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Home > Multimedia > Telecentres spacer

Telecentres

Section editor
Ann Tothill, APC
AATothill@apc.org

Introduction

Centres which provide communities with access to Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) go by a number of names - for example, Multipurpose Community Centres, Community Technology Centres, and Technology Access Community Centres.

This ItrainOnline section calls such centres "Telecentres," and points to resources on telecentres planning, evaluation and best practice.

Resources for Internet Trainers - Training in a development context

ICT for Library and Information Professionals: A Training Package for Developing Countries - Module 3

Developed by: Lourdes T. David
Type of resource: Website with downloadable resources
Target audience: General, Trainers
Cost: Free access

This package with downloadable resources is intended to provide the knowledge and skills required to deal with the application of ICT to library and information services. It is meant for library and information personnel who may become trainers in the area.

By the end of Module 3, learners should be able to:
Appreciate the impact of ICT on the information industry, services and professionals; Understand the information- seeking behavior of users in an electronic environment; Know how to search and browse using a range of information systems (OPACs, CD-ROMs, Web); Know how to apply a variety of search techniques; Understand the importance of interface design; Search using both controlled and natural languages (as appropriate); Know how to support users' information-seeking needs

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Telecentres - Starting up and sustaining

The Telecentre Cookbook for Africa: Recipes for Self-sustainability

Developed by: UNESCO
Type of resource: PDF file
Target audience: General
Cost: Free access

This manual by Mike Jensen and Anriette Esterhuysen aims to evaluate and integrate the experience gained through African telecentres projects.

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A Guide to Community Multimedia Centres: How to get started and keep going

Developed by: UNESCO
Type of resource: PDF
Target audience: General
Cost: Free access

"There are growing numbers of grass-root communication and information service providers in the developing countries today. They are operating community radio stations, multipurpose telecentres, information centres, community learning centres and – in a few cases – community multimedia centres (CMCs) that already combine both radio and telecentre facilities. This book is intended to be of use to all those wanting to become involved or already involved in such initiatives – staff and managers, community groups, NGOs working for community empowerment, communication planners supporting development activities, trainers and project partners."

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Connecting Rural India to the Internet: The Challenges of Using VSAT Technology

Developed by: Development Alternatives
Type of resource: Web case study
Target audience: General
Cost: Free access

In its goal to connect rural India to the Internet and promote livelihood generation through e-commerce and access to information, TARAhaat.com faced the fundamental problem: connecting rural villages to the World Wide Web in the first place. Many villages in the Bundelkhand region where TARAhaat is in its pilot phase do not have access to telephone lines. They had to come up with an alternative - using VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) technology.

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CTCNet Community Technology Center Start-Up Manual

Developed by: The Community Technology Centers' Network (CTCNet)
Type of resource: Online manual
Target audience: General
Cost: Free access

CTCNet serves as a support mechanism for Community Technology Centers (CTCs) by providing electronic and in-person linkages for its affiliated programs. This manual covers Timeline and Process, Mapping Community Resources, Determining Program Focus, Staffing, Software Selection and Criteria, Space, Hardware, and Security, Scheduling, Outreach, and Self-Assessment, Budgeting and Funding, and Preparing a Business Plan. The manual has a very strong U.S. focus, but should be of more general use as well.

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ICT for Teacher Training Portal

Developed by: UNESCO
Type of resource: Portal
Target audience: General, Trainers
Cost: Free access

The Information and Communication Technology Portal (ICT) for Teacher Training is the gateway to Internet resources and websites dedicated to training the teachers in utilizing information and communication technologies to enhance their teaching skills. Links to topics related to: ICT in education, teachers’ role in ICT environment, ICT training strategies and online courses as well as curriculum materials are provided

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Lessons from the Field: ICTs in Telecenters

Developed by: World Resources Institute
Type of resource: Web article
Target audience: General
Cost: Free access

This article outlines lessons learned distilled by the Digital Dividends project during its research on telecenters.

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Telecottage handbook: How to establish and run a successful telecentre

Developed by: UNDP
Type of resource: PDF
Target audience: General
Cost: Free access

A practical guide for community development practitioners on strategies for ICT-enabled community empowerment (based on the Hungarian telecottage movement experience).

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Sustainable Telecentres: A Guide for Government Policy

Developed by: World Bank
Type of resource: PDF file
Target audience: General
Cost: Free access

This paper by Björn Wellenius argues that while widespread rollout of telecentres can only be achieved by mobilizing private sector investment, relying solely on the "profit motive" will not lead to the desired development outcomes.

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Telecentres - Education and training

Curriculum Evaluation for CTCs and Other Organizations

Developed by: TechSoup
Type of resource: Web article
Target audience: General, Trainers
Cost: Free access

Annotated list of sites where you can find inexpensive or free training materials and curricula, including self-paced learning and instructor-led classes.

