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Empowering Community Through Telecentre Networking

Overview

Telecenter.org is an Arabic knowledge sharing hub to support all telecentres and IT clubs in Egypt and Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) with the aim of reaching a vibrant telecentre. In accordance with Egypt's efforts to handle the digital gap in MENA region, community members will be able to cope with technological advances characterized the new age. Such knowledge community, telecenters-Egypt, are considered a way to empower different age groups as it offers a community portal through which citizens can get in touch with modern tools, access many sources of knowledge online and enhance their computer skills.
The project is implemented by the great efforts provided by Egypt ICT- Trust Fund, Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with cooperation telecenter.org, the worldwide programme is supported by Microsoft Unlimited Potentials, The International Development Research Center (IDRC) and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Goal & Objectives

Goal:

To Support the creation of a strong and independent national telecentre network that provides on demand support services to all telecentres in Egypt and to spearhead the creation of a vibrant telecentre community in the MENA region.

Objectives:

Support community through networking and knowledge sharing
Provide Arabic content relevant to telecentre management
Reinforce the capacity of staff to be able to manage the network effectively.
Establish an online telecentre helpdesk to offer online support to practitioners.
Assign platforms for knowledge sharing including Egypt and the MENA region countries.
Eliminate digital illiteracy in the society.

 

Program Pillars

Networking and Knowledge Sharing

This is achieved through communications and knowledge sharing among responsible persons in order to develop their skills to reach the utmost results and assure the telecentre sustainability in servicing society. Networking can be achieved through connecting Telecenter project in Egypt and in MENA region in one hand, and telecenter networks all over the world on the other hand. Networking can be represented in the Arabic Telecentre.org which is an Arabic electronic portal provides all available knowledge and experience which support mogtamaa.telecentre.org. Moreover, Telecenter Times which is a magazine concerned with discussing the topics related to the telecenter. Besides, holding meetings for all the telecenter project officials for knowledge sharing and workshops coordinating for constant contact for the purpose of knowledge and experience exchange.

Sparklabs

SparkLab is a laboratory of digital and social inclusion that helps with stakeholders' sharing to create a great change by developing advanced uses of ICT and mobile communications. In addition, it helps with building scalable and advanced businesses in order to develop talents remarkably.

Sparklab is motivated by both economic and social targets with the aim of creating an environmental-friendly ecosystem. Furthermore, its structure helps to ensure the Sparklab project's sustainability. It is expanding to include:

  • Scholarships 
  • Advanced technology package
  • Universal network of experts as well as participating mentors
  • Developing partnership strategy and knowledge-sharing platform 
  • Network of content developers in addition to certification methods
  • Income yielding activities

 

Beneficiaries & Location

  • Networking can be achieved through connecting Telecenter project in Egypt and in MENA region (Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Oman, and Yemen) in one hand, and telecenter networks all over the world on the other hand.
  • 2164 member in Telecentre mailing list (TC -MENA) which gather all the officials and who are working in CSOs serving the surrounding communities
  • Workshops participants.

 

Get Online week

For the first time in Egypt and The Middle East, "Get OnLine Week" Campaign was launched in 2014 with the aim of enabling digital empowerment in order to encourage the use of technology, raise awareness of the advantages of using the different information technology tools and leverage the role of technical support for individuals on daily basis.

Educational institutions, public libraries and non-governmental organizations in addition to private sector will participate in the celebrating events. The campaign is particularly targeting the youth and entrepreneurs in both Egypt and the Middle East.

MENA Workshops

A workshop entitled "Community Centers Leaders (Telecenter) In MENA Region was held in Maghreb on 28 and 29 October 2009 with the aim to achieve certain goals in order to ensure the Telecenter suceess in MENA region.The main goal is manifested in gathering Telecenter, governmental agencies and NGOs representatives to have a wide knowledge concerning technological community centers in Maghreb to build work relationships and form a network for sharing experiences. Moreover, the workshop included challenges and opportunities for supporting and operating Telecenter management, specially sustainability obstacles and operating expenses. A workshop entitled "Community Centers Leaders (Telecenter) In MENA Region was held in Maghreb on 28 and 29 October 2009 with the aim to achieve certain goals in order to ensure the Telecenter suceess in MENA region. This helps in discussing lessons learned from these experiences.

Another workshop was held in Amman, Jordan on 15 and 16 July 2009.
This event gathered the Telecenter project officials in many Arabic counties in order to share and to enhance the partnerships connections and support the project sustainability for the great social and economic impacts. The workshop was organized by Worldlinks co. LTD, Egypt ICT Trust Fund, Ministery of Communication and Information Technology in Jordan and The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. The workshop aimed at gathering partners, supporting organizations and Technological Community Centers managers to put the strategy for building constructive relationships and the baseline for telecenter network construction in all Arab countries. Furthermore, the workshop aimed for participants' capacity building developing their abilities through cooperation and knowledge sharing networks.

 

Egypt was a palpable model in which a prominent workshop was held by the attending of more than 20 officials of Telecenter in Al Sharqia Governorate to mainly discuss the obstacles that face telecenter project in MENA region. The workshop ends with deciding to update the devices, encouraging the trainees by improving the financial aspects, providing financial support youth centers, and developing mechanism for devices periodical maintenance.

Telecentre.org

Telecentre.org Foundation assures that today's information and communication technology for development environment presents opportunities for challenging innovations with the growing number of users. Webinars participants have the opportunity to exchange ideas, achieve collaborations and organize collective work. During these webinars, many crucial topics are being discussed to include the successful sustainability models at telecenter network, trends and opportunities for sustainability and knowledge on social innovation and social enterprise.

Results

The project outputs are as follows:

 

1- Documenting an Impact Assessment Study on the Telecentre.org

  • Conducting an impact study on the telecentres in the MENA region and its influence on the community 
  • Providing support concerning the global policies, priorities, and strategies to the project and to the project's partners as well.

 

2- Networking Webinars

  • Holding several webinars that work as a volunteer-based Arab youth project for a better future targeting more confidence and motivating young people to participate. 
  • Webinar "Mahallae" in Cyprus is for defining digital platform to stimulate the participation of innovators in the Euro-Mediterranean societies to help bring social change in their daily lives using modern techniques . 
  • Hold a number of online seminars (Webinar) for Yomkin group and "Employ Egyptian" initiative. 
  • In addition to holding a number of seminars to raise awareness of ICT eco- friendly projects for entrepreneurship (Ambition Competition) in Tamkin institution in Sharqia

 

3- Support the Project Sustainability in the MENA Region through

  • Expanding the Telecentre network to all MENA regions and diversify its topic
  • Holding regional workshops for networking and Developing capacity of staff so that they effectively manage the network and create high value services to strength local telecentres activities across the country. 
  • Managing Arabic platforms for online and offline knowledge sharing within Egypt and across the region in addition to coordinating with the other Telecentre.org networks in different regions to link to multi-lingual telecentre sites.
  • Promoting the civil, private and public engagement 
  • Supporting the MENA region with a well qualified and trained team and professional calibers of Arab telecentre coordinators in order to provide consultancy to represent the logistic hub for any event on Telecentre.

 

4- Monitoring and Evaluation

  • Carrying out Quarterly Assessment study
  • Gathering Feedbacks and success stories 
  • Providing a final evaluation study by the end of the 2 years period in addition to disseminating the resulting study and the reports among partners to ensure maintaining credibility.