Bringing the Outside World to the Remote Mountains: the Nepal Wireless Networking Project

This teaching case presents the story of the Nepal Wireless Networking Project (NWNP) and its effort to connect villages in remote areas of Nepal to the outside world. Despite lack of access to proper equipment, the fact that it was illegal to install wireless network, lack of technical competence and the difficult terrain in the Himalayan mountains, Mahabir Pun, the initiator of NWNP, succeeded in bringing Internet access to these villages which led to improvement in education, health services and income-generating activities. The case describes the development of NWNP from inception to today, the stakeholders involved, services provided, current challenges and ideas for future improvements. It illustrates the importance of the champion, the process to get stakeholders commitments, the importance of contextual understanding, and the challenges of scaling up from pilot projects to wider implementations in the context of developing countries.

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#This paper has won the Best paper award in IS education at the Thirty Third International Conference on Information Systems, Orlando 2012 (ICIS 2012).


Introducing Internet-Based Services in the Mountain Areas of Nepal: An Asset Pentagon Perspective

Information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) projects
can only be considered successful if they lead to some kind of individual, social,
or economic development. The beneªts of introducing ICT4D projects in
developing countries are yet to be realized, particularly those introduced in
mountainous and remote areas. Our study addresses this knowledge gap by
analyzing the Nepal Wireless Networking Project from the mountain areas in
Nepal using the assets pentagon model (APM). The main contributions of this
work are threefold: First, we illustrate and discuss the use and usefulness of
introducing APM, addressing the call for more clarity as to how ICT4D projects
add to development. Second, our study expands the research knowledge of
the relationships among various capital assets. Finally, our study reports on an
ICT4D project from the mountain areas of Nepal, representing a country and
an area that have been scarcely reported in our research community.

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Building collective capabilities through ICT in a mountain region of Nepal: where social capital leads to collective action


In this paper, we explore how ICT can lead to development specifically human development in Sen's capability approach. In answering to the critique that Sen views capabilities as the individual, we incorporate the societal level by adding collective capabilities. We propose that ICT helps to create or enhance SC of communities which in turn can lead to development by building collective capabilities through collective action. To illustrate, we conducted a qualitative case study of an ICT initiative in a remote mountain region of Nepal. We found support for our proposition and further that developing collective capabilities also simultaneously enhanced individual capabilities. We contribute to theory building by showing that not just the characteristics of SC, but also its form can promote collective action. We further illustrate that the SC and the capability perspectives are compatible and it is possible to read the two streams both simultaneously and complementarily.

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