[Telecentres] [UgaBYTES] 2nd Telecentre focused July E-conference

Sulah Ndaula ndaulasula at ugabytes.org
Fri Jun 16 14:26:31 BST 2006

Dear Colleagues,

UgaBYTES is once again hosting a month long Telecentre focused
e-conference which builds on the lessons learnt over last year. This
specific one is within the broader telecentre.org online telecentre
support strategy, which is implemented by UgaBYTES and funded by IDRC,
Microsoft and SDCF.

For more information contact secretariat at ugabytes.org or
ndaulasula at ugabytes.org. Please find the details below...


>>E-conference theme: Overcoming challenges: Mapping the future of our

A telecentre providing information and knowledge access to an African or
Asian rural village has got several challenges. However, alternative
solutions and opportunities remain little exploited through sharing
experiences and grassroots stories. This month long e-conference aims at
broadly mapping the way forward to the core problems affecting telecentre
work across the world.

The e-conference will be run on four weekly sub themes with each
facilitated by a resource person and having an opening keynote word from a
subject matter specialist. The facilitator will summarize the days’ and
week’s discussion for each sub theme. The daily summaries will also focus
next day’s discussion. Four e-conference reports will be produced
according to the sub themes of the conference, which will be distributed
in the September East African Telecentre leaders forum in Uganda.

The e-conference will be run on the UgaBYTES mailing list
ugabytes at ugabytes.org. Practitioners or participants who are not yet on
the list can write to the secretariat at ugabytes.org requesting to be
subscribed for the conference but should keep in mind that the conference
starts on July 1 and ends on 31st July 2006.

Practitioners who have got successful or failed case stories on any of the
sub themes should submit them before or within the course of the
discussions on the topic. See below for e-conference sub themes details.

>>Week 1 - July 1-7:

>>Demystifying Solar Energy for ICTs: The case of solar power providers
>>and Telecentre practitioners

Energy problems limp the growth of the rural ICT sector in most parts of
the developing world. Interestingly, alternative sources of power have
shown a possibility of boosting the sub sector - Solar power being
central. Telecentres that have implemented full-scale solar power have
registered over 200% success compared to the regimes of hydro power-
Nakaseke being one such case. BUT there are lots of uncertainties about
this mentionable power alternative, which can only be addressed through
interactive discussion between solar power providers and telecentre

The e-conference will bring face-to-face, in a Question and Answer
interaction, several solar power providers and the telecentre
practitioners on the list. Ten reputable solar power companies have
already accepted to take part in the e-workshop. They will answer your
questions as they come-in while at the same time interactions will
coherently happening among Telecentre practitioners.

The main purpose of the e-workshop is to clarify why solar power, how it
works in ICTs, and reviewing successful rural ICT cases. At the end of the
e-workshop a Q&A solar guide for rural ICTs will be produced and widely

>>Week 2 – July 8-14:

>>Options for rural connectivity: the challenges and opportunities

Internet Connectivity forms the fibre of the telecentre movement. Many
telecentre support services are being tailored online to fertilize
grassroots effort for universal access to ICT tools. It is disappointing
to note that most rural telecentres until now to get dependable
connectivity that matches the cost and traffic flow at the access points.
Telecentres pay for high connectivity options of which they can only use
less than 10% of the bandwidth due to limited user traffic- hence building
frustrations among rural ICT proponents.

This segment of the E-conference will bring face-to-face different
Internet Service Providers (ISP) and Telecentre practitioners to logically
find a lasting solution for rural connectivity. It will elaborate the
right blending of traffic, connectivity options, and lifecycle costing of
rural connectivity.

>>Week 3 – July 15-21:

>>The role of ICT access points to rural social-economic development: The
>>missing link and framework

Telecentres have a unique opportunity to play a pivotal role in reducing
rural poverty. They are already making a major contribution to rural
connectivity and information access albeit with limited
information-knowledge sharing, and integration with community- based
Organizations. Interestingly, statistics show that over 65% of rural
population acquire information through “the word-of-month”, with the civil
society organizations (CSO) being central in information sourcing,
repackaging and dissemination.

This e-conference segment will explore the missing links and framework to
increasing the role of ICTs in rural social-economic development programs.
It will analyse the advantage of working through change agents as opposed
to individual community members.

>>Week 4 – July 22-28:

>>Telecentre sustainability: The contribution of delivering social
>>services through existing access points.

Telecentre sustainability is the preoccupation of the Telecentre think
tank today. This leaves no doubt that social responsibilities are
receiving light consideration at the expense of ensuring financial
sustainability. However, unfolding events show that different rural social
service providers are interested in using Telecentres as conduits of rural
information and knowledge flow. The possibility delights the telecentre
movement BUT a lot of issues remain unclear.

This e-workshop segment will bring some of the service providers and
Telecentre practitioners together to chat collaborative possibilities. It
is envisaged that telecentres will attract social service providers in a
partnership that will increase their Telecentre’s sustainable while at the
same time increasing their social responsibility. Equally, the discussions
will focus telecentre managers on the aspects they have to put right in
order to attract partners.

>>Conference participation

Participation is open to anybody with interest in ICT4D. However special
contribution is called from Telecentre practitioners, networks, leaders
and NGOs across the work.

>>Conference Language

The primary language will English.

>>Conference Duration

1 month long with 4 weekly sub themes.

This e-workshop is part of the Online Telecentre helpdesk and Support
services project, which is funded by IDRC http://www.idrc.ca, Microsoft
and SDC and implemented by UgaBYTES Initiative http://www.ugabytes.org,
under the broader telecentre.org http://www.telecentre.org online
telecentre support strategy. For inquiries or to submit a case story
please contact secretariat at ugabytes.org or ndaulasula at ugabytes.org.

Looking forward to sharing with you

E-conference Coordinator

UgaBYTES Initiative
Plot 30 Kampala Road
5th Floor - GreenLand Tower
opposite Bank of Uganda
P.O.Box 6081 Kampala-Uganda
secretariat at ugabytes.org
Check our website: http://www.ugabytes.org

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