Digital Acceleration

Digitalization of Opportunities

Within the fast pace of digitalization, RDFG fosters rural communities in the development of collaborative and creative skills to cope with the modern challenges, adapt them to their workforce, startups, businesses. We are working on digital literacy, emphasizing that access to the internet is the fundamental right of any human being and convincing youth in the benefits of e-learning training and materials.

RDFG works on digital literacy and young people’s capacity building, ensuring that each member of rural communities is developing the following skills:

  • Collect, process, and use digital content.
  • Learn and develop digital skills.
  • Communicate, collaborate, and participate digitally.
  • Digital identity, digital well-being, and security.
  • Technical proficiency.
  • Create, innovate, research.

We expect digitalization to have a fundamental and lasting effect on society and will contribute to the communities’ sustainable development.

Supporting E-Learning
Nowadays, e-learning is far more affordable as compared to physical learning and offers a very efficient way to deliver lessons remotely. This type of teaching and learning fully eliminates the need for space for educational activities and the cost of transportation. But there are some challenges, as well. The current infrastructure of our country – access to the internet and appropriate gadgets in every family, especially in smaller towns and villages, pose huge problems.
 
Considering the value and need of electronic educational technologies, RDFG provides remote services to all its beneficiaries, including e-learning materials and training in target municipalities. Notably, the process of the services’ digitalization was hastened with the spread of the COVID-19 as the world faced the challenge, requiring the provision of effective teaching methodologies operationally and remotely. The cycle of the RDFG’s electronic teaching/learning interventions looks as follows:
 

  • Assessment needs of rural communities.
  • Thinking of strategies for delivering remote services, including financial resources for equipping them with internet and smart gadgets.
  • Finally – provision the full package for receiving online services and attending e-learning activities.

Development of E-Commerce Platforms
Electronic commerce platforms are comprehensive software tools that allow entrepreneurs to sell their products or services online. Georgia is a developing country and rural communities are not well-acknowledged with modern digital opportunities. Hence, RDFG raises awareness about the importance of digitalization of services among local communities, provides relevant educational programs, and assists its beneficiaries in the development of e-commerce platforms.
 
Agricultural portals and platforms are nothing but the logical next step in our years of progress in the modernization of rural agriculture. www.kalo.ge, www.georgiantravelguide.ge, and www.ravachuko.ge – this is only a shortlist of the RDFG-supported e-platforms that convey well the importance of our initiatives and interventions for the distribution of rural products and services throughout the whole country.

Enabling Access to the Internet and Digital Technologies During COVID-19
To overcome the crisis caused by the spread of the COVID-19, RDFG initiated a fund-raising campaign aiming to support rural school students who did not have access to the school e-learning equipment due to the lack of computers or internet accessibility, and thus, were falling behind the school curriculum activities.
 
With the money donated from the citizens of Georgia and foreign countries, RDFG procured tens of personal computers for those school students living in extreme poverty in rural communities of Georgia. We have provided internet packages and as a result, young people could engage in the school remote activities again.
Supporting Innovations/Technologies/Creative Industries and Promoting Automatized Agriculture
A lot has changed for MSMEs in the last few decades, most of it brought about by the improvements in technology. Nowadays people can use technology to develop and implement their enterprises and spread out information on their products/services to any geographical area. RDFG fosters the development of technological startups and entrepreneurial business ideas, giving young entrepreneurs access to digital opportunities, and assisting them with relevant skills and knowledge.
 
Supporting creative economics, including design, fashion, craftsmanship, photo-videography, music, movies, arts, e-platforms, etc. play a core role in the development of creative industries in our country. We encourage youth and adults to develop innovative and creative ideas and create businesses that offer unusual products or services.
 
RDFG also promotes the development of automatized agriculture, considering that in the era of modern technologies, only a little manual intervention is needed in the farming industry. Hence, we raise awareness among smallholder farmers on the innovative opportunities and convince them that the use of agricultural varieties of machinery and technologies will minimalize their interventions in concrete agri jobs and give them time for implementing additional activities.
 
More in sustainable agriculture and food safety
Promoting Smart Villages
RDFG is a pioneer non-governmental organization that started working for the promotion and development of smart villages in our country. Smart Villages is a new concept of rural development – these are the rural communities using modern and innovative methodologies in farming to improve their resilience. Farmers involved in smart village development, use digital technologies and rely on a participatory approach to improve their income and become financially independent. Smart villagers offer rural services through digital and social innovation. By using innovative approaches, smart villages create more vibrant, sustainable, and attractive rural areas.
 
The Smart Village concept is also relevant for a wide range of the EU and national policies for sustainable mobility, renewable energy, the bio and circular economy, social innovation, and others.
Rural Economy Digitalization
RDFG contributions to the development of the rural digital economy, thus is concerned with the impacts of digital technologies upon various aspects of rural life. We help rural SMEs to gain from an effective engagement with e-commerce, particularly for companies operating in remote locations.