LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for AFRIK-IT Archives


AFRIK-IT Archives

AFRIK-IT Archives


AFRIK-IT@LISTSERV.HEANET.IE


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

AFRIK-IT Home

AFRIK-IT Home

AFRIK-IT  November 1997

AFRIK-IT November 1997

Subject:

Helpdesks

From:

Steve Song <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

African Network of IT Experts and Professionals (ANITEP) List

Date:

Fri, 14 Nov 1997 17:04:23 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (128 lines)

Greetings Afrik-IT folk,

I would like to solicit feedback from list members on the topic of
Helpdesks.  I am employed by the IDRC to improve access to information and
communication technologies for IDRC researchers.  In looking at ways to
provide that support, I was impressed by Afrilink's Helpdesk model where
support for researchers was provided locally or at least regionally in
Africa.  I contacted Jeff Cochrane to discuss possibilities for jointly
funding Helpdesks in order to increase their effectiveness.  While we both
agreed that the more donors we could involve the better, we also agreed
that the Helpdesk role shouldn't be dictated by donors.  Thus, I would like
to invite feedback from list members as to how a relationship between
donors and organisations taking on a Helpdesk role might most usefully be
structured.

I would also particularly like to invite other donors interested in
participating in Helpdesk support to contact me ([log in to unmask]).

Here follows an outline of what we have discussed so far:

Background
==========

The IDRC Unganisha project (http://www.idrc.ca/unganisha) and
USAID/AfricaLink (http://www.info.usaid.gov/regions/afr/alnk) have the
mandate to support information management through Internetworking
for their various funded research and other networks.  Unganisha
provides general support to IDRC partners worldwide.  AfricaLink
focuses on USAID partners in agriculture, the environment, and
natural resource management in Africa.

In most cases, it is not enough simply to facilitate access to the
Internet.  Ongoing technical support and training are required.
Both AfricaLink and Unganisha encourage their partners to rely as
much as possible on local Internet service providers in each country
as their primary source for these support and training services.

The level and quality of support services varies widely by country.
To supplement what is available locally, and to encourage growth in
the customer support departments of local Internet service
providers, regional Help Desks were instituted by AfricaLink in late
1996.  AfricaLink currently supports Help Desks in Uganda, Senegal,
Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.

The Unganisha project fully supports the concept of Help Desks and
is looking for a useful way to feed into the process in order to
increase the economies of scale of the Help Desk support function.
This document is an attempt to outline a potential structure for a
multi-donor client Help Desk operation.


Concept
=======

The need for technical support and training related to Information and
Communication Technologies (ICT) in Africa has been clearly
identified.  It is a premise of this document that Help Desks are
fully capable of becoming self-sustaining commercial enterprises
providing a much valued resource. The role of organizations like the
IDRC and USAID would be to act as an initial guaranteed client base
to the Help Desk centres.  In addition, it is possible that beyond
being a client of the Help Desks, the donors may provide some small
initial grants for infrastructure and/or business planning
assistance.

This document is not an attempt to closely 'define' the Help Desk
role.  Help Desks should be free to evolve into whatever kind of
organisation best suits their environment.  That could range from
Internet Service Provider to Telecentre to Training Company or
something new entirely.  Help Desks could be hosted in existing
companies/organizations or could be formed based on a proposal from
interested parties.


Services
========

The following are a 'first pass' look at the kinds of services that
donors might typically require of a Help Desk.

-- Needs Analysis --
The Help Desk would evaluate on a regular (yearly?) basis the
support and training requirements of the client researchers.

-- Direct technical support to identified client researchers  -- This
kind of support would range from telephone and email support to
on-site visits.  The frequency of on-site visits to be determined by
the needs analysis.

-- Training courses --
Delivery of Internet and related training courses in key areas
identified via the needs analysis.

-- Information Dissemination --
The Help Desk would take responsibility for publicizing widely the
availability for training courses to indentified researchers.
Training courses should by no means be limited to Unganisha or
AfricaLink researchers but should be open to all non-profit or
research organizations.

-- Information Gathering --
Each Help Desk would be responsible for gathering information on ICT
support activities within their region.  This information would be
made available regionally via web site, mailing lists and perhaps
print media.  The information hosted by the various Help Desks could
be brought together into a meta-site hosting information on training
resources, activities in Africa.

-- Mentoring --
Each Help Desk would have a responsibility to train more trainers
and technical support people in the region.  This could be subsidized
/ assisted through donor programs.

-- Other Services --
The Help Desks would naturally have the opportunity to provide other
services to their client base such as website hosting, on-line
research facilities, etc.

-------------------


______________________________________________________________
Steve Song <[log in to unmask]>
Unganisha (Connectivity) Project
International Development Research Centre
P.O. Box 8500, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1G 3H9
Tel. +1 613 236 6163 x2268  Fax +1 613 567 7748

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
September 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
October 2009
September 2009
July 2009
June 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
November 2008
October 2008
August 2008
July 2008
April 2008
March 2008
November 2007
August 2007
July 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
November 2005
October 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998
April 1998
March 1998
February 1998
January 1998
December 1997
November 1997
October 1997
September 1997
August 1997
July 1997
June 1997
May 1997
April 1997
March 1997
February 1997
January 1997
December 1996
November 1996
October 1996
September 1996
August 1996
July 1996
June 1996
May 1996
April 1996
March 1996
February 1996
January 1996
December 1995
November 1995
October 1995
September 1995
August 1995
July 1995
June 1995
May 1995

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LISTSERV.HEANET.IE

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager