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Cambridge Global Food Security

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge


Over the last two years, Dr Fennell, together with researchers from Anglia Ruskin University, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and the University of Punjab, have been looking at the bottlenecks that limit rural access to the internet and the mobile-based services that could provide educational and employment opportunities to young people. 

 The research team has developed an innovative mobile phone app, Portolan, designed by Department of Computer Science at the University of Pisa,  that tracks and evaluates the benefits of improved connectivity, in terms of its costs, reliability and quality. The team, funded by a UGC-UKIERI grant, is are using this 'app'  in Tamil Nadu and in the northern state of Punjab, both of which have prospered in terms of agricultural productivity increases for the past four decades.

The project provides the opportunity to analyse how rural communities that have improved their economic status translate their agricultural success into the educational improvement and employment opportunities for their youth,The aim of the project is to understand how the reduction in communication costs and increase in connectivity enabled by mobile phones can be best used to promote economic development in rural areas.

Please find previous interview with Shailaja here and here

University Senior Lecturer in Development Studies, Department of Land Economy
Dr Shailaja  Fennell

Contact Details

01223 764048
Not available for consultancy


Person keywords: 
comparative economic development
provision of public goods and partnerships
kinship and ethnicity
institutional reform
gender and household dynamics

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