Roy Colle, of Cornell Univ, has invited Scott Robinson and Mike Gurstein to
a 4000 word lead article for the Journal of Development Communication which
he edits with others. The subject: ANALYSIS OF INTERNATIONAL APPROACHES TO
ICT FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT.
He wants an overview of the strategic pilot projects planned or in motion
under the sponsorship of UN orgs, the Dot Force, the IDRC, USAID among
others with a Dec. 7 deadline....
Also, this discussion will link directly and usefully into the discussions
on Global Community Networking at the Buenos Aires Global Community
Networking Congress Dec. 5-7.
Scott and I realize that between the two of us we don't have the range of
current knowledge to cover the field and we are proposing to use the
CommunityInformatics list to discuss the issues. I will for this purpose
only also be linking in the GCNDotForce list.
Over the next ten days we will be introducing the items for discussion and
inviting participation from the list and from others to respond. Scott and I
will edit the results and provide these with our commentary as our
contribution to the Journal.
We will take it that participation in the discussion is an agreement to
allow republication of the comments in the article and provides us with the
copyright on your contribution. You are free to invite others to
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Telecentres have emerged as the method of choice for introducing ICT's into
rural areas in Developing Countries. But there has been significant
criticism of the current approach as one which is building "unsustainable
cadillacs" in poor communities and the recent apparent arson destruction of
Nakaseke in Uganda one of the first and most widely discussed telecentre
should give pause even as the UN's ICT Task Force gears up for action and
the DOTForce is under pressure to begin to show some results.
Which telecentres should those who are interested now be looking at as
models <give URLs please> and what have learned from the experience to date
that is transferable to planning for the future?
We realize that there is a very great deal of information out there, but
what we are looking for is best judgements and observations from those who
are close to the action or have some comments on what is developing. A
scholarly piece which would be the normal approach would take months to
prepare and even more months to get in press and by the time it was finished
it would be out of date. What we are looking for is a Just-In-Time
We will circulate the results to all those interested and the document will
be made available on the web as well as in print form.
Michael Gurstein, (Visiting) Professor NJIT, Newark
Scott Robinson, Professor, Universidad Metropolitana, Mexico
Special issue of the Journal of Development Communication Rural Telecenters:
Critical Perspectives and Visions for the Future
This issue of the Journal of Development Communication will focus on
information and communication technologies for development, with an emphasis
Contributors will be recognized experts in this field. In short cogent
essays, they will aim their comments toward policy makers and project
managers, recognizing that academics who lean toward policy and planning in
their teaching and research will also find the material useful. Overall,
there will be descriptions of initiatives (such as the G-8 action plans) and
reviews of regional telecentre developments, some case studies of telecentre
implementation, and discussions of particular issues (such as information
gender-related considerations, and evaluation), but these will be driven by
a need to be analytical and visionary.International approaches to ICT for
Questions to be discussed:
1. Recent initiatives by international bodies address the use of ICTs for
economic and social development. Since the 2000 meeting of the G-8 nations
in Okinawa, many voices have joined in the discussion of how best to meet
the ICT needs of countries that recognize the importance of building an ICT
a. What are these initiatives
b. Are they appropriate, effective, sufficient, sustainable?
2. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the strategies that have been
proposed, including the most recent DOT Force proposal to the G-8 nations at
3. What of the current initiatives of major actors such as the ITU, the
World Bank (the Development Gateway), WHO, UNESCO, IDRC, USAID and others?
4. How do these initiatives relate to the ultimate goal of development at
the community level?
5. Are the initiatives undertaken and proposed adequate for building the
necessary development communication infrastructure in disadvantaged