Universal Connectivity Project (Phase II)

This project is funded by the Ford Foundation , South Asia Regional Office. The quality of the present Internet connectivity is at the bottom end of the international standard and global averages.

Framing pathways to IT infrastructure development in Nepal (Phase-2)

This project is funded by the Ford Foundation , South Asia Regional Office.

The quality of the present Internet connectivity is at the bottom end of the international standard and global averages. The user experience of the IT infrastructure on the ground is fraught with problems of feeble household Internet adoption and poor quality of service. To change the picture, the government plans for fostering IT through increased diffusion and by installing new infrastructure. Many projects are underway utilizing the universal service fund (RTDF) to extend connectivity. Many new infrastructure will also be built in the wake of recent elections utilizing RTDF, local and international funds. The current approach, however, appears to be unaware of findings from numerous infrastructure studies and unsustainable projects in the South Asian region. Infrastructure development efforts in Nepal have largely followed a top-down strategy. Such a development model is usually rigid and apathetic to both demand and use, and thus triggers complex socio-political struggles among actors for ownership, share or rent. Such models have also been seen as a move away from ‘self-sufficiency’.

Information technology is yet largely untested for the complex socio-political realities to derive any lesson for planning purposes, as is evident from the fact that many of the targets in the existing IT policy are global averages (or averages across developing nations) rather than ascertaining it from empirical studies. We believe parallels from infrastructure development initiatives in other sectors are necessary. The two-year project will conduct comparative historical analyses of both IT and related infrastructure (road and energy) in Nepal. It will pilot the collaborative bottom-up approach to develop local IT infrastructure plans in order to demonstrate the viability of an alternative to the dominant practice.

Researchers

Devraj Humagain

Devraj Humagain

Coordinator

Yogesh Raj

Yogesh Raj

Research Director

Nischal Regmi

Nischal Regmi

Researcher

Shailesh Pandey

Shailesh Pandey

Researcher

Bandana Gyawali

Bandana Gyawali

Researcher

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