[Telecentres] Counting telecentres

Hannah Beardon HannahB at actionaid.org
Fri Sep 24 14:10:26 BST 2004

Dear group,
I have really enjoyed reading all the contributions so far and am happy
to leave you to work out the structure etc.  However, I am still not
clear on what we are trying to achieve and think it is really important
that we decide what those one or two advocacy points to discuss might be
(if I have blatantly missed something here please let me know!).
I agree with Barbara that perhaps mapping telecentres is not the best
use of our time and expertise at this point.  Although undoubtedly it
would be an interesting exercise, it is perhaps one for which funding
could be sought and real time and effort put into it (and properly
recompensed!).  As Barbara said we need to be clear about why we would
be mapping, what kinds of categories and how the initial data colelction
exercise could be built on to achieve the kinds of outcomes that
Cristian and Gaspar mention - or others that the project may identify.  
I think the term telecentre covers a multitude of sins (as well as
fantastic initiatives).  There is no universal model and some are more
oriented to the needs of the poor than others, some more successful in
making a difference to poverty and marginalisation than others.  I
believe that you cannot have an impact on poverty just by putting in a
few computers and so it is useful to underrstand what it is in a
telecentre that makes it pro-poor.   Perhaps we could pick a couple of
important issues to debate in order to provide some non-negotiables that
are at the base of pro-poor and empowering ICT4D work?
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