Latin American Community Telecenters: " It's a long way to TICperary "
AbstractCommunity Telecenters, that is centers for community development using ICT (Information and Communications Technologies) , have become the focus of attention in international development circles over the past ten years, especially in Latin America. A virtual community called Somos@Telecentros is progressively taking shape in the region (http://www.tele-centros.org) with a specific interest in supporting and enabling these Community Telecenters. As part of the build up effort an inventory of telecenters was conducted, followed by a review of the situation. The latter involved self description, recording of stories on the web and through Email, and Email and face to face interviews. The results were synthesized into an analytical panorama of the telecenters movement in the region, the challenges faced, the solutions encountered and the lessons learned. This paper will summarize these findings and highlight a number of key issues, in particular, the trade-off between top-down connectivity and computer literacy programs; and horizontal and community-led and controlled comprehensive development efforts.
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