Intercept: Proposal for infoDev activity

Compatibility of objectives

Reviewer 1: Key concerns exist about the financial sustainability of this venture and how these can be reconciled with the development objectives of infoDev.

It is not clear from the reviewer’s comments precisely why or how concerns about the financial sustainability of this venture and the development objectives of infoDev may need reconciliation. The concern over financial sustainability of the project is addressed later on. First we deal with compatibility of objectives.

We understand that the development objectives of infoDev to be to:

  • create market-friendly environments;
  • reduce poverty and exclusion of low-income countries and social groups;
  • improve education and health;
  • promote protection of the environmental and natural resources;
  • increase the efficiency, accountability and transparency of governments.

The table below sets these infoDev objectives against stated features of the information service to be provided by the project. Note that some of these features are contributed by the complementary projects INFO2000 and DAINET.

infoDev Development Objectives


Create market-friendly environments

  • provides market-oriented service: fee-based wherever possible or, at least, transaction-based (ie information for information)
  • differential pricing and variable cost packages (what the market segment will bear)
  • supports shift to electronic and automated information services
  • encourages spin-off development of info/eco-enterprises in India (profit and non-profit)

Reduce poverty and exclusion

  • empowers grass-roots development through extended access to information by Indian NGOs and CBOs
  • supports progressive upgrading of communication means for disadvantaged social groups
  • no exclusion on grounds of inability to pay
  • no exclusion for contributors of information
  • richer users "subsidize" poorer users
  • improves indigenous language access to information

Improve education and health

  • integrated with community education programmes, including training in Internet use (DAINET/Spinning the Web partners)
  • enables improved operation throughout India of social development NGOs who are DAINET partners

Protection of environment and natural resources

  • provides global information on environmental status, issues, solutions, best practices
  • stimulates new electronic networks for technical exchange at local, regional and national level in India (DAINET and others)

Efficiency, accountability and transparency of governments

  • democratizates governance through information dissemination
  • provides open and participatory information system