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Telecenters ellta 2011


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Slides by Farzana Akther and Marianne Georgsen presented at the ELLTA 2011

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Telecenters ellta 2011

  1. 1. TELECENTERS: ONE-STOP LEARNING HUBS IN RURAL BANGLADESH<br />Farzana Akther & Marianne Georgsen<br />eLearning Lab, Department of Communication<br />Aalborg University, Denmark<br />1<br />17-02-2011<br />
  2. 2. About us<br /> Marianne Georgsen<br />Associate Professor, PhD, MA<br /> ICT, learning, collaboration and communication<br /> ICT in schools and higher education<br /> User centered design and development; empowerment of teachers through participatory design methods<br />Farzana Akther<br />PhD Candidate, MSc<br /> ICT for development<br /> Background in multinational company as a software engineer in Bangladesh<br /><br />2<br />
  3. 3. Outline of this talk<br />Why this research – some background information<br />Research approach<br />Bangladesh Background<br />A Case: Youth Community Multimedia Centre (YCMC)<br />Interviews and observation setting at YCMC<br />Findings and discussion<br />3<br />
  4. 4. Background for this research project<br />ICT for Development<br />The United Nations, the International Telecommunication Union and the World Bank all emphasise that ICT intervention is a way to develop third world countries. Academics and development agencies define poverty not only by economical and social deprivation indicators, it is also defined in terms of lack of information and access to information<br />(Heeks 2003; Sein et al. 2008; United Nation Development Programme Bangladesh, 2010). <br />ICT Sustainability <br />“Developing countries have been trying to implement ICT projects in rural areas through the direct-indirect help of donor or local agencies. The main focus of projects has been the implementation of ICT in the rural area rather than understanding their impacts at the community level. It is true that the direct transfer of “first world” technology has not been successful because of the mismatch between the intended environment the technology was designed for and the reality ground where those were deployed.”<br />(Development Gateway, UN 2003).<br />4<br />
  5. 5. Background<br /><ul><li>Digital Divide
  6. 6. digital divide is considered a major gap in the penetration of the information society in developing countries. It is claimed that the gap is increasing between people who have access to the information society and those who are deprived of such access, due to cultural bias in the applications and contents, gaps in education, personal handicaps, poor digital infrastructure, or lack of appropriate computer equipment (James 2005; 2004).
  7. 7. The vision of Digital Bangladesh
  8. 8. The Information and Communication Technology sector is currently the fastest growing sector in Bangladesh. Among other things, the government has declared a national ICT policy in 2008 with the aim of creating 'Digital Bangladesh' (Ministry of Science and Information & Communication Technology, 2010).
  9. 9. The current government strongly believes that the success of Digital Bangladesh lies in mainstreaming the marginalised population into the development goals and set of actions with ICT(Information and Communication Technology) as the enabling tool. This vision of the government is the driving force behind establishment of Union Information and Service Centre (United Nation Development Programme, Bangladesh 2010)</li></ul>5<br />
  10. 10. Goal of empirical study <br />We are seeking in-depth understanding of<br />The daily practices in a telecentre in a rural area<br />The motivation of local telecenters users<br />The learning strategies and patterns they apply.<br />The importance of access to both technology and information<br />6<br />
  11. 11. Research approach <br />Research Method:<br />Qualitative research method (case study)<br />Unstructured and informal interviews<br />Discussion sessions with key persons of the organization<br />Informal talking and on site observations<br />Document analysis<br />Theoretical Concepts:<br />Communities of Practice (Wenger 1998)<br />Information Chain Model (Heeks 2005).<br />7<br />
  12. 12. Theoretical inspirations in the study <br />8<br />Communities of Practice (CoP) : A social perspective on learning (Wenger 1998)<br />
  13. 13. Theoretical inspirations II<br />9<br />Heeks’ 2005<br />
  14. 14. Bangladesh<br />10<br />Population<br />Around 150 millions<br />Around 70 % live in rural areas <br />Agriculture is the main livelihood for people in the rural areas<br />Literacy<br />Literacy rate around 62% in urban areas<br />Around 40% literacy rate in rural areas<br />
