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.
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.
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.
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.
workshop sponsors will be meeting in May to concretely define how
to advance this important project on the basis of the workshop report
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
more information please contact: John Rose, UNESCO, Information
Society Division, Stella Hughes, UNESCO, Communication Development