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Bridging the digital divide – access. content and skills.


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A briefing note on Interactive Comminity Network Nodes. An exciting new project that we are embarking upon with the Western Cape Government aimed at getting mass adoption of digital services in poor communities.

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Bridging the digital divide – access. content and skills.

  1. 1. Interactive Community Access Network Node (ICANN) Bridging the digital divide – access. content and skills Discussion Document Produced for the Western Cape Government (WCG), South Africa Nirvesh Sooful Chief Executive Officer (CEO) African Ideas
  2. 2. African Ideas – who we are • • Strategic consultancy helping Governments to accelerate the benefits of ICT enabled change through transformation of the public sector and the wider economy. Operates primarily in the ICT4D space. Key projects – – – – – – – – Western Cape Broadband – Strategy & Digitisation Readiness Advisory Service Western Cape Municipal ICT roadmap Municipal Shared Service Solution (Cloud based) ICAN Centres (Digital Inclusion) WIFI Mesh (Rural – Saldanha, Urban – Khayelitsha & Mitchells Plain) Rethinking Libraries (Libraries of the future) Community spaces of the future E-enabling Education (utilising broadband) “dropping a stone, or even a drop of water, in a pond causes ripples to emanate from the source, getting bigger and bigger the further away from the source they get. This is a powerful example of small changes causing large and farreaching effects” At African Ideas, we specialise in working with our clients to identify these „big lever‟ projects – the projects which, when embarked upon, will set the necessary ripples in motion to drive change and transformation throughout an eco-system. In this way we aim to have a profound effect on the society in which we operate. Innovation Development Empowerment Action Solutions
  3. 3. ICT-related knowledge, skills and competences (e-Skills) is important • The development of the knowledge-based and innovation-driven economies and a society is not possible without having highly ICTskilled (e-skilled) knowledge workers and digitally literate (e-literate) citizens (as consumers, clients, participants, friends, families and communities). • ICT-related knowledge, skills and competences are critical for the growth of “new age” economies that indispensably require innovation and aggregation of resources, to achieve global competitiveness. • In the South African context, e-skills are broadly defined as the ability of people to use and create all forms of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in order to – achieve equitable prosperity and global competitiveness in general, and – to improve their life opportunities in: • • • • (i) personal and educational space, (ii) work environments, (iii) community interactions and (iv) participation in government processes.” • 2012 National e-Skills Plan of Action (NeSPA) Innovation Development Empowerment Action Solutions
  4. 4. Public Access is important • Public access centres have been established worldwide to serve disadvantaged communities, and many countries have deployed a plethora of models in a bid to address digital divide issues. • The Census 2011 indicates that the majority of South Africans do not have access to the internet. Important findings from the recently released New Wave Report provide a clear rationale for an expanded public access centre programme. The findings in this report indicate that “for most of those without access at home or work (about four out of five new users) our data shows that Internet cafés, and (to a lesser extent) schools and colleges, are often important point of access that may address some of these limitations of the mobile Internet and enable users to widen the range of online services that they use online”. • A recently released report from the University of Washington Technology & Social Change Group found that public access venues play a critical role in extending the benefits of ICTs to large sections of the population, despite the expansion of mobile telephone access. • They also state that “public access enables change in personal, social, economic, and other realms of life, by providing the technological and human tools (basic or advanced) that open up the information society to individuals” Innovation Development Empowerment Action Solutions
  5. 5. Findings: Connecting Communities: Gap • • • • • International metric & Statistic SA data – +/- 1,500 to 2,700 Telecentres needed National Target - Public ICT Access within a 2 km radius of anyone by 2019 – implies much more than 2700. Not achievable, affordable or sustainable in PGWC context. Therefore as phase 1, chose wards (386) as a starting point • In the Metro, there are 44 (of the 110) wards that do not have libraries, so do not have Smart Cape (public ICT facilities) • Other districts (and municipalities reflected left • Gap across Western Cape on wards = 44 + 189 = 233 • Represents 60% of all wards Innovation Development Empowerment Action Solutions
  6. 6. Connecting Communities • This is a project to integrate and expand shared public access to ICT facilities to all communities in the Western Cape. Public ICT access facilities (e.g. telecentres, Smart Cape, Cape Access, etc.) are a very important tool to provide poor people with access to technology. It is being used extensively in both developing countries and developed countries. • A phased approach will be adopted • Phase 1 will ensure that there are public ICT facilities in every ward by 2014. There are 388 wards in the Western Cape, 233 (60%) of which do not currently have public ICT facilities. • Phase 2 will extend the public access footprint to every voting district by 2018. There are currently 1576 voting districts in the Western Cape. • Phase 3 will evaluate the situation post-Phase 2, determine the gap with the national targets at that stage and put in place a strategy to close the gap. Across all three phases, sustainability models for the public access facilities (including entrepreneur driven models) will be explored. Innovation Development Empowerment Action Solutions
  7. 7. ICANN • The WCG is driving the creation of an interactive community access network (ICAN) as a network of spaces (community centres, public internet facilities, schools, libraries, FET Colleges, Open Learning Centres, etc.) where the community can leverage the online environment. • Two new pilot centres (ICAN nodes) will be established as anchors of the interactive community access network. • These centres (ICANNs – Interactive Community Access Network Nodes) will be established along the principles of the Smart Community Knowledge Production Centres as articulated by the e-Skills Institute. • Leverage insights from existing public access models, as well as entrepreneur models Innovation Development Empowerment Action Solutions
