Led by Dr Larry Stillman, Dr Tom Denison and Associate Professor Gillian Oliver, the team worked with isolated Bangladeshi communities to support rural women through an interactive community information service – developing technical information applications for:

  • crops, livestock and disease alerts
  • agricultural and climate science
  • entitlement rights
  • housing and health.

Project objectives

  • To develop and implement an interactive mobile phone information system and responsive community ‘hub’ in Bangladesh for isolated communities in sand islands (char) and coastal communities as a model for further uptake.
  • To engage village communities, local NGOs, universities in Bangladesh, OXFAM and Monash University in Participatory Action Research (PAR).
  • To give agency to community voices via the interactive mobile phone information system. This resulted in meaningful change for people in poverty and drove change in communications and information system design and implementation, and in how other stakeholders work with an advocate on the part of these communities.
  • To develop significant practical and theoretical insights about information and communications, and PAR to share with the development and academic communities in Bangladesh and beyond.
  • To evaluate and demonstrate positive effects on community capacity.

Research in Action