SUCCESS OF E-SRI LANKA IN RURAL ICT DEVELOPMENT: A STUDY OF E-NENASALA TELECENTERS IN RATHNAPURA DISTRICT

U. I. W. Komasaru, R. Abeysekera

Abstract


The government of Sri Lanka has initiated e-Sri Lanka Nenasala program with the objective of taking the dividend of ICT to every village. Even though the program has been operating for seven years, only a few studies have examined the success of this project. Primary focus of this study was on assessing the progress of e- Nenasala in achieving its objectives. This study attempted to explore the telecenter movement and its sustainability (financial, social and political) by identifying the interactions between key stakeholders. It also assessesed the extent to which the telecenters can reduce digital inequalities. Inductive approach provided the basis and the survey method was followed. The study employed Stakeholder Analysis and Framework as the key methodology to identify and analyze the stakeholders and their interactions in deciding the sustainability and success of the e-Nenasala program. Twenty two out of forty Nenasala centers in the Rathnapura district included in the sample and it was drawn as per the stratified proportionate method. Questionnaire based interviews conducted on site with center operator, users and non-users. Secondary data was collected from reports published by the ICT and related researches. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Findings show financial, social and political sustainability still remain as biggest challenges. Low usage of Nenasala services was also identified. The most important issue rooted is creating awareness. However the program achieved considerably good results in developing ICT infrastructure, ICT literacy levels and quality of life in far interior areas. If the needs of the rural communities are not correctly identified and solutions are not found immediately to ensure sustainability, then the objectives of the whole project may fail. Therefore a policy framework has been proposed to avoid such issues in future initiatives.

Key Words: Digital Inequalities, Telecenters , Sustainability, Stakeholders

For full paper: fmscresearch@sjp.ac.lk

 


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Faculty of Management Studies & Commerce