Telecentres, Internet cafes, community multimedia centres, village computing: There are many names for similar initiatives that seek to provide shared public access to computers, the Internet and related technologies to serve a variety of often inter-related developmental objectives. Various versions of 'telecentre models' can be found in most countries, although questions of long-term sustainability are becoming increasingly acute for many initatives in this area.
'Telecentres' have received a great deal of support and attention from international donor organizations and NGOs in the past decade; IDRC (especially through its support of the telecentre.org initiative) and UNESCO are two of the leading organizations quite active in this area:
IDRC & telecentre.org
A quick useful starting point to learn more about a family of initiatives in this area.
- From the Ground Up : The Evolution of the Telecentre Movement
A valuable retrospective of how we got to where we are today.
- Making the Connection: Scaling Telecenters for Development
A great resource. (with AED & Microsoft)
- telecentre.org resource library
- IDRC - Telecentres
- Assessing Community Telecentres - Guidelines for Researchers
- Telecentre Leaders Forum (TLF) Workshops (WSIS)
- Telecentre Evaluation: A Global Perspective
- Community Multimedia Centres
The best place to start to learn more about UNESCO's work in this area.
- From Access to Engagement: Community Access Centres
A 'photo study'.
- UNESCO MCT sites in Africa
- Evaluation Report on UNESCO's Community Multimedia Centre Initiative
- Ten Steps for Establishing Multipurpose Community Telecentres
- International Community Telecentre Resources
- The Community Telecentre Cookbook for Africa
- A Guide to Community Multimedia Centres
- Strengthening Community Learning Centres through Linkages and Networks: A Synthesis of Six Country Reports
- Forging innovations: Community Multimedia Centres in Nepal
Telecentre-related work in other prominent international organizations and NGOs
- ADB has offered a Distance Learning Course on Community Information Services
- Making the Connection: Scaling Telecenters for Development (with Microsoft & telecentre.org)
- e-Note 21: Identifying 'Killer' e-Governance Applications for Telecentres
- e-Note 19: Telecentre Technology
- e-Note 14: Telecentre 2.0 – beyond piloting telecentres
- e-Note 15: Telecentre sustainability – financing ICTs for the poor
- Apdip also maintains a collection of resources on telecentres.
from Grameen Foundation:
- MODULES FOR TRAINING TELECENTRE STAFFS - An Interim Report with Sample Modules
- New Technologies for Rural Applications
- Preliminary Evaluation of Telecentre Pilot Projects
from the World Bank:
General telecentre resources
from the Development Gateway:
from the World Bank:
Other telecentre initiatives of note
- Mission 2007 ("Every Village a Knowledge Center")
- n-Logue Village Kiosk
- Telecenters of the Americas Partership (TAP)
- Comparing Approaches: Telecentre Evaluation Experiences in Asia and Latin America
- Connecting Island Communities: The Emerging Telecentre Movement in the Pacific
- Indian Telecentre Forum 2006
- Gender and Telecentres: What Have We Learned?
- Lessons from the Field: ICTs in Telecenters
- Wikipedia entry for 'telecentre'