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OLPC Oceania: Bridging the Digital Divide


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Talk by Michael Hutak, Australian Institute for International Affairs, Sydney, 29 March 2011

From the perspectives of humanitarian aid, human development and human rights, contributing to global efforts to bridge the digital divide should be an urgent and central priority of Australia’s aid program.

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OLPC Oceania: Bridging the Digital Divide

  1. 1. Closing the ICT Gap in Australia's Aid Program Bridging the Digital Divide in Aid Delivery Michael Hutak, Regional Director, Oceania One Laptop per Child Foundation Australian Institute of International Affairs Sydney, 29 March 2011
  2. 2. “As the world grows smaller, our common humanity will reveal itself. Pres. Barack Obama, Inauguration Speech, 2009
  3. 3. Freedom to connect • “…governments should not prevent people from connecting to the internet, to websites, or to each other… • “The freedom to connect is like the freedom of assembly, only in cyberspace.”
  4. 4. ICT as a standalone sector, not an input to other sectors
  5. 5. Goal 8, Target 8.F: “In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications“. Indicators: 8.14 Telephone lines per 100 inhabitants 8.15 Cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 8.16 Internet users per 100 inhabitants Millennium Development Goal 8F
  6. 6. Benefits of providing access to the Internet • Every 1% increase in access to the Internet, exports increase by 4.3% across a wide range of developed and developing countries. - World Bank 2009
  7. 7. Benefits of Investment in Education • Increases national and lifetime individual earnings and productive output • Less crime, slower population growth, reduced poverty, a cleaner environment • Positive relationships between education and:  Health  health of family members  schooling of one’s children  life choices made  fertility choices  infant mortality SOURCE: OECD AFGHANISTAN
  8. 8. Benefits of Investment in ICT for Education • builds income-generating skills • realises productive potential • stimulates economic development (esp. Infrastructure – power, communications , internet) • fosters the digital economy, e-governance, transparency • ensures future long-term competitiveness in an interconnected, globalised world • SOURCE: OECD
  9. 9.  Search in Jan 2011: Latest reference to Digital Divide: Speech by Alexander Downer in 2003.
  10. 10. PIF Leaders’ Pacific Plan In their Communiqué, Pacific leaders noted: “the potential utility of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative and the need for education authorities, where appropriate, to assess the priority to be accorded to it in their countries as a tool for education and disseminating information to rural and remote communities…” They ALSO “noted the launch of the Pacific Rural Internet Connectivity Scheme (PacRICS) with a view to assessing the usefulness of Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) technology in bridging the communication divide in rural and remote areas;”
  11. 11. One Laptop per Child
  12. 12. One Laptop per Child • Global non-profit organisation • MIT Media Lab • First project in Senegal in 1982 • XO laptop launched at WEF in 2006. • First deployment Feb ‘07 • Mass production Nov ’07 • 2.4m laptops to children & teachers • Projects in 40 countries in 19 languages
  13. 13. One Laptop per Child OLPC Foundation • 1-to-1 computing • constructionist learning approach • bridging digital divide • champion for children and joyful learning OLPC Association • develops and manufactures the XO • manages supply chain • works w/ Govts, MOEs and partners on deployment
  14. 14. One Laptop per Child Partners • Governments • IGOs • NGOs • Private Sector
  15. 15. OLPC global private partners
  16. 16. OLPC global public partners
  17. 17. “An education project, not a laptop project… …children are our mission, not our market.”
  18. 18. The XO laptop • Connected, rugged, low-cost, low-powered, Indoor/Outdoor screen readable in sunlight • E-book reader • Loaded with content and software to foster joyful, self-empowered learning • Created expressly for the world's poorest children, living in its most remote environments; • Suitable for all children, with utility for all families, for all communities
  19. 19. The XO 1.5 (from Feb 2010) Rugged, no moving parts, VIA processor, provides 2x the speed, 4x DRAM memory and 4x FLASH memory. Runs both the Linux and Windows OS. • VIA C7-M 1GHz Ultra Low Voltage Processor • 1GB DDR2 • 2GB/4GB/8GB NAND Flash Storage • Compressed JFFS2 file system: ~1GB • Integrated Wireless • Audio and Video Support • USB 2.0 Ports (3) • SD Card slot • US$209 unit cost • US$250 TCO SIERRA LEONE
  20. 20. XO ships with >100 approved applications 19 address literacy 22 address numeracy. • Documents • Chat, mail and talk • Media creation (music, images, video, audio) • Programming • Maths & Science • Maps & Geography • Media players • Games • Teacher tools • Collections Dual boot: Sugar (Linux) and WindowsXP PALESTINE OT
  21. 21. • Children lack opportunity not capability • Learning to learn; learning by doing • Inquiry beyond school, school hours • Reaching the poorest, most isolated kids • Using ICT to learn, not learning to use ICT! a child-centred approach SOLOMON ISLANDS
  22. 22. Five core principles 1. child ownership* 2. low ages 3. saturation 4. connection 5. free & open source * In the Pacific, child is custodian SOLOMON ISLANDS
  23. 23. 2 Source: Plan Ceibal – Uruguay deployment 2009; 400,000 students received laptops and took part in survey.
