DOT-COM Activity: Global - Sustaining School Networks Globally
Short Description: This pilot project will serve as a cornerstone element to dot-EDUs effort to develop a sustainability toolkit for ICT and education projects worldwide.
Phase/Type of Activity: Pilot Status: Completed
Start date: February 01, 2004 End Date: February 28, 2005
Person(s) to contact
Full Description: Universal service has long been a goal of telecommunications policy in the U.S. and a model for the development of policy in other countries. The U.S. and other advanced nations have outlined similar, ambitious telecommunication goals, from Australias 1994 The Networked Nation to Singapores IT2000: A Vision of an Intelligent Island and the subsequent policies. Some developing countries have begun to address universal service and in some instances have developed funding mechanisms similar to the U.S. E-Rate model. But what are the targets of opportunity now and the lessons learned, both negative and positive, which can be gleaned from universal service experiences in countries such as Brazil, South Africa, and Uganda. In this pilot activity, The Benton Foundation will outline how the issues can be examined, conduct outreach to key partners, and present options around facilitating online and in-person dialogue around the issue. This pilot project will serve as a cornerstone element to dot-EDUs effort to develop a sustainability toolkit for ICT and education projects worldwide.
Update 1 (as of June 2004):
The Benton Foundation continues work on a preliminary needs assessment and production of a document to help frame the debate around the potential need for further research and dialogue around universal service and telecommunications policy in Africa (where the program will initially focus, with the intention of replicating the model globally. In particular, the potential relevance of special universal service provisions related to schools will be examined, and will include issues regarding gender and access. The Benton Foundation will also draft a work plan and conduct outreach to gain support for a research project and gather views and experiences from experts regarding universal service and telecommunications policy in Africa. A particular focus will include an examination of the potential relevance of special universal service provisions related to schools.
Update 2 (July-Sept. 2004):
The Benton Foundation conducted a preliminary needs assessment and produced a document to help frame the debate around the potential need for further research and dialogue around universal service and telecommunications policy in Africa. The Benton Foundation has also drafted a work plan and conducted outreach to gain support for a research project and gather experts around universal service, telecommunications policy in Africa.
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.