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ICT Success Stories

Main WSIS site |  UN Millennium Development Goals | Visions of the Information Society |


Given the limited educational resources of some countries, ICTs offer new opportunities to deliver education and training to schools, marginalized societies and people with special needs efficiently and cost-effectively.  Worldwide, there are many innovative ICT-focused initiatives that seek to modernize countries' educational systems and prepare students to participate in the Information Society. Targeted efforts have been made, especially at the primary and secondary school levels. Despite the many hurdles facing developing countries as they strive to modernize their educational systems, the examples highlighted below prove that ICTs can be an effective vehicle for bridging educational divides and the wider global digital gap.

ICT stories from the field

 Global Teenager Ghana

Success Strategy: Using ICT as an instrument of educational instruction Global Teenager Ghana has been able to facilitate structured exchanges among schools and teachers using the internet. This is to encourage inter-cultural awareness and understanding. The project uses ICTs to connect both local and international teachers and students to develop educational content, promote cross cultural learning and increase ICT literacy among the young people.

The project is targeted primarily at the youth and extends to their educators by promoting new ways of learning, new teaching methods, local capacity development and networking using ICTs.

It is expected that the project will increase awareness among stakeholders in the education sector; increase in teachers and students benefiting from ICTs for learning and teaching; improve quality of content in education dissemination in Ghanaian schools and on the long run to form as a basis for the inclusion of ICT in secondary school curricula.

The mode of deployment is via the use of a learning circle. This is an interactive internet and email platform where students and teachers liaise to research, discuss and exchange ideas thereby developing answers to learning goals. These learning circles provide interfaces in English, French, and Spanish to facilitate cross cultural learning. The project has proved very popular and the interests have been sustained. This is attributed to the global teenager website competition. it is an innovative way to train students and teachers in the act of website development. Three students and a teacher receive training in web development prior to the competition and at the end of the selection process, each school has its own website.

Project Partners: Rescue Mission Ghana, Schoolnet Africa, Thinkquest Africa.

Source: IICD website and Global Teenager website   

 ICTs for blind Ethiopian youths

Success Strategy: ICT equipments were donated to Wolaito Soddo boarding school for the blind. The equipments include 7 computers equipped with an adaptive software  supporting Amharic – the Ethiopian official language ,and two flatbed  scanners all presented  by United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Telecommunications Union (ITU) , Adaptive Technology Center for the Blind (ATCB) and Wolaito Soddo Boarding School for the Blind (WSBSB).

The first stage of the project was the donation of the ICT equipments adapted for the visually impaired to the school. The second phase will entail the training of 5 blind teachers in the relevant computing skills to operate the special equipment adapted to people with such needs including the use of a specialized printer for producing Braille output.

 The project has encouraged the staff of the school to independently produce educational materials in Braille which will be used in the course of their teaching.

The equipment donation will allow the staff and students to gain skills in ICT. Also the ability to self produce these learning materials pose a tremendous opportunity for the schools sustenance and for the benefit of other schools nearby.

Source: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Partners: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), International Telecommunications Union (ITU), Adaptive Technology Center for the Blind (ATCB), Wolaito Soddo Boarding School for the Blind (WSBSB)

HotCity Wireless – Philippines  

Success Strategy: The HotCity wireless initiative has deployed the use of ICTs in bridging the religious divide in the Philippines. The north of the country is predominantly Christian as opposed to the Islamized south. This is an example of the dichotomy which prevails in the country. The religious friction has been fuelled by violence, hate and the Moro people clamouring for an independent Islamic state.

This initiative could not have come at a better time. The initiative brought about by a non-profit organization ‘HotCity wireless’ uses ICTs to spread a message of peace and mutual respect across the divided regions. This is done by educating children on ICT technologies and then allowing these children to interact and talk about peace.

The use of children empowered with the ICT mechanism is grounded on the notion that with the youth there is hope and perhaps a solution to violence and hate, also given the resolute character of children they may be more resolved to end hate and violence. The technology deployed is the use of line of sight wireless technology for internet connectivity.

 HotCity focuses on using ICTs for global collaboration and knowledge exchange by providing the citizens with the opportunity to develop and upgrade their technology skills, share information resources and encourage youthful participation in positive global change. Through this initiative the children can see the good and beauty in other cultures.

Source: HotCity wireless

 Audio Library in Arabic Literature for Palestine

Success Strategy: An audio library in Arabic literature and poetry has been launched for educational use in the West Bank and Gaza in Palestine. This audio library initiative seeks to preserve the culture and history of the Arabian people. It will also serve as education and entertainment to the radio listeners, illiterate persons, and blind persons and for educational purposes.

The recorded books which constitute the library are taken form both classical and contemporary literature. The choice of this audio format is for ease of recital and performance of new and old poetry. This is an important aspect of Arabic literature.

The library is produced in digital MP3 audio format. The initiative is seen as a promotion of the reading – listening tradition and an incentive to literary development. Already, 21 local radio stations will broadcast the library as part of their regular programming. The Palestine ministry of education is set to distribute to schools the audio literature materials which have been recorded as part of the schools curricular for educational uses.

Source: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Partners: UNESCO, the Palestinian Government, local radio stations

Sushiksha -Indiag

Success Strategy: Project Sushiksha is a functional literacy program for illiterate people, who are easy targets for swindlers and money-mongers. Illiteracy is often coupled with vulnerability, so the program is inclusive of local spiritual practices to sustain morale and fight false allurements to gain the resources to improve material development and an ethical lifestyle in family life.

Sushiksha is an educational program, especially for Women from disadvantaged backgrounds with limited accessibility to the lights of knowledge and self-reliance. The curriculum includes basic reading and writing in the local vernacular (Bengali) and basic arithmetic for accounting. In addition, greater awareness of environmental development for a sustainable quality of life is also instilled. Participants are also trained to make handicrafts using various internet resources to acquire new commercially applicable skills..

 According to the project's developers, true education at the primary level should have a flavour of spirituality and should be irrespective of age, cast and creed. The project's activities focus on enhancing members’ morale by various means, including ICTs, and on urging participants to contribute to society and use resources more judiciously. The programme aims to help local communities help themselves to become self-reliant, rather than dependent.

Begun in 1996, the project has scoped a population of at least 50,000 slum dwellers of the Tollygunj slum in Kolkata, as well as 1,000 people from the remote village of Bhitargarh, Mecheda in the Midnapore district of West Bengal, India. The Centre for Adul women established in Bhitargarh in 2000 included regular cycles of continuous education and knowledge certification, contributing to the cultural and valuable content orientation of citizens from the area.

Following the encouraging experiences of this first phase, 'SUSHIKSHA' was launched in 2004 at the VIP Enclave complex. Prior to the start of the project, a survey of more than 150 residents had indicated significant mismanagement and exploitation of domestic finances due to lack of awareness of basic arithmetic. The Programme for Domestic Help aims to restore freedom of expression through the ability to make written complaints to local authorities. In this programme, training in part-time income-generating activities can be followed. Courses in time management and better performance in domestic services have been also given.

The concept of this particular project has evolved and the importance of social emancipation has been stressed through coherent activities. The programme has sought to raise social awareness on value-based life style respectful to moral values and ethics rather than simply improved living standards. Health and education for all are promoted as universal goals. .

From its beginnings in 2004, the Bhitaragarh Village project has directly enlightened 60 women and improved the social awareness of 60 families, with a membership strength of approximately 500 people. The programme has impacted the residents of this village and the surrounding area. The members of the Sushiksha family are more self-reliant and able to protect their rights and work to improve their living standards.

Target group: : Illiterate population, with special focus on women and young people

Partners: Institute for International Social Development, Morning Glory Montessori for the domestic Help of the complex residents

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity

  Broadcasting in Ghana

Success Strategy: Rural Broadcasting began in October 1962. From that date, broadcasts to rural communities took on new character, with programmes designed to educate, inform and entertain rural people including farmers, fishermen, cocoa growers and market vendors broadcast in different Ghanaian Languages. Special programmes for rural women are also broadcast. These programmes have become very popular with listeners, as reflected in the many Listener Research Reports.

Rural broadcasting is a key aspect of broadcasting in Ghana, since many rural people who are the greater part of the country's population are engaged mainly in agriculture, the backbone of the country's economy. Broadcasting radio and television is a vital medium of public information. The most effective of such media is television, because it combines picture and sound and is more interesting and attractive. However, radio is the most widespread, as it is relatively cheap and can operate easily on ordinary dry cell batteries without electricity. In Africa, there are an estimated 100 radio receivers per 1000 people, but no more than 10 television receivers for the same number of people, and even those are concentrated in the towns. The picture is no different in Ghana, where there are 219 radio receivers to 1000 people compared to 13 TV receivers for the same population, which are found mostly in cities.

An important branch of Rural Broadcasting is the Rural Radio Forums. This was introduced in 1964 following a successful pilot project in Rural Radio Forum undertaken by the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation. Through the Rural Radio Forums, listening groups of farmers are formed in different parts of the country. With the help of GBC, farmers are encouraged to listen to broadcasts on improved methods of farming and to adopt the methods for their own use. With the availability of adequate transport and portable tape recorders, the rural broadcaster maintains close and regular contact with the rural listener, thus helping to solve social and economic problems. Staff of the Rural Department give listeners on-the-spot advice and assistance, with the collaboration of Regional Agricultural Extension Officers.

Not only do the active and energetic staff of the Rural Broadcasts Department broadcast special programmes to farmers, fishermen and other specialized groups, but they make follow-up trips to villages to ensure that people are practising what they hear on air and that the programmes have a real impact. The programmes feature agricultural news and interviews with successful farmers, as well as talks by experts on new methods of farming, nutrition, child-care and market reports.

Partners: Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), local communities and University researchers from Ghana

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization site

  Malaysia: Birth of Internet Age Farming

Success Strategy: The Malaysia economic crisis in 1998 uncovered the vulnerability of the Malaysian food supply and at the same time increased the awareness of the importance of the local agricultural sector.  The Malaysian Ministry of Agriculture then introduced the Third National Agricultural Policy 1998-2010 (NAP3) which stipulates various steps to develop a robust agriculture industry, to be taken not only by the government but also by individuals involved in the agricultural sector. An important aspect of any changes is the effective dissemination of information to inform and educate the participating parties especially farmers and smallholders.

Though currently various websites exist they are not applicable to the Malaysian agricultural sector due to differences in weather, crops and production techniques with language being the biggest barrier to access of foreign websites.

TaniNet as a project then started in September 1999 and is essentially an information service run as a project under the Demonstrator Application Grant Scheme or DAGS, within the ambit of the National Information Technology Council (NITC). Among the main objectives of this scheme was to introduce the Malaysian rural farming community to agricultural biotechnology through an interactive Internet-based service both in English and the Malaysian native language, Bahasa Melayu.  Specific objectives included the provision of on-line information and services on agriculture and biotechnology, forums for discussion access to expert advice and trouble shooting and increase awareness.

The Taninet or “Your friendly agricultural website” is equipped with a typical set of facilities such as articles on agricultural related topics with the support of an archiving system, bulletin board, query and FAQ services and event directory. A member ship scheme exists for the interested parties. Databases have been planned that will hold up-to-date knowledge on agricultural products and experts available within the agricultural community. Finally, TaniNet also aims to provide commercial services in order to self-finance its existence. For this, TaniNet is supported with various applications within e-commerce services.

Other means to attract and retain interest include scheduled conferences to bring together the farming community into round table discussions, online tutoring and virtual tourism. Promotional initiative include a “Lucky-gift” given to the lucky TaniNet visitor and “TaniNet family of the month”, chosen from the farming community and published on the web site to encourage others to compete for this special appearance.

A case study done on this project concludes that TaniNet is also the platform for future communication and to redress the digital divide between the farming community and others.  The future of internet age farming seems possible by targeting the younger generation without alienating the elders for total community development. Partnerships among the government agencies, private sectors and the community are necessary to ensure the right governance with strong financial and good management structure.  Finally local content facilitates the management of incremental development through small group participation towards an informed community.

Source: The TaniNet website

  Sharda – India

Success strategy: Sharda is an innovative approach to bring students to school by using ICTs for facilitating learning and increasing student's interest and motivation. The project is targeting urban poor children living in slums and LIG group community. By the end of 2006, under the project have been established 487 computer learning centres in municipal primary schools in Delhi and a number of students are now learning through computers. The network is made possible by the work of 500 education volunteers and 2'500 PCs working under Linux OS. The project aims to bridge the digital divide and build the confidence of the under-privileged communities by providing them with equal learning opportunities, in particular in math and languages.  

Partners: The project is being implemented by the Municipal departments of education in Delhi, HCL Infosystems, Azim Prem Ji Foundation and Red Hat.

Source: the NICT website and an online questionnaire sent by Hajela Mukesh in October 2006

  Fantsuam – Nigeria

Success strategy: One of the basic objectives of the project is to empower women in rural areas of the country to work their ways out of poverty, promoting the use of ICT in support of traditional governance in rural development, education, rural-urban-rural and rural-rural connectivity, eCommerce, IT transfer for the manufacture of tropical solar-powered computers in rural areas, accessibility.

The project’s overall goal is poverty alleviation and mobilize local human potential through a large range of bottom-up activities such as providing scholarships for ICT training and business incubation services via internet and web-based e-learning programmes for women and youths underpinned by microfinance. A parallel campains to raising awareness about health issues, mainly reproductive health, are driven with local resources. A Mobile Rural Library and ICT Service (MRLIS) works with 40 communities and provide them with access to information from regional, national and international sources. Intensive e-learning possibilities are offered to local teachers, researchers and formal and informal community leaders. An important back-up to the project is the Nigeria’s first rural Cisco networking academy, Fantsuam Academy.