  24. 24. 3 Source: Peru deployment of 500,000 laptops to children in Peru; 80% of students included in survey results. Extending the time for learning
  25. 25. Educational impact Afghanistan: across six schools, an average improvement of 21.33% in standard test results after just 2 months classroom use. Evaluations to date*: • Haiti • Uruguay • Nepal • Solomon Islands • Ethiopia • Australia • MTC * Evaluations of One Laptop per Child, OLPC Learning Group, 2010 PERU
  26. 26. SIG Evaluation: Recommendations 1. more teacher training 2. more guidance for parents and communities 3. adapt curriculum for digital delivery 4. train local community in tech support 5. address power solutions 6. provide peripherals: printers, ‘mice’, servers 7. close involvement MOE 8. sufficient laptops for new enrolments 9. install M&E at outset; establish baseline data
  27. 27. 2.4m kids, 40 countries, 19 languages
  28. 28. The Pacific • World’s largest ocean –pole to pole • 46% of Earth's water surface • 32% of Earth's total surface area • Larger than all of the Earth's land area combined. • approx. 25,000 islands
  29. 29. Pacific education & development • c. 1.7m children aged 6-12 • 40% 6-12yos attend no school • Church sector has more skills and capacity • Movement to preserve indigenous languages • Challenges from poverty, climate change, globalization, disasters, rapid population growth and urbanization
  30. 30. Pacific dev partners • Australia • New Zealand • Japan • China • Taiwan • USA • European Union • SPC, PIFS • ITU • ADB • UNESCO • World Bank • UNDP • UNICEF • Corporates, HNW
  31. 31. Regional Partnership provide every child with a rugged, low-cost, low-powered, connected laptop, loaded with content and software for collaborative, self-empowered learning Target: 700,000 kids in Basic Education in 22 Pacific island nations. One Laptop per Pacific Child SOLOMON ISLANDS
  32. 32. OLPC requested by the governments of: • Fiji • Samoa* • FSM* • Solomon Is.* • Nauru* • Tokelau • Niue* • Tonga* • Palau • Tuvalu* • PNG* • Vanuatu * • RMI • Fr. Polynesia • Cook Is.* • Kiribati • New Caledonia * = active projects Funds expended – US$2.5 million: • OLPC donates 5000 laptops to Pacific worth US$2m • OLPC and SPC assign resources worth US$500k.
  33. 33. >6000 XOs in 41 schools in 10 Pacific countries. Funds expended – US$2.5 million: OLPC donates 5000 laptops to Pacific worth US$2m OLPC and SPC assign resources worth US$500k.
