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dc.contributor.advisorHill, Douglas
dc.contributor.advisorBinns, Anthony J
dc.contributor.authorChatbar, Rakhee
dc.identifier.citationChatbar, R. (2015). ICTs and Rural Development in South India: Problematising Empowerment, Social Capital and Volunteering (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractThis thesis examines the deployment of Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D) in rural India. It seeks to contribute to scholarly discussions in the field of ICT4D by examining one particular project, the M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation’s Village Knowledge Centres (VKCs) and the Village Resource Centres (VRCs) initiative in rural South India. Drawing from substantive field research conducted in the state of Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Pondicherry, this thesis examines the three key developmental outcomes of the VKCs initiative — empowerment, social capital, and volunteering. The thesis argues that the VKCs initiative has not successfully met the key development objectives as the opportunities offered are not transformative and do not alter existing structural conditions. This is because the micro-contextual variations within and across rural communities are not adequately integrated into the design and implementation of the project. The thesis also argues that the VKCs initiative in rural India is significantly impacted by larger global and national structures. A more robust engagement by the NGO that considers the inter-connectedness of institutional, social and cultural structures and micro-contexts is central to harness the potential of ICTs to deliver development objectives. In undertaking this study, the thesis makes the following research contributions. First, the thesis responds to scholarly demand for empirically based engagements as a key means to ascertain the potential of ICTs for development. Secondly, the thesis broadens the theoretical and empirical understanding of empowerment, social capital and volunteering in ICT4D. Finally, the thesis proposes a number of practical recommendations for policy makers. The thesis aims to contribute to research in ICT4D, studies on rural development in India, and to future strategies for incorporating ICTs more effectively in development planning and practice.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectDigital Divide
dc.subjectInformation Technology
dc.subjectRural Development
dc.subjectICTs for Development
dc.subjectRural India
dc.subjectHuman Geography
dc.subjectSocial Capital
dc.subjectTamil Nadu
dc.subjectInformation and Communication Technologies
dc.subjectSouth India
dc.subjectTelecentre Movement
dc.titleICTs and Rural Development in South India: Problematising Empowerment, Social Capital and Volunteering
dc.language.rfc3066en of Philosophy of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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