Target group:  Local rural communities

Partners: Fantsuam Foundation, African Development Foundation,African caucus, World Summit of the Information Society, African Stakeholders Network of the United Nations ICT Task Force, AMARC Africa, APC, Economic Commission for Africa, Free and Open Source Foundation for Africa, Global Knowledge, infoDev, Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), Winrock International, Kryss –  interactive theatre for young people’s advocacy rights, Mountain communities forum, University of Jos, Youth Team Against AIDS and Sickle cell Disease

Awards: Communications Prize for the Association for Progressive Communications (People-Centered ICT Policy in Africa award for 2001)


  REACH Afganistan (Radio Education for Afgan Children)

Success Strategy: Developed to help address the educational needs of Afghan children aged from 6 to 16 who, due to conflict, have received little or no education for many years, REACH Project is designed to bridge the considerable educational gap. It is hoped that, by listening to the weekly radio programmes on BBC World Service's Persian and Pashto Services at home, children will be exposed to Afghanistan's traditions, culture, and history, as well as receive information about present-day concerns such as mine awareness and health education. The 15-minute Our World, Our Future series are designed to broaden children's horizons and encourage them to become active learners, by giving them tasks to do during and after the programmes that will stimulate learning. Without having the role to replace formal education, the programme series are conceived to complement it and stimulate young listeners to go further in their studies as well as in their active understanding of their immediate and global environment.

REACH does not teach: it gets children to learn by awakening their curiosity, helping them understand and ask questions about the world, helping them set their lives in a wider context’, assert the organisers of the project.

All of the programme staff, writers, and actors are themselves Afghan refugees. This double identity makes possible their full implication and commitment to bring the children beyond the basic theory lessons and the usefulness of the practical advice. These actors have a greater knowledge of the real needs and aspirations of the local children and could target this specific demand through relevant action and broader knowledge. Aware that the intended audience tends to have low level of literacy, the programmes are designed to be effective uniquely on a basis of a single listening comprehension.

Target group: children, youth

Partners: UK Department for International Development, UNICEF and Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)

Source: The Communication Initiative website and the BBC World Service Trust website

  Nunga IT – Australia

Success Strategy: Nunga IT is bridging the digital divide for Aboriginal youth in the poorer western suburbs of Adelaide, Australia, by helping them to acquire IT and multimedia skills in a conducive learning environment.

Over 2,500 people, 95 per cent of them being youths between the ages of 9 and 18, have benefited from the computer-based education programme in the last three years since the project's inception. They have learnt how to create web pages, many of which are posted on the project website, as well as animation, short film and music production. All this has helped improve the young Aboriginals' sense of identity and self-worth by giving them ownership of their work.

This ICT facility allows both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal youth to work comfortably together in an environment that supports them at school. It has also succeeded in attracting the interest of others who were disinclined to study and appeared to be moving away from the public education system.

Using ICT, Nunga IT has also improved health standards among Aboriginal people through its "health by stealth" approach. Key messages about means to better health standards are embedded in each of its lesson plans.

Target group:Aboriginal children and youth

Partners: Government of South Australia

Awards: GKP Youth Award 2003 - Finalist: Education

Source: The Global Knowledge Partnership website and the website of the activity

For more information:see "ICT for Development Success Stories: Youth, Poverty, Gender" - A Knowledge for Development Publication Series of the Global Knowledge Partnership here

  Boats and River Networks to Deliver Access to Information Technology - Bangladesh

Success Strategy:Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha, a Bangladesh NGO, has adopted a pioneering approach to bridging the digital divide and its commitment to providing free public access to computers and the Internet. Through the use of indigenous boats converted into mobile libraries, schools, and the Mobile Internet Educational Units on Boats program, Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha provides educational services, access to technology, and computer training to poor communities in a Northern Bangladesh watershed. The boats, which anchor at remote villages, rely on generators or solar energy and mobile phones for Internet access.

Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha is dedicated to alleviating poverty among the poorest people in the Nandakuja-Atrai-Boral Watershed, serving 86,500 families and an area covering over 240 kilometers crossed by thousands of rivers, tributaries and streams. The Access to Learning Award will enable the organization to sustain its services and expand programs to meet an increasing demand.

All our program activities are concentrated in and around the rivers using a familiar vehicle for people to approach technology. Our boat libraries are crucial to the progress of the villages along the river basins,” said Abul Hasanat Mohammed Rezwan, executive director of Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha and founder of the boat project.

Relying on skilled volunteers, Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha educates men, women, and children on issues ranging from agricultural practices and to micro enterprise and literacy. Farmers learn about strategies for productive and sustainable farming and the ecological hazards of pesticides. Throughout the year, they are able to connect with educators via onboard e-mail and check current farm prices online to remain competitive in the local market.

Seeing a computer, let alone touching it, was beyond our wildest imagination,” said Abdul Azad, a farmer who travels an hour to the docked boat library from the remote village of Kalinagar. Students who would otherwise be unable to attend school during the monsoon season continue their education through the year using the libraries’ onboard field staff. With literacy rates in Bangladesh at only 42 percent, Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha is making a significant impact on educating young people, especially girls. In fact, over 70 percent of the program’s beneficiaries are women. In a highly competitive job market coupled with pervasive poverty, student participants are eager to learn technological skills they hope will translate to a career later on.

The project is intended to extend further even if government subsidies are not available. Over the next five years, the program hopes to double its capacity.

Target group: Local communities, with a special focus on women and children

Partners: Shidhulai Swanirvar Sangstha (SSS)

Awards: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's annual Access to Learning Award  

For more detailed information:see the SSS' website 

Source: the Council on Library and Information Resources (Clir) website


Success strategy: Between 1998-2001, Thailand’s SchoolNet project connected over 4,000 schools to the internet, and the Government plans to make another 1,000 schools Internet-enabled by the end of 2002.  Of the total 5,000 wired schools, all secondary and 1,500 primary institutions have been connected by the end of 2002.  All of Thailand’s universities are already connected to the internet.  The Telephone Organization of Thailand (TOT) provides free internet access to all schools, leaving them only with the cost of a local phone connection (three Baht per call). 

Source: the SchoolNet website

Background materials:> see CS.pdf

  Radio Education in Columbia

Success strategy: In the remote village of Sutatenza, Columbia, an idealist amateur radio operator named Jose Joaquin Salcedo Guarin (known as “Salcedo”) set out to improve the lives of the village’s 8,000 residents.  Realizing that the majority of people in this and many other small Columbian towns were illiterate, Salcedo crafted a plan in 1947 to use radio transmissions to provide basic education instruction to these isolated villagers.  After gaining an operating license from the Government in 1949, and winning praise from the Columbian president, Salcedo formally launched Radio Sutatenza.  The first of its kind, Radio Sutatenza provided instruction, inter alia, on health, basic arithmetic and reading.  Salcedo’s vision was to give rural Columbians the necessary skills to help themselves.  By utilizing the wide reach of radio transmissions, Radio Sutatenza was able to take advantage of the economies of scale, while helping to develop untapped human capacities throughout the country.  Over the course of 43 years, Radio Sutatenza branched out to other rural Columbian villages, training over 25,000 people throughout the country.  In 1990, the pioneering station was sold to Caracol Network of Columbia.  Information was gathered from the Rockefeller Foundation’s comprehensive global study on Participatory Communication for Social Change. 

For more information: see the Rockfound Foundation website

Public Domain Information Centers

Success Strategy: The Public Domain Information Centers Programme (united and extended Public Legal Information Centers Programme and Public Business Information Centers Programme) is aimed to create the network of community centers for free public access to the different kind of public domain information, e.g. legal, consumer, business, ecological, educational, etc. across the Russia and CIS countries. The website of the programme has till now connected more than 1350 telecenters throughout the CIS region and provides useful information about ongoing and forthcoming initiatives related to the dissemination of legal information concerning all aspects of life.

Partners: UNESCO IFAP National Committee of Russia, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Russia, Ministry of Culture and Mass Media of Russia, Special Communications Service, Garant Co., Ltd, Kodeks Co., Ltd, Konsultant Plus Co., Ltd

For more information: see IFAP website and the website of the activity

  The WorLD Project in Uganda

Photo #940016Success strategy: In 1996, Uganda became the first country to participate in the World Bank’s World Links for Development (WorLD) project.  Designed to help new generations learn about world cultures, encourage school-to-school project collaboration (both inside and outside of Uganda), and serve as an information channel for teachers around the world, WorLD Uganda has connected over 32 schools to the global information network, with more than 1,920 teachers and 30,000 students currently participating.  WorLD also helped to create SchoolNet Uganda, the country’s first NGO dedicated to ICT-based education.  In a more recent pioneering project, WorLD is also participating in a bilateral initiative with Schools Online and the Gates Foundation to use VSATs to connect 15 rural schools to the internet.  Similar to ICT-focused education projects in other LDCs, Uganda’s Internet-enabled schools are used for community “after-hours” IT training, which bolsters the overall understanding of the ways that new technologies can empower all Ugandans. 

For more detailed information:

Background materials: see the Wired in Uganda case study

  Crossing Borders - East, West, Southern Africa and Central Africa

Success Strategy: Crossing Borders is a cross-cultural distance learning scheme linking young African writers to experienced UK mentors and developing their work through email tutorials. We try to get them to hear, identify and develop their voices as writers. We operate in Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Southern Africa, Ghana and Cameroon. Over 100 African writers are enrolled, working in poetry, fiction and children’s literature with around 30 mentors drawn from a wider range of cultural backgrounds in the UK.

The website of the initiative is a kind of a crossroads on the information super-highway, which allows participants to do that uniquely human thing - talk. The website has also been developing long-term resources. The first step is a feature in which contemporary writers from varied cultural backgrounds discuss the genesis, technique and cultural context of a piece of their own creative work. Instead of a pedagogically narrow or orthodox approach to writing, mentors and project people create a flexible and heterogeneous resource reflecting a multiplicity of literary practice and cultural influence. The purpose is to publish further the work of participants themselves, creating a sense of celebratory exchange across Africa.

The programme operates in Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. This project draws on the creation of cross-cultural mentoring relationships using information and communication technologies (ICTs) to bridge geographical, digital and mental divides.

The cross-cultural developmental dialogue between Africa and the English-speaking world through writers from both horizons is supposed to stimulate the sharing of thinking, values and solutions facilitating mutual understanding and complementarity. This will has been implemented through dedicated online information technology facilities, which will open up shared creative and cultural space. The emphasis is on building a new international community of writers, on new work for a new world.

Target group: Young African writers

Partners:The project is funded by the British Council in London, designed and managed by the Department of English and Creative Writing at Lancaster University and enabled by a network of British Council offices in Africa.

Source:> The British Council website and the website of the activity

  Habitat Learning Centre – India

Success Strategy: Habitat Learning Centre (HLC) is a multi-purpose learning centre running a wide variety of programmes to uplift underprivileged children and facilitators working in the slums of Delhi, India. It aims to do this by bringing the potential of IT to underprivileged women and children who have never been exposed to computers and the internet. ICT in this instance has been used to get children off the streets and back into schools by making learning fun. Many children have been inspired to re-enter formal schooling systems after their programme at HLC.

Extensive use of the internet has allowed HLC to be in constant contact with all its partner NGOs, and made co-ordination of various programmes very simple. To date HLC has partnered with 29 NGOs, trained 209 facilitators and 731 children in the basics of computer literacy and computer-applied skills. This project has already been replicated in two areas where partner NGOs operate, carrying forward HCL's objective of bridging digital divides and educating women and children on the use of ICT.

Target group: underprivileged children, youth, women and members of local communities

Partners: Habitat Learning Centre (HLC) in partnership with 29 NGOs

Awards: GKP Youth Award 2003 - Finalist: Education.

Source: The Global Knowledge Partnership website and the website of the activity

For more information: see "ICT for Development Success Stories: Youth, Poverty, Gender" - A Knowledge for Development Publication Series of the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP)

  I Educate – El Salvador

Success Strategy: The programme I Educate (Programa Educo) has as its purpose the provision of educational services to communities in the economically poorest rural areas of El Salvador with large deficits in educational coverage through participation of the community.

Educate focuses on providing basic educational services by applying specific teaching methodologies to the problems of desertion, absenteeism, and low school population. The central strategy here is social mobilisation of specific key community groups. Parents, populations with a gap in schooling, teachers, principals, students and unemployed, are full participants in the educational processes of their community. The "Teleaprendizaje" for instance is focused on providing the third rural cycle with technological resources.

I Educate seeks to reach children and youth, especially girls, between the ages of 4 and 22 years who live in rural areas. Particular components of the initiative are geared toward children with disabilities, the illiterate population, and children that must repeat grade levels.

The organisers claim that main impacts of the programme are both increased access to education and educational services on the part of the community as well as improvement in the quality of education through the contracting of trained teachers and through books that are reflective of and harmonious with the reality of the country.

Partners: Departments of Education, Estate, Work and Health; World Bank; Banco Internacional de Reconstrucción y Fomento (BIRF); Government of El Salvador; and rural communities

Source: see The Communication Initiative website and Pasantía Internacional sobre el Programa Educo website (Spanish only)

  Providing Information Technology Employment Training to People with Disabilities

Success Strategy: According to current estimates, roughly 18 percent of those living in Central America have some form of disability, as compared to an average of 10 percent in developed nations. The main causes are war, land mines, natural disasters, and poverty, which contributes to increased malnutrition and the emergence of easily preventable, disabling diseases.  “I am blind since I was born and I thank you because this is the first time I am able to send an email by myself working with the computer,” wrote Jose Reyes, age 22, in a message to staff at the Trust for the Americas, a Washington, DC-based, nonprofit organization affiliated with the Organization of American States (OAS). Jose is one of more than 200 individuals with disabilities who received training in information technology as part of an IT employment-training project launched.

Such training is now opening up windows of opportunity for people with disabilities in four Central American countries—Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua. With the goal of sustaining long-term supports for the disabled in the region, the project set out to enhance the employment prospects of individuals with disabilities, while strengthening the capacity of local NGOs to provide the disabled with ongoing IT-related job training. A website was in Spanish was develop a website linking disability organizations throughout the region. The training provided exceeded The Trust’s initial expectations. In all, more 130 individuals within 44 NGOs received instruction in how to train those with disabilities for employment. In addition, 200 individuals with disabilities, 170 of them women, received direct IT employment training. Equipping disabled women in particular with workplace skills was an important goal of the project given their largely overlooked needs. With a knowledge infrastructure now in place, the project’s impact is being sustained as those NGOs that received training pass on their knowledge within local NGO networks. Also fundamental to sustaining the project’s impact is a new website—the Virtual Disabilities Resource. A specialized ICT Centre and additional web resources have being developed in Spanish to provide those with disabilities and their advocates with vital information on current laws and best practices, while creating a vehicle through which experts worldwide may share ideas.