  34. 34. Pacific Education Development Framework (2009-15) “Preliminary results from OLPC trials show Pacific countries can make a quantum leap forward in realising goals of access, quality and equity in education…” SOLOMON ISLANDS
  35. 35. OLPC Policy touchstones 1990 – Convention on the Rights of the Child 2000 – Dakar Framework on Education for All 2000 – Millennium Development Goals • MDG 1 – poverty and hunger • MDG 2 – universal primary education • MDG 3 – gender equality • MDG8f – “In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications.” 2005 – Tunis Commitment to bridge the digital divide, WSIS
  36. 36. OLPC Policy touchstones 2007 – The Pacific Plan, Pacific Islands Forum 2007 – Pacific Regional Digital Strategy, Pacific Islands Forum 2009 – Pacific ICT Ministerial Forum Communique 2010 – Pacific Education Development Framework 2010 – Framework for Action on ICT for Development in the Pacific
  37. 37. One Laptop per Pacific Child • Focus on partnership • Empowerment of communities • Country-led national programmes • Regional coord & tech assistance • Country-to-country exchange • Collaborative, inclusive approach NIUE
  38. 38. OLPC Oceania • a coalition of global, regional, national, local and individual actors • governments, donors, civil society, educators, academics and volunteers • TA to countries to establish 1-to1 computing as a sustainable reality. SOLOMON ISLANDS
  39. 39. ‘Every PACRICS site is an OLPC hub’ • Small 1.8m satellite dishes and ‘network- in-a-box’ server allows Internet connectivity, WiFi networking • SPC’s Rural Internet Connectivity System (PACRICS) programme is highly complementary with OLPC. SOLOMON ISLANDS
  40. 40. Pilot Phase: lessons learned • OLPC adds value for children, communities, countries • aligns with Pacific goals and plans, inc. the MDGs • High country-level demand in the Pacific • Strong support at both political and community • Small pilots provide an insufficient evidence base • M&E integrated at the outset • Broader-based TA needed to build country capacity PAPUA NEW GUINEA
  41. 41. OLPC Oceania: project drivers Strong Partnerships Sufficient Planning
  42. 42. OLPC Oceania 2008-15 Country Programs Trials Pilots 2008 –09 Pilots in 5 countries 2009-11 OLPC introduced and assessed for scale- up 10 PICT countries 2012-15 OLPC scaled up to deliver by 2015 one laptop per every child in basic education
  43. 43. Pacific deployment strategy supports sustainability Develop Community Awareness •Educate population on program benefits and XO functionality •Develop social inclusion campaigns to achieve local support •Launch training programs to promote XO usage, including teachers Customize XO platform to address local needs •Meet with officials from the minister of education to align on curriculum requirements •Develop customized applications •Digitize textbooks, perform translations Train the core team •Government to select 'Core Team' for execution of local program (IT expertise, etc) •Train core team in all learning and technical elements of the product and program •Train a set of local trainers who will be sent throughout the country Develop infrastructure •Provide advisory/ support for government in development of infrastructure (Electrical, IT, network mgmt) •Local capacity building (inventory management, logistics, distribution, maintenance, financial tracking) •Development of Internet access and connectivity infrastructure Monitoring & Evaluation •Initial field assessment baseline study •Monitor initial program roll out; evaluate social, academic impacts annually A B C D E
  44. 44. Coord Model: National Core Team PoliticalTeam Prime Minister Min. Foreign Affairs Cabinet • National leadership • Strategy, Policy and Partnerships • Donor Relations PlanningTeam Min. Treasury & Finance Min. National Planning & Rural Development Min. Community Development • planning and project management • identifies schools and sequence of roll-out PedagogyTeam Min. Education • teacher training • content, curricula • localisation • monitoring & evaluation LogisticsTeam Min. Public Services • Supply chain • shipping, distribution, • security, • repairs, maintenance • Sweat Equity TechnicalTeam Min. National Planning and Rural Development Min. Info and Communications • Deployment • Infrastructure • Power • Communications • Connectivity Cross-cutting “whole of government” approach • Cabinet sub-committee, led at Ministerial level • Reports to National Planning Committee • Workplan developed at Dept Secretary level • Five core sub-teams...
  45. 45. • Catalytic effect on governments to deliver better quality education • (by) creating community demand for better quality • (while) mobilising resources and partnerships to meet demand • adds value for children, countries, communities and donors Better quality, value-adding COOK ISLANDS
  46. 46. We need to know...  Will it work in the region?  Will it work in my country?  Will it work in my village? We need to gather the evidence to answer these questions We owe it to our children – and to their future – to find out SOLOMON ISLANDS
  47. 47. OLPC in Asia • Afghanistan (4k) • Cambodia (1k) • China (1k) • Indonesia (550) • Philippines (200) • Armenia (3.5k) • India (800) • Sri Lanka – WB (3.6k) • Malaysia (100) • Mongolia (14.5k) • Nepal – WFP (6k) • Pakistan (500) • Philippines (100) • Thailand (500) • Kyrgystan (>100) • Kazakhstan (10k) SICHUAN, CHINA
  48. 48. Painting created on the XO by child from Gaire, Papua New Guinea, 2008.
  49. 49. Thank you.