This project creates a globally networked, participative knowledge system for sustainable development. Internet based, it also enables access by email and text-only users. It builds capability for increasingly sophisticated electronic information access by independent sector organizations in India, as a pilot for other developing areas. It increases local content and South-North information flows.
What are the strengths of this proposal?
Reviewer 2: A tool for sustainable development encompasses literally everything. The project would benefit from more modesty and specificity.
The five workpackages are detailed on the following pages. First is a summary showing person months of effort for each partner.
Reviewer 1: Annex 11 does suggest that some analysis has been carried out as part of INFO2000 and it would have been extremely valuable to view the substance of this.
The analysis to date has been based on three principal sources: (1) current user statistics (ie user demand for existing services), some of which have been discussed in "Addressing real user questions", below; (2) informal survey of the information industry, and (3) hands-on experience and day-to-day information.
Reviewer 3: Clarification required on definition of precise evaluation indicators
The following is a list of proposed evaluation indicators. Others may be added.
Adherence to schedule, reporting and invoicing/payment
Link backs from other sites
Local documents online
Increase in text / linkages
Reviewer 1: The proposal is heavily weighted towards report-based deliverables, not to the development of useful and widely available knowledge. The effort required in this respect should be balanced with what can be achieved through standard Bank supervision.
It is not clear what "report-based" means in relation to the intentions of this project. The essential deliverables of this project are electronic information services which generate "reports" or profiles to users on demand. The only reporting proposed is to chart the project’s progress.
Reviewer 1: There is little mention of the role of metadata and the essential feedback loop which this service will facilitate through its relationships between in-country data sources and international information networks.
Early involvement of local partners
Reviewer 3: The partnership with actors in the developing countries is not enough developed. It is not something that should come after developing the product but before, because what is at stake is the capacity of the partners to accept and appropriate the product and use it extensively. They will not be able to do so if they are not closely associated to the development of the product and trained to modern information technology required by the product.
Partnership with international organizations
Reviewer 1: Surprisingly, the proposal doesn't attempt to overcome the financial paradox described above by fully addressing the potential role of partnerships with international organizations (e.g. The World Bank) which have a responsibility (albeit a newly-defined one) to provide knowledge-based services to their clients.