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B. Shadrach Reference letter for Pilar Pacheco


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B. Shadrach Reference letter for Pilar Pacheco

  1. 1. Basheerhamad Shadrach, PhD D4/4068, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi 110070, India; Tel: +91-9871119726; email: 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 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.
  2. 2. +91-11-26123245; +91-9871119726 Page 02 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 programs. 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 pursuits. I would be delighted to be contacted with any questions should anyone require further information. Sincerely, Basheerhamad Shadrach, PhD Information Science and Development Fields Expert
  3. 3. +91-11-26123245; +91-9871119726 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 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 Kingdom.