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From 22 to 24 April, sixteen telecentre practitioners and coordinators from Africa, Asia and Latin America joined a Workshop on an International Helpdesk and Clearing House for Telecentres hosted at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris organized jointly by the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD), the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs and UNESCO.

On the basis of an initial study prepared by IDRC and IICD, the practitioners discussed common needs, problems and requests from their local telecentres and worked to define how a global support function could address these needs. The workshop uncovered considerable differences in the type of problems facing telecentres in different parts of the world, but also a genuine interest in sharing experience and advice across the regions.

The workshop decided there is a need for an international structure from which online as well as face-to-face support can be requested, where best practices and common resources can be shared and where national and regional strategies can be developed.

The four sponsoring institutions and organisations are working together to support this initiative, and are in doing so pooling resources to finance start-up initiatives. The initiative will now seek cooperation with a wider range of telecentres and national networks in order to build a global support group of telecentre networks, as well as with other concerned
international partners and donors.

The workshop sponsors will be meeting in May to concretely define how to advance this important project on the basis of the workshop report in preparation.

Related Links:

* UNESCO and Multipurpose Community Telecentres
* UNESCO and Community Multimedia Centres
* International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
* International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD)
* Ministry for Foreign Affairs, France

For more information please contact: John Rose, UNESCO, Information Society Division, Stella Hughes, UNESCO, Communication Development Division


Última Actualización: 13 de Mayo de 2003