICT4D
Available from2011-09-12 Created:2011-09-12 Last updated:2011-10-18Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Agriculture market information services (AMIS) in the least developed countries (LDCs)
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Agriculture market information services (AMIS) in the least developed countries (LDCs) : nature, scope, and challenges
2010 (English)In: Electronic government / [ed] Maria A.Wimmer, Jean-Loup Chappelet, Marijn Janssen, Hans J. Scholl, Berlin: Springer, 2010, 109-120Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Rural growth is seen as an engine to drive the economy ofdeveloping countries and the use of Agriculture Market Information Services(AMIS) is believed to enable this growth. This paper is based on a literaturestudy and investigates the spread and use of AMIS in the least developedcountries (n=49) in terms of users, management, funding, infrastructure, anddata. We investigate success as well as failure aspects, and discuss the role ofnew technologies. Findings show that while new technologies can improvedissemination of information, collecting data economically and meeting highquality requirements remains major challenges. The study contributes byproviding a comprehensive view of the challenges of AMIS in developingcountries and an AMIS project evaluation matrix (IS-PEM) based on thefindings, which together contribute to improving the design of future projects.

Publisher, range
Berlin: Springer, 2010
Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 6228
Keyword
ICT4D, AMIS, agricultural market information systems, LDCs, Rural Development, IS Project Evaluation Matrix (IS-PEM)
National Category
Information Science Human Aspects of ICT
Research subject
Informatics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-12301 (URN)10.1007/978-3-642-14799-9_10 (DOI)978-3-642-14798-2 (ISBN)
Conference
9th IFIP WG 8.5 International Conference, EGOV 2010, Lausanne, Switzerland, August 29-September 2, 2010
Available from2010-10-22 Created:2010-10-22 Last updated:2011-10-18Bibliographically approved
2. Agriculture market information E-service in Bangladesh
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Agriculture market information E-service in Bangladesh : a stakeholder-oriented case analysis
2007 (English)In: Electronic government / [ed] Maria A. Wimmer, Jochen Scholl, Åke Grönlund, Berlin: Springer, 2007, 12 p.167-178Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper assesses an e-government project in Bangladesh using design-reality gap analysis and stakeholder theory. The project under study is anAgricultural Market Information System intended to provide timely and accuratemarket information to farmers, wholesalers, and retailers, for the purpose ofmaking actors more informed and markets more effective. The research questionsare; why did the system fail, and what, if anything, can be done toimprove it. The analysis shows deficiencies in both adaptation to stakeholderpreferences, needs and capabilities, as well as in project resources such as staffsupply and qualifications. Yet the project has been technically up-to-date andhas over time exhibited some learning as failures have resulted in adaptation tonew findings. This research suggests use of mobile technologies in combinationwith call centres and locally available human resources as the most importantfactors for success.

Publisher, range
Berlin: Springer, 2007. 12 p.
Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 4656
Keyword
eGovernment assessment, Agriculture Market Information Service, stakeholder theory, gap analysis, electronic government, mobile technologies, ICT4D, development
National Category
Human Aspects of ICT Information Science
Research subject
Informatics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-17270 (URN)10.1007/978-3-540-74444-3_15 (DOI)978-3-540-74443-6 (ISBN)
Conference
6th International Conference, EGOV 2007, Regensburg, Germany, September 3-7, 2007
Available from2011-10-18 Created:2011-09-18 Last updated:2011-10-18Bibliographically approved
3. Factors influencing the adoption of mobile phones among the farmers in Bangladesh
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Factors influencing the adoption of mobile phones among the farmers in Bangladesh : theories and practices
2010 (English)In: The International Journal on Advances in ICT for Emerging Regions, ISSN 1800-4156, Vol. 4, no 1Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Information Science
Research subject
Informatics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-12262 (URN)
Available from2010-10-19 Created:2010-10-19 Last updated:2013-05-16Bibliographically approved
4. Bangladesh calling
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bangladesh calling : farmers' technology use practices as a driver for development
2011 (English)In: Information Technology for Development, ISSN 0268-1102, E-ISSN 1554-0170, Vol. 17, no 2, 95-111Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Making farmers in developing countries more informed about market opportunities is generally considered an important step toward development of the agricultural sector and increasing individual farmers' income. Mobile phones are a useful technology for delivering such information, but are farmers ready? According to Sen [Development as freedom. In J. Ezer (Ed.), Gandhi's third assassination: Information and communication technology education in India (pp. 201-212)], human capability is the basic driver for development. This paper investigates, by means of a survey (n  =  420) to farmers in rural Bangladesh, what factors affect mobile phone ownership and use and what professional information is asked for. We find that access is very high, to a large extent through community use. Neither education nor income is a determining factor, but “modernity” - being young and/or having children - is. Even the very poor have access. Attitudes are very positive not just to the phones, but also to using them for professional information services. Hence, human capacity for development is there, as is technology. What is still lacking is the useful services adapted to the rural usage patterns and social context.

Publisher, range
London: Taylor & Francis, 2011
National Category
Information Science Human Aspects of ICT
Research subject
Informatics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-12294 (URN)10.1080/02681102.2010.526093 (DOI)
Available from2010-10-22 Created:2010-10-22 Last updated:2012-01-04Bibliographically approved
5. An agricultural market information service (AMIS) in Bangladesh
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An agricultural market information service (AMIS) in Bangladesh : evaluating a mobile phone based e-service in a rural context
2010 (English)In: Information Development, ISSN 0266-6669, E-ISSN 1741-6469, Vol. 26, no 4, 289-302Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The farmers' community in Bangladesh is one of the most deprived ones in terms of economy and access to social facilities. An agricultural market information service (AMIS) can be one of the important tools for reducing such social inequality by integrating the farmers with their markets more efficiently. Following the failure of a web-based AMIS initiated by the Government of Bangladesh and considering the wide availability of cellular networks, a mobile phone based AMIS was implemented on a pilot basis in some remote villages in Bangladesh. This paper evaluates the efficiency and effectiveness of this mobile service in terms of users, technology, process and facilitating conditions in a rural context. In general this is an interpretive case study as well as an evaluation research which is based on two small scale surveys and observations. Based on a literature review, a conceptual model is also applied for a systematic evaluation. Findings show that effectiveness of a rural e-service depends on the design and delivery of the service in accordance with the individual's information needs, adaptive technologies with easy accessibility within a given infrastructure, affordable services with a rational business model, adequate awareness and efficient communication with the respective community.

Keyword
agricultural market information services, mobile phone services, rural information services, farmers' information services, Bangladesh
National Category
Information Science Information Science
Research subject
Informatics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-12821 (URN)10.1177/0266666910385556 (DOI)000284688300004 ()
Available from2011-01-11 Created:2011-01-03 Last updated:2011-10-18Bibliographically approved

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Swedish Business School at Örebro University
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