  15. 15. A Case: Youth Community Multimedia Centre (YCMC)<br />11<br />YCMC is organized by Young Power In Social Action( YPSA) NGO. YPSA is a social development organization started in 1985 in sub-district Sitakunda in Chittagong District. <br />YCMC was established in 2004 through a UNESCO supported project on ICT Innovations for Poverty Reduction (<br />Established with a combination of traditional technology like radio, TV and newspapers, new technologies such as computers, internet, photocopiers and digital devices like video camera, scanner and printers<br />
  16. 16. A Case: Youth Community Multimedia Centre (YCMC)<br />12<br />Aim of the centre <br />Capacity building through workshops and training sessions<br />Information dissemination in the local area to otherwise information-deprived groups<br />Examples of ICT initiatives taken since 2004<br />Training of volunteer groups for developing audio and video contents on various social development issues.<br />Information dissemination through need based contents on various issues such as human rights specially focused on the rights of women and children, public health and hygiene, AIDS, drugs, and environmental issues<br />Local TV cable operators to reach the civil society. <br />Digital talking book<br />Forum theatre<br />
  17. 17. Interviews and observation at YCMC<br />13<br />9 users interviews<br />2 extensive key-informant-interviews (telecenter operator and program officer) <br />Group discussion<br />Observations<br />
  18. 18. Learning aspects from different points of view <br />14<br />Rural ICT Learning Centers<br />
  19. 19. Learning impact in unstable telecentres<br />15<br />Three stages of ICT centre <br />
  20. 20. Learning imposed by the digital vision <br />16<br />
  21. 21. Youth learning for social development <br />17<br />One previous volunteer of the YCMC, a 23 years old woman has studied up to 12th grade and completed the computer foundation courses from YPSA in 2007. After completing the training and gathering experience from practical work in YCMC, she was recruited as a facilitator by an YPSA programme called Strengthening Adolescent Reproductive Health (SARH). She now works with the empowerment of rural adolescents through audio-visual programmes on their local problems using different multimedia tools and program. She connects the adolescents to the YCMC to use the online facility which is available at a quality website organised by the Network for Ensuring Adolescent Reproductive Rights and Services. Thus the adolescents and the SARH program field facilitators get access from a safe location to culturally sensitive ARH information and health care services related to the adolescent’s rights towards reproductive health issues.<br />
  22. 22. Community learning in the digital age <br />18<br />Mutual Learning<br />Learning together<br />Experience based learning<br />Learning without (with less) boundaries<br />
  23. 23. Women’s empowerment<br />19<br />According to the document analysis, almost 50% women have taken training on computer basic programs.<br />They have opportunity to take training near their living places<br />They are now have employment opportunities within different community offices or NGOs with these training experiences in rural areas.<br />
  24. 24. Findings and discussion<br />20<br />The importance of Heeks’ four sets of resources to understand the sustainability/functionality of the YCMC<br />
  25. 25. Further research<br />21<br />How can this kind of ICT center contribute to more accountable local governance? <br />How can low literate people get easy access to this type of center in the rural areas? <br />
  26. 26. References<br />Development Gateway 2003; Community Telecenters: Assuring Impact and Sustainability<br />Heeks, R. (2003). Most eGovernment-for- Development Projects Fail: How Can Risks Be Reduced? http://<br />Heeks, R. 2005: Foundations of ICTs in Development: The Information Chain. eDevelopment Briefing no 3, University of Manchester<br />James, J. (2004). Reconstructing the digital divide from the perspective of a large, poor, developing country. Journal of Information Technology, 19(3), 172–177.<br />James, J. (2005). The global digital divide in the internet: Developed countries constructs and third world realities. Journal of Information Science, 31(2), 114–123.<br />Ministry of Science and Information & Communication Technology, Bangladesh<br />Rahman, A. (ed.) 2009: YPSA Annual report 2009;<br />Sein, M.K., Ahmad, I. and Harindranath, G. 2008. Sustaining ICT for Development Projects: The Case of Grameenphone CIC. Telektronikk, 104, 2, 16-24<br />UNDP Bangladesh 2010. PM inaugurates info service centres across country.United Nation Development Programme (Bangladesh), 2010<br />Wenger, E. 1998: Communities of Practice. Learning, meaning and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.<br /><br />