Tag Archives: Peru

Peru ICT4D Resources

1. The National ICT Strategy in Peru is called Perú: Plan Nacional Estratégico de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación para la Competitividad y el Desarrollo Humano 2006-2021

Created by Jesús Hurtado Zamudio and last updated on July 5, 2012 (Language: Spanish)

Report from the President, Dr. Benjamín Marticorena, of CONCYTEC (Language: Spanish)

2. Administration by the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación Tecnológica (Language: Spanish)

3. Tortas Perú is an ongoing project, a website and network run by Maria del Carmen Vucetich with participants of many Peruvian women.

As told by The Christian Monitor and The Information Technologies and International Development Journal

4. Other resources:

Journal of Technology Management and Innovation

Business Monitor International: Peru Information Technology Report

The Global Information Technology Report

5. Finding resources for Peru was not incredibly hard, as long as you are able to read Spanish.  As the ICT field  grows in Peru I expect they will have more resources with which to work. Especially updates on the plan that extends to 2021.

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OLPC in Kasiisi: Successful, or just more successful?

In 2009 when I was in Kibale, Uganda, I saw the first 100 laptops being distributed to the Kasiisi School as part of the Kasiisi Project. After our class discussion, I wanted to learn more about how OLPC worked out in Kasiisi. This video gives a brief overview of OLPC in the context of the Kasiisi Project:

There were a few key differences between the way OLPC was implemented in Peru and the way it was implemented in Kasiisi that I was excited about. To start, the very first thing the video says is that it is about giving a kid a laptop and teaching them how to use it. Originally, OLPC seemed to think that for the most part, if you give a kid a laptop they should be able to teach themselves how to use it. As many of the children receiving these laptops have never had any sort of experience with this kind of technology, this is a pretty unreasonable assumption. I’m glad that Kasiisi valued teaching the kids how to use the laptops, ignoring the assumptions of OLPC. Second, they included teacher training as a part of implementing OLPC in the Kasiisi Schools. This gets teachers involved in the process of implementation, another major issue with OLPC. If teachers are involved, the computers can actually be used in the classrooms for educational purposes. If teachers don’t even know how to use the computers, there is no way to incorporate them into the classroom and it is unlikely that they can serve any significant educational purpose. Finally, the students were so excited about using the laptops that the program actually improved school attendance because students had to go to school to use them.

At the same time, the video points out a few of the issues that were also seen in other places that OLPC has been implemented. These first 100 laptops would follow the P5 class, but the incoming class would probably not be able to receive laptops. The first laptops were part of a very generous donation, but clearly this donation could only benefit a select group of students. Another issue that I witnessed that wasn’t mentioned in the video was the worry that if the children brought home the laptops, they would be stolen or sold. Also, at the time that this project was implemented, the school did not have main electricity. The computers had to be powered through a generator, which was incredibly slow and meant that their use was very limited. While Kasiisi had more success than Peru, it is clear that some major issues still need to be addressed before the project can be successful.


Critical Thinking About ICT4D: A Case Study

As mentioned in our lovely textbook, the Intermediate Technology Development Group, now known as Practical Action, is one of the few programs using ICTs to provide the information needs of the poor people, not the donors.  The reason most projects do not focus on the demand side is because “people cannot ask for things of which they are not aware or have not yet experienced.” (Unwin, 57).  The important point to take from this blog post is that there are similarities in the needs of the poor in different countries, but there are also significant local differences in need and ability to gain access.

Therefore, with no further ado, let me introduce you to this organization by asking you to watch this hilarious two minute video on what they do in Peru, then we will move on to a case study in Zimbabwe (my country for this class)!

If you don’t want to watch the video, here is a short description of the organization: it is an NGO that uses ICT to challenge poverty in developing nations.  Enable poor communities to build their knowledge and produce sustainable solutions for things like energy access to climate change to enabling producers to create inclusive markets.

