Enhancing Access and Use of Climate Information through ICTs
Michaelina Almaz Yohannis, Agnes N. Wausi, Margaret J. Hutchinson, Timothy M. Waema
University of Nairobi
(Received 14 March 2018, received in revised form 13 August 2018, Accepted 28 March 2019)
Although the role of ICTs in improving human life in Kenya is acknowledged widely, the focus of much of ICT-related developments has been on human experiences at the level of disease and needs for communication and mobility. Less obvious is how such technological interventions may be used to address seemingly abstract yet grave concerns like climate change and its impact on the quality of human life. This review paper, therefore, shall investigate the different situations where ICTs may be deployed in relaying packaged and relevant localized climate information that can help rural farmers in Kitui County, Kenya to make pertinent and timely decisions to improve their productivity and, ultimately, their livelihoods. We hypothesize that rural communities' use ICT tools such as the mobile phones and the community radios to access localized climate information (weather, seasonal forecasts, and agro-advisories) and that livelihood assets and livelihood strategies positively change with the increasing availability and use of the ICT-based climate information. The idea of the paper presented is to merge theoretical and applied research outcomes to narrow the gap between the theory of ICTs usage and the practice of it, while linking it to climate information and enhanced rural livelihood strategies. The review of this paper shall be captured in social-scientific terms, and shall contribute to knowledge by helping researchers and policymakers to determine climate information needs of rural ASAL communities, knowledge on innovations related to ICTs, among others.
Keywords: ICT Tools, Climate Information, Sustainable Rural Livelihood