What we do

The Village Resource Centres and Village Knowledge centres (VRCs-VKCs), leverage best-fit Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), and function as a channel for information, knowledge, and skill transfer to rural communities. They bridge the knowledge, gender, and digital divides and empower the rural community by fostering participatory communication through lab-land, land-lab, lab-lab and land-land approaches

The goal of VRC- VKC is to promote equitable access to information and knowledge among households from socially and economically marginalized rural communities to make informed decisions and  improve  their livelihoods  through effective use of ICT in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Kerala, Odisha, Pudhucherry and Andhra Pradesh.

The VRC undertakes systematic need assessment to prioritize community needs with respect to livelihoods. Subsequently, the needs are addressed through ICT-driven interventions designed to deliver locale-specific information, knowledge, inputs, and institutional linkages.

The hub and spokes model ensures that accurate information, related to agriculture, fisheries, animal husbandry, health, and education, sourced from public and private knowledge partners, reaches the community at the right time to support informed decision making. Continuous feedback mechanism incorporates key learning’s and mid-course corrections into the project implementation.

ICT enabled Sector Specific Programmes

Fisher Friend Program

Fisher folk are one of the most vulnerable and isolated communities among the poor in India. Their social exclusiveness on account of geographical separation and cultural isolation contributes to poverty. The fishermen and women witness declining trends of livelihood security, increasing poverty and vulnerability leading to competition among different fishing systems, over exploitation and depletion of marine resources. Climate change and the rapid pace of development have further put these vulnerable communities at high risk. Fishermen live precarious lives, largely depending on the knowledge of sea, weather, and the market for their lives and livelihoods.

The Fisher Friend Programme (FFP) of MSSRF, since 2009, fills the void of a robust, holistic intervention by protecting fisher folk’s lives and fishing assets from occupational hazards, and empowering their livelihoods. The programme underscores the shore-to-shore approach by being a fisherman’s credible and accessible decision making support system, every step of his fishing experience. The FFP covers marginalized coastal communities in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Odisha, and is operational in English, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Odiya languages. The entire south-east coastline was selected based on diversity of needs, risks, vulnerability, disaster proneness, and destruction of biodiversity. Read More

NVA Fellows:

On 23 August 2003, the Jamsetji Tata National Virtual Academy for Rural Prosperity (NVA) was launched to bestow recognition on grassroots academicians and to create an enabling learning environment by bringing together experts and communities to ensure relevant knowledge permeate to every household at the right time.

Since its inception in 2003, the NVA has grown to acknowledge 1874 Fellows, (1173 men and 701 women) from 24 states and 3 union territories. The Fellows of the Academy are drawn from across the country and a few of them from other countries as well. They are not just awarded for their achievements but given a greater responsibility of effecting change within their respective communities. The Fellows are inducted into a lifelong learning process through regular need based capacity building initiatives to promote rural transformation. The Fellows have expertise on agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, education, micro enterprise etc. 

Research and Development

Technology is rapidly and dynamically changing the operational landscape of developmental interventions by dismantling traditional social, economic, and cultural barriers. To tackle the onslaught of global competitive market forces, IEC strengthened the Research and Development (R and D) wing that crowd sources technology, designs applications, develops and/or customizes need-based technology and software solutions, to address the knowledge needs of rural community identified through Village Resource and Knowledge Centres E.g. Wireless Public Address System, Integrated Pest Forewarning System (IPFS). The IPFS is a technological innovation that combines the computer server with scientific inputs of agriculture and meteorology to provide timely pest forewarning to the farming community.

GGA

In 2007, the partners renamed the Mission as Grameen Gyan Abhiyan (GGA) – Rural Knowledge Network, to sustain the momentum gained over the years. The GGA is a national level multi-stakeholder network that embraces and promotes diverse models of village knowledge centre movement. The focus of the GGA partners has been to take ICT to rural India on the principle of social inclusion. The strategies of GGA are leveraging resources across partners, capacity building, and facilitating consultative process.