Using the sustainable livelihoods framework to analyze ICT applications for promotion of agricultural livelihoods of rural community in China
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This paper provided a contribution to theorizing ICT applications and rural development by applying a sustainable livelihoods approach. It is found to provide the basis not only for an information-centered understanding of ICT but also a means for broad analysis of rural development. The specific development issue analyzed is the role of ICT for farmers‘ livelihoods because it represents a viable route of increasing farmers‘ income and promoting the quality of farmers. This is reflected through increased and more diversified income streams for rural households. A case study of rural information project in Ningxia of China was presented to demonstrate what is the impact of ICT and how the ICT can impact on farmers‘ livelihoods. Under the analytical framework of sustainable livelihoods, the vulnerability of rural households of Ningxia, the changes of the capital assets including human, financial, physical, natural and social capital, the transformation process of social relations, institutions and organizations were analyzed. The functional role of ICT by using these assets within livelihood strategies and the livelihood outcomes were illustrated. The analysis of this paper was based on survey data from 628 households in nine counties of Ningxia. The results suggested that ICT may bring direct and indirect benefits for promotion of rural livelihoods.
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