Rural ICT Development And National Level Implications

At the national level, a strong commitment to rural development policies is needed. To eliminate rural poverty and to obtain increased agricultural production, such steps as aspects of land reform may be introduced. This may even need a major political change. Government objectives should poor, low-income farmers and peasants. There should be coordination between national plans and rural and agricultural development programs projects under way in developing countries at present, very few of these developing nations have a well planned, well operated, articulate, systematic and efficient rural development program-me.

Often, in many developing countries, the relationships between input and output and also between the prices of agricultural products and prices in the other sectors of the economy are such that economic growth is not stimulated in the rural areas. Frequently, manufacturing and processing industries are favored at the expense of agriculture. Thus raising costs of inputs such as fertilizers, etc and making the adoption of new technology and new ideas by farmers risky or unrewarding. Also when cheap food is provided to urban areas with a subsidy to farmers, often large numbers of small farmer do not benefit by such subsides. It is, in the long run, less costly and more beneficial to have a minimum guaranteed price for farm products than to have subsides

In most developing countries, fiscal policies have shown considerable inconsistency in their approach to rural development. For example, when a large portion of public expenditure is used in favor of urban dwellers while in rural areas, only the few well-to-do benefit from many of the social and other services provided. Indirect taxation puts taxes on goods and services so that rural poor people pay a greater percentage of their income in taxes than the rich.

Cost recovery of publicly financed investments such as main highways, bridges, etc .., should be imposed in order to provide revenue for rural development and for the rural poor who are unable to pay any imposed progressive taxes. Absence of an imposed progressive tax on national investments or services will severely limit future undertaking by the government in rural areas, even though the economic and social returns may be high.

For rural development to be effective in developing countries, land reform can act as an essential element (see chapter 4). The income of peasants and subsistence farmers in many parts of the world depends on the extent to which they control the land and its output. Land reform is needed, especially in areas of difficult tenancy producers and also before government expenditure on farm inputs and other projects intended for the benefit of small farmers, rural workers and rural people, can be effectively undertaken. Land reform carried out without proper planning and provision of some physical and social infrastructure is doomed of fail.

In a developing country a rural development project may be composed of several programs with different objectives covering agricultural industrial and social services. Several sectors provide a whole range of facilities and services such as clinics, health centers, credit cooperatives feeder roads and water supply systems. Many of these services may best be located in small, rural towns serving the surrounding rural areas and villages. Small capacity service units may be located in the village and those with larger capacity in the towns. As rural development progresses and more workers migrate to towns, the regional planning of rural and urban areas has to be coordinated and given greater supervision. Before regional rural development policies are formulated careful study of human, physical and natural resources available to each region, in particular the less fortunate areas should be made. The growth potential and resource endowment of each area must be appraised to establish the procedures for finance and investment policy

In many developing countries 60 to 80 percent of small farmers have limited or no access to institutional credit. A high percentage of credit in these countries is short term. In rural areas, the use of credit for increased economic production will benefit rural people, provided the following conditions are observed

  1. New technology, innovations and improvements which show definite and clear economic grain for rural households or for the borrower should be adopted.
  2. Farmers should be using production credit, and also have access  to necessary training and skills to m make effective use of innovations and credit
  3. Existence of good delivery systems which provide the ready and timely inputs required farm produces and the market outlets for them.
  4. For small farmer, a comprehensive package program which increases the productivity and easy sale of farm product should be arranged.
  5. To replace to supplement credit from traditional sources that charge high interest rates, to overcome in elasticities in the supply of credit, to alleviate the seasonal financial problems of rural households, to encourage small farmers to raise their output, more and more institutional credit is required by farmers and rural people
  6. Land reform once implemented and pursued wisely, sharply

increases the demand for credit from former peasants and tenants

For most rural development program to be viable, the following points on the introduction and flow of technological ideas should be considered

a.   Continuous flow of field-tested easy to apply and proven technological information relevant to small holders small producers and to farm production, should be available at all times. This information must be revised and updated as more economical efficient, newer techniques and developed and implemented

b.   Without new technological improvement rural poor people cannot substantially increase their earnings as a result of the investment made by governments.

c.   For specific geographical areas with limitations on higher production, such as high and rolling country, mountain regions arid zones and hot and humid forests where population is spares and scattered etc, special techniques and technologies should be evolved.

d.   Technological factors important to small farmers and rural enterprises should be given special attention. Research priority should be given to matters such as easy pest and disease control methods, the use of high yielding varieties or poor man’s crops such as millets sorghum, cassava, yam, pulses and upland rice

e.   Applied research adaptation of innovations at the village level, well-planned extension service all are highly essential. Many failures of rural development projects in the past have been attributed to inadequacies in research, adoption of new ideas extension work, reliable evaluation methods and continuity

f.    The peasant on subsistence agriculture, the low- income small rural operator and landless rural poor people require as compressive an approach as the farmers in order to improve their production and other aspects of their lives.

