Telecentre Org Business Plan Final Public Version


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Telecentre Org Business Plan Final Public Version

  1. 1. Business Plan Period: 2006 – 2009 May 3, 2006 Final Version a collaborative social investment program supported by: Contact: Mark Surman, Managing Director - International Development Research Centre 250 Albert Street, Ottawa, Canada K1G 3H9 (613) 236-6163 ext. 2061
  2. 2. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 2 Telecentre (noun): A public place where people can access computers, the Internet and other technologies, and that help people to gather information and communicate with others at the same time as they develop digital skills. While each telecentre is different, the common focus is on the use of technologies to support community and social development – reducing isolation, bridging the digital divide, promoting health issues, creating economic opportunities, reaching out to youths. Telecentres exist in almost every country on the planet, although they sometimes go by different names (e.g. village knowledge centres, infocentres, community technology centres, community multimedia centres or school based telecentres). Wikipedia definition of “telecentre” October 31, 2005, 8:17 pm GMT A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  3. 3. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 3 is a $CAD21 million collaborative social investment program that aims to improve the capacity and sustainability of telecentres around the world. The program invests in services and learning opportunities that benefit people working on the ground in local telecentres. Founding social investors include IDRC ($CAD5 million), Microsoft ($CAD11 million) and SDC ($CAD5 million). The partnership will expand over time. IDRC is a Canadian crown corporation that collaborates closely with researchers from the developing world as they build more healthy, equitable, and prosperous societies. Microsoft Corporation is a global technology leader committed to innovation and broadening digital inclusion through its Unlimited Potential program. SDC is Switzerland’s international cooperation agency responsible for overall coordination of development activities and cooperation, as well as humanitarian aid. Building on a long history supporting telecentres, all three organizations share a commitment to investing in networks, services and learning opportunities that make telecentres stronger. We invite others who share the commitment to join us in this partnership. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  4. 4. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 4 Table of Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ............................................................................................ 5 1 VISION: A KNOWLEDGE SOCIETY, FROM THE GROUND UP............................... 7 2 NEEDS: WHAT TELECENTRES ARE LOOKING FOR............................................ 10 3 MISSION: STRENGTHENING THE TELECENTRE ECOSYSTEM............................ 14 4 INVESTMENT LINE #1: BUILDING NETWORKS ............................................... 17 5 INVESTMENT LINE #2: CREATING CONTENT AND SERVICES.......................... 20 6 INVESTMENT LINE #3: SHARING KNOWLEDGE .............................................. 23 7 INVESTMENT LINE #4: CONNECTING PEOPLE ................................................ 26 8 PARTNERSHIPS: GETTING THINGS DONE COLLABORATIVELY........................ 28 9 MARKETING: PROMOTING THE TELECENTRE ECOSYSTEM .............................. 32 10 OPERATIONS: PROGRAM MANAGEMENT AND OVERSIGHT .......................... 36 APPENDIX A – MONITORING AND EVALUATION STRATEGY ................................. 39 APPENDIX B – PROGRAM OVERVIEW TABLES ...................................................... 42 APPENDIX C – PROJECTS FUNDED TO DATE ......................................................... 46 APPENDIX D – RESEARCH AND ENGAGEMENT INPUTS ......................................... 49 A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  5. 5. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 5 Executive Summary We don't need more pilot projects. We need a movement. Dr. Ashok Jhunjunwala Co-founder, n-Logue Telecentres are helping people around the world join the knowledge society, on their own terms. They provide a laboratory for communities to experiment with technology and determine how it best meets their needs. Connecting telecentres to a network of useful relationships, learning, innovation, products and services ultimately makes them more sustainable and increases their community impact. Being part of a larger ecosystem also improves the services they offer to their local communities. The program invests in efforts that strengthen the entire telecentre ecosystem. The opportunity: a stronger telecentre ecosystem Building on three years of research, is responding to a pressing need – and opportunity – to strengthen the overall telecentre ecosystem. Past telecentre investments have focused on local infrastructure: computers; Internet access; software; electricity. While these are critical, too few resources have gone into building the skills of telecentre managers, creating high-value content and services to offer through telecentres, or networking telecentre people so they can learn and collaborate with each other. The result is lop-sided and unsustainable, with large numbers of local telecentres but little in the way of backstopping services to build capacity and help centres succeed. The strategy is to make investments that benefit the whole telecentre ecosystem: local centres; networks that provide support; social enterprises that develop services; social investors who fund telecentres. This broad-based approach leverages the value of previous telecentre investments while encouraging continued growth of a sustainable telecentre movement. It is now the right time to seize this opportunity. The program: investing in networks and services Housed at IDRC in Ottawa and Delhi, the program invests in four main areas. Each investment line is intended to improve telecentre capacity and sustainability locally while at the same time strengthening the telecentre ecosystem around the world: 1. Building networks: creating or strengthening networks that provide training, technical assistance and other services to improve telecentre sustainability. 2. Creating content and services: investing in services and content that can be easily offered at the local level, helping telecentres attract users, generate revenue and increase community impact. 3. Sharing knowledge: facilitating materials-sharing to help people working in telecentres learn new skills, adopt innovative social enterprise models and deliver better services. 4. Connecting people: convening workshops where telecentre leaders establish new relationships, share innovative new ideas and build practical partnerships. All program investments fall into one or more of these areas. They are provided to telecentre networks or social enterprises offering useful services to telecentres. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  6. 6. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 6 The approach: partnership and collaboration achieves these objectives through partnership, with partners working individually and together to deliver concrete services to telecentres. The program works with four types of partners: networks; service providers; telecentre champions; and other social investors. Partnerships include direct, one-on-one investment relationships as well as loose functional alliances, or 'constellations' (see section 8). Direct partnerships typically involve cash or services grants to produce specific, high value outcomes: an event; a network; a service. Constellations target bigger, harder to define tasks that require collaboration amongst many organizations, like building a social supply chain. Constellations have the potential to produce new ideas and partnerships unimaginable today. Partnership is also central to's marketing strategy, which focuses on both the social investment program and the telecentre ecosystem. The program will market the value of the telecentre concept, developing materials about the telecentre movement and sharing the logo with organizations committed to strengthening the telecentre ecosystem. Similar to the Star Alliance or the organic foods logos, people will eventually view organizations displaying the logo as being both a trustworthy brand in their own right and a part of larger global community of excellence. Early achievements, and next steps The program was officially launched in November 2005 at the World Summit on the Information Society in Tunis. A great deal had already been accomplished prior to the official launch. and its partners had: convened 12 workshops attended by over 700 grassroots telecentre leaders; developed a business planning and social enterprise support program for networks; and released a beta online community for telecentres. At the Tunis summit, convened the first global Telecentre Leaders’ Forum (TLF) and announced a $CAD1.2 million commitment to support networks in 7 countries. The program is now fully rolling out all four investment lines. Next steps include: • Helping telecentre networks grow into strong social enterprises, providing sustainable peer learning opportunities, support services and a social supply chains to local telecentres. Network support will expand to other countries. • Creating an R&D investment fund supporting high value services offered by telecentres, and involving both social enterprises and corporate emerging markets groups. Also, encouraging local communities to create social content. • Supporting the creation of world class learning and knowledge sharing systems, including comprehensive training and certification programs for telecentre staff and efficient online+offline channels for distributing content to telecentres. • Establishing a regular program of high profile Telecentre Leaders’ Forum events, with global and regional events happening during alternate years. Additionally, efforts to grow awareness and support for are ongoing, including active partner involvement in supported activities and formal program affiliation. IDRC, Microsoft and SDC are seeking a select group of additional social investors to join and guide the consortium. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  7. 7. