Basheerhamad Shadrach, PhD
D4/4068, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi 110070, India; Tel: +91-9871119726; email: email@example.com
1 April 2015
Re: Ms. Pilar Pacheco
To Whom It May Concern:
I feel privileged to offer a letter of reference outlining the remarkable professional and personal competences of
Ms. Pilar Pacheco over the eight years since I know her as a colleague in the international development domain.
At the outset, I wish to mention that Ms. Pacheco is recognized internationally and nationally as a lead expert in
the fields of education and libraries, and in particular, as someone who has used her leadership skills to support
‘access to information’ programs that steer development of individuals and communities. Further, as a trainer and
communicator, she has helped to train thousands of individuals across continents to harness the power of
technologies in teaching and learning programs. She has not only nurtured individuals in the field of education and
public libraries, but also, effectively, initiated leadership-focused training programs which she now manages so
effectively across five continents, including that of one in India where I have had the privilege to be associated with.
Previously, as a part of the telecentre.org community that helped to build a global telecentre academy in 14 nations
around the world, Ms. Pilar Pacheco worked closely with me as a lead curriculum and subject-matter specialist.
Her specific role in the global telecentre movement resulted in the development of the initial set of modules for use
among a million intermediary knowledge workers at the grassroots level. In supporting the learning needs of these
intermediary knowledge workers who provide needs-based knowledge services to the poor communities living in
underserved locales around the world, Ms. Pacheco played a key role in developing and designing an appropriate
courseware that was delivered in distance learning mode through the use of blended learning approaches and
techniques. Her leadership skills combined with her insight and apathy for the grassroots-level knowledge workers
were highly commendable in this effort.
Having specialized in information science, I have for three decades now been engaged in programs that pioneer
the use of information and communication technologies in empowering communities, initiating many programs at
the global level. In this effort, Ms. Pacheco’s support, and her role as a program officer with the Bill & Melinda
Gates Foundation, in particular, has proven to be a game-changer, especially in a number of innovative programs
that aim to rejuvenate public library system in India. While previous efforts to support similar programs in India
failed to get off the ground, it was Ms. Pilar Pacheco who took on the challenge with courage, and initiated a pilot
program which has, in a period of eighteen months’ time, merited scale-up. Her efforts have led to the formation
of the first-ever multi-stakeholder-based Public Library Movement in India, which the policy-makers see as the
cornerstone for revitalizing the provision of knowledge, information and skill-development services to the people
who live below the poverty line in the 600,000 villages of India.
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Using her experience that she gained while managing similar programs in Chile, Brazil, Viet Nam and elsewhere,
Ms. Pacheco has managed to enthuse a new energy among the multi-stakeholders that strive to end poverty
through public libraries program in India. As a program officer of BMGF, Ms. Pacheco has gained a special
reputation of being seen as a mentor to individuals in numerous non-governmental organizations, agencies in
government, and a few private sector entities that have embarked upon strengthening public information access
Ms. Pacheco is known for her critical input to program development, and for her ability to envision programmatic
outcomes in the long-term. She has also been instrumental in encouraging a collaborative work culture among the
multi-stakeholders that we just concluded the first-ever multi stakeholder-led India Public Libraries Conference in
Delhi on 17-19 March 2015, attended by more than 400 professionals. The event witnessed some twenty
organizations coming together with the Government of India’s agencies supporting the whole process. As
recognition for her leadership by the representatives of the library field and different stakeholders organizing the
conference, Ms. Pilar Pacheco was invited as one of the keynote speakers of the inaugural session, along with
Hon’ble Dr. Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, India.
Ms. Pilar Pacheco is one of the most respected individual in the field of public access computing and public libraries
programs around the world. At various international fora in the above fields, I have been a witness to Ms. Pacheco
being invited many a times to offer her insights and forward looking vision. I personally endorse her as one among
the few people who have truly embarked upon innovative education and knowledge dissemination programs using
modern technologies. She has the ability to tread new geographies and terrains, cultivating relationships with new
professionals with a view to developing programs with a vision for the future. Her command over the language
and the ability to simplify concepts in a convincing manner at meetings where consensus requires to be built-up is
a rare skill that only a few people possess. As a humanist, she has shown utmost respect to local practices and
cultures and has worked at ease with professionals and the common people living in the Asia-Pacific, African,
European and the American continents.
Based on the above, it is my opinion that Ms. Pacheco has distinguished herself and stands out as being in the top
3% in her field. It has been my privilege to have known her as a colleague and to have worked with her closely in
programs in Asia over the last eight years. I wish Ms Pilar Pacheco every success in her personal and professional
I would be delighted to be contacted with any questions should anyone require further information.
Basheerhamad Shadrach, PhD
Information Science and Development Fields Expert
+91-11-26123245; +91-9871119726 Shaddy.email@example.com Page 03
Basheerhamad Shadrach works as an independent consultant to a variety of organizations in the field of
eGovernance, public libraries, access to information, freedom of information/express and ICT4D since July 2011.
At present, he is associated with the World Wide Web Foundation, USA while also consulting for the Global
Libraries initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in India since March 2012.
Earlier, Shadrach worked as the global CEO of the Telecentre.org Foundation in Manila, an organization that
promotes grassroots access to knowledge and technologies. Shadrach’s almost three decade long career focused
heavily upon access to information and learning opportunities among various clienteles, including the marginalized
people at the grassroots. Shadrach was instrumental in promoting the Open Knowledge Network in Asia, ICT4D
movement in South Asia, the global anti-corruption knowledge system of Transparency International, and a number
of communities of practice in South Asia for policy advocacy. As the Ottawa-appointed grant-maker for the
Canadian International Development Research Centre, Shadrach funded a number of organizations and networks
involving grassroots informatics in more than 20 nations around the world. He has also worked closely with
Professor M S Swaminathan in promoting the Mission 2007: every village a knowledge center in India movement
which resulted in the Government of India initiating such knowledge centers in over 100,000 villages.
Having been trained as a librarian at the United States Information Service in Chennai, India in the year 1986,
Shadrach worked as a library professional in a variety of institutions such as the British Council, Indian Space
Research Organization, Indian Express Newspaper Group, OneWorld South Asia and the Australian High
Commission. Shadrach holds a doctoral degree in Information Science from Loughborough University in the United