Education of the rural masses and the poor is highly important as apart of a national plan for rural development. There are minimum learning needs in the form of ‘’basic education” which include educational literacy, numeracy, the knowledge and skill required for earning a living, operating a household including family health, childcare, nutrition and sanitation, and civic participation time and costs involved in providing primary school education has promoted many developing countries to turn to information about the most cost effective education for adults. A survey by the world bank (2,57) showed small scale training and education operations, by a wide variety of different agencies were often not integrated into a national development education of the rural masses in developing countries for the effective implementation rural development. Rural education should be considered in terms of the national plan and educational policy and should be based on the following principles:

a. Primary education should be low cost. Reduce waste and be of high quality

b.Use of mass media, simplification of curricula, adaptation of curricula to local needs. Age of entry to school, length of school cycle, adaptation of indigenous learning systems. And size of classes should be studied and implemented in educational policy.

c. Education may be integrated with employment and rural development where students receive effective training in skills, self employment and new opportunities as is the case with a project in Botswana (299) in the Swaneng Hill and Shahe river schools.

  1. The education of rural people at all levels should be functional in serving specific target groups and meeting their specific requirements.
  2. Rural education programs should be planned as part of a total education plan and delivery system. The programmers should also co-ordinate the other activities of the community such as health and credit by using multipurpose centers. Examples of multipurpose centers are the rural training centers and community education centers in Tanzania.
  3. Rural education projects literacy programs etc. should be integrated with other development activities, and whenever possible should provide appropriate inputs and services. Such integration and linkage can be seen in the Comilla project in Bangladash (209a) and the program on agricultural credit and cooperatives in Afghanistan (PACCA).
  4. Basic education and training of rural people should be flexible in terms of costs and management, and in using existing facilities and resources so that continued effective implementation of programs can be maintained.

~~ These are the notes from my Rural Development class @ UoM ~~

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IT Consulting Ethics – Part 3 – Benefit-Cost Analysis and Government Considerations

If the principal objective of a not-for-profit organization is to maximize some aspect of its non-pecuniary mission, the marginal comparison criteria applied in the for-profit sector to revenues and costs should be equally applicable in the not-for-profit sector to the quantifiable    characteristics of the mission being pursued. “Benefit-cost” analysis may provide decision criteria for the organization manager in the government and not-for-profit sectors. The sum of all benefits (non-pecuniary as well as revenue) resulting from mission pursuit constitutes the numerator, B, of the benefit-cost ratio. Its denominator, C, consists of the sum of all costs (non-pecuniary as well as pecuniary) incurred in pursuing the mission. If the value of the ratio is a number greater than unity (i.e., B/C > 1), then the activity under analysis is justifiable; any benefit-cost ratio less than unity (i.e., B/C < 1) suggests that the activity is unwarranted.

Simple benefit-cost analysis has been extended to the concept of marginal benefit-cost analysis. This version is applicable to situations where the question is whether to do more or less of the activity which is already in progress. The numerator of the marginal benefit-cost ratio includes only the additional benefits which are expected to flow from some increment of the activity; the denominator sums only the increased costs incurred by the activity increment. The same decision criterion holds for the marginal as for the simple benefit-cost ratio: a value greater than unity warrants the activity increment while a value less than unity indicates that the activity increment should not be undertaken. While marginal benefit-cost analysis has been used most often as a decision criterion in the not-for-profit sector, it is apparent that the for-profit criteria of marginal revenue and marginal costs are special cases of marginal benefits and costs where the benefits and costs are pecuniary values (or equivalents).

Both simple and marginal benefit-cost analyses are subject to bias and fraught with the potential for abuse. The bias follows from the requirement to include all benefits (psychic and other non-pecuniary benefits as well as any revenues resulting from the activity) and all relevant costs (non-pecuniary psychic and opportunity costs as well as explicit money costs). The problem is that a decision maker who is has a predisposition favoring a proposed activity tends to exhaustively identify all possible benefits and also tends to overestimate their money value equivalents. A decision maker with such a predisposition also tends to be more casual about identifying the relevant costs, and may also be inclined to underestimate their money value equivalents. By the same token, a decision maker with a predisposition against an activity tends to do the opposite, i.e., to casually overlook some benefits and underestimate the values of those identified, while exhaustively finding all relevant costs and carefully estimating their full money-value equivalents. Because of the subjectivity involved, it is entirely possible for two decision makers, confronted by precisely the same prospects and with the same information, to estimate widely divergent benefit-cost ratios and reach opposite decisions about whether to proceed with the activity.

