By Digital Empowerment Foundation
Published on: Jan 16, 2023
The acute presence of information poverty in a rapidly growing digital world is a stark reminder of the need to upscale measures to tackle it. Aspen is a program designed to help in this endeavour.
Scaling up the measure and reach becomes critical when a large population is to be drawn into the sphere of the digital ecosystem, racing against time. The critical design component of DEF’s programs, of resting the responsibility of change on rural women by empowering them, has worked wonderfully when big communities need to be addressed and changed. There have been many success stories coming out of this approach.
Capacity building is a huge part of DEF’s programs to move closer to the vision of eradicating information poverty. Aspen program is designed to help in this direction to facilitate affordable access to digital and citizen services, particularly in the districts of North India.
Thirty women would be selected as infopreneurs from four Indian states in the North and training using a relevant course would be imparted to them. Each of these thirty women would further select fifteen women to whom the training would be passed down to. At the end of it, a cadre of 480 rural women information entrepreneurs would be created spread across the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Chattisgarh. These women will build capacities of local communities in the rural areas to consume, disseminate and produce digital content critically. It is hoped that 360,000 community members will be reached through these centres where access to entitlements, digital and financial services will be facilitated.