A. Information and Knowledge Services:
Planning and implementation of Local Enterprise Development (LED) based on REEDiSA’s scientifically gathered and processed data:
- Database creation, Database analysis, scientifically processed information with our database software InTouch™.
- REEDiSA facilitates and is at the same time a conduit for, information-flow into and out of the bottom of the pyramid.
- We specialise in (but are not restricted to) enterprise-related data and grassroots market research.
- Our infopreneurs gather a wide spectrum of data in rural and peri-urban South Africa. (Eg: we recently surveyed 4000 micro and small enterprises in Vhembe, Limpopo and completed a project recording Indigenous Knowledge systems in Limpopo for Department Science and Technology.)
- We learned that many informal, public and private enterprises find it increasingly difficult to select reliable sources of information to match their needs. On the flipside, formal enterprises have difficulties to access reliable information on markets in emerging economies.
- With consistent access to reliable information LED becomes easier to plan, priorities can be clearly pinpointed and costly guesswork be avoided.
- Our data processing system inTouch™ is a powerful planning and convenient report-back tool to ease the load of reporting in development work. The same benefits applies to enterprises wishing to know and supply for specific needs and demands in rural communities and enterprises.
B. Advanced Information and Communication Technology services adapted for South African environment:
connectivity, training, education.
In 2001 the previous UN secretary Kofi Annan already said:
“New technology offers an unprecedented chance for developing countries to leapfrog earlier stages of development”.
REEDiSA has 30-plus years of back-up research and experience in grappling with the realities of ITC for Development (ICT4Dev) in SA. We’ve learned which technologies work best in which environments (and which not!) and continuously adapt our equipment and equip our Infopreneurs for the environments they work in. Our ICT enabled local networks can now be applied in connecting producers to markets, in training, education and in a number of other high value areas for development.
C. Change Agent through resident infopreneur networks:
- Local resource,
- social enterprise,
- facilitates behavioural change,
- change management,
- sustainable livelihoods studies,
- capacity building.
REEDiSA employ and deploy resident infopreneur-networks in rural and peri-urban South Africa. Infopreneurs are natural social entrepreneurs: local residents with local knowledge, speaking local languages (mostly 3-5), understand local culture and know what constitutes acceptable local ethics and operating strategies – culture and customs have an enormous influence on the on the impact of development, an aspect frequently being misunderstood and underestimated at great social and financial cost.
Our Infopreneurs’ skills in using adapted ICT equipment and their networking cross cutting through various overlapping fields positions them superbly as multipurpose agents of change and information, communication and distribution INTO and OUT of rural and peri-urban SA.
REEDiSA’s Infopreneurs are trained to use the well proven Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Outcomes Mapping approach as a management tool to focus and monitor desired outcomes. Equally suitable for big development projects as well as small enterprises, this potent tool focuses behavior on specific outcomes. In a participatory process in particular, buy-in of all stakeholders can be critical
Information and Knowledge services; advanced ICT services and change facilitation form part of a local economic development system and strategy and when integrated with broad enterprise development support, create a sustainable climate for economic growth.