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Managing a Technical Service Centre

Developed by: SchoolNet Africa & OSISA
Type of resource: Web site with e-course
Target audience: General
Cost: Free access

An online Professional Development Course for Managers of Technical Service Centres, which are involved with activities such as acquiring, refurbishing, distributing and maintaining complete PC laboratories (labs), as well as providing ICT training. The course is a part of a blended learning approach, where this online component aims to provide a conceptual platform for learners, comprising activities, support resources, links to other useful web resources, and the possibility of ongoing email engagement with online mentors and a community of their peers.

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Themes and Issues in Telecentre Sustainability

Developed by: Raul Roman & Royal D. Colle
Type of resource: Web article
Target audience: General, Trainers
Cost: Free access

Abstract: The initiation, diffusion and adoption of the telecentre idea has been an enormously eclectic process, largely devoid of systematic research and planning. The approach has generally been one of pilot projects — trying out models to see what works to achieve a diversity of objectives. In some cases the approach has been simply entrepreneurial, with enterprising business people exploring new opportunities for profit-making.

A range of important issues is linked to the operation and success of telecentres. These include: sustainability, community relevance, government policy, information and communication technology (ICT), research, community partnerships and participation, telecentre objectives, and business planning. Often mentioned but largely undeveloped is the training associated with telecentre management, an issue that relates to all of the issues mentioned.

While each of the issues deserves systematic analysis, this chapter concentrates on sustainability and training. Based on data collected from Australia and South Africa to Hungary and Canada — and from various project documents — we describe some of the strategies being used to sustain telecentres. We put this discussion especially in the context of developing nations because of the intense interest in the early 21st century in incubating telecentres in places where individual connectivity to information access is most problematic.

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Telecentres - Assessment

Assessing Community Telecentres: Guidelines for Researchers

Developed by: IDRC
Type of resource: Manual
Target audience: General
Cost: Free access

This IDRC report covers a telecentre evaluation plan, indicators in telecentre studies, issues in sampling and surveying, matching research methods to data needs, and data analysis and reporting.

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Comparing Approaches: Telecentre Evaluation in Latin America and Asia

Developed by: Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries
Type of resource: PDF file
Target audience: General
Cost: Free access

This paper, by Katherine Reilly and Ricardo Gómez, looks at some of the experiences of Canada’s International Development Research Centre, offering a framework for assessing telecentre experiences.

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Gender Analysis of Telecentre Evaluation Methodology

Developed by: APC: Women's Networking Support Programme
Type of resource: Web article
Target audience: General, Women
Cost: Free access

This document sets out to address the question of how gender can be meaningfully integrated into telecentre evaluation methodologies. It is animated by African experiences and examples and specifically by South African experiences and examples. A lack of resources and time has limited the scope of this document and it is recommended that more of both be put into further investigations of these issues. Specifically in terms of primary research with women and men working as telecentre operators and managers, with women and men in communities serviced by telecentres and an investigation of similarities of these experiences across countries and continents in the developing world.

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Telecentres - General

10 Lessons for Telecentres Social Impact on Communities

Developed by: Yacine Khelladi
Type of resource: Web page
Target audience: General
Cost: Free access

Aimed at decision makers, these "lessons learned" are derived from the author's experience in ICTs projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Community Telecenters: Assuring Impact & Sustainability

Developed by: Development Gateway
Type of resource: Web directory
Target audience: General
Cost: Free access

Articles and links on telecentres, with a particular focus on sustainability and effectiveness.

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CTC Toolkits

Developed by: CTC@NSW
Type of resource: Web site / MS Word documents
Target audience: General
Cost: Free access

A series of support materials from the New South Wales state government. Guides include marketing, getting your community involved, and ideas for services and programmes. Australian-focussed, but should be useful to a wider audience.

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Telecenters for Socioeconomic and Rural Development in Latin American and the Caribbean

Developed by: FAO
Type of resource: PDF files
Target audience: General
Cost: Free access

The report looks at investment opportunities and design recommendations, with particular reference to Central America. The executive summary, full report and presentation can be downloaded in PDF format.

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Telecentre.org

Developed by: Telecentre.org
Type of resource: Web site
Target audience: General, Trainers
Cost: Free access

Telecentre.org makes social investments and provides services that build the capacity of telecentre operators around the world. The telecentre.org site is the first site in what is hoped will grow into a global community of telecentre network sites.

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telecentres-l

Developed by: IDRC
Type of resource: Listserver
Target audience: General
Cost: Free access

Electronic discussion list on telecentres-related issues.

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The Telecentre Training Manual

Developed by: R.D. Colle and R. Roman
Type of resource: PDF file
Target audience: General, Trainers
Cost: Free access

"Modules for Training Telecentre Staff: An interim report with sample modules."

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Twin Pillars of Development, Capacity Building and Universal Access, through Train the Trainer Telecentres and Affordable Wireless Technologies

Developed by: Daniel Stern, Uganda Connect
Type of resource: Case study
Target audience: General
Cost: Free access

This case study gives an overview of the the author's experience in running train-the-trainer programmes within the context of a developing country community telecentre. The article includes the curriculum outline for the two-month training programme used at Nakaseke MCT in Uganda.

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