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11 Dec 2014 | News

Winners of ICT for Mountain Development Award 2014

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ICIMOD is pleased to announce the four winners of the ICT for Mountain Development Award 2014. They are Avinash Jha and Sibjan Chaulagain from Nepal, Jayprakash Panwar from India, Suleman Mazhar from Pakistan, and HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, Nepal

ICIMOD called for entries for the ‘ICT for Mountain Development Award 2014’ on 5 June 2014. The award seeks to recognize ICT-enabled innovations, good practices, and applications that help promote mountain development and environmental conservation in the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) region. The awards were open to individuals or organizations that are making innovative use of ICT to promote mountain development in the HKH region. The award reflects the increasing importance ICIMOD places on the potential of ICTs to improve the lives and livelihoods of mountain communities. The announcement of the awards was slated for International Mountain Day, i.e., 11 December 2014, which is today.

Altogether 17 submissions were received, mainly from countries in the HKH region, under five categories: ecosystem services, livelihood, water, geospatial solutions, and ‘others’. The submissions were made by individuals and organizations, including INGOs, universities, government- and donor funded projects. A team of ICIMOD experts carefully reviewed and evaluated the submissions, which entailed going through online resources, references and attachments to corroborate the submissions. Four submissions were selected based on the criteria outlined during the call – the quality of content and creativity, innovative use of ICT, clear focus on use in the HKH region for mountain development, and impact on the ground. (See Table below)

We are honoured to present the awards in the presence of Dr Mahabir Pun, a pioneering social entrepreneur and Magsaysay Award Recipient, who made innovative use of ICT to promote education, health, tourism, income generation, agriculture, and rural energy in more than 175 villages in the Nepal Himalaya. ICIMOD presented a plaque to Dr Mahabir Pun recognizing his outstanding contribution on rural community development using ICT.

The winners will receive USD 250 along with a certificate of recognition.

The winners have brought to our attention ICT-enabled innovations and good practices that others can learn from, replicate, scale up, or use for the benefit of mountain communities in the region. Among the four winners, two are from Nepal, one is from India, and one from Pakistan. There is one winner each for three categories – livelihood, ecosystem services, and geospatial solutions – and one for a combined category representing various themes including water.

Details of the Winners of ‘ICT for Mountain Development Award 2014’

ICT for Agriculture

This is an SMS-based mobile system that provides farmers with real-time information on agriculture. It was implemented in Ratmata VDC, Sindhuli district, Nepal. The system also provides information on fair market price for farmers’ produce, traders’ offers, weather, and agro products. After successful implementation in Sindhuli, the team is now expanding the service to VDCs in Kavre and is looking for partnership to scale it up further.

Lead person/Organisation: Avnish Jha, Youth Council Civic Engagement Project carried o

ut by a team of fresh engineering graduates
Theme: Livelihood
Country: Nepal

Development of Geospatial Data-loggers for Monitoring Transhunamce Grazing Patterns

The team has used indigenously designed and developed low-cost GPS data-loggers to study climate change impacts on grazing communities. These cost-effective, power-optimized GPS collars were used to monitor and record the seasonal herding movements in northern Pakistan. One model obtains geo-locations from GPS satellites and transmits the data to a cell phone using GSM service, while the other saves geo-positioning information on an on-board removable SD-card.

Lead person/Organisation: Dr Suleman Mazhar, FCSE, GIK Institute, Topi, KP, Pakistan
Theme: Geospatial
Country: Pakistan

The Inside Stories of Mountains

Channel Mountain Communication (CMC) is a development communication organization that generates and maintains a large collection of digital resources on the environment, development, culture and social issues in Uttarakhand State, India. CMC explores a wide range of topics such as disaster, biodiversity, hydroelectric dams, migration, and culture, and disseminates its work through television and radio. It also maintains a vibrant presence in social media.

Lead person/Organisation: Jayprakash Panwar, Channel Mountain Communication, Dehradun, India
Theme: Ecosystem
Country: India

Web-based Inventory and Mapping of Irrigation Schemes

Using interactive web mapping technique, the SDC-funded ‘Local Infrastructure for Livelihood Improvement’ project implemented by Helvetas in collaboration with the Government of Nepal, has built or rehabilitated about 500 small farmer managed irrigation schemes in eight hill districts of Nepal namely, Dailekh, Jajarkot, Achham, Kalikot, Ramechhap, Okhaldhunga, Khotang and Dolakha. The website provides detailed information on each irrigation scheme.

Lead person/Organisation: HELVITAS Swiss Intercooperation, Dhobighat, Kathmandu
Theme: Livelihood+ Ecosystem + Water + Geospatial+ Management and Monitoring
Country: Nepal

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