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The Web of Growth is a portal providing information and forum support for communities in Afghanistan to help spur economic and social development.

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logo-medWeb of Growth is a project of Industrial Efficiency, Inc. It supports the transformation of Afghanistan into a modern nation by using information technology to promote social and economic development. It manages an internet portal which provides subscribers a broad range of information materials directly supporting development. When possible, the materials will be available in local languages and/or with video clips to make the material available to people who are not fully literate. The Web of Growth produces some of its own content, some of it is produced by partners, and much of it is material already available on the web. Individual locations may want to have some of this available on their own storage drives to reduce connectivity requirements, but the basic storage for all of the information is in the cloud. Topical areas include:

  • EDUCATION: This is the basic requirement for developing Afghan human resources to support the nation moving into the modern world. Efforts here focus on three areas:
    • LITERACY: An overall adult literacy rate of roughly 30% severely restrains economic development and makes literacy training the base requirement for all other educational efforts. The Web of Growth is working with the NATO Training Command and other training organizations to make literacy materials widely available for local training programs and provide video clips suitable for individual self-improvement efforts.
    • SCHOOL SUBJECTS: A wide variety of school materials is readily available on the internet, including over 200 specific topics developed by the Khan Academy. The Web of Growth is working with the Rebuild Afghanistan Summit to systematically translate these materials into local languages.
    • VOCATIONAL TRAINING: Many companies already do internal training and partnering with such commercial groups can provide immediate benefits. The Web of growth is contacting existing training institutes and vocational schools to help make these materials much more widely available.
  • HEALTH SUPPORT: A basic human resource requirement is keeping people healthy and fit for work. These efforts focuses on:
    • MEDICAL SUPPORT: Internet connections support for local clinics by allowing key medical personnel to effectively be in several places at once with video and data links. The Web of Growth will work with US and local medical facilities to develop materials in local languages which can support clinic activities in such areas a prenatal care.
    • HOME ECONOMICS: Widely available materials on nutrition, food preparation and home health care will be posted with translations into local languages as assets are available.
    • WATER AND SANITATION: Instructions on water purification and local construction of sanitary facilities.
  • BUSINESS: Small businesses run by local individuals, including cottage industries as well as training, trading, and communications services are critical to economic well being at the grass roots level. The Web of Growth will provide key topical information:
    • BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Information will be provided on how to set up and operate a small business. Information on web connections and electronic payments can greatly expand the available opportunities for local crafts, carpet weaving, and other cottage industries. Web material itself would also offer business opportunities; a local teacher or trainer, for example, could use the web materials as the core of local training or education courses.
    • AGRICULTURE: This provides the basic source of local income throughout the country. Government efforts already make a wide range of information available, but its reach is limited by the physical reach of available trainers. Networking could greatly expand this. Agriculture growth could also directly spur business growth. One example of this is a small aquaponics unit being developed specifically to allow a local group to produce both fish and vegetables. Another is an agricultural crowd-sourcing effort active in Nangarhar Province.
    • TECHNOLOGY: The Web of Growth will provide information on the availability of technologies particularly appropriate to the Afghan situation. Typical examples would be solar bulbs, inexpensive internet tablets, drip irrigation systems and soil amendments.
  • INTERNET: Connectivity is at the center of the Web of Growth activity. Key elements include:
    • COMMUNITY SUPPORT: This is information and support items, like bulletin boards, that will tie communities together and also build wider connections outside. It can support efforts to fight corruption and push for better local governance.
    • AFGHAN INDEX: This is an open data base of organizations active in or with Afghanistan, what they are doing, where they are operating and contact information. It facilitates cooperation among organizations and leverages common actions.
    • LIBRARY: Important documents for social and economic development and lists of web linkages for helpful sites

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