This paper describes and analyses the experience of designing, installing and evaluating a farmer-usable touch screen information kiosk on cattle health in a veterinary institution in Pondicherry. The contents of the kiosk were prepared based on identified demands for information on cattle health, arrived at through various stakeholders meetings. Information on these cattle diseases and conditions affecting the livelihoods of the poor was provided through graphics, text and audio back-up, keeping in mind the needs of landless and illiterate poor cattle owners. A methodology for kiosk evaluation based on the feedback obtained from kiosk facilitator, critical group reflection and individual users was formulated. The formative evaluation reveals the potential strength this ICT has in transferring information to the cattle owners in a service delivery centre. Such information is vital in preventing diseases and helps cattle owners to present and treat their animals at an early stage of disease condition. This in turn helps prevent direct and indirect losses to the cattle owners. The study reveals how an information kiosk installed at a government institution as a freely accessible source of information to all farmers irrespective of their class and caste can help in transfer of information among poor cattle owners, provided periodic updating, interactivity and communication variability are taken care of. Being in the veterinary centre, the kiosk helps stimulate dialogue, and facilitates demand of services based on the information provided by the kiosk screens.
Ramkumar, S.; Garforth, C.; Rao, S. V. N.; Heffernan, C. Design and Formative Evaluation of an Information Kiosk on Cattle Health for Landless Cattle Owners. Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension (2007) 13 (1) 7-22. [DOI: 10.1080/13892240601162007]