2020, Vol. 5 Issue 2, Part DECEMBER
Use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in improving livelihood of marine fisher-folks in India: evidence from Reliance Foundation development intervention
Author(s): Bharath Kumar Kotta, Ganesha H. S., Abhijeet Thakare, Balakumar Sudalaimuthu, Chittibabu Nagulapalli, Deepak Kekan, Dibyakanta Nayak, Mugilnilavan Palani, Suresh Adiga
Abstract: The article presents evidence of a development intervention that used Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and improved livelihood of marine fishermen in India. The intervention empowered fishermen by providing information on weather forecast and fish shoal that respectively supported them in taking decisions to venture into sea and getting additional fish catch thereby improving their livelihood. It used various ICTs, both conventional and digital, to reach out to fishermen in a format that is comfortable and provides equitable access to those with different educational levels. An evaluation conducted to measure outcomes of the program used experimental research design that included fishermen who are subject to ICT intervention and fishermen who are not part of any intervention but access information from open sources. Adoption rate of critical advisories such as early warning and potential fishing zone was high among its receivers. Analysis found that the fishermen in the intervention group are four-times more likely to have used potential fishing zones, and thus were able to get additional fish catch by 26 percentage points with the support from ICT intervention. The use of ICTs for social development has its relative importance, as the engagement could be seamless despite any crisis as experienced currently.