Telecentres Access and Development Experience and Lessons from Uganda and South Africa
by Sarah Parkinson ITDG Publishing
- Pub Date:
- Pbk 168 pages
- AU$53.99 NZ$54.77
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· An analysis of the rich experience of South Africa and Uganda in their quest for universal access, with particular emphasis on the role of shared access centres (public telephones, cybercafes, telecentres, business centres, etc.) and the factors that affect their performance. · The book is based on a review of national policy and implementation strategies, case studies of community ICT-access centres, and an analysis of the links between national strategies and on-the-ground experiences from 1996 through 2003. Over 50 ICT-access centres, from both rural and urban settings, were reviewed. The executive summary presents a series of lessons and practical recommendations for policymakers. Universal access is a common policy goal in which 100 per cent of a population is able to make use of a publicly available resource, such as information and communication technologies (ICTs): telephone, fax, computer, and Internet/e-mail. Universal access to ICTs has in recent years become a policy goal for many national governments, international development agencies, and intergovernmental agencies such as the United Nations. South Africa and Uganda, for example, made early and strong political commitment to the concept of universal access. ICTs, however, can represent both threat and promise: they may lead to greater opportunities for those who can partake of them, but they may also lead to greater exclusion for those who cannot. This book analyzes the rich experience of South Africa and Uganda in their quest for universal access, with particular emphasis on the role of shared access centres (public telephones, cybercafes, telecentres, business centres, etc.) and the factors that affect their performance. Further, the book examines the relationship between shared access centres, the goal of universal access, and strategies for sustainable development. From the analysis, the author presents a number of recommendations for policymakers, donor agencies, and intermediaries (such as national NGOs, networks, and associations) that can be used to support and strengthen shared ICT-access centres and to increase their developmental impact. Subject: UZS-Impact of computing and IT on Society: PDR-Impact of Sciece and Technology on Society Audience: · Academics, researchers, and students of development studies, African studies, communications, and informtion science. · Development professionals in both governmental and nongovernmental sectors, particularly in Africa. · Policy analysts and deciion-makers in international development, ICT infrastructure, and telecommunications.
Prelims (Contents, Acknowledgements, List of tables, List of figures, List of photos and boxes, Acronyms and other abbreviations, Executive Summary); 1. Introduction - Telecentres, Access and Development; 2. Access Centres and South Africa's Universal Access Policy; 3. Uganda's Experience with Shared Access Centres and Universal Access Policy; 4. Start-up and Scalability of Access Centres; 5. Local Livelihoods, Reach and Development Impact; 6. Conclusions, Lessons and Research Directions; Back Matter (Notes, Bibliography)
At the time of writing Sarah Parkinson was a PhD Student, Rural Studies, University of Guelph, Canada. This book was written as part of an internship with Canadas International Development Research Centre (IDRC).