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.
The infoDev INTERCEPT project is the development of an Internet-based information system covering sustainable development topics. The project couples building knowledge with building online access to that knowledge. It will be initially trialled in India within the evolving DAINET system of Development Alternatives (DA), which provides increased connectivity and information access for the underserved independent sector organizations in South Asia.
The project aims to accelerate the transition of this significant market segment of telephone, fax and basic email users towards fully automated information services during a decade when most would not have this opportunity. It will increase both access and exposure to networked communication services, in India and globally, and build capacity for their use by NGO groups. These aims will be achieved by developing software tools that seamlessly bridge non-automated and automated systems, by designing interface layers that improve ease of access and by providing interactive support services, both personalized and automated.
The project will also build Indian knowledge bases on two issue areas and establish these in regional datacentres within the DAINET system. The Indian information content will be linked with the global knowledge system of the Union of International Associations (UIA), which incorporates automated procedures for user feedback and participation in knowledge creation. This will increase Indian participation and online content and enhance south-north information flows.
INTERCEPT is market-oriented within a non-profit context. It will explore several levels of financial sustainability by (i) distinguishing between government, non-government and private sector end-users and (ii) combining sponsorship and partnership agreements (notably for national and sectoral support programmes), organisational franchise schemes (for commercial development of micro-infoenterprises in the private sector), and on-line transaction schemes (non-monetary and exchange) for use in the non-government sectors.
This activity builds upon the existing environmental information system being created through a four-partner INFO2000 project (40% EU funded) and in its first full year is significantly supported by INFO2000. INTERCEPT also builds on the international network relations and further electronic communications systems of key project partners (UIA / WCMC / DA), involving several thousand organisations and environmental agencies internationally.
It is intended that INTERCEPT will support (i) policy-making at the government level in developing countries (through the use of internationally-relevant information sources); (ii) programme planning at the INGO and NGO level (through contextually-oriented environmental planning support); (iii) provide strategic information to the development of environmental service sectors (commercial) in developing countries and (iv) information sharing between developing countries and enhance their contribution to international knowledge.
The project will also produce a CD / Web-based package for international distribution.