DOT-COM Activity: South Africa - Strategies for Sustaining and Expanding Computer Clubhouses in South Africa
Country: South Africa
Short Description: The dot-ORG project staff, using pilot project funds, are working with the local implementing NGOs to develop and test different sustainability strategies and business plans for local computer clubhouses serving disadvantaged youth.
Phase/Type of Activity: Pilot Status: Completed
Start date: March 01, 2002 End Date: October 01, 2006
Full Description: The dot-ORG/Intel Collaborative pilot Project to Develop Strategies for Sustaining and Expanding Computer Clubhouses was officially launched in South Africa in February 2003. Intel is establishing three Computer Clubhouses each in Brazil and South Africa. The dot-ORG project staff, using pilot project funds, are working with the local implementing NGOs to develop and test different sustainability strategies and business plans. The goal is to enable the Clubhouses to continue and expand their operations after funding from Intel is completed.
The dot-ORG project team are also providing technical assistance to Intel and the NGOs in their efforts to expand the Clubhouse program to support other community populations when it not being used by the target youth, develop linkages between the South African and Brazilian Clubhouses, assist with strategies for expanding the concept to other locations, and facilitate relationships between the program and USAID Missions in both countries.
Update 1: dot-ORG has been working with staff at the three Clubhouses in Johannesburg, Etwatwa and Soweto, to develop work plans and brainstorm revenue-generating activities to ensure sustainability. Plans have included explicit approaches to ensuring that equitable numbers of disadvantaged women and girls are included in Clubhouse activities. Because the Clubhouse seeks to serve the needs of the poor in the surrounding community, there has also been an emphasis on developing sustainability strategies that address the needs of women and girls of these communities. It is common for men and boys to play a dominant role in activities where information technology is the focus. This situation lends additional weight to dot-ORG's emphasis on ensuring that the sustainability strategies developed for the South African Clubhouses do not exacerbate the problems women face and, wherever possible, create new opportunities for poor women and girls. Toward this end, dot-ORG worked with the Clubhouse staff to gain assurance that women and girls will be equally represented in the revenue-generating sustainability activities, which are a key element of the Clubhouses' capacity-building activities.
Update 2 (December 2005)
AED met with YDT, Johannesburg Clubhouse, Phefeni Clubhouse, and Intel. Plans have been approved for a Community Radio Station to broadcast from the Clubhouse. New leadership at YDT will likely lead to a new business plan for the Johannesburg Clubhouse which will then be used as a template for the other clubhouses.
The Randburg clubhouse, which recently opened, has secured funding from Motorola to cover op ex for the next 3 years.
The Etwatwa Clubhouse has funding from the Ministry of Social Services for op ex for the foreseeable future.
YDT has also begun utilizing their experiences to inform the City of Joburg plans to roll-out TechnoCentres throughout the city. 350+ access points will be connected and utilized as TechnoCentres for youth -empowerment programs. This is now in the discussion and planning stages.
Core funding for the DOT-COM Alliance is provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture & Trade, Office of Infrastructure and Engineering (EGAT/OI&E), Office of Education (EGAT/ED), and Office of Women in Development (EGAT/WID), under the terms of Award numbers: GDG-A-00-01-00009-00, dot-GOV; GDG-A-00-01-00014-00, dot-ORG; GDG-A-00-01-00011-00, dot-EDU.