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 7 1 Vision: a knowledge society, from the ground up invests in networks, services and workshops that improve the capacity and sustainability of telecentres around the world. Imagine a world where people in villages, towns and cities everywhere have joined the knowledge society – on their own terms. In this world, telecentres are part of a global movement for the community use of technology that removes barriers of geographic isolation and poverty. They offer learning programs, help people find jobs or start businesses and provide an access point for e-health and e-government. They exist as a common space where people work with technology as a community: teaching each other how to create media or program computers, inventing new business ideas and organizing community development campaigns. Most importantly, they give people a voice in their own futures, adapting the tools of the knowledge society to suit their real needs. In this world, telecentres are vibrant local hubs where the social economy of a community revolves, and people gather to learn, experiment and create using technology. While we don't live in this world yet, most of the necessary building blocks already exist. – a collaborative IDRC / Microsoft / SDC social investment program – wants to help put these building blocks together. 1.1 Why telecentres matter … People have been building telecentres for over 20 years. Originally focused on access to computers and other basic technologies, they have evolved to include a wide variety of communications, content and community development services … The common thread is a focus on the use of technology to strengthen communities. Telecentres offer young people a first place to learn about computers, provide villages access to government services, allow isolated communities to bridge the education and health gap and open up economic opportunity for small entrepreneurs. No matter what they call themselves – telecentres, telecottages, village knowledge centres, CTCs or community multimedia centres – the focus on the social use of technology is what unites the telecentre movement. This is why telecentres matter. The question is: how can telecentres matter more? The answer: invest not just in telecentres, but in the whole telecentre ecosystem. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  8. 8. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 8 1.2 The telecentre ecosystem The telecentre movement is a business ecosystem, albeit with a social market in mind. Like any such ecosystem, it consists of complex webs of interdependent innovators, suppliers, brands, delivery channels and financing mechanisms. One problem: many key pieces of the telecentre ecosystem are missing or weak. There are few organizations focused on back end business or technical support. There is no efficient social supply chain to provide telecentres with the hardware, software and other products needed to operate successfully. There are even fewer dedicated to developing high value services and content that telecentres can offer to people in the communities they serve. Housed at Canada's IDRC, the program makes social investments aimed at filling these gaps. Its objective: developing a richer ecosystem where a diversity of interconnected players help each other to succeed … As this diagram illustrates, strategic and catalytic investments the investment program makes in telecentre networks and backend service providers can significantly improve a telecentre’s ability to meet community needs. 1.3 driven by values IDRC, Microsoft and SDC partnered to create as its initial social investors. All three organizations have a long history investing in individual telecentres and telecentre programs at the grassroots level. Based on research and input from partners, they saw a complimentary need for targeted investment in people, organizations, products and services that will help local telecentres and telecentre networks succeed, provides a A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  9. 9. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 9 platform to make this investment in a way that benefits the overall telecentre ecosystem In developing a plan for the program, the founding social investors agreed that a core set of social values should guide all investments. These values reflect the spirit of the telecentre movement and include: 1. Social impact: Remain committed to the idea that telecentres serve a social purpose, helping communities join the knowledge society on their own terms. 2. Entrepreneurship: Focus on people first and organizations second. Identify people actively engaged in social, business and technical innovation. 3. Knowledge sharing: Use leaders' forums, online communities and other social processes to share knowledge and document new ideas. 4. Collaboration: Promote collaboration amongst partners as a way to strengthen the ecosystem. Listen constantly to partners, and adapt. 5. Transparency: Clearly explain the program and tell its story, in real time. Encourage partners to do the same. 6. Appropriate technology: Stay platform neutral, always. Constantly monitor, document and promote the use of new and appropriate technologies. These values are the foundations upon which the program is built. Along with the broad vision of a people-centric, from-the-ground-up knowledge society, these values are the touchstones that guide the program team on a daily basis. The remainder of this business plan describes how the social investment program works, the partnerships it builds, and the ways it contributes to the broader telecentre ecosystem. It also serves as an open invitation to potential partners in every sector, especially those who have previously invested in telecentres locally, to share in this vision of creating a stronger more sustainable telecentre movement and to join us in this work. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  10. 10. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 10 2 Needs: what telecentres are looking for There is a vast number of community, government, school and entrepreneur-run telecentres globally committed to the use of computers and the development of digital skills. Major telecentre investments by countries like India as well as the introduction of complex applications that run on mobile 'village phones' means that the universe of shared public access to technology will grow dramatically in the coming years. Despite this huge potential, telecentres face significant challenges. These challenges start with generating community interest: most local people don't appreciate the full potential of a telecentre when it arrives in their village. Once the telecentre takes off, financial sustainability, access to skilled staff, development of new services and upgrades to technology often become an issue. There is demand, but it's difficult to maintain. These problems are exacerbated by the lack of back end support in most telecentres: There is no one to call when something is broken, no one to provide strategic and management advice, and no one developing new services to offer on how to upgrade technology economically. Back end systems have simply never been a priority for most major programs investing in telecentres, and few telecentres can either afford or imagine them on their own. The goal of is to ensure that telecentres have the necessary skills, support and services to grow in their communities, reach out to new users and find realistic paths to sustainability. Based on three years of research and one year working collaboratively with telecentre people around the world, the team has developed a strategic plan to address these needs based on the information collected and presented below. 2.1 Telecentre movement: size and growth It is almost impossible to provide an accurate estimate of the number of telecentres globally. Telecentres are too dispersed, diverse and disconnected for this data to be gathered reliably. It is often not available even within individual countries. Even where it is known, the rapid growth of telecentres means that numbers are quickly out of date. However, the limited data that is available suggests that at least 60,000 government, community and entrepreneur run telecentres globally. Sample data pointing to this estimate includes: • A soon-to-be published report by CEPAL suggests that at least 35,000 telecentres exist in 13 countries with Latin America and the Caribbean. • Mission 2007 claims that at least 15,000 knowledge centres and kiosks exist in India. • In Spain, more than 2,000 telecentres are operated by government programs. • In Eastern Europe, the European Union of Telecottage Associations represents more than 1,000 telecentres. • There are at least 3,000 US telecentres including 1,300 CTCNet members. • In Canada, there are more than 4,000 Community Access Program sites. These numbers do not include school computer labs, libraries or cybercafés which may offer telecentre-like public access and learning services. Many activities the program supports will also benefit this broader audience. In addition to these already existing telecentres, there is clearly a trend towards continued growth that will enlarge the number of telecentres in coming years: A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  11. 11. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 11 • In India, Mission 2007 has set a target of one knowledge centre for every one of India's 600,000 villages. Various government and private sector players have already committed to covering 350,000 villages. • In Colombia, COMPARTEL is planning for 1,400 new telecentres in 2006/07. • E-Mexico is targeting 7,200 Centros Comunitarios Digitales by end of 2006. • The Nepalese government has committed in its five-year plan the establishment of 1,500 telecentres in each village development council. Over time, the program will make it possible to gather more accurate telecentre metrics. Networks supported through will gather basic information about telecentres that use their services and carry out regular surveys. In the meantime, it’s apparent the telecentre movement is 'large and growing fast'. 