Partners: Trust for the Americas (affiliated with the Organization of American States (OAS)), World Bank, eBay Foundation, Premier Programming, Fuhril - Honduras, Ruscitti

Source: The World Bank website

  Wiring Secondary Schools in Indonesia

Success strategy: Despite efforts from the government and private sector, less than one percent of Indonesia’s population has access to the internet, and the majority people that do have access are located in larger cities.  However, the Indonesian internet Service Provider Association (APJII) has launched a dynamic effort to bring together public and private actors to connect 2,000 secondary schools to the internet by the year 2000.  Working with the Ministry of Education, Oracle and Cisco, APJII successfully connected about 1,800 schools by 2000, resulting in more than a half a million new internet users.

For more detailed information: see

  Workforce Transition Project, Cisco Networking Academy - Argentina

Success Strategy: This ambitious project started in 2000 had allowed 3,200 Cisco Networking Academy students and the 60 instructors design the network of more than 40,000 schools in Argentina over a 24-month period. The project is expected to improve ICT qualifications and provide better opportunities for teachers and students in the country.

The Cisco Networking Academy Program, a 560-hour, eight semester curriculum teaches students how to design, build and maintain computer networks. The program started in Argentina in March 1999, but in spite of its short life, the program has been growing rapidly. The Regional Academy, which is responsible for recruiting up to ten Local Academies, took special care to expand its Local Academy activities not only in Buenos Aires, but throughout Argentina.

"This project, given its magnitude and scope requires logistics that commit human, technical and institutional resources of the highest level," said Jorge Mantovani, general manager of EDUC.AR. However, it is estimated the Argentina government will save $25 million, equivalent to the costs of surveying and designing the networks for all 40,000 schools. Without Academy student involvement, the national authorities would have called for international bids, with the consequential administrative and financial costs implied.

EDUC.AR is the first state-owned internet company that will provide users with access to electronic resources in education and education-related subjects. EDUC.AR is an ambitious project developed by the Argentina government, will focus on national content and will be used as a tools at all levels of the education system. In this way, Cisco will be the building block for access to electronic networks.

Target group: Schools and Youth

Partners: Government of Argentina, Cisco Systems Inc., EDUC.AR,

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity

  Talking Through Keyboards

Success strategy: In an effort to encourage global cross-cultural communications, California-based Schools Online in the United States launched a collaborative project between students in the United States and Egypt.  Equipped with computers and training from School Online, students in Watsonville, California were able to use the internet and other ICTs to communicate with their counterparts in Giza, Egypt.  The experimental project, which began in January 2002, is an effective method to broaden the horizons of a new generation of global citizens.  Srila LaRochellle, Director of Business Development for Schools Online, said, “Through online collaborative projects, children become more aware of diversity and are more understanding of other cultures.”

For more detailed information: see Talking through keyboards case study

 Giri Pragna

Success Strategy: Giri Pragna means enriching tribal knowledge. ‘Tribals’ are aboriginals in their respective regions, miles away from civilization. Governments and Private Organizations presume that providing normal schooling is enough. ‘Giri Pragna’ Project is based on the concept of the IT Visionary Sri Rajendra Narendra Nimje that if opportunity is provided, tribals too can succeed. Giri Pragna provides opportunities to tribal children in 50 school complexes covering Class VI to X, 10,000 children per annum for computer education and Computer Aided Education and teacher’s training in a systematic way.


Computer Education syllabus can be changed as per the need every year which will ensure tuning with time. The broad band revolution is due in few years in India and the connectivity will change the methods of harnessing and evaluation of learning and teaching methods. Trained teachers during the initial period of three years will act as resource persons to cover hundreds of schools in Government sectors in coming years. Project is conceived as a continuous educational initiative and funds are provided for three years in advance. Many Non Resident Indians have shown interest to expand the project to other schools. Giri Pragna will cover all tribal families for computer education by 2008.

Partners: ITDA, Khammam owns the project who is the prime body for tribal development in Andhra Pradesh State. It has 50 School complexes in Khammam district for imparting primary and secondary education for tribal children. Project has tapped the resources of Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), a Government of India’s initiative to strengthen education in the country. ITDA provided hardware, software, CBT material, furniture at each school complex. Trained computer professionals are deployed to provide training to students and teachers in all school complexes.

Awards: Stockholm Challenge Award 2005

Source: The Stockholm Challenge website

For more information: see the website of the organization

  Rainforest Literacy Project – Papua New Guinea

Success Strategy: The Rainforest Literacy Project is based on the idea that laying the groundwork for genuine informed participation is a literacy challenge. Using radio programmes and printed materials designed for semi-literate audiences, this initiative addresses the local need for land management skills and informed land management decisions. According to organisers, Papua New Guinea's land groups have a long tradition of participating in local and regional consensus-building forums. The goal is to bring technical information and skills-building support to land groups within the existing system of community self-governance so that they might make informed decisions and take effective action to ensure the survival of the rainforests.

The project is based on a communication strategy called "Multichannel Learning", which is based on research that shows that people learn in various ways and through various means, and that the chances for successful learning are improved when more than one learning channel is used. Multichannel Learning reinforces its messages over and over through multiple media and in different settings. At the core of the project is a series of 'interactive radio instruction' programmes that are broadcast during scheduled meetings of the land group forum. In the village of Itokama, for example, representatives of 10 local tribal groups of the Managalas Plateau gather for strategy meetings focussed on how to manage and conserve their part of the rainforest, which is under threat from loggers and land developers. The meetings are centred around listening to a radio programme in Pidgin English. The programme and meeting's guiding principle is 'kuae-fie-nami' ('speak and understand each other'), meaning that the answers to land development problems lie in dialogue rather than in one-way initiatives.

Target group: local community leaders and members, youth

Partners: EDC, PwM. Funded by the Norwegian Rainforest Foundation

Source: The Communication Initiative website

  Women Take Up the Challenge to Accelerate Jordan's Economy

Success Strategy: Although 48 percent of Jordan's population is female, only 11.9 percent of the women are economically active. While female illiteracy rates have dropped considerably in the past few decades, most students still gravitate toward studies in the arts and humanities rather than computer and engineering related fields.

This project towards "Achieving E-Quality in the IT Sector" is targeting to lessen the gender gap existing in the ICT Sector by teaming efforts to build women's technical and professional capabilities. The intention was to give women enough of an edge to compete effectively in a male-dominated ICT market, and to enable them to secure stable, well-paying jobs.

The project had five strategies:

  • Explore opportunities and challenges in the ICT market and policy environment

  • Sensitise existing policies

  • Build women's capacity

  • Link participants to the local and regional ICT job market

  • Raise awareness on the importance of ICT

"People who think of technology only in terms of machinery may think that computers are in danger of dehumanizing education. But information and computer technology can open a world to our students. For them up-to-date information and knowledge are just a click away," says Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah.

Launched in January 2002, the project has established 10 Cisco Networking Academies across the country. More than 600 students have enrolled in the course to date, 66 percent of which are women. These 345 women are now training to achieve the globally recognized Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA) certification. The initiative seeks to empower women by imparting technical knowledge with demand-driven networking skills and ensuring a gender sensitive policy environment, giving women a competitive edge in the job market. The program attempts to function as an equalizer by addressing issues of gender inequality in the IT workforce. Graduates of the program will be linked up to the job market with a job placement program established in conjunction with the public and the private sectors in Jordan.

In the awareness-raising component, the project succeeded in creating exposure to the project activities and objectives and raised awareness on the importance of including women in the ICT sector.

The project's success has attracted interest from NGOs and women's organizations in other countries in the Middle East. As a result, this Jordanian pilot project will be replicated in Egypt and Lebanon in addition to other countries in the region.

Under this program UNIFEM has created a database, which will evaluate the ICT sector in Jordan from a gender perspective. There is gender bias among the ICT strategies and an ICT bias among female-development related policies both of which are disruptive for the economy and the women of Jordan. The database will be used as a tool to monitor and assess policies and practices identified as being a hindrance to the employment of women. The findings of this research was discussed in "E-Quality in the ICT Sector" international forum held on the 15th of October 2002.The doors to a better life and a better future have now been opened for many.

"In a country where women make up almost half the population, they have the power to make a difference, when given the opportunities and the environment. We congratulate all Jordanian women who are now part of the Cisco Networking Academy Program and we are proud to be working with the Government of Jordan and UNIFEM to make the vision of the leaders and the people of Jordan a reality," says Erin Walsh, Manager, International Strategy and Partnerships, Cisco Worldwide Education. The project also addresses Cisco's commitment to the Least Developed Countries (LDC) initiative through strategic partnerships, announced at the G-8 Summit in July of 2000.

Target group: Young Female Professionals, women from low-income groups, Government and public institutions, NGOs, schools, universities and the private sector

Partners: Government of Jordan, Cisco Systems, Inc., the Cisco Foundation, UNIFEM (United Nations Development Fund for Women)

Awards: GKP Gender and ICT Award 2003 - Finalist: Multi-Stakeholder Initiative (Global/Regional)

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and The Global Knowledge Partnership website

Background materials: the full project story and the website of the activity

  Hungary’s SuliNet

Success Strategy: Launched in 1996 by the Ministry of Culture and Education, the SuliNet portal (now Irisz-SuliNet) was designed as a central repository for public education materials for teachers, students and parents throughout Hungary.  With an initial budget of USD11 million (1997) and sanctioned by an Amendment to the Public Education Act, Irisz-SuliNet has proved to be a sustainable and productive response to the ever-changing decentralized public education system in Hungary.  On the technical development side, the portal helps teachers develop their IT skills, including infrastructure basics, network planning, organizing and implementation.  On the social side, it provides users with an e-mail account, list services, a newsletter and a variety of other cultural and social development tools.  With more than 2,000 active institutions in its network, Irisz-SuliNet has connected all of Hungary’s secondary schools and more than 20 per cent of its primary schools to the internet. 

For further information: see

 Building Digital Libraries in Africa

Success Strategy: As part of its intergovernmental Information for All Programme (IFAP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designed and implemented a project to disseminate information residing in the public domain to underprivileged segments of ten African countries (seven in Sahel and three in East Africa). With the goal of collecting and capturing local content in digital format, UNESCO worked with national and sub-regional government agencies, civil society and NGOs to create CD-ROM anthologies containing educational and training documents relating to agriculture, history, science and technology and government, among other subjects.  

The grassroots programme was designed to raise awareness among Africans about the availability of public information that can be used to help them better their socio-economic positions, while teaching them the skills necessary to sustain the project over the long-term.  Using Greenstone’s Digital Library software, the project organizers generated over 1,300 localized documents to be distributed throughout marginalized segments of society in the 10 participating countries.  Bundling the some 2,000 CD-ROMs with PCs and printers, the project administrators worked with local distribution centres (i.e. libraries, telecentres) and grassroots organizers to educate the public about how to use this newly created content to their advantage.

The digital libraries project in Africa proved that ICTs, specifically CD-ROMs, present a cost-effective method to share information in the public domain.  By keeping information channels open between all levels of society, and making the content contextually and culturally relevant, more people throughout the developing world will be able to participate in the global information society.  Moreover, given that the project relied on local content and basic digitization technologies this pilot project is scalable and transferable to other marginalized groups around the world.  

For more detailed information: see the UNESCO website

  World Schoolhouse Project - Dir, Pakistan

Success strategy: Since 2002, the World Schoolhouse Project is committed to ensuring that girls and women in Pakistan rural areas learn to read. In order to help underwrite schooling, new schools are established and equipped, and various facilities for boosting the teaching competencies of the school personnel are made available. Target subject matters are basic mathematics and English. Recently, ICT basic skills have been also integrated in the training modules after rise of awareness of the importance of the empowerment resources available through internet. The initial programme ahs broaden its focus from increasing access to primary education to effective literacy, including e-literacy.

For people living in Dir communities, the success of the project is obvious. Before its beginning, by lack of awareness and monopoly of the traditional law, in the area there were no schools for girls, and a tremendous majority of autodidact teachers were practicing. At present, the schoolgirls ratio is continuously growing and trained educators provide pedagogically consistent learning programmes, inter alia through the use of ICTs. A special attention is given to the quality of schooling.

The project has been implemented by the Developments in Literacy (DIL) and Khwendo Kor (KK) under the auspices of NetAid. Due to the highly satisfactory outcome, the project concept has been replicated in many other provinces of Pakistan as well as in other emerging countries as Afghanistan, Peru, Colombia, Zimbabwe and Haiti.

Partners: Developments in Literacy (DIL), Khwendo Kor (KK) under the auspices of NetAid

Source: NetAid and The Communication Initiative

  New Home, New Life - Afghanistan

Success Strategy: The Canadian International Development Agency supports this radio soap opera on everyday Afghan life, by contributing to the expenses in drama broadcasting and production, monitoring and evaluation, educational features and published materials.

Partners: Canadian International Development Agency - CIDA

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database

  @campus Mexico: Online Learning Program for Public Servants

Success Strategy: Institute for Connectivity in the Americas has implemented an interactive portal for public policy makers, entrepreneurs, community activists, and digital pioneers dedicated to using ICTs to shrink the digital divide in the Americas.

 @Campus is an online learning program for public servants, helping to consolidate civil service reform in Mexico. The project provides civil servants with an Internet-based education portal offering courses and information on certification. ICA’s portal provides the project with complementary resources for knowledge creation & capacity building. These include case studies, projects and funding criteria, news articles, events, and virtual discussion groups on themes.

With financial support from ICA and the expertise of the Canadian School of Public Service, Mexico instituted a pilot phase where 800 public servants have received training. The goal is for up to 47,700 public employees to have access to the e-learning platform, and for the project to be a reference project for future rollout in the region.

Partners:  Institute for Connectivity in the Americas (ICA), Secretaría de la Función Pública (SFP)

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity

  Arabic Language for non-native Speakers – Global Campus - Egypt

Success Strategy: The Arabic for foreigners distance learning program is presented by the Arab Academy which is an educational portal that aims at teaching Arabic language and Islam to Muslims around the world. The Arab Academy offers a comprehensive learning package for non-native speakers that guide them through all Arabic language levels. It also offers Islamic educational lessons that may be of benefit to both native and non-native speakers of Arabic. Hence, the Arab Academy addresses the needs of all Muslims: native and non-native speakers of Arabic.

