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The Bihar Innovation Lab

Healthcare is the one clearly visible case where states and governments have the responsibility to provide a complex set of
services and may therefore benefit from innovation approaches to improving those services. But what applies to healthcare will also apply to Water and Sanitation, to Agriculture, to Financial Services for the Poor, to Education and other areas where the greater social good is tied to an improved delivery of services, using technology tools as and where possible. The Bihar Innovation Lab serves as a case study for an Institutional Imperative for Innovation. To read more download here.

Mobile Health Card

The rural health care system in India, along with many other complex social service institutions operating in India, needs better tracking tools to mark the identity of its beneficiaries. The current approach is paper-and-pen based, requiring extraordinary effort and time on the part of frontline healthcare workers and unnecessary duplication of effort. Two key surfaces are used to track the delivery of services to the beneficiary: the register (system copy) and the health card (user copy). The paper reviews the Routine Immunization (RI) card system and suggests several new directions that could employ mobile technologies to accomplish the existing functions of the RI Cards, while also improving immunization rates. The solutions proposed as well as there likely success are discussed in greater detail in the paper.

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Mobile Enabled Learning

The paper exemplifies the dynamics of M-learning and its pedagogical implications within the Indian rural education ecology. It seeks to benefit various stakeholders in the education, telecom, rural industry and policy making sectors by providing meaningful insight into the macro and micro challenges and proposing innovative application, service and system solutions to address the same.

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Domesticating the Desktop

Although ICTs are being experimentally deployed at a number of locations in South Asia, more successful interventions appear to involve certain deformations and adaptations of modular ICTs to suit the needs of new rural users. This process of domesticating standard, average, normative, urban and globalized technologies, usually employs three common strategies:

1. community rather than individual ownership
2. human-mediated rather than direct access
3. multiplex rather than text-intensive formats

Contrasting the aural, oral, visual, corporeally stylized, multiplex, collective, and interactional quality of popular forms of media in rural India, with simplex, monologic, textually-intensive bureaucratic kind of ICTs, we suggest that alternative audio-visual forms must be invented by project planners, personnel and users through the transcendence of existing ideologies of technology, literacy and social hierarchy.

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