In a rural community in Zimbabwe, residents now have electricity, unheard of in most rural areas of the country. This is due to the implementation of a micro-hydro generator constructed by Practical Action Southern Africa, funded by the European Union.  It has provided life-changing scenarios in basic education, sanitation, and healthcare, not to mention the ease of television to receive the local news.   Before, one farmer had to travel 64 kilometers (39 miles) to find out the current market prices.  What is so very neat about this case study is that it is very sustainable (as well as renewable and good for the environment), meaning that this community can fix the system themselves and enjoy significant improvements in their lifestyles and prosper from their electricity supply.

Empowering poor individuals and marginalized communities is what one main goal of ICT4D should be, and this organization is a good example of an “appropriate balance between supply and demand, between the aspirations of those seeking to implement the initiative and the needs of those who will be using and implementing them.” (Unwin, 70).


Que No Te Roben

Crowdsourcing can be very useful in disaster response, as we have learned from our OpenStreetMap project. It provides humanitarian actors such as the Red Cross to obtain accurate information on affected areas in times of need, when traditional mapping is insufficient. However, crowdsourced maps have other uses as well. In Lima, Peru, a site entitled Que No Te Roben maps the location and manner of crimes throughout the city. It pinpoints successful robberies, escaped robberies, crime warnings, and car robberies. The map also has the locations of police offices where crimes can be reported.  This map can serve as a fast and simple avenue for communication between citizens and the city police. By looking at the pins, citizens know where is safe, as well as where to report crimes. Police can also benefit from the map by identifying problem areas with high robbery rates.

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The makers of this website not only use crowdsourced mapping to educate on crime in Lima, but also social media. They also run a youtube channel, a Facebook page, and a twitter account that all disseminate information on how to avoid becoming a victim of crime. The Facebook page has garnered about 3200 likes since it joined in March of 2010, and its Twitter has about 1500 followers since the same date. Considering that the population of Lima comes in at about 7 million people, the initiative has a long ways to go before these social media initiatives truly benefit the city as a whole. This initiative demonstrates another angle in which crowdsourced material and social media can be used to spread useful information to members of society, but also shows the challenges of becoming well known enough to effectively get the message out.


OLPC in Peru

As we discussed in class, the One Laptop Per Child initiative has made some progress in improving education, but also has some inherent flaws. Peru, as the country with the largest OLPC program, is a great case study to illustrate the successes and failures of the program. Peru is also a good case study for OLPC because of its large number of rural indigenous people, which is the type of population that the OLPC is trying to target.

In February of last year, the International Development Bank published a working paper evaluating the OLPC initiative in Peru. The evaluation was done over 15 months and encompassed 319 participating schools.

Successes:

– Out of all the schools that were elected for the project, 99% of students and 83% of teachers received laptops. This shows that there is very little corruption and inefficient allocation in regards to the program’s implementation

– Students who received laptops were found to be significantly ahead of those who did not in cognitive skills such as information processing speed and analytical capacity.

Failures:

– Although the majority of teachers received some initial training in how to use the laptops, most all participating teachers expressed a want for more training in regards to how to incorporate the laptops into the school’s educational program. Further training was promised, but two out of three schools have not received any additional training.

– Only about 50% of students actually ever brought the laptops home, as is one of the goals of the OLPC program. The main reason was that the school prohibited it. Students and parents were also afraid of damaging the device.

– Partly because teachers did not receive any training in how to involve the laptops in the educational curriculum, the computers were not used in the classroom on a very regular basis (17% used daily, 33% used 3 times a week).

– Probably the most disappointing failure was that there were no effects on test scores. Both math and language test scores remained the same as they had for the past years before OLPC was implemented, indicating a near zero effect on how the children are actually being educated.

These successes and failures demonstrate clearly the issues that we discussed in class regarding the Warschauer and Ames article. This case study shows that even in a country where OLPC has been accepted as a feasible and desirable education model, inherent problems still present themselves. Until the OLPC initiative can penetrate the curricular and administrative levels of education, there will continue to be a disconnect between the program’s utopian objectives and the reality of the results on the ground.