The Arab Academy is one of the first site to offer a comprehensive professional Arabic language program. Any education program is based on a curriculum. The Arab Academy has invested heavily in the development of its own interactive curriculum Copyrights are its own. The curriculum was tested, evaluated and used by students and teachers for over three years.

The programme embraces different training modules such as modem Standard Arabic, Quran Arabic, Hadith, Syirah, Arabic for Christians, Colloquial Arabic, Business Arabic, Language & Culture, Arabic Songs, Story Telling-Culture, Story Telling-Religion (Muslim & Christian).

Target group: broad audience

Partners: The Information Technology and Software Engineering Centre, The Arab Academy, The Arab Cyber Education (ACE)

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity

  E-Link Americas: Satellite Connectivity Project - Latin America and the Caribbean

Success Strategy: E-Link Americas is a landmark project aimed at connecting the remote and underserved areas in the Americas using ICTs for social and economic development. E-Link Americas aggregates demand and creates regional infrastructures to offer low-cost, high-speed internet service for social development. Satellite and terrestrial wireless technologies are used to deliver affordable, financially viable, internet access to municipalities, universities, schools, hospitals, telecentres and other community-based organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Existing infrastructure are leveraged using wireless fidelity (Wi-Fi) technology, to extend access to businesses and homes.

E-Link's services are based on high-speed internet access through VSAT terminals, which are connected to a satellite gateway in Canada using the Ku band. Each access point can be extended using Wi-Fi technology. E-Link's services are delivered using a broadband VSAT satellite Ku-band hub, low cost digital remote terminals and local terrestrial wireless links to provide uniform access to internet telecommunications resources.

E-Link services are managed by in-country partners generating local employment. In order to provide service to the entire region of Latin America and the Caribbean at affordable costs, E-Link Americas works with Local Service Partners. Local Service Partners act on behalf of E-Link Americas in each country or region. Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Peru. In addition, when a local organization subscribes to E-Link high-speed internet service, E-Link provides all the necessary equipment, including small satellite dishes and high-speed access devices.

The concept of using open standards such as DVB-RCS and Wi-Fi and the capability of purchasing locally manufactured products and obtaining local support are key differentiators that set E-Link apart from other service solutions.

Partners: E-Link Americas supported by Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the World Bank, the OAS, the Institute for Connectivity in the Americas (ICA), and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity

  Thailand: IT Training for Inmates

Success strategy: Inmates are given the opportunity to learn about modern technology and acquire skills in demand by the labour market that they can use when they complete their sentence.  With the skills and work experience acquired while serving their sentence, many former inmates have successfully found computer related jobs and earn sufficient income to support their family.  Their lives and standards of living have changed for the better.  This reflects the project’s success and the immeasurable benevolence of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn in providing the opportunity and a new life for these individuals.

For more detailed information: see IT for Poverty Reduction: Sample cases from Thailand [PDF] report published by the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center

  Rebuilding a Nation on ICTs

Success Strategy: After the grueling years of war, let alone telecommunications, virtually no infrastructure existed in Afghanistan. With the need for Afghans to rebuild infrastructure and restore a knowledge base in all sectors, access to communications is considered a vital factor for rebuilding of this nation. ITU is committed to help the rebuilding of Afghanistan with a contribution of over half a million dollars.  The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has joined forces with ITU to provide experts to Afghanistan on a cost-sharing basis.

UNDP in partnership with Cisco have achieved a milestone in terms of developing human resource considering they helped train women to be among first computer specialists trained in Afghanistan.

Copyright UNDP 2003The University of Kabul's new Cisco Networking Academy, earned the first industry-standard certification for computer networking ever offered in the country. Six women and eleven men graduated in April this year. Considering the Taliban regime, and its  radical interpretation of Islamic law, this event certainly was a milestone.

Three new classes are to begin at the university next month. The first all-women class is scheduled to begin in June, and is to be taught by women trained under the UNDP and Cisco Systems programme.

The migration of many of the skilled labour force during the past two decades created a void, especially in the fieldof ICTs. Now that Afghanistan has the tools to help themselves, things are beginning to look hopeful. With the new graduates available, Afghanistan will have the skills to build a networking system on its own.

UNDP and network hardware vendor Cisco Systems launched the academy last October to create a core of Afghan specialists who can help move the country onto the digital highway. Cisco Systems trained the Afghan teachers and provided networking equipment for the academy. UNDP supported the training, supplied computer hardware and forged the partnership with the university.

For more information:see the Cisco website

  Computadores para Educar - Colombia

Success Strategy:The Computers for Schools program was founded in 2000, and in its first three years of operation it has provided 19,223 refurbished computers from Colombian public and private companies to 2,117 schools. The program aims to establish a permanent flow of computers to public schools in all regions of the country, offering new generations and communities access to better opportunities for education, knowledge and progress. There are estimations that the technology and training program is benefiting approximately 750,000 youth from across Colombia. Computers for Schools is based on the successful Canadian initiative with the same name, and aims to become a long-term program in Colombia.


  Uganda Connect

Success strategy: Originally intended as a computer literacy project, Uganda Connect has evolved into a key source of information and technology transfers to this less developed, yet potentially ICT-friendly country.  When the project administrators realized the benefits of access to the internet during a forum on the internet sponsored by ITU, the project slowly became more comprehensive.  Rather than simply training students and teachers to use computers, Uganda Connect set out to empower them by giving them access to the internet.  In collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP), Uganda Connect decided to pilot a project to connect rural communities through high-frequency (HF) radios and a special radio modem.  In 1997, the first HF-based e-mail pilot project was launched in Arua, a rural village about 500 kilometers north of the capital, Kampala.  The pilot e-mail project was a success, and clearly demonstrated that HF radio could serve as a viable connection technology for underdeveloped societies.  As an illustration of the project’s success, after the first year approximately six of the original trainees were helping volunteers teach new students how to use computers and the internet. Moreover, through the deployment of ICTs throughout the Ministry of Education's headquarters, Uganda Connect has connected several dozen government officials to the global info-communication network.

For more detailed information: see

Background materials: see the ITU’s Wired in Uganda case study 

  Tunis Virtual University (VUT)

Success Strategy: The Virtual University of Tunis (VUT) was created in 2002, abiding by the policy framework of modernization of higher education and its accessibility to all Tunisians. The creation of VUT witnesses the development of ITT in Tunisia and the evolution of higher education to make effective use of digital multimedia technologies contribute to a stronger knowledge economy, and a better trained learning society.

The mission objectives of the of VUT are to:

  • Spread distance-education and make it accessible to all qualified people Merge all initiatives in the area of education based on digital multimedia technologies

  • Foster a continuing learning environment with the vision of building a learning society Upgrade the skills of young professionals through continuing education and training

  • Address the challenge of the steady growth of students in higher education by progressively spreading distance education in priority disciplines to cover 20% of the university curriculum online by 2006-2007

  • Promote equal opportunities in higher education to all qualified people including non-traditional students Participate in widening access to higher education and at the same time improve the quality of education

  • Spread continuing open education by making use of advanced digital multimedia technologies and covering the education of part of incoming future students enrolled in higher education institutions.

The Virtual University of Tunis provides open distance education using multimedia technologies to cover various educational levels: university and college courses, continuing education, life-long education.

A first pilot experiment of distance education in partnership with the Directorate of Higher Institutes of Technological Studies started in February 2003. The experiment covers two modules at an introductory level in Business Administration. These modules are General Introduction to Management and French.

This experiment will expand to cover other courses, disciplines, and programmes offered by the Higher Institutes of Technological Studies, and will hopefully contribute to the creation of new opportunities for many Tunisians. By complementing and actively sharing resources with other academic institutions, the VUT is committed to further improve both the quality of education and the variety of disciplines available. On the basis of large and effective partnerships, the VUT is on the way of implementing a modern and efficient distance education.

Partners: Ministry of Higher Education of Tunisia, Tunis Virtual University, Higher Institutes of Technological Studies, Directorate of Higher Institutes of Technological Studies, Georgia Tech (USA), Agence Universitaire de la francophonie (AUF), agreements are planned with other Arab, European, and North American Universities

Awards: Winner of the national contest Best Digital Content and Applications - Tunisia 2005, Category e-Learning Nominee for the WSIS-Award 2005, Category e-Learning

Source: the Tunis Virtual University website and the WSIS Stocktaking database

  Community Access to Broadband at Schools – Turkey

Success Strategy: Turkish Ministry of Education developed this project to provide fast, robust and continuous internet access to computer laboratories at 42,500 primary and secondary schools and Ministerial institutions.

Further efforts are being deployed to adapt and use efficiently this digital opportunity, which is exclusive in many rural districts. Previously, rooms are usually not functional after schools hours. Therefore necessary arrangements have been implemented, such as staff assignments, security measures, etc. in order to allow local communities to enjoy broadband access. This would enable a broad range of people, including those who cannot afford to have a PC, to access to the internet and help narrowing the digital divide in Turkey.

Target group: Schools, pupils, youth and rural community members in Turkey

Partners: Turkish Ministry of Education

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity

  Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative

Success Strategy:  The Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative (GeSCI) was established in recognition of the vital role that education plays in creating long-term, sustainable development and how Information and Communication Technologies for Education (ICT4E) is a catalyst for improved education, community empowerment and socio-economic growth. GeSCI works to help achieve the UN Millennium development goals.

We believe that improving education is a cornerstone of sustainable socio-economic development and a key mechanism to enabling people to share in a country's prosperity. With an estimated 350 million school-aged children not attending school and more than 800 million illiterate adults worldwide, the challenge is great and the stakes are high, says Stephen Nolan, Executive Director, GeSCI.

Developing regions can derive major benefits from the creation and implementation of rational, directed e-schools strategies. But it is crucial that, from the beginning, these strategies be formulated using a complete and sustainable approach, so that the resulting systems can be deployed with maximum impact on education and community development.

GeSCI’s role is two-fold. Firstly, GeSCI concentrates on facilitating and supporting ICT4E initiatives working with the local Ministries of Education and ICT in developing countries. Specifically, GeSCI firstly provides assistance with planning of ICT4E initiatives, providing knowledge and experience in the drafting of national plans so that each country can take ownership of a strategic and attainable plan.

Secondly, GeSCI also convenes global partners, so that needs identified can be successfully matched by resources, be they donors or other private sector entities who can provide expertise, technical, physical and financial support. GeSCI has initially focused its work on four priority countries, Namibia, Ghana, Bolivia and the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. Currently, work is progressing in each partner country with each working towards its own ICT4E strategy. In addition to these countries, it is also working with the Jordanian Education Initiative on a codification, analytical and problem-solving exercise in Jordan and with SchoolNet Africa’s One Million PCs campaign.

Target group:  Children, youth, communities in developing countries

Partners: UN ICT Task Force, the Governments of Sweden, Switzerland, Canada and Ireland (GeSCI)

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity

  Cape Verde: Mandatory ICT exposure 

Success strategy: In a 1998 Resolution, the Cape Verde Government stipulated that all school children should have some interaction with a computer by the time they reach their fifth year of learning, and that they should receive basic ICT training during their seventh year. Further, the Resolution highlighted the importance of distance education as an additional and complementary element of education.

One of the key educational and training initiatives in the country is the Projecto de Consolidação e Modernização da Educação e Formação (PROMEF). Funded mainly by the World Bank (to the tune of USD 6 million, or 80 per cent of funding), in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Science, Youth and Sports (MESYS) and a Portuguese development foundation, PROMEF was designed to evaluate and analyse ways in which ICTs can be used to improve the education and training systems in Cape Verde. Another of PROMEF’s undertakings includes the creation of databases relating to the education sector such as a statistical database with basic information from each school, a database for evaluating students’ work, and budgetary, human resources, scholarship and student databases. Additionally, the Government has consistently allocated around 18 per cent of its annual budget to education.

For more detailed information: see the ITU’s Cape Verde case study

  Reflect - Uganda

Success Strategy: The overall goal of the project is to establish a functional communication system using community identified ICT to promote the flow of information in the area and thus to satisfy the participatory identified information needs of the marginalized within the community.

The Reflect groups are involved in programmes creating and boosting ICT skills of the community members. The substantial use of internet is aiming to enhance practical as well as scientific knowledge. The Community members are urged to increase their information level on some crutial health issues (HIV/SIDA, contraception, etc.) in order to reduce harmful behaviors and practices as well as to enhance their artistic skills. Music, Dance and Drama through internet is expected to promote art and even to turn it into professional and renumbered activity. Facilitators and groups are free to be creative and use and adapt participatory ICT tools as they find appropriate, as long as their activities link to the project core values. The project is now placing greater emphasis on networking and strengthening community development capacity.

Target group:  marginalized community members, youths

Partners: ActionAid, DFID, local NGO Literacy and Empowerment


  Abtal Shotar – Global Campus – Middle East

Success Strategy: eKnowledge offers kids innovative content brought to them through a unique and amusing cartoon characters: Abtal Shotar™. The exotic cartoons deliver educational material in a way best enjoyed and understood by young children. Featured in educational interactive games with voice-over narration in both English and Arabic, vibrant colours and motivational songs, we are confident that kids will love them!

The Educational games are presented in interactive activities series. The Super Adventure Series propose the Colours & Shapes Circus and Alphabets & Numbers Forest activities providing various learning and entertainment inputs designed especially for children.

The Smart Workbook Series are more education straightforward oriented and provide bi-lingual Arabic and English thematic training as well as art & cultural activities through e-hobby book structure.

Target group:Children and Youth

Awards: Winner of Suzanne Mubarak Prize for Children Content 2003, Specialised Educational Content category

Partners:The Information Technology and Software Engineering Centre, The Arab Academy, The Arab Cyber Education (ACE), The Arab Film & TV School, e-Knowledge, The International Plant Genetic Resource Institute, The Middlesex University – UK, The Regional Information Technology Institute (RITI), The World Bank Institute

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the Global Campus website

For more nformation: see the website of the activity

  Education in Bhutan

Success Strategy: In Bhutan, the traditional monastic system is still very active in the education system. The modern, English education system was established recently and has grown rapidly. The royal Government of Bhutan has cited concerns over the quality of current English language and Mathematics instructions. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is seen as a key tool to improve teachers’ access to better learning. Educators have been exposed to new approaches to primary and secondary education. CIDA supports the project’s goal to increase the capacity of Bhutan to provide a gender-sensitive curriculum and instructional curriculum for primary and secondary English-language courses.

