Digital Empowerment Foundation aims to connect unreached and underserved communities of India in an effort to bring them out of digital darkness and empower them with information access through last mile connectivity, digital literacy and digital interventions. With the motto to ‘Inform, Communicate and Empower,’ DEF aims to find sustainable ICT solutions to overcome information poverty in remote and rural locations of India. In an effort to achieve this aim, DEF has adopted a multi-stakeholder approach and a six-fold path to enable communities, governments, schools, civil society organisations and micro-enterprises to avail the benefits of the Information Age. Under this six-fold programme approach, DEF initiates projects in the areas of Access & Infrastructure; Education & Empowerment; Governance & Citizen Services; Markets & Social Enterprises; Knowledge Hub & Network; Research & Advocacy.
Read more about DEF here.
Starting July 2017, DEF will offer a six-month-long Digital Fellowship to 12 individuals who understand the potential of digital tools and technology in bringing about a change in grassroots communities. Digital Fellowship 1.0 offers personal and professional development to youth who want to work for social, cultural, behavioural and economic changes through ICT4D to bridge the digital divide and empower communities with access to information.
Social media has been able to bridge the gap between citizens and governance, society and social issues, victims and help, and service-seeker and service, among others. DEF with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation hosted the 4th Social Media for Empowerment Awards 2017 at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, on April 29. Here, 16 innovators were felicitated as Winners, seven received Special Mentions and three were recognised for Chairman’s Recommendation.
DEF in partnership with the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme conducted a seven-day training on Functional IT Skills as a part of a Certificate Course in Development Management in Netrang, Gujarat, from March 29 – April 5, 2017. The training was attended by 31 tribal youth from remote villages of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh; 50 per cent of whom had never used a computer before or were first-time Internet users.