This section points to resources on setting up, sustaining and evaluating telecentres, or "community multimedia centres", as they are sometimes known.
A Guide to Community Multimedia Centres: How to get started and keep going
Developed by: UNESCO Type of resource: PDF Target audience: General Cost: Free access
"There are growing numbers of grass-root communication and information service providers in the developing countries today. They are operating community radio stations, multipurpose telecentres, information centres, community learning centres and – in a few cases – community multimedia centres (CMCs) that already combine both radio and telecentre facilities. This book is intended to be of use to all those wanting to become involved or already involved in such initiatives – staff and managers, community groups, NGOs working for community empowerment, communication planners supporting development activities, trainers and project partners."
Connecting Rural India to the Internet: The Challenges of Using VSAT Technology
Developed by: Development Alternatives Type of resource: Web case study Target audience: General Cost: Free access
In its goal to connect rural India to the Internet and promote livelihood generation through e-commerce and access to information, TARAhaat.com faced the fundamental problem: connecting rural villages to the World Wide Web in the first place. Many villages in the Bundelkhand region where TARAhaat is in its pilot phase do not have access to telephone lines. They had to come up with an alternative - using VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) technology.
CTCNet Community Technology Center Start-Up Manual
Developed by: The Community Technology Centers' Network (CTCNet) Type of resource: Online manual Target audience: General Cost: Free access
CTCNet serves as a support mechanism for Community Technology Centers (CTCs) by providing electronic and in-person linkages for its affiliated programs. This manual covers Timeline and Process, Mapping Community Resources, Determining Program Focus, Staffing, Software Selection and Criteria, Space, Hardware, and Security, Scheduling, Outreach, and Self-Assessment, Budgeting and Funding, and Preparing a Business Plan. The manual has a very strong U.S. focus, but should be of more general use as well.
Lessons from the Field: ICTs in Telecenters
Developed by: World Resources Institute Type of resource: Web article Target audience: General Cost: Free access
This article outlines lessons learned distilled by the Digital Dividends project during its research on telecenters.
Telecottage handbook: How to establish and run a successful telecentre
Developed by: UNDP Type of resource: PDF Target audience: General Cost: Free access
A practical guide for community development practitioners on strategies for ICT-enabled community empowerment (based on the Hungarian telecottage movement experience).
Sustainable Telecentres: A Guide for Government Policy
Developed by: World Bank Type of resource: PDF file Target audience: General Cost: Free access
This paper by Björn Wellenius argues that while widespread rollout of telecentres can only be achieved by mobilizing private sector investment, relying solely on the "profit motive" will not lead to the desired development outcomes.
Curriculum Evaluation for CTCs and Other Organizations
Developed by: TechSoup Type of resource: Web article Target audience: General, Trainers Cost: Free access
Annotated list of sites where you can find inexpensive or free training materials and curricula, including self-paced learning and instructor-led classes.
Managing a Technical Service Centre
Developed by: SchoolNet Africa & OSISA Type of resource: Web site with e-course Target audience: General Cost: Free access
An online Professional Development Course for Managers of Technical Service Centres, which are involved with activities such as acquiring, refurbishing, distributing and maintaining complete PC laboratories (labs), as well as providing ICT training. The course is a part of a blended learning approach, where this online component aims to provide a conceptual platform for learners, comprising activities, support resources, links to other useful web resources, and the possibility of ongoing email engagement with online mentors and a community of their peers.
Themes and Issues in Telecentre Sustainability
Developed by: Raul Roman & Royal D. Colle Type of resource: Web article Target audience: General, Trainers Cost: Free access
Abstract: The initiation, diffusion and adoption of the telecentre idea has been an enormously eclectic process, largely devoid of systematic research and planning. The approach has generally been one of pilot projects — trying out models to see what works to achieve a diversity of objectives. In some cases the approach has been simply entrepreneurial, with enterprising business people exploring new opportunities for profit-making.
A range of important issues is linked to the operation and success of telecentres. These include: sustainability, community relevance, government policy, information and communication technology (ICT), research, community partnerships and participation, telecentre objectives, and business planning. Often mentioned but largely undeveloped is the training associated with telecentre management, an issue that relates to all of the issues mentioned.
While each of the issues deserves systematic analysis, this chapter concentrates on sustainability and training. Based on data collected from Australia and South Africa to Hungary and Canada — and from various project documents — we describe some of the strategies being used to sustain telecentres. We put this discussion especially in the context of developing nations because of the intense interest in the early 21st century in incubating telecentres in places where individual connectivity to information access is most problematic.
Comparing Approaches: Telecentre Evaluation in Latin America and Asia
Developed by: Electronic Journal on Information Systems in Developing Countries Type of resource: PDF file Target audience: General Cost: Free access
This paper, by Katherine Reilly and Ricardo Gómez, looks at some of the experiences of Canada’s International Development Research Centre, offering a framework for assessing telecentre experiences.
Gender Analysis of Telecentre Evaluation Methodology
Developed by: APC: Women's Networking Support Programme Type of resource: Web article Target audience: General, Women Cost: Free access
This document sets out to address the question of how gender can be meaningfully integrated into telecentre evaluation methodologies. It is animated by African experiences and examples and specifically by South African experiences and examples. A lack of resources and time has limited the scope of this document and it is recommended that more of both be put into further investigations of these issues. Specifically in terms of primary research with women and men working as telecentre operators and managers, with women and men in communities serviced by telecentres and an investigation of similarities of these experiences across countries and continents in the developing world.
10 Lessons for Telecentres Social Impact on Communities
Developed by: Yacine Khelladi Type of resource: Web page Target audience: General Cost: Free access
Aimed at decision makers, these "lessons learned" are derived from the author's experience in ICTs projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Community Telecenters: Assuring Impact & Sustainability
Developed by: Development Gateway Type of resource: Web directory Target audience: General Cost: Free access
Articles and links on telecentres, with a particular focus on sustainability and effectiveness.
Developed by: Telecentre.org Type of resource: Web site Target audience: General, Trainers Cost: Free access
Telecentre.org makes social investments and provides services that build the capacity of telecentre operators around the world. The telecentre.org site is the first site in what is hoped will grow into a global community of telecentre network sites.
The Telecentre Training Manual
Developed by: R.D. Colle and R. Roman Type of resource: PDF file Target audience: General, Trainers Cost: Free access
"Modules for Training Telecentre Staff: An interim report with sample modules."