Reusable Computer Donation (Wakaf) Movement
Posted September 8, 2008on:
Iseng ga ada pekerjaan…nulis deh…ada tantangan dari http://gemastik.com
The presence of technology brings many advantages in many aspect of our life. It provides effectiveness, efficiency, and makes people more civilized and more modern than before. However, there is not means it only give positive advantage. In some cases, it brings disadvantage that cannot be avoided. We can see how vehicle technology brings pollution in our environment. We can also observe how synthetic food material technology releases many diseases like cancer. They are a few bad effect of technology besides it brings us many advantages.
Information technology as one of technology also does law above. It takes us to new world of knowledge. It makes information flow quicker and spread wider to throughout the world. Some of information technologies that we can use are mobile phone, internet, PDA, computer, etc. They give access of information quickly to us. Therefore we can make decision quickly and correctly in our business, study, and life. The question is how about people that don’t have access of information technology? Let’s elaborate this problem.
We who live in Indonesia must realize that not all of people in our country have information technology access. People with low economy condition cannot afford it because they cannot be able to buy it. This phenomenon is almost happen in most poor countries/cities like African countries as well as in developing country like Indonesia. On the contrary, people with high economy prosperity can easily buy mobile phone, computer, build internet access, etc. It is happen in modern countries/cities. Therefore they can get more access of information that indicates more knowledge while people in poor countries/cities cannot afford that. We call this as “gap” commonly many scholars named it “digital divide”.
Actually, digital divide issue come from modern countries such US and Europe. It makes many people in developing country always suspicious that it was released to only give them advantages. If we observe more, absolutely there are many high technology companies that gain huge profits from digital divide issue. That issue causes high demand of their product from poor/developing countries. Data of Badan Pusat Statistik (BPS), the import of electronic product always increases together with this issue year on year. It make the suspicious from many people more reasonable that this issue was released with full of motive of economy.
However, we will not discuss that controversy anymore. The fact of some passages above has proved that digital divide is absolutely happen in this world. Moreover, inside our country it also happens. Data from BPS indicates rank of Human Development Index at province level directly proportional with the development of economy that consists of information technology infrastructure. For example, digital divide is happen between Jakarta and Papua. In Jakarta, new information technology and infrastructure always built and not in Papua. That gap always wider because of it. I think the government should more concern about this problem.
Lesson learned from GrameenPhone Bangladesh
“Internet goes to school” program that was released by PT Telkom (state owned company) is the concrete action from government to minimize digital divide. The propaganda that showed in many media also depicts the digital divide phenomenon in our country. In that television advertising, there are children that have access of internet from their school. They can get important information from internet to solve problems in their communities. It shows us how positive impact of internet to children in rural area. Nevertheless, does it also depict the real fact? I as villager have observed some schools when I come home. There is no internet connection even no computer laboratory in some schools. From this observation I think that “Internet goes to school” is only propaganda to increase brand image of PT Telkom in Corporate Social Responsibility. Logically, PT Telkom as public company was obligated to gain profits from its business. It is hard to think that PT Telkom solve digital divide problem therefore make it loss profit. From this logical thinking, we conclude that PT Telkom cannot be relied on digital divide problem solver.
Besides the internet, there is technology that very mature in rural area. It brings important role to solve digital divide in developing countries. It is wireless mobile phone. The Infrastructure penetration of wireless mobile technology is very wide throughout Indonesia. A company that has succeeded using this technology is GrameenPhone, a sub company of Grameen Corporation that found by Muhammad Yunus. GrameenPhone is a nonprofit company that have purposed to empowering poor people with mobile technology. It believes that access of information through mobile phone give productivity to poor people in rural area. They can get information quickly from their colleague and business partner from the city, or just check their product whether have arrived or not yet with cheap price. It is mutualism business that rarely implemented by many telecommunication company throughout the world even in Indonesia. We have seen long ago that many telecommunication companies just grabbed huge profit in Indonesia market. They cooperated with others to increase telecommunication tariff. Indonesian telecommunication company like Telkom, Indosat, and XL must follow the GrameenPhone business model because business is not just gain profit but also give value added to our communities.
Reusable Computer for Communities
Economically, it is hard to spread internet connection to rural area because of the huge cost to build its infrastructure. The building of infrastructure is not proportional with the acceptance of consumer in rural area. There are many houses in rural area that have no computer. Therefore it makes hard to solve digital divide through internet connection in rural area because it is impossible to build internet infrastructure in rural area. The feasible idea is how to boost the computer user in the rural area cheaply. It is must be realize that computer also bring huge information and knowledge if people use it effectively. Children can study effectively from computer. They also can access much information like encyclopedia from CD-ROM.
From GrameenPhone lesson learned, we can build nonprofit organization that will distribute reusable computer to rural area. We can campaign to all of people/company in cities such Jakarta, Bandung, Jogja, Surabaya, etc to donate their not used computer. This idea also emphasized by fact that there is huge potential donator in Indonesia. Data that was released by BAZNAS shows that Indonesia zakat potential was 20 trillion rupiah. The number of computer donator potential may be increase because it is not only for muslim but also company and non muslim people.
To success this program we need to carry out two things, there are professional management (logistic, marketing) and strategic thinking. Logistic management is needed to ensure that the computer well distributed from donator to warehouse and from warehouse to recipient. To ensure that the computer is accepted by proper people we need strategic thinking. We must ensure that with this computer donation, it will give huge systemic impact to communities although only a few unit computer. May be we can distribute to children that have high achievement in their school and they are in poor condition. With this schema their friend that doesn’t get computer will be motivated to learn more in school to get computer. Many schemas must be though strategically to produce systemic impact to communities. With those principles, we believe that digital divide and poverty can be minimized. Because there is no humanize solution except education, and education need information. There is why information technology is very important to people.