  8. 8. ICANNs • They will be open spaces for learning, innovation and knowledge production. • A key issue for these centres is the exploration of the social entrepreneurship model. • In this model government partners with local entrepreneurs to establish and maintain public access centres. • In this way business opportunities are created and the maintenance and sustainability of the infrastructure is delegated to the entrepreneur. • The objective of the pilot will be to design and test a model/framework aimed at establishing stakeholder partnerships (establishing an ecosystem) with a view of enhance and accelerating the delivery of e-skills initiatives in communities i.e. get to mass scale. • The medium term intention is that the ICAN will reach every ward in the Western Cape and that existing facilities (Cape Access, Smart Cape, Thusong Centres, FET Colleges, schools, etc.) will be integrated into the ICAN. Innovation Development Empowerment Action Solutions
  9. 9. What is an ICANN? Innovation Development Empowerment Action Solutions
  10. 10. ICAN Community & Commercial Services zone The ICAN Community and Commercial Services zone is the core of the centre. It provides all of the support and shared services to the other zones. At a minimum, it consists of: • Public ICT Access Facilities (minimum of 10 computers) • Community space (with free wifi access). This will include open seating and could incorporate a coffee shop/ food court type of environment. This must allow for a “bring your own device” (BYOD) model. This space will also have TV facilities. Note: as far as possible, the centre must promote the use of nonpropriety technology and utilise open standards. • Services - Faxing, printing, lamination, binding, Copying, Certification, etc. • Facilities for other Commercial Services – ICT sales and support, Courier (Postnet type of services), Community Telephone, Airtime Sales, web sites for local businesses, CV development, Digital photography and Videoing, etc. • A longer term objective would be the support of mechanisms related to buying and selling electronically (supported by a logistics solution provider) to open up market opportunities for communities (both physical and digital services). • Management services – staffing, security, logistics, etc. Innovation Development Empowerment Action Solutions
  11. 11. ICAN Study zone The ICAN Study zone is specifically equipped to support learners and members of the community who are studying. It is intended to be a quieter, more study oriented space. It is also intended that this is a supervised zone and that a linkage with the schools in the area would be established. This zone is also necessary to prevent the school learners from overwhelming the facilities once school ends (as is currently being experienced). It consists of: • Kids homework/ tuition area - Desks & other Communal homework space • Research PCs (minimum 10) • Informal seating (beanbags, etc) • Digital Library (electronic collections). Note that this is intended to be a virtual collection that would serve the entire centre, and eventually, the entire ICAN. For the pilot, this would be a demonstration of the concept utilising resources that are freely available. Discussions would need to be had with Library Services about incorporating paid-for electronic collections. Innovation Development Empowerment Action Solutions
  12. 12. ICAN Learn zone The ICAN Learn Zone is intended to support various community learning initiatives. It is essentially a training centre incorporated within the ICAN centre, It will be shared between school learners and the rest of the community. It will consist of: • Classroom based Training facilities (2 x training rooms/ virtual classrooms, 20 computers each) • Computer based training (CBT) facilities for elearning (individual facilities) – 10 dedicated ELearning workstations • Testing and accreditation centre – 2 computers Innovation Development Empowerment Action Solutions
  13. 13. ICAN Create zone The ICAN Create zone is a space for community innovation, local knowledge creation and entrepreneurship. It will consist of • Local Content creation lab - Recording facilities, sound, multimedia, video production, etc. – 6 specialised workstations (at least 1 sound studio). • Innovation space (touch, human interaction technologies, motion enabled computing, etc.) • Workshop space (with video conferencing). Note that video conferencing must be integrated throughout the facility. The workshop space just needs to have the facility for group based video conference facilities. Also note that the intention is not to make a high end, professional video conference facility available – it is rather to use a low cost, freely available solution like Skype or Google Hangouts. A high end video conference facility could be a commercial opportunity should the market need arise. • Incubation space (with fee based WIFI) Innovation Development Empowerment Action Solutions
  14. 14. ICAN Play zone The ICAN Play zone is a gaming lab. Research is starting to indicate that the right type of video games and interactive media can have a positive impact on self-efficacy which increases resilience, optimism, and motivation. The ICAN Centres are about digitisation – it is about getting mass adoption of technology to improve people’s lives. It is also about access, content and skills. It is focussed on driving adoption of broadband enabled solutions at community level. Innovation Development Empowerment Action Solutions
  15. 15. Possible site – community centre in Cape Town Township Innovation Development Empowerment Action Solutions
  16. 16. Possible site Existing Smart Cape and small gaming lab (not full building) 10 metres x 24metres Double Volume small hall Side Entrance not being used Innovation Development Empowerment Action Solutions
  17. 17. Possible site Innovation Development Empowerment Action Solutions
  18. 18. Innovation Development Empowerment Action Solutions
  19. 19. Safmarine Container Sports Centre Innovation Development Empowerment Action Solutions
  20. 20. Ground Floor (half) - Study Zone & Public Internet Access Possible site Mezzanine (half aprox 10 x 10 metres i.e.100 sqm) – Workshop/ meeting space Outside + Containers – Community Plaza & Commercial Zone Coffee shop, commercial services, incubation space, elearning pods, data centre, etc. Mezzanine (half aprox 10 x 10 metres i.e.100 sqm) – Create Zone Learn Zone (training centre) Ground Floor (half) – Play Zone Development Innovation Empowerment Action Solutions
  21. 21. Interactive Community Access Network Node (ICANN) Bridging the digital divide – access. content and skills Thank You & Discussion 21 Contact Details:,