Partners: Canadian International Development Agency - CIDA

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database

  ICT for Women – Global Campus – Egypt

Success Strategy: ICT for Women is a project for the development of women in the Information and communication technology (ICT) sector. The overall objective of the project is to promote sustainable development for women through empowering them to set up their own small businesses or progress in their careers. Such a project is critical for providing women the knowledge and skills an appropriate platform, resources and capacities to compete in the ICT sector at the national and regional levels. The project will create a niche of developed female small business entrepreneurs who will have the knowledge and skills to tackle the challenges of the ICT market.

The project is expected to generate employment opportunities as well as give more chance for these women to advance in their careers or to be employed after acquiring new skills. The project proposes two modules on socio-economic indicators, educating women in ICT and reducing unemployment and small business failure, to be piloted in the greater governorate of Egypt (Cairo, Qaliobeya, & Giza).

Target group:women, young professionals, entrepreneurs, unemployed women

Partners: The Information Technology and Software Engineering Centre, The Arab Academy, The Arab Cyber Education (ACE), The Arab Film & TV School, e-Knowledge, The International Plant Genetic Resource Institute, The Middlesex University – UK, The Regional Information Technology Institute (RITI), The World Bank Institute

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity

  E-lephants Bring Learning to Thailand's Remote Areas

Success Strategy: With over 40 villages involved by the beginning of 2004, the "bringing school to the children" project initiated by the Thai Non-Formal Education Department in 2001 has begun to have a real impact  on learning in remote areas, and all thanks to... elephants! In a bid to tackle illiteracy in the deepest corners of Thailand, elephants were chosen as the ideal means to bring education to children in villages that lack access to learning. Many have no reading and writing skills. Furthermore, basic agricultural methods and health awareness are hard to bring to areas without any form of ICT, even at the level of a simple television set. 

The elephants are used to transport teachers and health workers across difficult terrain to places that are often inaccessible to other forms of transport. And they offer a considerable cost saving over conventional vehicles: for each elephant used in place of a car for the purpose, the project can educate some 3'000 more people. Examples of work carried out to date include teaching of reading and writing in the Thai language, plant growing lessons and health information on prevention of such diseases as malaria and AIDS. So far the project has met with great success, and the tribal villagers who are on the receiving end seem to enjoy their new learning experiences and greet the arrival of the elephant-schools exuberantly. Even Thai elephants, who have been out of work since ecological measures curtailed the felling of trees and they were no longer needed to transport the wood, have now got new jobs - ones that preserve every bit of their worth and dignity.


  Winding Hope - Rwanda

Success Strategy: Project Radio Rwanda was created to distribute radios that are powered without electricity or batteries, and provide vital education to these children about practical issues such as health care, clean water, improved farming methods and a host of desperately important subjects.

Radios are providing a lifeline to the isolated children of Rwanda, thousands of whom have been forced to take on the role of adults heading households after being orphaned by the genocide, war and HIV. One of the most devastating consequences is a legacy of approximately 65,000 child-headed households, which has been compounded by more children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. In total, over 400,000 children live alone without an adult, the oldest children looking after three to five younger children. These families are extremely vulnerable, living in abject poverty (two thirds of the country lives below the poverty line) and traumatised by acts of violence. They have little chance of accessing formal education or health services. The luckier families make enough money to send one child (usually a boy) to school. Without school and relatives, these children therefore lack all the traditional sources of information.

Adapted to the local social context, the Lifeline radio does not require batteries or electricity (very expensive and hardly available in the countryside) and can be taken into the field while children work, allowing them to listen throughout the day. The Lifeline radio is an invention using state-of-the-art direct charge technology. Human energy, applied by winding the crank handle, is transferred via a transmission to an alternator. The alternating current produced by the alternator is then rectified to direct current - which in turn charges an internal rechargeable battery. The transmission has, through design and material choice, been developed to withstand the harshest operating conditions. Similarly it has been robustly engineered to be maintenance free and ensure many years of reliable service. In accelerated lifetime testing the Lifeline radio has undergone 500 000 input crank cycles without failure. Similarly that battery has been subjected to 10000 typical usage cycles without failure.

A radio is donated to a household on the pre-condition that it is shared with neighbouring children. Useful programmes of educational value are essential to connect the children to the outside world and improve their quality of life. They requested information about HIV/AIDS, malaria, stomach diseases, hygiene and nutrition. Heads of households often cited as important information on how to take care of younger siblings, as well as on farming and agricultural assistance, the market price of crops, the weather, and current events in Rwanda. Music was far down the list for most heads of households.

The Lifeline radio can access the BBC, Voice of America (VOA), Radio Rwanda, and Deutsche Welle providing a combination of locally understood programmes in Kinyarwanda, English and French.

Currently, over 2000 radios have been donated and distributed for the project. Thousands more radios are needed to provide all 65,000 households with a radio, training and support along with support for radio programming. Each radio provides at least ten children with access to radio listening, providing up to 11,000 children with critical information and education that can dramatically improve their day-to-day lives. The children stated in surveys that being able to listen to the radio helps to ease their sense of isolation. Daily newscasts serve to let them know that the violence is over and Rwanda is now stable, that they are safe in their homes.

Partners: Freeplay, War Child UK, RefugeeTrust, Radio Rwanda, The Communication Initiative, Radio for development, UK's Department for International Development (DFID), the European Commission (EC), the UN Foundation, UNDP Equator Initiative in collaboration with the Government of Canada, IDRC, IUCN, BrasilConnects and the Nature Conservancy

  Radin Mas Primary School

Success strategy: Inaugurated in 1926, the Radin Mas primary school has become a pillar of high-technology in Singapore’s education system.  The school, which serves as a model of educational institutions of the future, has some 200 computers, most of which are connected to the internet via Singapore One’s high-speed domestic backbone and ADSL lines.  With a computer-to-student ratio of 1:5, Radin Mas is one of the best-connected primary schools in the world.  Rather than simply using computers as a reference tool, the focus of Radin Mas is to deeply integrate computers into the learning and creative process.  For example, the 2,000-plus students who attend the school are encouraged to engage in cross-cultural e-mail exchanges with students from around the world, create e-cards for mother’s day, make music with midi-enabled keyboards, and use the two dozen iMacs to experiment with digital art.  Some of the 9-11 year olds have even created a virtual zoo. 

For more detailed information: see

  eCitizenship for All Awards 2003

Success Strategy: Nettimaunula is an excellent example of the spirit of eCitizenship for All. The project is creating an advanced form of networking in which citizen participation and e-inclusion are central. Nettimaunula counts on high involvement and co-operation of local stakeholders (the unemployed proved an essential human resource). The innovative programme is for the benefit of the community and, particularly the sectors at risk of being left out. Nettimaunula offers cheap broadband internet connections, free computing for those who cannot afford it, training on basic ICT skills, especially for the elderly, and a virtual community tool for local people to provide local content as well as to participate and interact on issues concerning the development of the community.

Partners: the City of Helsinki

Awards: Winner of the category eLearning and Inclusion: Nettimaunula Project from the City of Helsinki (Finland)

Source :

  UN Water Virtual Learning Centre

Success Strategy: The Virtual Learning Centre was developed to focus on Integrated Water and Environmental Management. The entire course has been developed and is available on CD-ROM. It will be made available via Regional Centres of Excellence. The programme will be offered through affiliated institutions in Africa, Asia and the South Pacific, eventually expanding worldwide. Main partners include the Asian Institute of Technology and the University of the South Pacific.

The curriculum is broad and rich and the delivery platform flexible and user-friendly. It is composed by 10 courses, aided by a "resource databank" containing copyright-free materials, public domain images, graphics, documents and databases. Course materials were electronically transcribed and placed on the WVLC website and CD-ROMs. The learning material will be disseminated through a global electronic network of regional and national training institutions, the first components of which will be established in Africa and the South Pacific.  The regional training network will provide "train-the-trainer" courses and promote self-paced distance learning. Once in place, the core curriculum will be customized to regional needs.

UNU will offer a formal Diploma to programme graduates, the first offered in the history of UNU.  This “Diploma in Integrated Water Resources Management from the United Nations University” will be awarded for the successful completion of the full programme.

The broad goal of the United Nations “Water Virtual Learning Centre” is to enhance local, national and basin-scale capacities for sustainable water management in the developing world. The WVLC represents a concrete and strategic response to recommendations from the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which called for strengthening of integrated water management through capacity building of national officials, water managers and their institutions. 

During 2004, formal agreements for the creation of Regional Centres were signed with University of Ghana, the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand, and the University of the South Pacific in Fiji. The inaugural offering of the WVLC began in the first quarter of 2005. With the success of the first phase, a second phase is anticipated.

The WVLC has been explicitly designed for expansion and diversification. Throughout the second phase, UNU/INWEH will collaborate with existing regional training institutions, international agencies and bilateral donors supporting distance learning in the water sector, to broaden the scope and impact of the WVLC. The goals are to expand the global coverage of the WVLC, through creation of additional RTCs in Arabic, Spanish and French-speaking regions as well as  to diversify the platforms and “spin off” new WVLC course derivatives.

Target group:Practicing professionals in the water sector wishing to upgrade their knowledge of modern water management concepts and practices, non-water professionals

Partners:United Nations University (UNU), International Network on Water, Environment and Health (UNU/INWEH) and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), Division for Sustainable Development (DSD), Asian Institute of Technology and the University of the South Pacific are executing the project under the aegis of UN-Water, the inter-agency coordination mechanism of the UN.  Cooperation is also sought with other UN training initiatives and with academic and NGO networks at the global and regional levels.   Financial support is provided from the UN Development Account. 

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database, the website of the activity and background materials

  Tajikistan-Uzbekistan: Silk Road Radio Project

Success Strategy: Silk-Road Radio was launched in Tajikistan in 1998, with its expansion to Uzbekistan in 1999 and to Kyrgyzstan in late 2004. Under the auspices of UNESCO Tashkent and co-financed by numbers of international agencies, Silk-Road Radio produces radio programs and delivers educational messages in the Central Asian countries to millions of listeners.

The flagship Soap Opera entitled "Har Dardning Davosi Bor" (A Cure for Every Ills) is a production of tight collaboration of Silk-Road Radio's Uzbek and Tajik creative teams, mostly covers the topics of rural population's concern. Another Soap Opera of Silk-Road Radio entitled "Shahar Bekatlari" (City Stations) targets more youthful and urban audience.

Each Silk-Road Radio Soap Opera accompanied with needs based short reports -storyline reports- that reinforces the themes of the Soap Operas from factual angle.

Using the more traditional technology of radio to reach large audiences in innovative and engaging ways, the Silk Road Radio Project in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan highlights contemporary issues and priorities through a twice-weekly radio drama series produced and transmitted in the country’s language - Uzbek, Tajik and Kyrgyz.

Building on a centuries’ old tradition of story-telling in the region, the themes dealt with in the radio dramas can be grouped in three categories in accordance with the priority areas of the main funding agencies: family and reproductive health, agricultural themes, and contemporary national issues such as humane and considerate treatment of displaced and underprivileged groups in society, ethnic harmony and tolerance in society and the trafficking of women.

New themes are constantly surfacing in the light of ongoing needs assessment, consultation with stakeholders and audience research. These are incorporated in the radio drama storylines and scripts through existing and developing characters and scenarios. In this way, the Silk-Road Radio Project continues to be a medium for effective contemporary education, while also drawing attention to current, topical issues.

Target group: Uzbekistani, Tajik and Kyrgyz community

Partners: UNESCO, OHCHR: Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, SDC: The Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation, OSCE (Kyrgyzstan), UNFPA, British Embassy (Tashkent and Dushanbe), BBC

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity

  Edutopia: Ultimate education - Republic of Korea

Success Strategy:In 1995, the Korean Government made a decision to use information and communication technologies (ICT) to remodel the country’s educational system and to create “edutopia”. This term reflects the government’s goal of creating an education welfare state, in which all citizens are given the possibility to develop their full potential. Already highly impressive is the fact that every primary and secondary school in Korea has access to the internet. By early 2001, all were equipped with a local area network (LAN), at least one computer lab and access to the government backbone network, PUBNet. Connection speeds of up to 256 kbit/s are provided free of charge and schools get discounted rates for higher speeds. Today, over 96 per cent of all schools have their own web pages, every teacher has their own PC and 93 per cent of Koreans between the ages of 7-19 use the internet. In 2000, the student to PC ratio was 17:1 and over 50 per cent of schools were equipped with multimedia equipment, such as scanners and digital cameras. As things stand today, about half of all schools have a network connection speed of at least two Mbit/s. The Government plans to provide all schools with this speed by 2005.

For more detailed information: see the ITU case study on Korea

  Asia Pacific Initiative

Success Strategy: The Asia Pacific Initiative (API) was launched in 2003 at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg and is designed to promote collaborative research, online learning and capacity development.

The API is a knowledge-sharing project and its first objective was to support the development of a new Media Studio to promote online multi-media broadcasting at the UN University. The blended approach intends to use new technologies to enhance joint capacity development activities involving satellite technology and the internet to link field based studies to online learning, communication and real-time next generation broadcasting. This studio functions now as one node in a networked virtual organisation composed by a growing number of partner universities, research institutions, NGOs and businesses in the region.

Recent activities undertaken to date include multimedia-broadcasting experiments (Video over IP), case study development in Okinawa (Japan), the Bangkok (Thailand) and the Greater Mekong Sub-Region, as well as the development of courses on Asia Pacific Sustainability with support from FASID in Japan. Future pilot experiments will be undertaken in a range of areas including IP/internet broadcasting, video-on-demand, real-time streaming, e-learning and interactive communications, on various broadband infrastructure. Harnessing creative power through new technology is has become a vocation for the API network.

