[Telecentres] Working Group

Hakikur Rahman hakik at sdnbd.org
Wed Sep 29 17:59:15 BST 2004

Don Cameron wrote: "In acknowledgement that funds will always be limited, I 
believe part of our focus should be to construct a model or formulae to 
help determine just where sustainability support and growth is required 
(the Solomon Islands?) and where such support is not required and possibly 
detrimental to other development (Sydney and surrounds for example). "

The sustainability of these telecentres (we may define them in various 
ways) are extremely important as indicated above. Funds are getting 
restricted, or difficult to follow through, or even may not support the 
stop gap, thus depriving support personnel, and stakeholders from smooth 
services. Projects of similar nature in developing country context should 
accommodate proper and proven sustainability plan (difficult, perhaps), and 
thorough implementation of them from the very day of starting. They should 
not reflect the idea of exhaustion of donor funding and disruption of 
services, especially not a very practical example for under-privileged 


At 04:01 PM 9/29/04, Don Cameron wrote:
> >> Shahiduddin Akbar comments that "Nowhere in the world, Telecentre has 
> widely expanded".
>Arun I believe the reason for this (an aspect possibly integral to any 
>WSIS presentation) is because most early Telecentre’s were developed by 
>comparatively affluent communities where the success of the Telecentre 
>resulted in conceptual obsolescence and project transformation. There are 
>arguably a great many more Telecentre’s today, however we do not call them 
>Telecentre’s – These are Internet Cafés, Library PAC’s (Public Access 
>Centre’s), BIC’s & BEC’s (Business Incubation and Enterprise Centres) and 
>other point-of-presence initiatives born from the original concept of a 
>Telecentre. A great many of these societies have also developed to the 
>extent where physical points-of-presence are no longer required (wide 
>domestic broadband dispersal and other modes of fostering access, 
>familiarisation, training and content development). The number of 
>Telecentre’s is neither static nor declining
 rather the concept is 
>evolving as expected of any community initiative facing changes in 
>community and market conditions (albeit Telecentre’s contributed to this 
>These are also communities where a concept of artificially sustaining a 
>Telecentre (often cited by Government grant providers and others as an 
>overriding requirement of all Telecentre’s, although argued less so by 
>most practitioners), can in fact be counterproductive to the overriding 
>mission of community economic development. Technology and ICT providers do 
>not enter a market and generate competitive advantage when the market is 
>dominated by a single entity artificially sustained by Government 
>(Australia lost a great many of our small community ISP’s and other ICT 
>initiatives before we learnt the truth of this lesson and ceased funding 
>Telecentre’s in affluent communities).
>Matters of sustainability and Telecentre growth projections are aspects 
>specific to communities lacking the economic and/or educational base and 
>ability to move the mission of a Telecentre to the next stage of 
>development. I am very supportive of a concept to sustain and develop 
>Telecentre’s where a Telecentre is required to meet the objectives of a 
>needy community – less than supportive of expending tax-payer funds to 
>artificially prop-up Telecentre’s acting in competition with other service 
>providers in affluent communities. In acknowledgement that funds will 
>always be limited, I believe part of our focus should be to construct a 
>model or formulae to help determine just where sustainability support and 
>growth is required (the Solomon Islands?) and where such support is not 
>required and possibly detrimental to other development (Sydney and 
>surrounds for example). WSIS could well be used as a vessel to help 
>support the equitable deployment of resources, and I would like nothing 
>more than to see Australia redirect some funds away from local initiatives 
>and financially support initiatives in the Solomon Islands on a basis of 
>recognising the importance of Telecentre’s for these communities as a 
>focus of international aid.
>Rgds, Don
>telecentres mailing list
>telecentres at wsis-cs.org
>To unsubscribe, send a message to telecentres-request at wsis-cs.org with the 
>word UNSUBSCRIBE in the body of the message.
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