eAsia2009 (X): Empowering telecentres with appropriate content and services for the next five years

Notes from Asian Telecentre Forum 2009 / eAsia 2009 held in the BMICH, Colombo, Sri Lanka, on December 2-4th, 2009. More notes on this event: easia2009.

Empowering telecentres with appropriate content and services for the next five years
Chairs: Juddha Gurung, High Level Commission on Information Technology, Nepal

Different communities have different needs, thus why we have to adapt content and services to each and every community.

Content and Services in the Telecentre Movement in Nepal
Allen Bailochan Tuladhar, Forum on Information Technology Nepal, Unlimit.com

More than the last mile, now covered in Nepal with coper and fiber, is the last meter: localization of end-user software in Nepali language, the language of the websites, etc.

Services from the telecentres in Nepal:

  • Agriculture prices
  • Digital literacy courses
  • Foreign remittances
  • Educaton aides for class 8, 9, 10
  • Tele-medicine
  • Convergence of telecentre and community radio
  • e-Shopping of telecentre products
  • e-Haatbazaar
  • Rojgari samachar: employment opportunities
  • Convergence of libraries & telecentres
  • Convergence of schools & telecentres
  • Convergence of healthpost & telecentres
  • Cyber volunteers (ICT Volunteers)

Drishtee: Connecting communities village by village
Vignesh Sornamohan, Drishtee

Drishtee works toward crating an impact in the lives of rural villages. It provides a kiosk-based platform for services such a s Health, Educatoin, Banking, Micro-finance, rural retail points, rural BPOs, opportunities to provide market access, linkages for physical products (e.g. eyeglasses) etc. now serving more than 14,000 rural kiosks.

For each franchisee and micro-enterprise, Drishtee implements various components for integrating themodule in the existing ecosystem. It provides suport to sensitise the community, undertake needs assessment, customise services, etc.

The model aggregates demand in 20 villages (a “milk-way”), which leads to sustainability, whithin the called ‘Social Enterprise and Livelihood Framework’ (SELF).

Example: lack of health workers? A woman is trained in firts aid and provided with basic first aid kits, like non-invasive diagnostic and pathological tests. Added to this, she is linked at the back with a physician, so that she can get better information or forward the patient to them.

Can content & services empower people?
Angelo Juan Ramos, PhilCeCNet (Philippine Community e-Center Network)

PhilCeCNet is an organization of various stakeholders working towards bringing the knolwedge society to all Filipinos, being its pillars: content development, infrastructure, capacity building and telecentre management.

What empowerment?

  • Access: access-utilization gap, cost, literacy, availability of content and services
  • Networking: F2F vs. virtual, levels of involvement in content & services creation and provision
  • Voice: sectoral issues (marginalized, voiceless, etc.), changes in advocacy, influence in policy, governance, economic participation, me vs. us vs. them, inclusion

To create content, the best approach is to create partnerships for a collaborative, participatory, community-based content development. This should be made combined with including sectoral and gender issues, thematic areas, emerging issues, etc.

The telecentre ecosystem should be expanded, by means of networking, new tools and technology, geographical expansion, etc.

Nevertheless, we certainly need better tools to measure impact, at both the quantitative and qualitative levels.

Telecentre Forum 2009 - eAsia 2009 (2009)

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2009) “eAsia2009 (X): Empowering telecentres with appropriate content and services for the next five years” In ICTlogy, #75, December 2009. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=3074

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