Partners: UNU (United Nations University), Keio University, CISCO Systems (Japan), LEAD (Japan) and Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development (FASID) in Japan, Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand), The Institute of Global Environmental Strategies (Japan), The University of Hawaii (USA), Tsinghua University (China) and TERI (India)

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity

  Adopt-A-School Lebanon

Success Strategy: “Adopt-a-School” a development project aimed at rehabilitating fifteen public schools in the Bekaa region. Adopt-A-School is a $1,000,000 project that deals with the disparities between public and private schools. The strategy combines health, humanitarian, and efforts for a three-year period beginning 2005. The fifteen schools that were selected from the Bekaa were assessed based on the most in need. The project is embracing actions in order to respond to the urgent need of improving the quality of public schools and reducing the alarming dropout rates. ICT training and information resources sharing are main priorities of the project.

Target group: disadvantaged children

Partners: Al-Waleed Bin Tala Humanitarian Foundation, UNICEF

Source: the UN website

  Digital scouts in Indonesia

Success Strategy:Indonesia’s “Digital Scout” programme is aimed at marshalling ICT-savvy youth to visit remote areas to help bring knowledge to locals about the uses and benefits of new technologies.  This programme also enables participants to learn what applications and training would be most appropriate for a given community—rather than applying a “blanket” solution to unique problems. 

For more information: see CS.pdf

  Technology Savvy Youth – Korea’s Efforts to Create a New Wired Generation

Success Strategy:Given its vocationally oriented background (i.e. education for employment in a given sector), the Sunrin High School might seem an unlikely visionary for a twenty-first century education system.  However, the Seoul-based high school—which has around 1,000 students and 80 teachers—has come to represent the future of interactive educational training in Korea.  While not the only Internet-enabled high school in Korea, Sunrin was designated the country’s first “internet high school" in 2000. Two E1 (2.048 Mbps) connections provided by the Government, connect the school’s more than 600 computers to the internet, providing students with access to a variety of Web management, e-commerce and multimedia design resources.  Additionally, teachers have made their published books (some 15 publications) available to students in electronic format, thus reducing the need for students to bring books to class.  The content, which includes a variety of multimedia tools, allows students to expand their understanding of the internet, while learning from a variety of unconventional resources (e.g. graphic design from Japanese Manga cartoons). 

For more information: see

Background materials: see the Sunrin internet High School case study

  FODEPAL - Regional Project for Economics, Agricultural Policies and Rural Development Training in Latin America

Success Strategy: Executed by FAO and funded by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECI), FODEPAL is a regional project that relies on the academic support of the Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) and other high level and prestigious academic institutions from Latin America.


The project is headquartered at the FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Santiago, Chile. FODEPAL aims to create institutional capacity in Latin America in the design, execution and evaluation of sustainable policies by means of e-learning and the application of the new technologies of the information and communication (TIC). From the year 2001 to December 2004, FODEPAL has organized 38 courses, in which about 2.300 managers have been trained.

Partners: FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, Polytechnic University of Madrid (UPM) and other high level academic institutions from Latin America

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity [ESP]

  Cemmozhi Tamil Tutor CD ROM - Kerala, India

Success Strategy: Information technology has many tongues, and the power of this new tool is helping bridge the language gap that straddles the diversity of India. A firm here has come out with its third language tutor, that makes it easier to learn a new tongue.

After working on Hindi and Malayalam, the Ernakulam-based Allenpark Infotech has brought out its Cemmozhi Tamil Tutor CD ROM which, it says, "is a combination of learning and fun". It starts with the alphabets, offers a writing skill section, lessons for vocabulary practice, speech practice, stories, songs and proverbs and selected verses of ancient Tamil classics -- Thirukkural, Aathichudi and Kotraivendhan with notes in Tamil and English.

This CD's writing skill section allows users to prepare a work book by taking printouts of the alphabets. To sharpen one's pronounciation, it offers a record-and-compare facility.

"We look forward to employ the advancements in multimedia for the sake of Indian languages -- and hence our titles like Vidyarambh Hindi and Malayalam Tutors. Tamil is the ancient most Dravidian language, which can claim a proud history of thousands of years," said Thejus.

Thejus said the lack of options for expat Tamils to learn their mother-tongue were shrinking, due to the "lack of efficient learning aids".

Later this year, this firm plans to release new titles for Gujrati and Bengali. "The script works and researches for the same is in full swing. Another title meant for the kids, for those who take the first step to learning is also in the production," said Thejus.

The firm says their Malayalam and Hindi Tutor CD ROMs have been receiving a "warm responses" from various parts of the world. "Many language classes organized by different community organizations have included our CD ROMs as their teaching and learning materials. Various associations for promoting Indian Language and culture has also welcomed the CDs wholeheartedly," claimed Thejus.

Basically the CD is meant for those who are new to the language. For instance, to learn Tamil using Cemmozhi, the learner not at all requires prior experience in the language.

Partners: Allenpark Infotech

Source: mail message of Frederick Noronha to the bytes4all readers mailing list on the 3 June 2005

For more information: see

  ICT Portal for Teachers

Success Strategy: The "ICT Portal for Teachers" provides a gateway to internet resources and websites to help teachers utilize ICT to enhance their teaching. The portal is part of an Asia-Pacific Programme on ICT in Education run by UNESCO's Asia and the Pacific Bureau of Education and sponsored by the Japanese Government through Japanese Funds-in-Trust.

The concept of the project immerged form the awareness that teachers as continuous moderator and generator of knowledge have to follow the dynamics of technological change and benefit fully form the opportunities offered by ICTs. Nevertheless, it means not only that teachers need training in computer literacy but also in the application of various kinds of educational software in teaching and learning. Furthermore, they need to learn how to integrate ICTs into their classroom activities and school structure using them for permanent up-date and alternative reference to the school programmes.

The quality of teachers is known in virtually all countries to be a key predictor of student learning. Therefore, teacher training is crucial. ICT can become a tool that on the one hand facilitates teacher training and on the other hand helps them to take full advantage of the potential of technology to enhance student learning. Especially in poor areas of developing countries, many if not most teachers lack adequate training for the job they are doing. Thus, teacher training provides a relevant locus for ICT. This is not only because training a teacher can leverage impact on many more beneficiaries, but also because it is not difficult, even in poor countries, to bring most or all teachers to ICT, rather than having to take ICT out to all the teachers.

Thus, the programme focus is on how to use ICT to reduce disparities in both educational access and quality and, ultimately, bridge the digital divide. UNESCO envisions that the ICT programme will result in an educational environment involving enriched curricula, resource sharing, quality multimedia material, and a cadre of teachers who are competent in facilitating better learning with ICT.

Target group: Schools, teachers, children youth

Partners: UNESCO, Japanese Government (funding through the Japanese Funds-in-Trust)

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and  the website of the activity

  ITU’s Internet Training Centre Initiative

Success strategy: Designed to help people in underprivileged countries develop the skills to function in the global networked economy, the ITU’s internet Training Centres Initiative for Developing Countries (ITCI-DC) brings together public and private actors, NGOs and local businesses to narrow the knowledge gap between industrialized and developing countries.  Adopting a “train the trainer” methodology, ITU’s initiative will tap into and expand upon the unrealized human capacities throughout the developing world, thus giving marginalized groups an opportunity to become active participants in the global information society.  The multi-million dollar three-year project is expected to significantly increase the number of indigenous knowledge workers, while helping local businesses and governments create domestic incentives to avoid the “brain drain” that stifles ICT modernization in many developing countries. 

Background materials: see the ITU's internet Training Centre case study

  Bridging the Traditional and Virtual Classroom in Canada’s First Nation Schools

Success Strategy: KO’s internet High School (KIHS) provides Grade Nine and Ten students from remote and isolated First Nation schools in Ontario’s far north with the opportunity to receive a high quality secondary school education without having to leave their families and communities. Until KiHS, students as young as fourteen had to leave home and attend school in urban communities. With KiHS, these students can remain home during these critical years and are better equipped both academically and socially to cope with the challenges of city life when they choose to complete their high school education in the south.

KiHS is not a distance education program. It represents a unique departure from both traditional classroom models and conventional models of distance education. Unlike other internet based secondary school programs, KiHS requires students to attend a classroom in their community from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. under the direction of an accredited teacher who is responsible for classroom management, tutoring, and mentoring as the students complete their assignments online. In addition to the normal classroom responsibilities, each KiHS teacher is a specialist responsible for delivering two courses to classes across the network. The KiHS teacher for example in Eabmatoong First Nation is a specialist in computer science and, while he is responsible for classroom management in his home community, he teaches computer science to all 148 students attending the 13 KiHS classrooms across Ontario’s far north.

The KiHS platform has been adapted for use by other Aboriginal educational organizations including Oshki-Pimache-O-Win, Nishnawbe Aski’s post-secondary institute. The Faculty of Education at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Canada is considering using the platform for delivery of its proposed community-based Bachelor of Education degree.

Partners: KO’s internet High School (KIHS)

Source: Vol. 1, No. 3 (2005) of The Journal of Community Informatics

For more information: see see the website of the activity

  OKN in Nepal Raises Hopes Among Rural Women - Jhuwani Community Library

Success Strategy: For more than a decade, READ - Rural Education And Development, Nepal - has been building community libraries. These libraries are run with the active participation of the community and have their own income generating scheme for meeting operating costs and financial sustainability. Over time they have organically expanded into community centres, dynamically involved in the overall development activities of the community.

The community libraries are contributing in diverse fields, such as education, health, empowerment, childhood development and cultural promotion. They provide knowledge, information, inspiration, support and above all motivation to drive the community into shaping its own future. The establishment of libraries spurs progress and development in the area, and this in turn creates positive changes and growth opportunities for the library itself.

Launching of OKN in Nepal

In July, 2005, a new component was added to the myriad activities at Jhuwani Library - the Open Knowledge Network (OKN) project was launched. This project includes the installation of computers in the library and provision of training to the community on the use of computers for addressing issues in the community.

This could be possible by making the people more informed about more societies, by bridging the technological divide between men and women & rural and urban families. It is expected that they can also voice their concerns and share their experiences.

Women are looking forward to working on raising the status of rural women and creating space for their own identity. They are also hoping to use ICT tools to get united for their progress and achievement. The formation of women’s groups within the community centres has helped the women to gain self-confidence through increased interaction, encouraged their journey into the public sphere and honed them for participation in decision-making roles. Jhuwani Community Library and OKN are planning to continue organizing frequent awareness raising programs for women, and organizes interaction programs promoting dialogue and discussion around women's rights. This platform has helped them to identify problems within their areas and to seek solutions through dialogues with concerned parties.

Partners: Jhuwani Community Library and the Open Knowledge Net (OKN)

Source: OneWorld website

  IkamvaYouth - South Africa

Success Strategy: IkamvaYouth is a by-youth, for-youth non-profit organisation based in Khayelitsha, a township in the Western Cape of South Africa.

The organisation aims to broaden the post-school opportunities of Khayelitsha's youth, to fight unemployment and poverty. It does this through three core programmes: supplementary tutoring, career guidance and life skills, and e-literacy development.

Saturday classes for all metrics subjects are given by at average 140 learners and 20 volunteers. Personalised learning support is provided in different disciplines and according to personal difficulties and learning background. In addition, the programme provides a space for intellectual debate and own reflection on scientific and real-life issues and encourages all participants to express their vision and concerns. The learning forum is transforming in a social forum and its vocation evolves into an empowerment one.

Offering career guidance is essential in order to broaden our members' post-school opportunities. Unfortunately, this programme is yet to be deployed, a lack of volunteers is sometimes a major problem. The organisers of the activity plan to establish a mentoring system, whereby volunteers take on a group of learners interested in the same field and develop their skills.

The aim of this community service is to help learners access all the information they need about study and job options. Once universal internet access is provided, this kind of activities would be greatly facilitated. Some of the learners need also particular help in choosing proper field of education or in “decoding” different acceptance requirements, filling out application forms and applying for bursaries and financial aid. Information and communications technology is integral to the way the organisation operates, as well as the way it delivers its free services to its constituents. internet is a principal source of information in the absence of libraries and well-equipped information centres.

The e-Literacy is a major feature in the initiative. The far majority of our learners have never used computers before. Computer literacy is a high priority in the skills development opportunities they are seeking by being members of Ikamva. With access to the internet, the learners will be far better prepared for their post-school experiences, whether they are working or furthering their studies.

There are two parallel e-literacy programmes:

Operation Ukufikelela (Access)

Operation Ukufikelela (Access) is an ambitious mission to bring free computer and internet access to community members. Refurbished computers networked into a LAN is the basic equipment of the activity.

The first step to make participants skilled and aware is to train them in computer use and basic text and visual software.

Further action is needed to secure the internet access. A connection between centres in different villages is intender in order to empower teacher and allow them to benefit from a useful feed-back from other professionals and to share information and knowledge with organisation concerned in local and regional social, technological and economic development.

The Global Education Initiative (GEI)

The Ykamva Youth is also the South African HUB of the Ford Programme's Global Education Initiative. It is an international tele-communities project whose goal is to endn the digital, gender and cultural divides. GEI operates through a global learning communitycomprised of networked iInternational Education HUBs at schools and community-based tele-centres.

The classes run by the GEI are essentially interactive distance learning classes, which enable the network's Hubs to interact with each other, as well as scientists, engineers and lecturers around the world via video and audio links (VoIP). This is our learner's first exposure to computers and learning through technology. The pilot programme runs from February to May 2004, and we hope to participate in further programmes as GEI consolidates the African GEI network.

Target group: youth, community members, illiterate adults

Partners: GEI, Ford Programme, Digital Partners, Setcom

Award: Global Junior Challenge Award 2004 Finalist

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity

  Smart Schools in Malaysia

Success strategy: Smart Schools not only teach students how to leverage the power of information and communication technologies (ICTs), but they also prepare them to participate in the global community by teaching them international languages—mainly English—and other skills.  The Ministry of Education hopes to make all of Malaysia’s schools “smart” by 2010.  A crucial component of the Smart School project is the Mobile internet Unit (MIU), which uses “smart” buses to bring ICTs to rural schools.  These “cybercafés on wheels” make one-day visits to approximately 20 schools each year, leaving behind PCs, training materials, and, where possible, an internet connection.  With the Malaysian Government allocating 20 per cent of its annual budget to education, the Smart School initiative further demonstrates Malaysia’s commitment to preparing future generations for the ever-evolving information age.

