Promoting Innovation at Community Internet Centers: dot-ORG
[Issue II: Fall 02]
The Community Internet Centers Project, known as CIC, will pilot new and innovative uses of ICTs via community Internet centers and other public Internet access points worldwide. CIC will also provide rapid technical assistance to USAID Missions by project and resource partner staff. At then end of the two year project, a report will be written which documents these new models and the lessons learned from CIC.
Growth of Public Internet Access
Public Internet access points, such as community Internet centers, can be powerful tools to stimulate local economic growth, deliver development interventions, and increase access to ICTs for underserved people. The last few years have seen an explosion in the establishment of such centers, created by private entrepreneurs and by public sector groups looking to use them to serve the community.
Many questions have been asked about how to use these centers to fulfill development objectives:
Answering the Questions
- What opportunities do these centers give us in delivering development interventions and how do they work?
- How can we help the community use these centers to serve their own needs?
- What about the underserved, such as the poor, minorities, and women?
- And how do these centers provide public service interventions, remain accessible to the underserved, and still be sustainable?
The CIC project will address these central, challenging questions, by using a variety of models and combinations of interventions. Tailored to the location and community context, dot-ORG will help these centers adapt innovative applications and increase services to a wide group of users, which in turn, helps centers improve revenue streams and sustainability.
A combination of pilot initiatives and technical assistance missions (TAMs) will be used to develop project activities. Through these TAMs, experts from dot-ORG and its resource partners will provide strategic and technical advice on digital technologies and business strategies for newly created or already established CICs.
CIC will work in multiple countries in multiple regions and draw on the extensive experiences of dot-ORG and its resource partners. Approaches will also include partnering with international and local private, public, and NGO groups.
This exciting initiative will be overseen by a new Program Officer, who will coordinate partner participation and work with USAID missions to develop these innovative activities.
At the end of the project, dot-ORG will produce a report of impact and lessons learned. This report will describe the new models for applying next generation ICTs at community Internet centers and other Internet access points.
AED was awarded the New Generation of Information Technologies at Community Internet Centers Project on September 30, 2002 for a period of two years (Award No.GDG-A-00-02-0016-00 under the dot-ORG Leader Award No.GDG-A-00-01-00014-00).
For more information, please contact:
Dennis Foote, Program Director, dot-ORG
Tel: +1 202 884 8708
Eric Rusten, Deputy Director, dot-ORG
Tel: +1 202 884 8714