2.2 Understanding telecentre needs Understanding the needs of 60,000+ telecentres globally requires research, community engagement and continuous dialogue. These are the principles upon which is built. Consultations and research have been underway for over three years and clearly point to a need for a program like In 2002, IDRC, UNESCO and IICD organized a meeting of telecentre leaders to discuss future strategies. The meeting’s outcome was a call for networks that supported the work of telecentres on the ground and grew the movement: This meeting was followed by a regional network workshop for Africa and a number of meetings related to Microsoft's explorations into the creation of a telecentre support network. In 2004, Microsoft and IDRC agreed to create the program. A further series of community engagement and network planning sessions were undertaken, totaling 12 national, regional or global workshops with over 700 participants. All of these events have contributed to this business plan’s development. These consultations have been complimented by extensive research into both telecentre needs and the state of the telecentre movement. During 2003, the New Sector Alliance and World Links undertook a global survey of the telecentre movement for Microsoft. The survey looked at telecentre models, numbers and capacity. Alongside extensive research from IDRC's southern partners, this material guided the development of the initial concept. In 2005 and 2006, IDRC conducted an extensive online survey of telecentre A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  12. 12. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 12 information needs as well as evaluation of the 'start up year'. This research was used to test the investment priorities and approaches outlined in this business plan. Engagement and research is how does business as well as being the foundation of this business plan, face-to-face learning events and online communities supported by offer regular opportunities to tap the pulse of the telecentre movement. Monitoring and evaluation processes provide a chance to collect local stories. is committed to using these processes as part of a continuing learning loop, ensuring that the program team and partners are always in a position to respond to the evolving needs of telecentres. See Appendix C for an overview of research and community engagement inputs that fed into the development of this business plan. 2.3 Stakeholder needs It was clear early in the research and consultation process that the telecentre ecosystem is made up of a diversity of actors. In addition to people who own, manage, maintain, volunteer and work in telecentres, there are people who provide support, training, services, financing and content to telecentres locally. All these actors bring tremendous assets to the table: local knowledge, social capital, technical skill and a passion for the life of their community. They also face challenges and have specific work-related needs. This business plan is built on an understanding of these people and the needs they have expressed. To provide a clear picture of need, the relevant actors have been divided into four main groups or market segments: telecentre champions; networks; service providers and social investors. The following overview of needs expressed by these groups has been a central input in the design of the social investment program: Who … … needs what? • Ability to attract more local clients + visitors • Services that can be delivered locally to Telecentre champions generate revenue and community impact • Just-in-time help with tech + business issues Includes: telecentre managers; • Financing for new telecentres and services trainers; community developers; volunteers; social • Skilled managers, trainers and other staff entrepreneurs. • Ability to facilitate community voice in decision- making at local, regional and national levels • Low cost, durable hardware, software and Internet access • Start up investment (for new networks) Telecentre networks • Business models that fit with network mission Includes: network leaders; tech • Easy tools for network setup and operation support provider; trainers; • Products and services to offer to telecentres policy advocates; organizations • Easy-to-adapt electronic content and setting up large numbers of centres. curriculum • Access to other networks wanting to collaborate A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  13. 13. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 13 Who … … needs what? • Opportunity to test services in REAL rural Service providers contexts Includes: content providers; • Ways to reach MANY telecentres at once rural technology social • Trusted partners to support services on ground enterprises; e-government • Networks willing to partner + learn together agencies; corporate emerging • Radar that provides information about markets groups. telecentre trends on the ground • Backstopping and network services for Social investors telecentres they have invested in • Access to advice and information on telecentre Includes: development agencies; governments; best practices organizations housing large • Channels to reach out to large numbers of numbers of telecentres; telecentres at once corporate emerging market • Other social investors to collaborate with on groups. key ecosystem issues The program will not invest directly in individual telecentres or telecentre delivery programs. While the need for such investment exists, the program does not feel it can make the most impact through such investments. also will not directly address broader policy issues such like telecom regulations, especially as these issues the being worked on by groups like CATIA and the GTA. While these issues are important, they are beyond the scope of the program. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  14. 14. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 14 3 Mission: strengthening the telecentre ecosystem has a clear and simple mission: invest in networks, services and workshops that improve the capacity and sustainability of telecentres around the world. investments are provided primarily to telecentre networks and back end service providers leading to the creation of content, services and networks that help local telecentres to succeed. Ultimately, they also result in more and better services available to the communities that telecentres serve. 3.1 Program objectives The program fulfills this mission by pursuing four broad objectives. Each objective is focused on improving the situation for all players within the telecentre ecosystem. 1. Building networks: increase the ability of networks to provide high quality training, technical assistance and other services that improve telecentre sustainability by making investments in network capacity and planning. Program outcomes expected related to this objective include: • Networks are operating as sustainable social enterprises, offering enduring support and service to local telecentres. • Telecentres consistently turn to networks for support and services as a way to solve problems, generate new services and make operations more efficient. • Development funders and organizations turn to networks to support the creation of new telecentres and the delivery of community ICT programming. • Governments work with networks to efficiently deliver e-government services, social content and opinion-gathering via local telecentres. 2. Creating content and services: improve the ability of telecentres to attract users, deliver valuable information and generate revenue by investing in services and content that can be easily offered at the local level. Program outcomes expected related to this objective include: • Large numbers of telecentres have adopted new service offerings that help them increase community impact and generate revenue. • Governments, companies and social enterprises regularly use national networks to distribute content and services to networks. • Social entrepreneurs are actively developing, distributing, scaling and profiting from their telecentre product and service ideas. • New sources of financing are available to support the development and scaling of telecentres, networks and services. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  15. 15. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 15 3. Sharing knowledge: help telecentres learn new skills, adopt innovative social enterprise models and deliver better community training services by facilitating knowledge and materials-sharing across the telecentre movement. Program outcomes expected related to this objective include: • Telecentre program operators provide entrepreneurs, staff, volunteers and community workers with formal training, drawing on courses from networks. • Networks and their members regularly update, improve and share curriculum and content that could benefit the telecentre movement. • Telecentres, networks and service providers actively participate in online activities to maintain collaboration and peer-to-peer support. • Grassroots innovators and young researchers actively engage in action research as a way to document and share practical telecentre experiences. 4. Connecting people: build social capital, facilitate partnerships and sow the seeds of new networks by regularly convening telecentre leaders and champions. Program outcomes expected related to this objective include: • Telecentre staff, volunteers and service providers in countries where is working have formed or joined a network. • People working in telecentres regularly turn to their network of peers for management, business and technical support. • Telecentres and the networks they belong to regularly enter into partnerships to cooperate on projects and share knowledge. • Telecentre networks are using participatory workshops and training methods to create strong peer-to-peer relationships and social capital. These four objectives represent the program and activity structure of and inform the way we invest. All investments and activities fall under one or more of these objectives. These core investment lines for the program are referred to throughout this business plan. Sections 5 – 8 outline priorities and activities for each program objective and investment line. Note: Appendices A and B describe the monitoring and evaluation strategy that will be used to track progress against the program objectives and associated outcomes. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  16. 16. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 16 3.2 A virtuous circle: interconnected goals The program objectives above do not exist in isolation. They are consciously designed to work together to catalytically strengthen the telecentre ecosystem. Each goal is part of a larger virtuous circle that supports the other elements: For example, a network of telecentres has value in its own right (as a place to connect with peers or work together on projects), but it also offers a channel to distribute content, deliver services and share knowledge. This reinforcing cycle is almost as important as the goals themselves, and plays a significant role in guiding how social investment decisions are made. 3.3 Program overview: from objectives to action The social investment program is the vehicle through which IDRC, Microsoft and SDC have committed to translate these objectives to action. is a collaborative initiative housed at IDRC in Ottawa and Delhi. The program will: • Act as a convener; providing people within the telecentre movement with places to build relationships, learn from each other and build new ideas • Make financial investments in networks and service providers who can help telecentres improve sustainability, service offerings and community impact • Facilitate partnership and networking within the telecentre community, helping to create constellations of organizations working on common goals • Actively encourage knowledge sharing within the telecentre movement, and monitor business, social and technical trends emerging from this process • Promote the values of the telecentre movement, helping business, government and NGOs to understand the social role telecentres can play An overview of how the program invests is provided in the next four sections. Section 10 provides a description of program staffing and operations supporting these investments. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  17. 17. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 17 4 Investment line #1: building networks's 'building networks' investment line provides funding and services to networks that offer direct support to people working in telecentres. Networks are at the core of's attempt to strengthen the overall ecosystem. Well-organized and operated networks offer: • Concrete opportunities for peer learning and support amongst people working in telecentres, using collective wisdom to solve common challenges; • Practical services such as management training, technical support and product discounts that directly benefit people working in telecentres; • A social supply chain that provides telecentres with access; and sharing of content, products and services they can offer locally … and provides governments, businesses and NGOs a communications channel to telecentres. provides support for networks in places where there is a high level of activity in the telecentre movement and where there are strong social entrepreneurs who can drive the success of the network. The program is supporting or actively considering support for networks in the following areas: These networks typically operate at a national level, although support may be offered to regional networks where they are providing concrete services to telecentres. 4.1 Example: UgaBYTES telecentre support network UgaBYTES is a small NGO providing technical support and computer maintenance services to telecentres in Uganda. With support from, UgaBYTES will expand these offerings to include an on-demand technical and business help desk service, management training courses and product and service discounts. These services will be available across A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  18. 18. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 18 East Africa, where both IDRC and the SDC-backed UNESCO CMC program have been very active in telecentre work. UgaBYTES will work with and the Non-Profit Enterprise Sustainability Team (NESsT) to develop a complete business plan. UgaBYTES may potentially grow from a small NGO into a thriving social enterprise, offering needed services to telecentres regionally. 4.2 Timeline The 'building networks' investment line focuses on fostering a number of networks early in the program, and learning from these experiences. Nine networks were supported immediately after the program launch at WSIS. Additional networks will be approached for potential collaboration in 2006 and beyond: The program focused its early efforts on developing services that help networks to operate efficiently and successfully – business planning, web services and product discounts. These services will be offered throughout the program’s five-year cycle. 4.3 Achievements so far … The year preceding the launch of was spent holding meetings in collaboration with national telecentre networks (or groups about to form networks). This resulted in the following: • Committed over $CAD1.2 million in financial support for networks in Chile, India, Mozambique, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Uganda and the Americas. • These networks will offer telecentres technical support, training courses, online resources, e-government services and exchange programs. • Established initial agreements with organizations offering networks business planning consulting service (NESsT) and web services (TakingITGlobal). All of these network projects are start-ups, with investments from the program made in late 2005 or early 2006. Concrete services including helpdesks, training sessions and web sites won't begin to appear until mid- to late-2006. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  19. 19. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 19 Strengthening and expanding the number of networks supporting telecentres is a major investment priority over the coming years. 4.4 Next steps During 2006 and 2007, 'network' activities will focus on consolidating investments made during the start up period, cautious expansion into new regions and the solidifying of services to networks. Priorities include: • Expanded network reach, including active collaboration with and investment in networks in the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia and West Africa. These investments will focus on helping networks to offer concrete services to telecentres. • Business planning support, emphasizing assisting networks to become self- sustaining social enterprises. This program is delivered by the Non-profit Enterprise and Sustainability Team (NESsT), based in Chile and Hungary. • Just-in-time reference desk platform helping networks build out support services for the telecentres they serve. Networks receive a start up package including a website for delivering support, reference desk management training, and access to the global reference desk community. It may also include start up funding. • A goods and services warehouse that networks can use to offer discounted products and services to telecentres. Examples include: low-cost hardware, and software; refurbished computers; services that can be offered through telecentres. Networks will be provided with a start up package that includes basic software platform, product line, training and support. • Web services that networks can plug into their web sites. These plug-ins provide networks the opportunity to offer blogs, an online library, a reference desk and other tools using their own branding. They also offer a channel for curriculum delivery, research and other materials useful to telecentres. This package of services is available to any telecentre network that wants them, even if is not making a financial investment in that network. Networks can access these services at any time by contacting the program or the service delivery partner responsible for each of the items listed above. For more information on upcoming activities, see the 'building networks' table in Appendix B. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  20. 20. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 20 5 Investment line #2: creating content and services's 'content and services' investment line will support the creation, packaging and sharing of content and services designed to meet the needs of local people who use telecentres. Ultimately, it is the content and services provided by local telecentres that offer value for people at the community level. Most telecentres have created useful services and content on their own – training programs, multimedia services, local media content. However, there is increasing recognition that community impact and telecentre sustainability can be improved if we also invest in organizations specializing in service development or content delivery: service provider rural e-government healthcare local content feedback support training packaging packaged development services for telecentre telecentres network community impact local telecentres As this diagram illustrates, significant effort goes into creating content and services that can be replicated and distributed at the local level: development; packaging; training; support services. The effort allows packaged content and services to be distributed to large numbers of telecentres. The result is increased telecentre use of the material and value for the local community. Increased revenue and financial sustainability of the local telecentre and other players in the telecentre ecosystem also become possible. The program invests in, and partners with, a variety of players committed to developing and sharing content and services providing value to local telecentres. 5.1 Example: kiosk services working group Over the past year, has been talking to Drishtee, n-Logue and TaraHaat in India about service 'unbundling'. Each organization offers high-value packaged services that drive both community impact and revenue for their own local kiosks: rural e-health; literacy and language training; e-governance; village e-commerce. Other telecentres across India could also be offering (and benefiting from) these services. plans to work A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  21. 21. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 21 with all three organizations to help unbundle and repackage services for broader distribution to increase the flow of services available to the overall rural computing ecosystem in India This effort has involved tight collaboration between IDRC and Microsoft staff in Delhi, drawing on their extensive experience and connections in the Indian rural computing space. 5.2 Timeline The timeline for content and for services is slightly different. With content, there are already a number of established players working in the telecentre space, notably OKN. began informal activities in the content space right from the start, and will expand its work in this areas throughout the life of the program. The services area is relatively new. must enter this arena cautiously, with pilot investments in 2006 and a full-scale services R+D fund starting in 2007. Cooperation with other social investors, social entrepreneurs and corporate emerging market groups will also be a priority from 2006 onwards. 