A theoretical framework for rural knowledge centers
Exponential growth in ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) and establishment of RKCs (Rural Knowledge Centers) have been fast spreading across the globe. In the continuous process, there are tens of thousands of RKCs are being established by various agencies, to provide shared public access to ICTs for meeting educational, social, personal, economic and entertainment needs of the rural community. As most of these initiatives are relatively new, there are mixed opinions on the social and economic impacts of RKCs. There is also lack of good understanding on the conceptual and theoretical framework for planning and designing of RKCs. The authors conducted a study to fill this information gap by assessing selected ICT4D (ICT for development) project sites in rural India. Through the systemic analysis of the data and continuous interpretation of the observations, the study proposes a framework for planning and designing of RKCs. In this paper, the authors present the study results, and discuss the evolution process of RKCs and factors that influences planning and designing of RKCs.