In the context of an exponential rise in access to information in the last two decades, this article explores when and how information might be harnessed to improve governance and public service delivery in rural areas. It highlights that information alone is insufficient to improve rural governance and service delivery : information must be deemed relevant to its recipient ; and individuals must have both the power and incentives to act on the information. Bringing all these factors together is particularly challenging for rural areas, where capacity to receive, understand, and act on information is relatively low. The authors conclude that the goals of interventions to provide information may need to be more modest, and their design may merit more scrutiny.
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