5.3 Achievements so far … Initial efforts in the content and services area have been small-scale, informal and exploratory. Achievements during the 2005 start up year included: • Established early collaboration with the Open Knowledge Network, ensuring that the Mozambique network has the resources it needs to support both capacity building and content sharing at the local telecentre level. Also, OKN Asia has asked to join their southern governance consortium and support them in their transition. • Committed to investment in e-governance services project with the ATACH network in Chile. ATACH will work with local governments and others to develop citizen services that drive telecentre use, increase access to government services and promote enhanced local democracy. • Explored potential for services 'unbundling' with leading kiosk service organizations in India (see above). Also, began work with Microsoft India on small grants fund to support rural technology services R+D. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  22. 22. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 22 also participated in a number of research activities analyzing service needs and the process of investing in services. This included a meeting of leading thinkers and practitioners working on financing and replication of technology and social enterprises. This meeting was convened by, NESsT, TechSoup and Internaut Consulting in San Francisco. 5.4 Next steps Over the next year, will move beyond initial exploration of content and services issues and slowly into direct investments. Three major priorities include: • Pilot investments in telecentre services. During 2006 and early 2007, the program will make a number of pilot investments in telecentre services. These investments will focus on the development, packaging and delivery of services with a high potential to produce community impact and generate revenue for local telecentres. The learning from these investments will be channeled into the design of the services R+D fund. Drishtee, TaraHaat, n-Logue and other investments will be included in this round. • Telecentre services R+D fund. Building on learning from pilot services investments, will establish a competitive telecentre services R+D fund by 2007. It will make modest grants to support the development or packaging of services telecentres can offer to communities. It may offer access to product donations and volunteer time to help proposed services evolve more quickly. An online panel of telecentre leaders and social investors will review proposals. Primary selection criteria will center on the service’s ability to generate community impact and revenue for many telecentres. • Content sharing networks. Building on existing efforts in Asia and Africa, the program will work with groups such as the Open Knowledge Network (OKN) to encourage content development and sharing amongst community ICT access centres. Focusing first on Asia, the program will work with the most successful of the OKN partner organizations to further their work in getting content into the hands of rural and poor communities. The program will also help these organizations extend their efforts to include content on appropriate technologies, community learning and informal curriculum. Translation of these materials may be possible through partnerships with UNESCO, iTRAIN Online and BCO partners. The program will also help community organizations and community access networks develop partnerships with WHO, UNICEF, UNESCO, UNAIDS, national NGOs and professional organizations who have an interest in getting their materials distributed at the grassroots level. Local content and building up a community voice will also be a focus. The program has an interest in engaging corporate emerging markets groups and social investors in the content and services space. There is a desire to investigate the potential of creative financing mechanisms such as patient loan pools and low return social venture funds to scale products, services and franchising. For more information on upcoming activities, see the 'content and services' table in Appendix B. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  23. 23. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 23 6 Investment line #3: sharing knowledge's 'sharing knowledge' investment line provides financial and in-kind support for activities that share knowledge and promote learning about the practice of running telecentres. Constant knowledge sharing is core to the program – both as a goal and business practice. Workshops. Networks. Support services. All provide a forum for discussing big ideas and the nitty gritty details of telecentre work. This knowledge needs to be captured and shared widely within the telecentre movement … supports a variety of documentation and knowledge sharing practices. Sometimes this takes the form of stand-alone funded projects (telecentre manager training programs) and other times it just means encouraging good knowledge sharing practice (embedding bloggers in face-to-face events or requiring to blog all of their trips). The common factor is that explicit knowledge sharing is included in everything that supports or is involved in. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  24. 24. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 24 6.1 Example: 'always on tap' knowledge sharing In late 2005, began work with TakingITGlobal to create an 'always on tap' knowledge sharing infrastructure: a series of web sites that give people in the telecentre movement tools they need to capture and share knowledge. This includes everything from individual blogs (to tell a story) to project wikis (to collaboratively organize a project) to full web sites (to provide an online network home). This infrastructure is only in its infancy, but has already been picked by many. The Pacific Telecentre Online Community has created its own web site. A collection of projects involving groups from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Uganda has created a shared project workspace. The team is using blogs to transparently record their interactions with telecentre organizations around the world. By mid-2006, anyone in the telecentre movement will easily be able to create such spaces. 6.2 Timeline The knowledge sharing investment line began by establishing and testing online knowledge sharing infrastructure. Interventions in the training field were also begun. Both of these activities occurred before the launch in November 2005: Future activities will focus on evolving online knowledge sharing and training programs, and moving actively into offline knowledge sharing. The online approach has already begun to evolve based on feedback from the PacTOC web site roll-out and start up year evaluation. Knowledge sharing and training activities will operate throughout the current five-year cycle of the program. 6.3 Achievements so far … In July 2005, the program team began work on a full-scale knowledge sharing strategy. Early achievements based on that strategy included: • Identified TakingITGlobal as a partner providing 'on tap' knowledge sharing infrastructure and web sites offered to telecentre networks globally. • Developed vision and gathered consortium of Indian organizations to create a training commons, an initiative that will create a common telecentre manager curriculum and online curriculum marketplace. • Launched prototype web site and knowledge sharing tools at WSIS, offering training to networks from around the world. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  25. 25. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 25 • Set up first 'network web site' for the Pacific Telecentre Online Consortium, a network of telecentres from Polynesia and Micronesia. began a small research support program in 2005, supporting a young scholar interested in gender and telecentres. The program will expand in future. 6.4 Next steps Over the next two years, the program will work with partners to expand knowledge sharing and training efforts begun in year one. Major priorities include: • Leadership and management training programs. A need for modular, flexible telecentre management training and certification has been identified. In 2006, will work with Mission 2007 to develop baseline telecentre manager training curriculum, establish an online presence and explore options for certification. It will invest in a social entrepreneurship-mentoring program in South Africa and explore the potential for a leadership development program in Latin America. All material will be open content and adaptable to improvements made by networks. • Improved access to 'on tap' knowledge sharing tools. TakingITGlobal will spend much of 2006 focused on the creation of a more advanced and robust set of knowledge sharing tools. This will include the creation of a reference desk platform, a curriculum sharing library and a 'project site' facility to support collaborative work amongst telecentre groups. • web site in three languages. TakingITGlobal will expand the core web site to operate in English, French and Spanish. The site will host knowledge sharing tools and will function as a central source of news about how the telecentre ecosystem is growing and evolving. • Offline content for telecentres. A yearly CD series will be created based on the most popular resources from the online library. It will include curriculum from Microsoft's Unlimited Potential (UP) and UNESCO's Multimedia Training Kit lines. • Research awards program. will extend its small research awards program, offering one sabbatical position and two professional development awards per year, both through IDRC's existing research awards system. The program will provide small-scale support to young researchers interested in practical telecentre research. In addition to these partner-driven activities, the program team will facilitate a number of knowledge sharing activities. A moderated online 'telecentre radar' will track interesting new ideas and technologies. Continuous blogging and storytelling will highlight the work of our partners on the ground. For more information on upcoming activities, see the 'knowledge sharing' table in Appendix B. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  26. 26. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 26 7 Investment line #4: connecting people's 'connecting people' investment line provides financial and facilitation support for workshops that bring telecentre people together. Convening workshops provides the essential 'glue' that catalyzes and connects activities from all three of the other investment lines. Participatory telecentre events provide the social raw material that feeds into networks, knowledge sharing and collaborative innovation: Activities supported through's 'connecting people' investment line will include global Telecentre Leaders’ Forums (organized by the program), region-wide Telecentre Leaders’ Forums (organized by networks and and national peer learning and TLF events (organized by national networks). 