Looking Beyond “Information Provision”: The Importance of Being a Kiosk Operator in the Sustainable Access in Rural India (SARI) Project, Tamil Nadu, India

Janaki Srinivasan

Abstract


Information and communication technology (ICT)-based development projects are based on the premise that ICTs can reduce acute information asymmetries by providing information, and that this reduction, in turn, leads to economic development. However, is it in their role as information providers that such projects shape the most change? Based on a study of the Sustainable Access in Rural India (SARI) project in Tamil Nadu, I argue that this ICT-based kiosk project shaped change less by the provision of information to an entire community than by the spaces for interaction that it opened up specifically for female kiosk operators. In their role as intermediaries between the state and citizens, operators in this project started to see the state differently and were, in turn, perceived differently by the village community.

Keywords


information asymmetries, kiosk projects, Tamilnadu, egovernance, gender

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