Bridging the digital divide in remote rural areas: A Universal Playground for Children (2010)

In April 1999, UNIMAS started the e-Bario project with the general aim of bridging the digital divide between urban and rural communities. In order to achieve this, baseline data describing the technological needs and readiness of the Bario’s community was obtained, and this was soon followed by the introduction of ICT to the community. The technologies deployed were VSAT (telecommunication system) which allowed the Internet connectivity to the Bario telecenter. Power is supplied by photo-voltaics (solar system) with computers there. Facilitated by UNIMAS e-Bario researchers, the people of Bario began connecting with the rest of the world using ICT, and this marked the first phase of the project implementation.



There are several outputs identified for the Digital Learning Repository (DLR). These are the features available on the e-Education system: 

  1. Creating an Android application which will be the primary input tool for the children to capture data and content 
  2. Creating a customized access and interface to an open source Learning Management system, which will be used to assemble and further develop the data and content captured by the children 
  3. Creating a user-friendly localized version of Viscuit, an open source application for children which teaches them to learn about basic computer programming using drawing tools 

To best understand the process of data collection and processing between users and stakeholders in the project, an illustration of the scope of work for this project is presented below. 


Technology enhanced solutions for remote rural communities in Malaysia to Facilitate Development of Learning and Preservation of Local Knowledge and to Create Health Awareness and Practices for Healthy Living (2011)

This project proposed to implement a multifaceted approach to provide efficient technology enhanced solutions for remote rural communities in Sarawak, Malaysia. Specifically, the objectives of the project are to establish a optical LAN infrastructure for two schools and a health clinic in Bario; to develop e-Education solution which serves as digital learning repository to complement formal teaching and learning experiences of the school community in Bario, Ba'kelalan, Long Lamai and Larapan Island; and to propose a sustainable health check system for use by community members in these identified remote rural communities in Sabah and Sarawak.




The projects provided a neatly packaged solution for the remote rural community in Bario to take advantage of current ICT provisions as a strategic way to improve and enhance the quality of teaching and learning in Bario. Children also participated as mini-researchers using relevant ICT tools. In terms of e-health, participants learned how to create a health check database, which records weight, height and blood pressure levels of people in the local community.



To move forward to the new decade of partnership, a project to create a platform to assemble all previously developed ICT solutions, and to use the platform to replicate and maximise the use of the solutions, for the betterment of people in rural communities across the Asia Pacific region has been proposed. This project will look towards designing, developing and implementing a data knowledge management portal for data on the various projects conducted in the different SHARE partner countries, namely Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia Thailand and the Philippines.

The Ideathon 2018 is the pilot study of this project, and aims at providing all participants the opportunity to explore possible solutions for identified areas of interest such as e-Education, e-Health, e-Agriculture, e-Disaster Management, e-Environment Management, e-Tourism and Smart Cities. 

The Ideathon utilised the oneM2M platform to assemble all previously developed ICT solutions, and to use the platform to replicate and maximise the use of the solutions, for the betterment of people in rural communities across the Asia Pacific region. It was hoped that through the Ideathon, future works in the development of the ideas generated from this event will be able to be conducted in member countries in South East Asia.

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