7.1 Example: Sri Lanka Telecentre Leaders' Forum In September 2005, worked with Sarvodaya and ICTA in Sri Lanka to gather 120 village level telecentre managers from at least three different telecentre programs. Many had never met another telecentre manager, let alone 120 others. All attendees left with something valuable: a new marketing idea; a copy of someone else's training curriculum; mobile numbers of new friends who'd offered support when things get tricky; a sense that they were a part of a movement. Sarvodaya and ICTA also left with a clear mandate for the creation of a Sri Lankan telecentre network initiative. Essential advice and support for the meeting were provided by IDRC regional staff and the Microsoft Community Affairs lead in Colombo, building on past telecentre work both organizations had done with Sarvodaya. 7.2 Timeline Support for events that connect people within the telecentre movement will occur throughout the current five year cycle of the program … Early activities focused on grassroots workshops feeding input into program design and initial investments in national networks. Over the longer term, support will focus A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  27. 27. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 27 on a regular cycle of global and regional events as well as national and thematic events that emerge from networks working on the ground. 7.3 Achievements so far … During its start up year, has supported an extensive series of workshops and peer learning events. Highlights include: • Supported 15 national or regional workshops, connecting with well over 500 participants coming from 28 countries. These events served as inputs to the design of, and as peer learning opportunities. • Established concrete investment relationships with national networks as a direct result of these events. These networks are located in: Chile, India, Mozambique, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Uganda. • First Telecentre Leaders’ Forum held at WSIS in Tunis during November 2005. This event led to a number of concrete cross-regional partnerships amongst the networks is working with. It also helped to identify network leaders in regions where the program is not yet working. In addition to these concrete outcomes, supported workshops which also helped to reduce skepticism about community involvement in program design and establish a positive tone moving forward. As one participant in the start up year evaluation process noted: " has its ears wide open." 7.4 Next steps Convening will continue as an important area of investment, with a particular focus on events in new regions and regional and global events that gather committed telecentre leaders. Specific priorities include: • Global and regional Telecentre Leaders’ Forums. Building on the success of the first global Telecentre Leaders’ Forum in Tunisia, the program will run regional and global events on an alternating basis, with a regional event planned for Africa in 2006 and a global event slated to take place alongside GKIII in Delhi in late 2007. Telecentre Leaders’ Forums will be organized jointly with the Global Knowledge Partnership wherever possible. • Funding and support for national level forums. National (or sub-regional) Telecentre Leaders’ Forums provide an opportunity for training and network planning. The program will fund 3-5 similar events every year. Facilitation support and easy-to-set-up event web sites will be provided. Priorities for 2006 include workshops in the Caribbean, Central America, the Middle East and North Africa and South East Asia. In addition, will invest in facilitation training and other capacity building efforts that help networks run more effective networking events. For more information on upcoming activities, see the 'connecting people' table in Appendix B. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  28. 28. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 28 8 Partnerships: getting things done collaboratively One word is front and centre in the strategy: partnership. Partnership is the glue that binds investments together. It is the method by which concrete services are delivered to, by and between players in the telecentre ecosystem and the way things get done. The program makes social investments in networks, services providers and others who help telecentres become more successful. The program also encourages these organizations to work together on service delivery. Partnerships built around the unique roles of each organization become a key to delivering valuable services … TakingITGlobal TechSoup service delivery grant free (contract) discount relationships + web site ecommerce platform platform (contract) (contract) regional web site program hardware and software discounts Ugabytes membership telecentre start up network reference grant desk (contract) telecentre manager computer training maintenance program telecentres in Mission east africa 2007 training (india) curriculum (creative commons / no formal partnership) These partnerships are referred to as 'constellations': clusters of organizations with specialized roles joining into a 'functional alliance' to share ideas, deliver services and run projects. Some constellations involve directly, and many do not. They are governed by agreements between the organizations involved. The following is a profile of the main organization types invests in and partners with. social investments interconnect and reinforce each other primarily through the constellations formed by these organizations. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  29. 29. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 29 8.1 Telecentre leaders and champions Telecentres depend on their people. Without entrepreneurial leadership and community champions, telecentres cannot survive – no matter how much support they have from governments or outside sources. Telecentre leaders fit into the vision and the overall ecosystem in the following ways: • Roles: leading one or more local telecentre projects; championing and sharing innovative services at the local level; sharing ideas and stories with peers via networks; using and improving content provided by others. • Partnerships: getting involved in or starting networks; offering services to other telecentres or networks; training people in other telecentre programs. • invests directly by: supporting participation in Telecentre Leaders’ Forums; exchange programs; grassroots sabbaticals and research awards. • supports indirectly through: support for telecentre networks; investment in content and services to be offered through networks; creation of online communities and offline knowledge sharing for telecentre people. This group is one of the most important beneficiaries of investments. The services and networks created with investments must provide a direct benefit to telecentre leaders on the ground (and the centres they run). 8.2 Telecentre networks Networks play a central role in strengthening and supporting the day-to-day work of grassroots telecentres. Connecting and organizing telecentres within a particular country or region, these networks facilitate learning, offer support and provide services to improve telecentre sustainability. Networks fit into the vision and the overall ecosystem in the following ways: • Roles: national peer learning events and training; technical and business reference desk services for telecentres; discounted products and services for telecentres; back end or link to revenue generating services offered by local telecentres; resource for emerging new networks. • Partnerships: direct relationship with individual local telecentres; contracts with service providers with something to offer to member telecentres; relationships with governments and NGOs who have content to share with telecentres; collaboration and projects with other telecentre networks. • invests directly by: funding and facilitation support for participatory events; network start up grants; network capacity grants; investment for the development of training and support programs. • supports indirectly through: investing in services assisting networks, or that networks offer to telecentres; investment in business planning services for networks; support for content sharing networks; sharing open curriculum and content created by other networks; networking opportunities through regional and global Telecentre Leaders’ Forums. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  30. 30. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 30 All of the networks that works with are self-governing, and work with local telecentres on their own terms. Some networks have formal membership structures (e.g. CTCNet) while others use a more fluid, network-model (e.g. Mission 2007). Many are embedded in an existing non-profit or social enterprise with a mandate transcending telecentres. The program works with all types of networks, as long as they are inclusive and provide concrete grassroots value. 8.3 Service providers The telecentre ecosystem includes organizations offering concrete services to help telecentres and networks become more effective, efficient and sustainable. These services providers may be NGOs offering support to community technology projects, social enterprises with a product or service that telecentres offer to their communities; or companies working in emerging markets or rural computing. They fit into the vision and the overall ecosystem in the following ways: • Roles: help networks start up and operate effectively through business planning support, technology platforms and training materials; help telecentres reach sustainability by developing content, products and services that can be easily offered at the local level. • Partnerships: typically, working with national and regional telecentre networks that use these services directly or deliver them to telecentres. May also partner with other content and services providers. • invests directly by: small investments for initial product or service R+D, or packaging product or service for delivery across networks; support for networks that collect and share content for use in local telecentres. • supports indirectly through: investing in networks that use service provider offerings or who partner to distribute services to telecentres; opportunities to meet with networks and telecentres at leaders’ forum events. Service providers play a key role as their offerings help networks provide support more efficiently (e.g. a reference desk in a box) and help telecentres drive use and sustainability (e.g. a packaged rural healthcare service). Service providers offer services directly to and through networks. makes the introductions. 