For more detailed information: see CS.pdf

  Updating Ethiopia’s Educational System

Success strategy: As part of its national educational reform plan, the Department of Education (DoE) is working with USAID to improve teachers’ IT skills.  Under its Basic Education System Overhaul initiative, the DoE provided 2.1 million Birr for four local computer suppliers to provide 170 workstations, four servers, and nine laptops.  USAID will provide training for teachers and aid in the reform of the country’s primary schools. 

At the university level, the Addis Ababa University (AAU), the largest tertiary university in Ethiopia, is a host to the World Bank’s Africa Virtual University (AVU) programme.  The AVU, which seeks to reform the pedagogy and human development practices to prepare students for the digital age, provides students with real-time access to lectures from around the continent.  Connected via a VSAT link, the AVU is comprised of a one-way video stream to the university and an audio response link, whereby students can interact with the lecturer.  The AVU at AAU courses cost up to USD 200 for courses in programming, computer hardware maintenance, and computer literacy – a price many students have been more than willing to pay.  The AAU itself now also offers a degree in computer science. 

For more information: see

Background materials: see the African Virtual University case study

  European m-Learning Project

Success Strategy: m-learning is a €4.5m 3 year pan-European research and development programme supported by the European Commission's Information Society Technologies (IST) programme within the 5th framework. The project was deployed from 2001 to 2004. m-learning's aim is to develop prototype products and services which will deliver information and learning experiences via technologies that are inexpensive, portable and accessible to the majority of EU citizens.

 The products and services in development are designed to capture the interest of young adults (16 to 24) who are not currently taking part in education or training and to assist them in the development of life long learning objectives. The learning themes focus on subjects of interest to young adults, e.g. football and music, and the modules include activities designed to develop aspects of literacy and numeracy. m-learning's target audience includes young adults who are unemployed, under-employed or homeless.

m-learning infrastructure includes a Learning Management System which, together with the microportal interface layer under development, will facilitate access to m-learning materials and services from a variety of mobile devices plus web and TV access. For interfacing with devices with minimum multimedia functionality, and for the benefit of learners with sensory difficulties, m-learning is developing speech-to-text, text-to-speech and SMS facilities. Support for collaborative learning and peer-to-peer interaction is also being developed. Development of the microportal layer is an iterative process informed by work with groups of young adults.

Depending on the technocal capacities of the mobile phones used, different learning interface could be delivered : maths, languages, driving theory and even geography. The method allows to support a personalized curriculum and make progress at one’s rythm, Surfing on the web being also a possibility, many research opportunities are also available. Using PDAs, it is possible to give the learners access to online webpage building and community tools. Throuhg m-learning features it is also easy and confortable to obtain travel advice, health and food information, news or shopping proposals.

Both organisers and trainees testify so far the results and feedback have been really positive.

Partners: the European Commission's Information Society Technologies (IST) programme, Learning and Skills Development Agency (LSDA), universities and commercial companies based in three EU countries - Britain, Italy and Sweden

Source: the m-learning website

  Electronic Distance Learning Project - Rwanda

Success Strategy: The project is aimed at establishing an ICT network at the Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) and improving connectivity with KIE Regional Distance Learning Centers. The project also aims to increase technical capacities of KIE academics and to enable administrative staff to improve skills to facilitate better administrative and financial management.

EDC staff and dot-EDU partners will undertake activities to lead towards building the technical capacity of KIE. This will include:  

  • Provision of hardware and software for connecting KIE's campus and four (4) regional training centres.

  • Provision of necessary ICT hardware and software to establish internet Learning Centres and ensure high speed internet connectivity and training for each of six additional distance learning sites.

  • Providing access to training materials on computer skills for staff and students at KIE and the Distance Learning Centres.

  • Technical assistance in training the staff at the Regional Distance Learning Centers and KIE academic staff in the development and instructional design of using ICT-based pedagogical modules. Training will also be required for the ICT staff in the areas of information management systems and web design.

Improved connectivity with Regional Distance Learning Centres is expected to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of distance training provision to pre-service and in-service secondary school teachers in order to provide a more qualified secondary school teaching workforce and ultimately better education for young people in Rwanda. Increased overall capacity will enable the Kigali Institute of Education to become a leader in high quality teacher training and information technology while facilitating community access to education and information communications technologies (ICTs)."

Partners: Education Development Centre (EDC), World Links, KIE, dot-EDU

Source: The communication Initiative website and dot-EDU website

  Malaysia’s Multimedia University

Success Strategy:Located in the heart of Malaysia’s Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) in Cyberjaya, is the Multimedia University (MMU).  The first of its kind, the MMU concentrates exclusively on high technology, focusing on subjects such as software development, digital media and IT engineering.  Unlike many other “cyber cities,” (e.g. Silicon Valley in the United States and Bangalore in India) the MMU offers students (totaling more than 12,000 from over 31 countries), access to the technologies of a developed world environment within their own, developing, country. 

For more information: see CS.pdf

  Egypt’s Software Play

Success Strategy: As part of its National Plan for Telecom and Information, the Egyptian Government is aiming to take the lead in “Arabizing” software for the Middle East region. With a population of over 62 million people, Egypt only has around 5,000 expert programmers and system engineers. In an effort to address this shortfall, the National Plan sets out the creation of a National Institute for Information Technology that will eventually train 5,000 IT literate students per year.  Realizing that it could not achieve this feat alone, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) has solicited the help of a number of companies, including Cisco, IBM and Microsoft.  By cultivating domestic talent with the help of experienced multinational companies, the country could become a hub for Arabic software for the Middle East. 

Background materials:see the ITU website

  Computer Skills Training for Philippine Workers - Lebanon

Success Strategy: Computer skills training courses for Philippine workers are being organized in Beirut as a result of an innovative arrangement between UNESCO Beirut and the Philippine Embassy in Lebanon. The computer course is part of a training programme organized by the Philippine Embassy in Lebanon. Other courses include baking, cooking, hair technology and sewing. The programme started two years ago and aims at providing non-skilled Filipino workers with a broad base of skills needed in the Philippines. The courses include training on the use the internet, basic software programmes and email.

Target group: Schools, children, youth

Partners: UNESCO

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database

  ICT Application for Non-formal Education Programmes

Success Strategy: UNESCO’s Asia-Pacific Programme of Education for All (APPEAL) has supported member states in systematizing the non-formal education curriculum, training personnel and developing learning materials. Since the late 1990s, APPEAL has also has been promoting the concept of Community Learning Centres for generating grassroots based interest and participation in literacy, basic education and continuing education activities for disadvantaged people. To respond more effectively to the diverse learning needs among and within member states, this project will take advantage of the power of ICT to contribute to promote EFA and encourage the application of alternative strategies to APPEAL activities. Using the potential of ICT, the project will also explore more effective use and delivery of existing resources and develop new resources to widen access to and improve the relevance and quality of learning.

APPEAL deploys at present several cross-cutting projects on ICT. It is unquestionable that ICTs open up new horizons for progress and the exchange of knowledge, education and training, and for the promotion of creativity and intercultural dialogue. The opportunities to accomplish UNESCO's core missions - to promote "the free exchange of ideas and knowledge" and to "maintain, increase and diffuse knowledge" - have possibly never been greater. Education, science, and culture are at the heart of the trend towards a knowledge society as are the media and information; thus all UNESCO sectors have a role to play in this process. The goal of this cross-cutting strategy is to show how UNESCO intends to provide a coordinated response, based on an interdisciplinary approach.

Below are some valuable examples of UNESCO ICT projects in education : 

Partners: UNESCO

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity

  Internet Kiosks in Indonesia

Success Strategy:In a public-private initiative, the Indonesian internet Kiosk Association (AWARI) is working with the Universiti Terbuka (Terbuka University) and the Ministry of Education on a distance learning and public awareness campaign, for the benefit of some 300,000 students and thousands of community members.  Specifically, Indonesia’s Warung internet (“warnet”) initiative is helping to raise community interest in the internet via public access points (PAPs). The warnet concept has been so successful that by May 2001 there were more than 2,500 such public access points (PAPs) throughout the country.  

For more information: visit the ITU website

  Bringing the Internet to Lao PDR’s Schools

Success strategy: In the small village of Phon Song, an NGO internet project is currently under way to provide computer and internet training to students and teachers in a local school.  The project’s participants include Schools Online (a US non-profit organization), the Jhai Foundation (comprised of US Vietnam war veterans) and local community leaders. To defray the costs of connecting the school, the wired classroom will be open to the public and businesses after school hours. 

For more information: see CS.pdf

  Association of Computer Technologists in India (ACT-India)

Success Strategy: This project is intended to promote IT education in remote areas world wide. Presently this action has been implemented in India and some African countries. Free IT education, tech seminars and IT end user organising are its peculiarities. Empowering the women community with IT education is also in the highlighted topic.

Under the project’s umbrella, the organisations involved as well as many individual members are making efforts to bring IT education to the poor communities in remote districts. Alternative approaches to knowledge management & sharing have been studies in order to adapt these disciplines to underdeveloped rural reality in Indian villages. An overall IT campaign is also launched working to mobilize more and more people to get involved in similar programs and contribute thus to the increase of the computer literacy rate and the skills potential of citizens throughout India.

Target group:Remote rural communities, women, youth

Partners: TakingIT Global, ACT India (Association of Computer Technologists in India)

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity

  The e-Learning for SMEs - Global Campus - Egypt

Success Strategy: The "SME's e-Learning Project" addresses the SMEs in Egypt and the problems that they are facing as a result of their lack of experience and knowledge of the economic environment. A large percentage tends to fail because of improper decision-making. Lacking know–how and relevant experience, they have difficulties to make decisions and show economic performance. Through technology, the e-learning can help deliver necessary knowledge to the entrepreneurs. Rising awareness that the quality of the human resources is crucial for strengthening the competitive performance of SMEs, the project aims at empowering small & medium entrepreneurs through developing their skills. The overall goal of the program is to help accelerate the business development of SMEs and ensure their effective contribution to the country's socio-economic growth.

The project aims at delivering ten main courses such as e-marketing, e-management, basics of the information technology.

Target group: SMEs

Partners:The Information Technology and Software Engineering Centre, The Arab Academy, The Arab Cyber Education (ACE), The Arab Film & TV School, e-Knowledge, The International Plant Genetic Resource Institute, The Middlesex University – UK, The Regional Information Technology Institute (RITI), The World Bank Institute

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity

  Wireless Project connecting schools in Chile

Success Strategy: The “Wireless IP Multimedia Diffusion Project” in Chile has connected 60 secondary level educational institutions in the Valparaiso and Araucanía regions, through wireless technology (Wi-Fi). In its current stage, the project distributes high quality audiovisual material to the schools in the program to complement the students’ curricular activities. The project teams REUNA (Red Universitaria Nacional, National Universities Network) with the Universidad de la Frontera and the Universidad Federico Santa María de Valparaíso. Besides serving educational institutions, the high speed and low cost infrastructure being developed could help the development of revolutionary applications like telemedicine, digital libraries, virtual laboratories, and distance education.

For more information: see ICAmericas website

  Training the Trainers in Uganda

Success Strategy:Together with the Uganda Curriculum Development Centre, the Makerere Institute of Computer Science and selected secondary schools and teacher training institutions, UNESCO helped design the “ICTs for African Educators” CD-ROM.  The multimedia, HTML-equipped CD-ROM helped to familiarize both teachers and students with basic computer-assisted education training techniques.  Designed with local interests in mind, the project was designed to facilitate the move from traditional, static educational training towards a more interactive learning environment.  Not only did the programme help to build the capacities of Ugandan students and faculty, but it also helped to demystify ICTs within the community.  Moreover, the focus on training the trainer/educator ensured the sustainability of the programme over the long term.  

Background materials: see the ITU Wired in Uganda case study

  NairoBits Digital Design School – Kenya

Success Strategy:The NairoBits Digital Design School gives talented youths from Nairobi's disadvantaged slum neighbourhoods access to multimedia education. By teaching these youths basic computer and web design skills and stimulating their creative competencies and entrepreneurship, the school enables students to apply the technology in their own specific situations.

Students who complete the basic course can apply to the school's WebLab, where they design and build websites, collaborate with artists, and develop presentations for business. The WebLab functions as a link between regional demand for multimedia skills and the NairoBits graduates. The School maximises participation of graduates in future training activities, enabling it to use generated profits to train more youth and educators.

Incorporating the internet in NairoBits curriculum means youths learn much more and use it to communicate with other youth groups within and outside Kenya. NairoBits' gender policy demands training of an equal number of boys and girls.

Target group: Youth

Partners:NairoBits Digital Design School

Awards: GKP Youth Award 2003 - Finalist: Education

Source: The Global Knowledge Partnership website and the website of the activity

For more information: see "ICT for Development Success Stories: Youth, Poverty, Gender" - A Knowledge for Development Publication Series of the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) here 

  Te Ara -- The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Success Strategy:Te Ara is the world's first born-digital national encyclopedia is a comprehensive guide to New Zealand's peoples, natural environment, history, culture, economy and institutions. This 9 years project was prepared for production during 2004 and went 'live' in February 2005. While preserving and presenting cultural heritage in line with the challenges of the future, Te Ara is demonstrating valuable cultural assets clearly and informatively using state-of-the-art technology.

Te Ara offers many pathways to understanding New Zealand. In Māori, Te Ara means 'the pathway'. Through interlinking text and image trails, the Encyclopedia takes you on a journey of discovery of the People of New Zealand, the first big theme developed through the Encyclopedia.

Te Ara is highly innovative in its layering of content for multiple audiences; in its design and information architecture it is a cutting edge production, especially in the use of multimedia content including audio, video and innovative maps. The entire resource is available in both Māori and English.

Te Ara's first theme introduces New Zealanders to one another and to the world, and explore the origins of New Zealanders - the voyages, the stories of settlement, and their rich and diverse heritages. There is also a major essay on the development of the New Zealanders as a people.

At the same time Te Ara provides full encyclopedic coverage of New Zealand by its inclusion of a series of overviews which present 'New Zealand In Brief', and a historical perspective through a digitized encyclopedia from the 1960s. Te Ara involves ordinary New Zealanders in the preparation of their national encyclopedia by including public contributions about specific topics.

