Mobile Web as Socio-Economic Equalizer:
The Mobile Web as a Tool for Poverty Alleviaton and for Jump-Starting the Mobile Web Among the Third-World Populations.
By Dr. Joaquin G. Palencia
I can see the main objectives of the Mobile Web would be to increase its penetrance and users
all over the world, to refine its technical components for ease of use and increasing sophistication
and to increase personal and business transactions occurring in it. Let us approach these goals from the perspective of manpower and market development. One of the topics in these discussions center on the search for “key applications to leverage the development/web of mobile web in Developing Countries”. We cannot discuss that without the empowerment of the community in terms of skills and knowledge acquisition as a pre-step or pre-condition.
This discussion is focus on two areas: the development of the ability as producers of mobile content and the subsequent entry of the community into the mobile web market as consumers. Both conditions depend on a foci, an Initiating-Promoting Institution (IPI) that will make the changes possible in terms of community information dissemination, provision of site and equipment, and access to the global market.
In the Philippines, one of our bane is also our resource, the ever increasing population is a vast market for the mobile web. But right now, a large part of that market is unable to participate due to local constraints like health, poverty, the unavailability of training resources and most of all, the lack of the vision among community leaders, a failure to foresee where the current path of technology and consumer needs are leading the cutting edges of technology innovation and development. They ignore Short-Term programs (5 years) that can bring up the levels of skills and expertise to those compatible with a producer of mobile web content. Further, the major problems of Philippine education still center on a large section of its people in a slow-responding, slow-moving educational system that leads to school-industry needs misalignments and a tragic waste of resources that could potentially take generations to solve. With the leadership of the Initiating-Promoting Institution (IPI), focused manpower development can indeed lead to a fuller participation of the community in both the creation, sustenance and the further development of the Mobile Web. The Mobile Web is an ideal vehicle for participation because it does not require very large investments in infrastructure like roads, bridges, and multi-storey buildings. All it needs are computers, learning software and a dedicated staff of trainors to nurse the community to levels of technical competence.
With wireless and internet connections, the stage can already be set.
I believe that the Mobile Web can be the fulcrum through which a Real, Equitable Development and Distribution of Wealth can be effected. In the end, only programs like this can gather the necessary participation that can help install the Mobile Web permanently. Through programs and projects that increase skills, provide equipment and access to market, the more Developed nations of the world can allow the Less Developed ones to start not just surfing the Web but fishing for themselves and making concrete contributions to the Development of Man.
Dr. Joaquin Palencia
Our Lady of Lourdes College Foundation
Daet, Camarines Norte 1400 Philippines