Porto Novo, Benin – November 27 – December 2, 2006. Content is one of those perennial issues. It’s important enough generate a great deal of conversation, and tough enough that these conversations rarely generate new ideas. Happily, this wasn’t the case at the Africa Telecentre Leaders Forum (although I was worried at certain point). A number of compelling networks + content ideas emerged from the discussion.
The idea that caught my attention most was using national networks (and networks of national networks) as a channel to help large international organizations who need to distribute development information. This includes orgs with health info, agricultural info, economic development, HIV info – orgs that basically have a tough time getting their message out to the grassroots. These international organizations would finance telecentre networks (and, indirectly, telecentres) to reach out with their information. This would help with telecentre and network sustainability, contribute to local information management capacity and, eventually, cross subsidize the production of local content. An interesting idea if you can get it to work, which may be possible with the right network players.
There was also a great deal of conversation on capacity building to help people with the production of local content. This is something that UNESCO may champion.