This report presents the findings and conclusions of a three year project that explored a different telecentre model.
The research helped start and support two communities to add ICTs to their existing community centres. The NGO partners were Armonia (general community development in the slums of Mexico City, Mexico) and Youth Alive (youth development in Soweto, South Africa). After a consultation which showed how important content would be, the centres were designed around a team of youth who would collate from the global Internet and produce (mainly by video) content that was relevant for their own community.
The key feature of the model is that a group of young people form a team that develops local content. This may be putting offline Internet content on to CD Rom so that it is easily available to the community at minimal cost. More frequently it involved the making of videos that discussed local issues in the local language in the local context. The potential for such products is that they have a saleable value outside the community, and that they have the potential to build up a digital body of knowledge relevant to poor communities.
The model attracted interest from other telecentres, and in both cases, the partners assisted other centres to apply the model. Digital Village, an established telecentre in Soweto, had their capacity built to incorporate the essential ideas into their existing telecentre model. A new centre was set up in Honduras supported by the Mexican partners. In addition one of the youth in Mexico set up his own business, and on the basis of the research experience, the local government in Oaxaca, Mexico, asked Armonia to manage the community use of 15 computers which they had installed in their local offices.
Big World, Macclesfield, UK, 46 pp.