Because capitalism (or market economy) is the form of economic organization to which the world seems to be drawn, I shall presume its general characteristics in subsequent discussion of the role of government. Given this presumption, there are six principal points of contact between firms and the government.

(1) Along with other entities in the economy, the government is a demander of goods and services from private-sector business firms; i.e., firms function as suppliers to the government. Since the government is likely to be the single largest economic entity in any economy, the prospect of supplying the government should provide market opportunities for a great many firms in the economy. However, firms seeking to function as suppliers to government should be aware of becoming too highly dependent upon government orders.

(2) Firms pay taxes to the government. The taxes may be related to the firms’ profits, their sales, their inventories or other assets, or the wages which they pay to their employees. Tax-related record keeping and reporting often become burdensome to business firms, and tax liabilities and rates are subject to change at the dictatorial or parliamentary whims of the state.

(3) Depending upon the government’s particular political, social, and military programs, various firms in the economy may become objects of support by the government. Such support may take the forms of subsidies, approval of licenses, preferential contracts, or other encouragements. The government may attempt to structure such activity as a coherent industrial policy for the promotion of international competitiveness of domestic companies.

(4) In pursuit of its agenda, government’s interests in firms may extend beyond support to efforts to control the activities of firms. Objects of governmental controls may include directions of research and development efforts, determination of product mixes and item specifications, selection of capital investment alternatives, eligibilities for import or export licenses, and employment practices. These activities may become elements in a more comprehensive industrial policy.

(5) The private sector may become an object of regulation by the government in the interest of employees, consumers, or other interests in the economy. Such regulation almost always imposes additional costs upon business firms, and consequently squeezes profits or results in higher market prices.

(6) And finally, the private sector may become the object of efforts either to promote and encourage competition, or to stifle or prevent competition. In the former case, “antitrust” or “antimonopolies” laws may be enacted and enforced; in the latter case the government may become the prime mover in the effort to “rationalize” or cartellize industry (also a possible component of industrial policy).

In their extreme manifestations, points (1) and (4) above may devolve to the characteristics of fascism. I may also note that the government can effect a ready transformation to the characteristics of socialism simply by nationalizing private-sector firms so that they become government-owned and directed enterprises. Our purpose in making these observations and otherwise identifying the various points of contact between firms and the government is to note that the operation of government in a capitalistic economy may pose threats to private sector firms as well as provide opportunities which they may attempt to exploit.

The most fundamental role for government to play in the market economy is the maintenance of an environment which is hospitable to the functioning of market economy and the exercise of entrepreneurship. At very minimum this means establishing the rules for holding, transferring, and arbitrating disputes over the possession of private property, determining weights and measures, providing a stable money supply, insuring the sanctity of contracts, and otherwise maintaining law and order. John Stuart Mill during the nineteenth century referred to these minimal roles for government as the “night-watchman” functions.

Beyond the night-watchman functions are four other significant rationales for governmental involvement in the market economy: to maintain competition, to reallocate resources, to redistribute incomes, and to stabilize the economy. Each of these rationales is founded upon some fault, shortcoming, or failure in the functioning of the market.

From this perspective it may be noted that any problem in the functioning of a market may invite some response from government to address the perceived problem. And if market mechanisms exhibit traumatic failure or become fundamentally distrusted by the political leadership of the society, these constitute the rationales for shifting to fascism by conferring product-mix decision making upon a central authority, or to socialism by nationalizing privately-owned productive resources and imposing central planning and direction. By the same token, failure of authoritarian socialism constitutes the rationale for shifting from authoritarian control to some form of market economy. It appears that this latter phenomenon is being widely experienced in the Eastern Europe even as some economies of the West experiment with more statist orientations.

Viable competition among business firms in each market is the sine qua non of market capitalism. It is competition which ensures that firms efficiently produce only those goods and services demanded by the consumers of the society. But there is an inherent divergence of interest between the firms in an industry and their customers. Although customers surely benefit from adequate competition (lower prices, higher quality merchandise, greater product variety), firms might achieve greater profits in cooperation with each other or as sole monopolists of their respective markets.

Governments of democratic societies then find rationale to undertake the promotion and preservation of competitive conditions in their economies. This is usually done by enacting legislation which declares the existence of monopoly to be unlawful (in the U.S. this is accomplished by Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act) and the perpetrator of monopoly to be guilty of an unlawful act (Sherman, Section 2), or which enumerates specific acts or activities which diminish competition and which are thus unlawful (the Clayton, Robinson-Patman, and Wheeler-Lea acts). But the enactment of legislation alone is not enough. The government must further establish an enforcement authority (in the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice) and resolve to make effective the enforcement of the relevant legislation. This resolve may differ significantly according to the political party in office and the particular agenda which it is attempting to implement.

The managerial implications of the determined enforcement of laws which are intended to preserve and maintain competition are that managers of business firms must make themselves knowledgeable of the pertinent laws, and they must make calculated judgments as to whether to risk violating such laws in any of their sourcing, producing, or marketing activities. It may also be worthwhile to note that in a society governed by law (as is the U.S.), innocence is presumed until guilt has been established. The significance of this is that no act undertaken by the management of a business firm is necessarily in violation of the law until it has been tested in the courts.

In a legal environment of presumed innocence, even though a law may declare a certain act unlawful and other firms engaging in the act have been indicted and successfully prosecuted, the act may be repeated by yet another firm. In order for the firm to be penalized under the law, the act must be detected, indicted by an appropriate legal authority, and successfully prosecuted in court. Because failure may occur at any of these stages, the management of a firm may behave rationally to assess the probability of detection, the probability of indictment if detected, the probability of successful prosecution if indicted, and the magnitude of the penalty if found guilty under the law. Then if the “expected value” of the penalty (i.e., the conditional probabilities multiplied by the likely penalty) is judged small enough, the management may deliberately assume the risks of detection and prosecution by engaging in the act. Indeed, it is not uncommon for business firms to maintain legal staffs or contingency funds to cover legal fees and any penalties which are actually assessed.

Two cautionary notes are appropriate at this point. First, even though the behavior described in the paragraph above may be rational, the reader should not take this acknowledgement as an advocacy of the assumption of risk in knowingly breaking the law. And second, although the liability of corporate shareholders is limited to their investment in the firm, corporate managers should beware of the possibility of both criminal prosecution and civil liability suits when their firms have been found guilty of violation of the law.

Suffice it to say at this point that the rationale is based upon the conclusion that the particular allocation of resources resulting from the normal functioning of the market economy is not satisfactory and needs adjustment. This conclusion may emerge if there are so-called “public goods” desired by society but not producible in response to market incentives, or if there are positive or negative externalities (or “spillovers”) resulting from the market production of goods or services. The managerial implication of this rationale is that declining profits or losses will likely emerge in industries from which resources are diverted, but profitable opportunities should be found in industries toward which resources are reallocated.

The income redistribution rationale follows from a social and political judgment that incomes are being inequitably distributed across the population of the society by the normal functioning of the market economy. There is little doubt that any market economy distributes incomes unequally because of the fundamental reward mechanism of capitalism: to each according to his or her contribution to the process of production of demanded goods and services. Since members of any population possess differential abilities and experience varying intensities of drive and motivation, there will occur different contributions to the production process, and as a consequence an unequal distribution of income.

Social action becomes warranted only when it is judged that the inequality of distribution is also inequitable. The governmental vehicles for redistribution include progressivity of income and profits taxation, the taxation of capital appreciation, and any of a wide range of possible transfer payments. One managerial implication of governmental redistribution is that business net incomes, assets, and wages paid are likely to be objects of taxation to raise revenue for redistribution to lower-income members of society. Another is that businesses catering to transfer recipient clienteles may benefit from the redistributions. However, there may be little hope for managements of business firms to exert significant control or influence upon the political process which determines how incomes are to be redistributed.

The rationale for bringing the offices of government to bear upon the stability of the economy is based upon the view that market economies are naturally unstable, that the degree of instability is intolerable, and that some force must be applied to counteract the natural instability of the market economy. Of course, the only entity in the economy which can possibly bring enough force to bear upon the problem of instability is the government.

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SharePoint Kerberos Buddy Update – Release Created On CodePlex

Whoops. Sorry folks! I had just uploaded the .MSI and related setup files to the CodePlex site source control. I forgot to created a release with them which made it a pain to download. I should probably zip up the files so it’s one download but the MSI and setup.exe are now sorta easily available.

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