• Thursday, Dec 03, 2020
  • Last Update : 01:18 pm

BIGD survey: Half of all rural households have no access to computer, internet

  • Published at 07:13 pm September 13th, 2020
Laptop_Internet
Representational photo Bigstock

The study also finds that the income of a household has a strong and significant impact on the household’s digital access, skills, and literacy

A recent survey has revealed that about half of all rural households in Bangladesh do not have access to a computer or the internet.

The study, conducted by Brac Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), Brac University, shows that rural households in the country are still lagging behind in their adoption and use of e-services due to lack of better access to information and communication technology (ICT), and lack of skills needed to operate devices.

The findings of the survey were presented by Dr Wasel Bin Shadat, senior research fellow at BIGD in a webinar on Sunday.

The study surveyed 6,500 rural households across the country and found that although 96% of rural households have a mobile phone, the majority (59%) of them do not have access to a smartphone. Moreover, about half of the households have access to neither a computer (49%), nor the internet (54%).

Findings also suggest that among the respondents, 68% can read or write mobile SMS, 10% can check or send emails, 15% can make video calls, 41% participate in social media, and 28% can make comments on social media. Meanwhile, only 27% search the internet for information and 59% obtain public service-related information through digital media. 

When it comes to problem-solving, the percentage of households who possess the obligatory skills is staggeringly low, the study found. Only 3% of respondents pay bills via mobile, 6% use computer for productive activity, 20% use the internet for functional activities (eg reading news, online training, etc), 3% have online shopping experience, and less than 1% earn through online activities. 

According to the study findings, the rural households in Chittagong, Dhaka, and Khulna divisions possess higher digital access, digital skills, and digital literacy status, while households in Mymensingh, Rangpur, and Sylhet divisions have a significantly lower level of digital access, skills, and literacy.

The study also finds that the income of a household has a strong and significant impact on the household’s digital access, skills, and literacy. Though household size has a significant impact on digital access, it does not have the same impact on digital skills.

Mehnaz Rabbani, lead, research for policy and governance (RPG), BIGD said: “To create an e-government system, we need a critical mass of digitally literate people. This literacy should not only reflect in people's access to digital devices but also in their behaviour. And like any other behavioral shift, this will require carefully designed innovative interventions.”

Imran Matin, executive director, BIGD said: “As a research institute, we at BIGD want to create an entire social science of digitization, which will be highly relevant in coming years. This survey was a part of that digital social science domain. There are more dimensions of what we discussed today, and we look forward to sharing them with you in the next webinar.”

53
53
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail