Our mission is to adopt a six-fold path for constantly empowering people, especially marginalised and information-dark communities, with the power of information and knowledge using digital interventions and ICT tools.
Our vision is to end economic poverty and social backwardness through the simple expedient of ending information poverty by empowering marginalised and information-dark communities with digital literacy, access to digital tools, and information-rich knowledge societies ushered in by the Internet and the digital revolution.
DEF’s work covers six programmatic verticals or major work areas under which projects are launched and executed.
- Access & Infrastructure: Providing people access to the Internet and making them digitally literate
- Governance & Entitlements: Raising awareness about their rights and entitlements and giving them the voice to demand better governance, better delivery of government services and better protection of their basic human rights using digital literacy and digital tools
- Education & Empowerment: Enabling people to access better health, education, skill and livelihood opportunities through digital literacy and digital tools
- Markets & Social Enterprise: Digitally empowering micro-enterprises and communities; and empowering grassroots-level civil society organisations with online presence and digital literacy for digitally ensuring protection of people’s culture, heritage, environment and natural resources
- Knowledge Hub & Database: Creating a knowledge network of digital practitioners and database of effective ICTD innovations and interventions in an effort to scale up and forge partnerships for specific socio-economic developmental needs
- Advocacy & Research: Advocacy and activism to ensure access for all to the Internet as a basic human right and more extensive use of ICT and digital tools for development
Over the years, there are some basic values that have govern us and will continue to govern us.
- We trust people till proven otherwise in order to build or start relationships
- We make proactive, sincere and honest efforts
- Our main currency, instead of money, is to bring about a deeper change
- We empathise with people and their causes to find solutions that best suits a particular community or region
- We walk the talk and talk the walk by always acting first and then talking about it
- We cherish equality as a value when dealing with stakeholders, partners, co-workers and the people we seek to serve
- We create a work environment that empowers people to fearlessly express themselves, innovate and offer creative solutions, irrespective of their designations or positions within the organization
- We try to work for the poorest of the poor in the remotest of remote locations to help the most marginalised and deprived
- We adopt a rights-based approach
- We ensure transparency, good governance and participative decision making based on a deep commitment for equality and fairness
- We make sure serving the people is the overarching objective that takes precedence over anything else, including revenues and faster growth
We have adopted a multi-pronged strategy with a multi-stakeholder approach. Our basic strategic architecture is outlined below.
- Try and initiate specific projects to connect specific sectors, communities or groups to the Internet such as Digital Panchayats to connect all panchayats, e-MSME to connect all MSMEs, e-NGO to connect all NGOs, Gyanpedia to connect all schools, Minority Cyber Gram Yojana to connect all minority groups and so on.
- Set up Community Information Resource Centres (CIRCs) across India, South Asia and Asia Pacific region in partnership with grassroots organisations to maximise their reach and make them the vehicles of choice for implementation of all kinds of programmes that have the objectives of providing access for all to the Internet, spreading digital literacy, ensuring digital inclusion and implement digital interventions for development.
- Select locations for setting up CIRCs with special focus on backward districts, marginalised communities and information-dark regions.
- Try to become a member of all global and national bodies, including government panels and agencies, that determine and influence policy making in the field of Internet access and ICT for Development.
- Constantly look out for partnerships and funding opportunities that enable us to conceptualise and design projects and programmes that address any, some or all of the objectives outlined in our vision and mission statements
- Constantly leverage our vision, mission, values and proven work on the ground to engage as many stakeholders as possible to push forward the basic agenda of digital inclusion and extensive use of ICT and digital media tools for development and empowerment.