The remote communities in the villages of developing countries have very less impact of the current global information explosion. Despite the massive rate of telecom penetration in the urban areas, IT services still remain far short of meeting total demand and serving these areas.
To date, however, scholarly discourse on Information Communication and Technology (ICT) use in rural communities in developing countries has, for the most part, been limited to the conventional discussion regarding the gap that exists between the “haves” and the “have nots,” often referred to as the digital divide (Onitsuka et.al., 2018). This study therefore will examine the access and impact of the ICT project in rural Nepal, explore how it has influenced the community and study the change in social patterns by taking a case of Nepal Wireless Networking Project. The project has been working to ensure the information access to the people at the grassroots levels. Since 2002, it has been working to bridge the digital divide in Nepal by providing ICT access to rural areas through wireless technology.
Roger’s Diffusion of Innovation theory will help to determine the factors that influence the adoption/rejection of the wireless technology while Sen’s Capability approach theory will help to understand whether the wireless technology has enhanced freedom of an individual/ community in the area where technology has been adopted and has influence in the socio-economic development.
This study will help to understand if the development projects related to ICT has helped in the factors that contribute to socio-economic development mainly education, health, employment and income. The study will explore how the introduction of wireless technology in remote villages has influenced the community, helped in reducing or bridging the digital divide, what has been the change in social patterns and its impact in socio-economic development after the introduction of wireless technology.
For the study, methodological triangulation of qualitative and quantitative research methods will be used. The research will conduct a qualitative case study of the Nepal Wireless Networking Project in Myagdi district of Nepal, in-depth interviews of 10 key personnel, survey of 120 households in the district, 3 focused group discussions and 5 participant observation.
The findings of the study will contribute to understand the adoption and rejection of the new technology, help in analyzing factors that contribute in bridging digital divide and is also expected to provide valuable information on what the government, policy makers, development organizations and private organizations can do to make best use of ICT for socio-economic development.