The e-Society programme was implemented under eSri Lanka programme to promote the innovative use of ICT to meet the social and economic needs of the most vulnerable communities in Sri Lanka; to develop approaches to scale up successful applications; and to empower civil society with affordable access to information, communication, and relevant local content.
These projects were initiated through a funding mechanism which includes three types of grant programmes – the Community Assistance Programme (CAP), Partnership Assistance Programme (PAP) and the Replication Assistance Programme.
Contemporary Sri Lanka whose national economy is significantly contributed to by the rural communities – in other words “taking the economy to the people”
Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have had a significant impact on the lives of people – bringing them closer together, making differences less important and amplifying economic activity and growth. However, rural Sri Lanka, where nearly 70% of the population lives, is yet to profit from these developments. The overall goal of the e-Society Programme is to promote the innovative use of ICT to meet the social and economic needs of the most vulnerable communities in Sri Lanka; to develop approaches to scale up successful applications; and to empower civil society with affordable access to information, communication, and relevant local content.
To use knowledge and information to move the centre of gravity of power, influence and opportunity, back to the rural masses, the following strategies are outlined:
- Raise awareness within society about the uses and benefits of ICT through a strategic communications campaign.
- Develop multi-stakeholder partnerships in ICT4D. These partnerships will network ICTA to other organizations and institutions that are engaged in promoting an e-Society.
- Establish a fund that will adopt a bottom up approach to solicit and develop innovative solutions using ICT to benefit rural poor, women, displaced persons.
- Introduce and mainstream ICT in rural communities to provide increased opportunities for economic growth and an improved quality of life.
- Enhance the capacity of stakeholders by developing & delivering appropriate training programmes.
- ICT services to meet priority needs for a specific community
- Local content, local languages and local radio programmes
- Training opportunities for women and youth
- Social entrepreneurship opportunities for local communities
- A communication platform for cultural dialogue
- Utilizing community capacity to implement projects and meet local needs
- Increased awareness among disadvantaged groups on how ICT can benefit lives
- Increased participation at the grassroots level in developing villages and rural localities
- Development of partnerships between communities, civil society, public and private sectors.
- Increased economic opportunity and equity through wide use of ICT in agriculture, health, education
- Empowerment of women and youth