Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Changing role of telecentres (2000 - 2012 and beyond)

Interacting with University students is always an opportunity to reflect and refresh. Yesterday, I had that opportunity again at ICT4D Collective of Royal Holloway, University of London. Once again it was a visiting lecture to the postgraduate programme.
Do telecentres have a role to play in 2013, as they did have a decade ago?

A deeper look into the long journey that Sarvodaya-Fusion has traveled in Sri Lanka provides some interesting insights. These insights are enhanced by comparison with similar insights derived from my recent observations of telecentres in Rwanda.

Rwanda and Sri  Lanka, both have parallels in ICT4D

Governments in both countries recognize IT as a major component in their socio-economic development vision. (e.g. Mahinda Chintana in Sri Lanka and NICI III in Rwanda). Both countries enjoyed the support of World Bank funding (eSri Lanka and eRwanda). There are over 600 telecentres in Sri Lanka, and about 140 in Rwanda (with RTN). Telecentre leaders in both countries had the support of specialized donor support programmes, such as telecentre.org of IDRC, during 2005 - 2008. 


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