Peru National ICT Resources

Government Resources

It is difficult to find one complete national plan for Peru’s ICT sector, but there are many resources discussing various aspects of ICT implementation in the country. The most useful governmental sources are all in Spanish. 

1) El Programa Nacional de Tecnologías de la Información y Comunicación: La Agenda Digital Peruana.
Language: Spanish. Author: José L. Segovia Juaréz, CONCYTEC, INICTEL. Date: November 2010

2) Plan Nacional Estratégico de Ciencia, Tecnología, e Innovación para la Competitividad y el Desarrollo Humano 

Language: Spanish. Author: Ministry of Education. Date: 2005.

3) Plan de Desarrollo de la Sociedad de la Información en el Perú: La Agenda Digital

Language: Spanish. Author: CODESI. Date: March 2005.

4) Peru: Tecnologías de Información y Comunicaciones en las Empresas 2006-2007

Language: Spanish. Author: National Institute of Statistics and Information (INEI). Date: 2009.

5) Impactos de las Tecnologías de Información y Comunicación en el Perú

Language: Spanish. Author: Adolfo Roquez, INEI, ONGEI. Date: July 2001.

Government Agencies

There are several government agencies in Peru that deal with ICT. Below are some of the most important ones. Their sites are all in Spanish. In addition, the Peruvian National Institute of Statistics and Information (INEI) is listed as it is a valuable resource in collecting data about ICT use and demographics in the country.

Non-governmental Resources

There are a good number of non-governmental resources concerning Peru’s ICT policy and practices. Many of these are in English, which is helpful since all of the governmental resources are in Spanish. A few of the resources that have been found to be useful are included below.

1) ICT Policy and Perspectives of Human Development in Latin America: the Peruvian Experience

Language: English. Author: Edgar Ferrer. Date: 2009.

2) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for development of small and medium-sized exporters in Latin America: Peru

Language: English. Author: Carlos Daniel Durand Chahud, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. Date: December 2005.

3) Peru: IP Telephony and the Internet 

Language: English. Author: Arturo Briceno, International Telecommunication Union. Date: No Date.

Additional Notes

There is a wealth of information available about ICTs in Peru and Peru is an interesting case study thanks to its growing economy and push, in many cases, for increased ICT use, despite ongoing centralization and lack of infrastructure in the rural areas. However, I would hesitate before choosing this country if you are not able to read in Spanish as some of the most important resources are in Spanish without reliable translations. If you can utilize the Spanish-language resources, this is a great country choice! 


CAMELTEC: Minimizing the Effects of Climate Variability in Peru

This case study focuses on radio’s contribution to the livelihoods of Alpaca farmers in the Peruvian Andes. Over recent decades Alpaca farmers have seen an increase in climate variability, which has led to a set of cold spells that have killed livestock, reduced birth rates, introduced new diseases, and reduced yields of their herds. In 2008 the Peruvian NGO Desco joined with Oxfam GB to pilot the CAMELTEC project “aiming to address technological, social, political and institutional issues that affected these communities.” CAMELTEC was based around information access–using radio to offer meteorological warnings and advice on how to reduce the impact of climate variability on animal death. Radio broadcasts were provided in preparation of weather events and throughout the events themselves. Additionally, CAMELTEC offered information on market pricing for alpaca wool, institutional support from local governments and more.

Specifically, CALEMTEC applied this information through a weekly radio broadcast called Amanecer Alpaquero (Alpaca Farmer’s Daybreak), provided in both Spanish and Quechua (the most important indigenous language of the region). This program was popular not only because of its informational value, but because of its use of humour and music. The program also offered women a unique opportunity to provide input, giving farming women opportunities for learning which were unavailable before because of cultural and family reasons.

This radio program was very successful, reaching around 2,000 people instantaneously at a very low cost (only $900 a month). More than 80% of respondents said the tuned in weekly to the show and since the start of CAMELTEC the mortality rate of alpacas has been reduced from 18% for adults and 25% for calves to 12% overall, saving about $500 worth of livestock per farmer.