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Indian Journal of Social Research Vol. 59 (5) (Sep. - Oct., 2018) (597-608) 

Empowerment Assessment Tool for Evaluating ICT Projects in Aquaculture

P. Mahalakshmi

Senior Scientist
ICAR-Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture
75, Santhome High Road, R.A. Puram
Chennai – 600 028, India

T. Ravisankar

ICAR - Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture
75, Santhome High Road, R.A. Puram
Chennai – 600 028.

B. Shanthi 

ICAR - Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture
75, Santhome High Road, R.A. Puram
Chennai – 600 028.

Ashok Kumar 

ICAR - Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture
75, Santhome High Road, R.A. Puram
Chennai – 600 028.
 

Abstract

 

It is widely acknowledged that Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have the potential to play a vital role in aquaculture development in coastal areas. Several ICT projects have attempted to adopt these technologies to empower the farming communities through which they gain access to decision making processes. Quality of service is very important for such ICT projects yet very difficult to assess the empowerment in the forms of social, political, psychological, technical and economic due to its diversity, complexity and intangible nature. In this backdrop, an empowerment assessment tool comprises of five factors viz., social, political, psychological, technical and economic was developed based on the literature, interviews and group meetings with users and operators of ICT projects for evaluating the ICT projects in aquaculture. In order to validate the tool we conduct a study on four ICT projects viz., Village Knowledge Centre of MSSRF, Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu, Village Knowledge Centre of MSSRF, Pudhucherry, Community Learning Centre of Self Employed Women’s Association, Gujarat and Communication Information Centre, Odisha. The opinions of 88 ICT participants on social, political, psychological, technical and economic empowerment dimensions have been investigated by means of a survey questionnaire. The results revealed that except political and economic empowerment all other factors are visible among the users of ICT projects. The study also revealed that the tool that comprises of five factors of empowerment in coastal areas is useful for analyzing the users of ICT project experiences in these forms of empowerment. 

Keywords: ICT, Empowerment, Social, Political, Psychological, Technical, Economic.

 

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