Marginalized communities are communities in underserved areas, both urban and rural, that include the following target groups, among others: Women, Persons with Disabilities, Unemployed, Poor, Youth, Elderly, Immigrants and Micro-enterprises.
Marginalization can be defined as not belonging to the mainstream culture, and thus lacking the “social capital” to partake from the benefits of a society and to have an effect on its culture.
Information and communication technology provides a broad range of powerful tools to enhance both the knowledge and communication dimensions of development. There are priority areas in which ICT potential could be harnessed for the reduction of poverty, opportunity, empowerment and security, opportunity makes markets work better for the poor and expands poor people’s assets.
Empowerment makes government institutions work better for poor people and removes social barriers.
Security helps poor people manage risk. The wide reach of ICT infrastructures, such as the Internet, radio and television enable the delivery of education to isolated rural areas, and information technology training is beginning to be offered at rural and disadvantaged communities.
ICT access points can act as vehicles for launching various services for empowering disadvantaged communities through networking and sharing of information and knowledge. Such services may include informal ICT-based training and specific applications in areas such as e-agriculture, e-learning, e-health, e-business and e-government.
ICT access points need to be designed to form nodes of a knowledge network.
ICT access points should serve as development hubs for exchanging business and marketing information.
Access to (ICT) applications and services and systematic knowledge-sharing in marginalized communities and rural areas is either non-existent or very limited. Individual and household access remains out of reach in the vast majority of rural and disadvantaged communities, in particular for women and people with disabilities. Communal access points have been built in different localities around the world, under different labels, such as telecentres, access point centers and multi-purpose communication centres; in some cases these facilities have revolutionized communities by creating new opportunities for socio-economic development.
Therefore, community access points are seen as cost-effective tools in the realization of those socio-economic development goals where information dissemination and access are important.
Telecenter at the Margins
ICTs can be used to reach marginalized groups (social, economic, cultural, gender and others..) to benefit people in disadvantaged communities. The overall availability of ICT can contribute to deepen the gap between served and underserved areas, it can be useful to provide better possibilities to empower individuals to become active participants in their societies. therefore, we are accountable to deploy our efforts to enable marginalized benefit from ICTs through creating awareness about the benefits and opportunities offered by ICTs among marginalized, capacity building in ICT use, setting up projects or initiatives aimed at increasing marginalized access and use of ICTs, encouraging to taking up ICT opportunities.
We have responsibilities and multi tasks for increasing connectivity and participating with a lot of telecentres, ICT access point centers and knowledge centers that are relevant to the work and activities at large and participating in programmes focused on empowering women, persons with disabilities, unemployed, poor, youth, elderly and marginalized groups in the utilization of ICT. " Telecentre women: Digital Literacy Campaign " good initiative for promoting women in marginalized communities.
The best way is working and collaborate with experts and stakeholders who belong to marginalized groups and design methodologies in developing technologies for the marginalized groups
Intends to increase the involvement in this process of disadvantaged communities by encouraging and promoting the dissemination knowledge through creating access points to knowledge that pertains to key areas of sustainable development such as employment, education, gender and health.
Intends to increase and provide marginalized and low income females and youth equal opportunities to learn and be involved in models for building community skills also, increasing capacity building efforts that focus on implementing regional projects that are related to the creation of enabling environments, improving the Information Society.
Intends to increase awareness, confidence, access to education and training opportunities, motivation and communication and social skills in disadvantaged communities.
ICT and Poverty in Marginalized Communities
To make ICT work for poverty reduction and development, it needs both affordable, market-driven infrastructure and multi-stakeholder efforts at all levels to help poor, disadvantaged and marginalized people use the whole range of ICT according to their priorities and demands.
Commonly, poor and rural communities are marginalized in this era of global integration by being denied access to ICTs..
Deployment of ICT in marginalized communities require more than ICT equipment donations or the funding of specialized programs of the centre; there is a need to pay more attention to the centre's sustainability. Many factors that could be considered as risks to ICT and poverty in marginalized communities, there are barriers and many and political challenges face the development of marginalized communities.
ICTs solutions for poverty will be designed to support the poor, qualities of technologies can help to involve different social groups and position them as valuable members of the communities. The main factors of solutions through creative shaping and active use of ICT by marginalized people.
ICT and Challenges in Marginalized Communities
In the fact the marginalized and the poor in disadvantaged communities are at margins and not fully have idea how to use ICTs to empower and promote themselves and this is where the main challenges; low literacy rates and lack of information and weak knowledge base and knowledge exchange in disadvantaged communities, the lack of understanding and awareness on the importance of ICT and knowledge in developing, weak facilitate partnerships and capacity building especially in disadvantaged and rural areas.
The lack of mechanisms that would enable disadvantaged communities to generate and share information with other communities for national and international development.
International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology (IJEDICT), 2005, Vol. 1, Issue 3, pp. 19-41.
United Nations, Knowledge networks through information and communication technology access points for disadvantaged communities, 29 April 2005