The project is now rapidly expanding and gaining popularity. When complete Beginning with the theme of Peoples, it will eventually present a comprehensive guide to New Zealand - its natural environment, history, culture, economics and government.

Te Ara will consist of nine themes. Beginning with the theme of Peoples, it will evolve into a comprehensive guide to the country's peoples, natural environment, history, culture, economy, institutions and society.

Partners: The Ministry of Culture and Heritage for Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Awards: Winner of the national contest Best Digital Content and Applications - New Zealand 2005, Category e-Culture Nominee for the WSIS-Award 2005, Category e-Culture

Source: WSIS-Award - New Zealand and Te Ara website

  The Global Knowledge Support Program - GKSP-Egypt

Success Strategy:GKSP-Egypt is an initiative to build the foundation of innovation and knowledge in the 21st century knowledge economy. It draws together key people and organizations from different industries, functions and geographies in comprehensive and Services of learning, development, research and practical action as an attempt to help countries develop holistic education systems aimed at building dynamic knowledge societies that are key to competing in global markets. The project focuses on identifying practical means of harnessing knowledge, innovation and new ICT in order to promote empowerment, informed decision making, and global competitiveness, and consequently, build the foundations for a sustainable knowledge society.

The ambition of the Initiative promoters is to enhance human resource potential of the country and contribute to its overall development. "Since knowledge is increasingly presented as the crucial factor in the development of both the society and the economy our mission is to help transform Egypt into a knowledge-based economy by fostering a flexible, adaptive, market-based economy, innovative and learning society where knowledge is created, acquired, disseminated and used by organizations, individuals, and the whole community for greater socio-economic development and global competitiveness."

GKSP Services include inter alia: 

Global Knowledge Shops

The Global Knowledge shops (GK Shops) aim at facilitating the gathering of special interest groups, either virtually through the internet and the video conferencing technology or physically through face-to-face roundtable workshops. Special interest groups will be meeting on-line through GKSP's discussion forum in order to improve communication and have the opportunity to exchange knowledge and ideas among each other.

In addition to online discussions, video conferencing sessions are to be held for each group with experts of the discussed topic. The Link of Egyptian Executives and Professionals to International Experts through video-conferencing, facilitates exchanging Knowledge as well as tackling new approaches and trends of business. This mode allows for the productive communication among participants across geographic barriers.

The GK Shop will also allow for the practice of new technologies, tools and strategies that utilize knowledge and information in addressing knowledge challenges. The Knowledge Tools include: Decision Architecture, Situation Analysis, Option Development, Option Evaluation, Risk Assessment.

Global Knowledge Diwan

The knowledge Diwan is formed for the benefit of executives. Members attending the GKSP's activities will be members at the Diwan. The Knowledge Diwan aims at empowering leaders of the knowledge based economy through several services that it provides.

Partners:The Information Technology and Software Engineering Centre, The Arab Academy, The Arab Cyber Education (ACE), The Arab Film & TV School, e-Knowledge, The International Plant Genetic Resource Institute, The Middlesex University – UK, The Regional Information Technology Institute (RITI), The World Bank Institute

Source:WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity

  Technology and Information Transfers to the Philippines

Success Strategy:In an effort to introduce more State-run school students to ICTs, many public and private sector actors are involved in technology and information transfers throughout the Philippines. In 2000, the Department of Trade and Industry launched a programme called “Personal computers for public schools”, which offers disconnected schools a typical donation of 20 PCs, as well as IT training and technical support.  While a 600 pesos grant from Japan helped to get the programme started, the Government is seeking additional donors to help modernize over 1,000 public schools throughout the country.  Microsoft has provided much needed support through its Philippines’ Connected Learning Community programme that also gives schools a variety of ICTs and free access to the internet.  Additionally, given the increasingly mobile nature of the internet, the Department of Science and Technology, with the help of Daewoo, has built four IT-enabled mobile classroom buses that bring ICTs and the internet to rural and isolated areas.  Since 1998, the mobile schools have introduced more than 18,000 students from over 300 remote schools to ICTs. 

For more information: see

  Radio Sagarmatha: Marrying Radio and the Internet in Nepal

Success Strategy:There is no question that in urban and rural Nepal, as in much of the developing world, radio is the ubiquitous media, available cheaply (at less than a dollar), and representing no barrier where illiteracy is widespread. Broadcast in the Kathmandu valley, Radio Sagarmatha is the first community FM radio in southern Asia.

The first broadcast took place on 17 March 2000. An innovative programme was introduced which was divided into three parts. The first consisted of what is called “browsing on the radio”, involving discussion of a website. In the second part, “ Sabdartha”, or “meaning” in Nepali, technical jargon related with the internet was explained. This was the most popular section, and received numerous requests for specific information. In the third part of the programme, an experienced internet user was interviewed to explore tried and tested ways to get valuable information from the internet, as well as ways to get practical benefits from the information acquired. Since then, the duration of the programme has increased from15 to 30 minutes, included live transmissions from ICT events, interviews, live internet browsing and much more. Requests have been overflowing, private companies have helped sponsor events, listeners have participated and have even offered to form a club to sustain the programme.

Source: Bytes for all website  

  Global Development Learning Centre - Ukraine

Success Strategy: The Global Development Learning Centre wishes to enable the Ukraine to become part of the Global Distance Learning Network and have access to courses, seminars, and discussions with participants from around the world linked by interactive technologies for learning at a distance.

Partners: Canadian International Development Agency - CIDA

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database

  Daughters of the Pacific – New Zealand

Success Strategy: Daughters of the Pacific is a community group of Christchurch-based Pacific women. The group is particularly interested in issues of culture and identity as they affect Pacific people born in New Zealand. The activity is exploring issues of identity and the impact on that identity as Pacific daughters born in Aotearoa, raising awareness of the changing face of Pacific peoples in Aotearoa as well as supporting Pacific women in their individual and collective aspirations and grassroots valorisation.

The community network established a website as a place to share experiences and stories with others. The forum gives the opportunity to create a sense of belonging, validation, cultural understanding and pride. The website aims at providing a link for promoting greater cohesion between generations and cultures through dialogue, exchange of points of view and experience and better mutual understanding.

Target group: Pacific Women born in New Zealand

Partners: Informal structure based on common origins supported by the Community Employment Group of the Department of Labour of NZ

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity

  Cisco Networking Academy Programme

Success Strategy: The Cisco Networking Academy is driven by the ambition of changing the way people learn. The Programme is a comprehensive e-learning program, which provides students with the internet technology skills essential in a global economy. The Networking Academy program delivers Web-based content, online assessment, student performance tracking, hands-on-labs, instructor training and support, and preparation for industry standard certifications. The internet enables anytime, anywhere learning for all students, regardless of location, socio-economic status, gender, or race. Through community feedback and electronic assessment, the Academy program adapts curriculum to improve outcomes and student achievement. The Global Learning Network infrastructure designed for the Academy delivers a rich, interactive, and personalized curriculum to students around the world. The internet has the power to change the way people learn, work, and play, and the Cisco Networking Academy Program is in the forefront of this transformation.

Launched in October 1997 with 64 educational institutions in seven states, the Networking Academy has spread to more than 150 countries. Since its inception, over 1.6 Million students have enrolled at more than 10,000 Academies located in high schools, technical schools, colleges, universities, and community-based organizations. Inter alia, the Academy has been expanding workforce training for ICT technicians in 32 countries with over 5000 students enrolled, including 25 percent of women.

Target group: Youth, Students, Young Professionals, Women all over the world

Partners:Cisco, USAID, UNDP, ITU, partners from business, government and community organizations

Source: WSIS Stocktaking Database and the website of the activity

  The Tech Angels – New Zealand

Success Strategy:At Wellington Girls' College, a problem arose when the technological needs of the school could not be met by the staff available. This prompted the need for development and support of ICT skills for teachers. Mentoring needed to be offered, on the spot and all the time.

The Tech Angels are unique Kiwi answer to bridge the digital divide between students and teachers. Students use their own skills and knowledge to teach and support the teachers in their use of ICT. There are multiple benefits for staff, the student and also the students’ own communities.

The programme was launched in 2003 when the school’s technological needs started to outstrip the ICT skills among its teaching staff. Sponsored by the Ministry of Education, the students volunteer to take part in the programme and are given professional training in ICT and how to teach and support college staff. Each week students called Tech Angels provide mentoring and support in ICT to college staff. Each Tech Angel mentors two teachers, teaching topics ranging from general use of the computer through to scanning, movie editing and burning CDs.

This particular application of the peer-to-peer approach is likely to generate double benefit in terms of teachers’ higher skills and reduction of the school budget for qualification and training programmes. An other long-term benefit is the overall enhancement of the quality of the schooling due to the improved opportunities for teachers to share the unlimited resources of internet knowledge and information exchange.

Partners:Ministry of Education – New Zealand

Source: The website of the activity and the NZ Digital Strategy website

  Kerala - God's own Digital Country

Success strategy: One would have thought that bridging the digital divide is an impossible task. But Kerala, Amarthya Sens’s favourite development model, has shown how it is possible to attain complete literacy and long life expectancy and excellent social indicators despite having low per capita income. Kerala, in an endeavour to bridge the divide and propel Kerala as India's foremost knowledge society, embarked on 'Akshaya Project' on the 18th of November, 2002. It is expected that Akshaya will be a watershed in effacing the divide between "information haves" and "information have-nots" and in disseminating the benefits of IT to the common man. 

The Akshaya project has three focus areas – facilitate access to technology to all region of the state, to felicitate development of skills and competencies to enable use of IT by all sections of society, to develop content in local language on topic of local relevance.

Akshaya will rank amongst the most ambitious ICT programs ever attempted in a developing society. The project is expected to generate a network of 6000 information centres in the state, generate about 50,000 employment opportunities and throw up investment opportunities to the tune of Rs.500 Crores, all within a time span of 3 years.

The Akshaya project was envisaged as a practical, commercially viable enabler essentially having to

  • Impart basic IT literacy to at least one member of the lakh families in the state.

  • Extend the training initiative into a service delivery mechanism for the local citizen.

The Service Delivery Mechanism is simple -once the people have been introduced to the immense possibilities of ICTs the next step would be to make facilities available to make their learning useful and reap the benefits.

The Akshaya project has already been successfully implemented in Malappurram district of Kerala. At least one person in over 75 0000lakh families has been made computer literate.

Furthermore, the focus of the programme will be to ensure a viable, sustainable service delivery mechanism for the citizens of the state. The Akshaya centre have been equipped with necessary equipment like computers, fax, printers, telephones, broad band internet connection etc., and software so as to cater to the information and communication requirements of the local citizens. A community portal, which will cater to the day-to-day requirements of the local community, is also envisaged.

eLiteracy Campaign

The eLiteracy campaign is the foundation on which the state seeks to bridge the digital divide in the state. The underlying objective of the campaign is to remove the "fear of the unknown" that common people have about technology in general and computers in particular.

The eLiteracy campaign proposes to impart basic/functional eLiteracy to one member of each of the 65 lakh families in the state. Selection of the member to be trained will be decided by the family members. The persons trained as part of this campaign are expected to act as a catalyst in ensuring the overall success of the project.

The course content is being designed keeping this in mind. The emphasis of the training program will be on the use of technology and not on technology itself. The program will aim at opening up the minds of the student to the immense possibilities and benefits of ICT.

The expected direct benefits from the programme are mainly 

  • At least 1 computer literate person in every home in the state

  • Network of 6000 Community Information Centres across the state 

  • Convenient access for the common man to information services

  • Local Community Empowerment

  • Generate locally relevant content 

  • Generate over 50,000 direct employment opportunities in three years

  • Generate direct investment of over Rs. 500 crores in 3 years

The expected indirect benefits are  

  • Cheaper communication through internet telephony, e-mail, chat etc 

  • Enhanced ICT demand in Tele-medicine, e-Commerce and e-Education 

  • Enlarged marketing opportunities for agricultural, traditional products and artefacts 

  • Improved delivery of public services 

  • Catalysing of all sectors in the IT Industry

The project has been designed to leverage Kerala's unique strenght, active community organisations, progressive social framework, advanced telecom infrastructure and wide- spread media penetration. The use of self-employment programmes and private enterprise within a government framework in development of training institutes and content generation will aim at ensuring commercial viability as well as sustainability of the project.

After initial successful implementation in Malappuram, the plan is to cover the entire state by end 2005. This would create direct investment of 3000000 INR and create 50000 job opportunities. The 6000 – 9000 Akshaya centers would network 30 million people across 600 thousand household giving them access to broadband connectivity. Akshaya centers would also provide service like data entry, desktop publishing, advanced computer training and internet telephony. More importantly; these centers would serve as a front end for government services such as disbursement of forms or payment collections.

In future Akshaya will also offer information tailor-made for Keralites. The content developed in local language would include education, health, law, career development, agriculture, gender studies, taxation, housing and other avenues to empower people to better help themselves. Akshaya would also include self development modules covering spoken English, vocational training, personality development, career planning and accounting.

Partners: Public Private Partnership (PPP) joining Kerala State IT Mission, STED Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board) and C-DIT (The Centre for Development of Imaging Technology),  implemented through the Local Self Government (Panchayati Raj) Institutions (LSGIs)

Awards: Digital Communities Award of ARS Electronica 2005

Source: TakingITGlobal website and e-mail of Geert Lovink to the,  May 23, 2005

For more information: see

  DRC - Centre de Resources pour l'Apprentissage Communautaire (CRAC)

Success Strategy  This project improved current basic educational methodologies and support the existing national curriculum in the Democratic Republic of Congo by fostering learning processes that are rooted in experience. The Centre uses local knowledge and technologies, interact effectively with local development problems, and makes appropriate use of information and communication technologies.

The project is a good example of using ICTs to address chronic information shortages and increase the capacity of a selected cadre of trainers, teachers, and community leaders. Thus they could create culturally appropriate and language-specific instructional materials for youth and adults based on sound, innovative pedagogy and using appropriate local and information technologies. The Centre has also been providing access and disseminating appropriate resources through increased media literacy, incorporate gender equity into these activities and materials.

Partners: Academy for Educational Development

Source: Alliance website

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