8.4 Social investors Social investors play a role not just as financiers but also as catalysts and advocates for a stronger telecentre ecosystem. This includes government ICT funding programs, development donors, foundations, social venture funds and corporate CSR and emerging markets groups. Social investors fit into the vision and the overall ecosystem in the following ways: • Roles: grow the telecentre ecosystem by investing in telecentres, networks and service providers; act as conveners and connector points where appropriate; raise awareness of governments and other social investors. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  31. 31. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 31 • Partnerships: work in supportive and catalytic way with partners including networks, service providers, telecentres and other social investors. Where not required, there is no direct involvement in constellations or partnerships. • invests directly by: providing staffing and infrastructure for social investors wanting to pool resources in the telecentre support space; offering parallel investments, especially in network and service projects. • supports indirectly through: investing in networks that provide social investors with a channel to reach out and interact with grassroots telecentres; inviting social investors to Telecentre Leaders’ Forum events. IDRC, Microsoft and SDC support the platform because they believe in the value of coordinated investment in capacity support for telecentres and invite others to join in that support. More collaborative investment is required, as are other forms of social investment that go beyond traditional granting programs. This includes social venture funds, patient loan programs and other non-traditional financing mechanisms aimed at scaling-up the telecentre ecosystem. 8.5 Emerging constellation examples The program encourages collaboration with organizations it partners with and invests in them through constellations. A sampling of emerging constellations includes: • Mission 2007 (India) and other Indian groups partnered to create a training commons: a place to create and test shared telecentre manager training curriculum. This individuals working on this project represent a loose constellation, and they will likely disband when the project is complete. • D.Net (Bangladesh), Sarvodaya (Sri Lanka) and UgaBYTES (Uganda) are collaborating to create theTelecentre Times, a print newsletter from the grassroots. This is a very loose and informal constellation, but may formalize if the first issues are successful. • UgaBYTES (Uganda) in Uganda will work in partnership with TakingITGlobal (Canada) and TechSoup (USA) to build out a rich set of offerings for the telecentres it serves. This is a formal constellation that will stay together for many years, governed through contractual relationships. Constellations take many forms and may be informal and formal, temporary or lasting. What connects them is a commitment to practical shared labour delivering value to telecentres. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  32. 32. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 32 9 Marketing: promoting the telecentre ecosystem To reach its objectives, needs to do more than just market the social investment program at IDRC. It needs to market the entire telecentre ecosystem. From a marketing perspective, what's required is a widely-held feeling that the telecentre ecosystem is a vibrant – and identifiable – place. This is essential to motivate people and organizations to get more engaged with telecentres; putting their time, services and money into the ecosystem. People only get involved when they see that something interesting is happening, and that there is a clear way to join in and benefit. Creating this feeling will require a diverse and distributed marketing strategy, involving the program and its partners across the ecosystem. Key components of this strategy include: The book From the ground up: The evolution of the telecentre movement demonstrates this cooperative, distributed marketing strategy. Created jointly by and the Education Development Center, the book profiles twelve telecentre organizations globally describing a vibrant and growing movement. The result: a marketing vehicle that enriches and promotes not just the organizations directly involved but also everyone working in the telecentre field. 9.1 Staged engagement: connecting all stakeholders A marketing strategy promoting a more vibrant ecosystem requires a unique approach to each of the actors identified in this plan: networks; service providers; telecentre champions; and social investors. Each group needs to be transitioned from initial awareness of the program and movement to a level of deeper engagement. The following table describes the stages of this engagement process: A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  33. 33. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 33 Group Aware Involved Engaged Indicator: see Indicator: spends Indicator: known themselves within the time participating in leader and contributor movement and are network activities and amongst peers. aware of sharing content. Outreach: invite to Telecentre Outreach: invite to lead online and face- champions Outreach: send network and to-face learning online newsletters, events, events, celebrate in reach via networks encourage to network and and participate and post sites. online. newsletters. Indicator: knowing Indicator: working Indicator: organizing that there are other with other networks, events amongst networks and actively offering and networks and using engaging with Telecentre interested in services, affiliated networks collaborating. with globally. Outreach: send Outreach: invite to Outreach: include in online newsletters, events, TLF planning, promote get introductions via encourage leading and social investors. collaborative projects IDRC site. with networks. Indicator: aware of Indicator: developing Indicator: telecentre telecentres as a products and services champion working market and for telecentres, with + participating in globally. networks as way to ecosystem Outreach: invite to Service reach this market Outreach: promote lead workshops at providers Outreach: targeted services R+D fund, online e-mail marketing to invite to and offline events, service providers, and global regular one-on-one presence at events events meetings with Indicator: knows Indicator: parallel Indicator: about funding going to contributes to main program and projects of common funding ecosystem approach interest with pool, or targeted pool Social Outreach: targeted like services R+D fund investors e-mail marketing, Outreach: one-on- Outreach: individual focused on storytelling one meetings, regular meetings, joins and lessons learned e-mail updates on Senior emerging projects Working Group This table provides examples of ways to reach the target groups at each stage of the engagement process. All marketing strategies need to be designed around this cycle, building not only on awareness of different audiences but also on an understanding of how engaged they are (and how engaged we hope they will become). 9.2 Shared brand: marketing the telecentre ecosystem Presently, the brand is associated only with the social investment program at IDRC. In the longer term, can potentially stand for much more – as a symbol of quality and common vision shared by those who see the promise of community-based A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  34. 34. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 34 technology. Similar to the Star Alliance or the organic foods logo, people would view organizations displaying the logo as being both a trustworthy brand in its own right and a part of larger global community of excellence. Getting organizations to affiliate themselves with also shows a commitment to move towards a higher level of engagement. The program is committed to sharing its brand. This will occur in phases, testing the waters each step of the way. The phases planned include: • Step one – funded partners: encourage all partners directly involved in projects to display the logo and declare an affiliation with All partners showing the logo will also be listed on the partner page. Timing: immediate. • Step two – networks, service providers: invite any network, service provider or social investor directly working with telecentres to affiliate with the brand, based on approval of the communications manager. Offer these affiliates a partner listing and access to the same services available to funded networks. Timing: 2006. • Step three – individual telecentres: invite individual telecentres to affiliate themselves with the brand, ideally through a network that is already part of the family. Offer certificates and promotional materials that can be displayed in the telecentre. Timing: 2007. The real test of this strategy is whether the brand is actually providing benefits to partners. Partners will be surveyed in 2008 to assess whether the shared brand strategy is working. Survey results will be used to refine the strategy. 9.3 Partner driven marketing strategies Assuming a shared brand and sense of common cause exist as a foundation, will focus most of its marketing efforts on helping partners to market themselves more effectively. Key tactics in this area will include: • Raw materials for marketing and engagement. Provide network partners with articles, telecentre support resources and a reference desk platform they can offer to members. Provide partners marketing material templates. These materials allow networks to attract and engage telecentres, growing overall awareness about the telecentre movement. • Collaborative, movement-wide marketing. Support partners who want to work together on joint marketing and awareness raising activities. An example is the Telecentre Times, a print newspaper about telecentres championed by Ugandan, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi networks. • Shared online community. Create a shared online community independent of the social investment program. This online community is already up and running under the leadership of TakingITGlobal. Over time, many partners will use the platform for their own marketing, storytelling and collaboration purposes. • Putting partners on stage. Highlight leaders from across the telecentre movement. This includes inviting partners to play a starring role in online learning A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  35. 35. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 35 events, and including partners as core organizers and speakers at global and regional events. Partner-driven marketing efforts will be organized primarily through networks, building on already established relationships. Partners using this content for their marketing campaigns will be required to use the logo. They will also be invited to display the logos of the core social investors. 9.4 Program based marketing strategies There are a number of areas where marketing needs to be based directly within the social investment program. These include: • E-mail storytelling. Write a series of regular e-newsletters, focusing on grassroots stories from across the telecentre movement. Deliver in English, French and Spanish, and offer different versions for different audiences. • Movement marketing. Develop materials that highlight the telecentre movement, based on the From the ground up model. They will target policy-makers, social investors and others with limited awareness of telecentres. • High profile events. Organize high-profile events to promote the telecentre movement, including annual Telecentre Leaders’ Forums (regional: one year / global: the opposite year). Use these events to market the telecentre movement, partner organizations and the program. • Partnership and one-on-one relationships. Invest individual time in developing key partner relationships. Use process to bring policy-makers and social investors through the engagement cycle. Program based materials will provide a high-profile channel for promoting not only the program and the movement, but also involvement by IDRC, Microsoft, SDC and future social investors. These social investors will receive front and centre branding in program-based marketing materials and at events. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  36. 36. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 36 10 Operations: program management and oversight The operational philosophy behind the team is simple: stay small, nimble, lightweight and responsive. Housed at IDRC in Ottawa and Delhi, the program team consists of only eight staff. However, this core team is backed by an extensive network of partners and advisors from across the telecentre ecosystem … This distributed approach mirrors the program's commitment to growing overall ecosystem capacity. Local work such as running networks, managing technology and developing services is left to partners supported through investments. These are the people who will grow the ecosystem and make it thrive in the end. The small program team will handle only tasks that are necessarily linked to the operation of the social investment program: convening, partnership development, investment portfolio management and project monitoring. 10.1 Core program team Encompassing both a regional and global dimension, the core program team is focused on making social investments and developing partnerships that make the telecentre ecosystem stronger. Positions within the team include: • Managing director: Overall management of the program, including strategic planning, team leadership and development of new social investment partnerships. (1 position - Ottawa) A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  37. 37. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 37 • Program officers: Development and management of project level partnerships. Three program officers lead regional program development for Africa, Asia and the Americas while one is focused on global projects and knowledge management across the program. (4 positions – Ottawa + Delhi) • Communications officer: Development of communications about the social investment program and coordination of communication amongst partners. (1 position - Delhi) • Research officer: Gathering monitoring and evaluation data, and managing social investment pipeline. (1 position – Ottawa) • Project administrator: Program planning, logistics and coordination with other teams with IDRC. (1 position – Ottawa) The people in these positions have extensive experience with telecentres, social enterprise, knowledge sharing and the creation of global networks amongst social purpose organizations. managing director Mark Surman (Canadian) has spent 17 years leading cutting edge community media and social enterprise initiatives in Canada and around the world. Senior program staff include: Basheerhamad Shadrach (Indian), Florencio Ceballos (Chilean), Meddie Mayanja (Ugandan) and Frank Tulus (Canadian), all of whom have extensive experience with either telecentre or knowledge sharing projects. 10.2 Extended team In addition to the core team, the program also draws heavily on the skills and networks of partner organizations. Key extended team roles include: • IDRC programs and regional offices: works in close consultation and collaboration with IDRC regional ICT4D programs – ICT4D Americas, PAN Asia and Acacia. The program also works closely with IDRC's grant administration division and with regional office teams in Cairo, Dakar, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Montevideo and Singapore. This existing infrastructure and expertise represents a tremendous asset for • Microsoft and SDC program staff: Microsoft and SDC offer access to extensive networks of grassroots telecentre projects, through the Unlimited Potential and UNESCO CMC programs. Program staff are involved in support, networking and information sharing roles at regional events. • TakingITGlobal and other implementing partners: These partners engage in activities that benefit the program and all of its partner organizations. TakingITGlobal, the Toronto based organization responsible for community web sites and knowledge sharing tools offered to partner networks. Other examples include NESsT (business planning for networks) and the Global Knowledge Partnership (convening events). A TIG representative attends all team meetings. • Researchers and interns: A number of researchers and interns are funded annually for targeted research on telecentre issues. These people are housed at IDRC and act as part of the team on a temporary basis. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  38. 38. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 38 The extended team also consists of the many partners that works with across the telecentre ecosystem. These organizations operate independently of and have their own priorities. However they are the most important players in our efforts to achieve the objectives of the program. 10.3 Program oversight Regular program investment oversight is provided by the Senior Working Group. This committee is made up of all social investors who have contributed resources to the telecentre funding pool. The Working Group meets on a quarterly basis to review progress of the program and provide input on investment plans. They also approve the annual budget and business plan. As operates as a program within IDRC's ICT4D division, overall governance is provided by the Centre's international Board of Governors. Programmatic and fiscal accountability are handled through IDRC's standard grant administration, management and evaluation systems. These systems are widely respected in the development sector for their balance of flexibility and rigor. 10.4 Advisory circles Constant input and engagement with telecentre practitioners from around the world provides with an ongoing source of program guidance. Additional program guidance is provided by two advisory circles: one drawn from the telecentre community and another drawn from the senior ranks of business, government and the non-profit sector. Unlike traditional committees, these advisory circles work on a flexible, as-needed basis. Members relate to the managing director primarily through one on one conversations about a particular issue related to the advisors expertise. Advisors are invited to attend at least one support event per year. There are no formal committee meetings for the advisory circles. The first slate of advisors will be announced by August 2006. Additional advisors will be added during the course of the program. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC
  39. 39. Final Version – May 3 business plan Page 39 Appendix A – Monitoring and evaluation strategy Working within the context of IDRC's overall evaluation system, the program is committed to evaluation as a way to promote continuous learning and ensure program accountability. With these goals in mind, the program will implement a simple monitoring and evaluation strategy based around four tools: Drawing on elements of IDRC's Outcome Mapping methodology, the first two elements – storytelling and evaluation studies – are focused exclusively on the goal of continuous learning. Learning from these evaluation tools will be applied to investment decisions and yearly program workplan development. Responsibility for these evaluation activities will be taken on by the Knowledge Management Program Officer and the Research Officer. Evaluation studies will be undertaken by contract researchers. The third element – program review – will look at the programs’ overall accountability record. A standard part of the IDRC evaluation system, the review is conducted by outside evaluators under the supervision of the IDRC's Evaluation Unit. IDRC approach to evaluation IDRC’s approach to evaluation mirrors the Centre’s approach to development research programming. IDRC-supported project evaluations consist of: • Rigor and validity in our approach to evaluation; • Adopting an action-oriented approach to contribute to evidence-based decision making; • Ownership of and participation in evaluation by constituencies; • Capacity building in evaluation as a way to build a more effective development research community. IDRC sees evaluation as a central contribution of people effectively participating in learning and knowledge processes. Its evaluation system takes a decentralized approach to meeting both learning and accountability needs. It is based on multiple layers of monitoring and evaluation at the project, program, and corporate levels (overview chart available as attachment). Rather than through the use of indicator-based logframes, formal accountability for the results achieved using public resources comes through the rolling project completion reports (rPCRs), reporting by the Director of Program Area (DPA) and an external review conducted once at the end of each program’s cycle. As a corporate project of IDRC, is a part of this system. A collaborative initiative of IDRC, Microsoft and SDC