[Telecentres] Re: telecentres Digest, Vol 1, Issue 43

Taran Rampersad cnd at knowprose.com
Wed Sep 29 15:27:01 BST 2004

Partha Pratim Sarker wrote:

> Dear All,
> I think one of the wrong policies for the organizations to adopt
> tele-centers models is when they consider tele-center as a stand alone
> purpose, seemingly to develop tele-centers as access points only for
> various range of information. In many cases, I even found
> organizations that had already set-up tele-centers are now sweating
> hard to establish backward linkage with the community both in terms of
> its relevance, adaptability and acceptability. Reasonably many has
> failed, many has been silently shut down (leaving behind a mockery of
> promises to the poor) and some are still sustaining with funding from
> multiple sources. But I feel the growth pattern should be other way
> round. Tele-centers should rather emerge as a natural extension of
> other activities that grassroots organizations or local entrepreneurs
> are regularly doing in a particular community. For example in
> Bangladesh, Grameen Bank runs a country-wide network of women self
> help groups for micro-finance activities. These women are already in a
> cooperative structure and if that can be supported by community ICT
> processes (apart from VPP project) to facilitate their micro-finance
> related activities or to arrange better livelihoods, then the system
> is more likely to sustain. Similarly even in the remotest rural corner
> of Bangladesh, you'll find local marketplace (bazaars) which are often
> run by Bazaar committee. These bazaar committees (often are elected
> bodies) are the already available best examples of local rural
> entrepreneurs and should be the mostly likely units to be supported by
> community ICTs (namely Tele-center). Often I found its the lack of
> vision and the lack of understanding to community development that
> have made a wrong leader to deal the issue of tele-center so badly.
> Yes, I'm hopeful as someone pointed out we're really in a learning
> process and the concept itself is also going through a transition.
> Best wishes,
> Partha

You're making sense, Partha. The problem with this (I am considering the
same thing) is educating people to know that these things are available
such that they can take advantage of them. We need human 'bridges'...

Random thought: What's the difference between a telecenter and laptop
computers/portable computers (such as the Simputer) with wireless
internet access? Is a telecenter really limited to a geographic center,
or is it instead a virtual center of which we speak. I think the latter
gives us more options, but I'm not 100% sure it's a telecenter.

Taran Rampersad

cnd at knowprose.com


" It requires greater courage to preserve inner freedom, to move on in one's inward journey into new realms, than to stand defiantly for outer freedom."— Rollo May 

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