Web-based Information-Sharing Tool Enabling Citizens to Participate in Rural Developments

C. Yoshida, T. Yasuda, and S. Yokoi (Japan)


Web and Internet systems and tools, rural informationsharing tools, mountainous and rural areas, learning environment, middle-aged and senior citizens, citizen participation


Rural citizens in Japan have recently emphasized the importance of sharing their rural information within and beyond their communities. However, their ways of sharing in formation are limited to traditional means of dissemination such as local newspapers or community meetings. Therefore, the objective of our research was to find a method of sharing rural information through Information Communication Technology (ICT) to enable citizens to participate in rural developments. Based on related work, we built a Web-based Rural Information Sharing (WRIS) tool. We also developed a learning program for WRIS. In addition, we implemented this program in rural areas and then surveyed rural citizens as learners by monitoring them, administering a questionnaire, and interviewing them. We surveyed the learners’ behaviors, comprehension, and requests through this program in the town of Toei in Aichi, Japan. Based on our survey, we found WRIS could play a role in supporting citizens’ participation in rural communities in addition to improving WRIS. We conclude by suggesting how the information-sharing tool can be adapted to rural communities.

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