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Strengthening the knowledge and information systems of the urban poor

March 2002

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Presents the findings of a research project that focused on the information needs of the urban poor, and the information sources they access. The study found that the main sources of information were social networks, key informants, and infomediaries. It considers the role of information and communication technologies (ICTs), and impact assessment methods. It ends with suggestions for development agencies seeking to share their knowledge and information with the urban poor

Can ICTs help the urban poor access information and knowledge to support their livelihoods?


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This paper is based on a research project undertaken by ITDG and funded by DFID in to the knowledge and information systems of the urban poor. Using an action research approach, the research team found that the urban poor do require knowledge and information to improve their livelihoods, but there are gaps in what is offered; that social networks are the biggest information source, followed by key informants; that a wide range of 'infomediaries' supplies information, but again their are gaps; and that although there are a number of cases of strengthening the knowledge and information systems of the urban poor, ICTs are not yet playing a major role here


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