USING ICT TO FACILITATE A SURVEY OF RURAL COMMUNITIES VILLAGE SAVING SAND LOANS ASSOCIATION SCHEMES IN NORTH-CENTRAL NIGERIA

S B Dapiap, J Aghatise, N Blamah, T Anazodo

Abstract


The striving to improve the socioeconomic livelihood of the rural poor in all fronts especially in Sub-Sahara Africa

by individuals, groups, institutions or governments is daunting but a continuous task. The means to carry out this task

is either available but untapped or available and explored or non-available. Technology is one amongst many means

that can improve the quality of lives. Information and communication technologies, ICTs have been with the people

of this region for over two decades but the exploitation of their applications to improve the quality of peoples’ lives

at the bottom of the socioeconomic pyramid may still be a far cry from what is obtainable in the developed economies.

Open data kit (ODK) on mobile phones and google map were used to facilitate data collection, data storage, data

visualization as well as locate participants in rural communities survey. The use of the ICTs reduced the burden of a

survey carried out by Oxfam in several communities in two states of North-central Nigeria involved in Village Savings

and Loans Associations (VS&LAs) schemes. The combination of the ICTs and statistical survey methods eased greatly

the burden of sampling, identification of participants’ locations, data collection, and data storage and retrieval. The

use increased transparency, developed participants skills, and boosted participants’ confidence in the associations’

schemes. In addition, it made data in a short time readily available for analysis and revealed to the participants and

organizers credible data that could informed lives improvement or developmental-oriented future decisions. With the

training of the participants on the use of the technologies that are readily available around them, such as the mobile

android phones, and subsequently put in to practice the knowledge acquired, their skills can only be improved to

explore further uses that will reduce poverty within their communities.

Keywords: Information Communication Technology, ICT-in-use, ICT for Development.


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