2011 Telecentre Women: Digital Literacy Campaign aims to make a lasting difference in the lives of these underserved women around the world by helping them achieve digital literacy.
This is a timely and an interesting topic considing with UNs Millennium goal of "Empowerment of Women". In poverty striken communities women are the most vulnerable group facing problems as Mothers, Wives and daughters?
I would like to initiate this discussion to find out your ideas
1. What major issues faced by women in rural communities that can be solved with digital litracy?
2. How Telecentres can facilitate making women more knowledgable to face such challanges?
3. What challallanges and obstacles are there for telecentres that hinder this process of women empowerment with digital litracy and how can we mitigate them?
Disruptive innovation. That's what I see here. My suggestion is crowdsourcing. A common "blog" or "content" aggregator site, monetized (google adsense and paid sponsorships) where the revenue is shared by the amount of time (or visits) to a particular individuals page. (something like Fanbox) Men can contribute on topic but they do not receive any income, their shares distributed equally to the participating women content creators. As content and complexity evolve global attention and hyperlocal knowledge bases are built attracting move visitors and entrepreneurial spin offs would emerge. The Woman's Cooperative Crowdsourcing Project For Emergence: WCCP4E. :-)
Just a thought--yours?
Regards and best wishes for the New Year!
Thanks Jan, taking this discussion to a new dimension.
I picked up following points
1. Women need to be trained in creating content
2. Their knowledge creates hyper local knowledge spaces
3. Converting access to content a revenue stream
I agree that their's lots of local knowledge, yet to come out from women, Ou challange is to transform knowledge consumers to knowldge producers with training, recognition and rewards.
With my know-how there are 3 types of women in and arround telecentres
1. With no ICT literacy
2. ICT literate but needs more training
3. ICT literate , trained and need opportunities
The most suitable would be type 2 and 3. It would be great if ICT can make them revenue for their skills. One good idea is have a sponsor for content, which I see as the investment which can come from donor programs at least for a period.
Since we have only one year (2011), its a challange to plan a global campaign, initiate project and making an impact for social change. I belive this can be done in an electric process, engaging the marginalized.
Thanks Niranjan, as always, for your insights. I am still digesting Richard's comment and contribution--but I wanted to respond to you. I encounter 2 frustrations in this context: 1, is comments and contributions from students and teachers in the Telecenter movement. Where are they? Why don't they speak up? 2) Donors. There is no need to wait for donors to help our dreams come true. The internet already has the tools and and infrastructure to move ahead with this and many other uncounted possibilities. Granted, a minimum amount of awareness and skill is needed to access these tools--but really it is about DIY--"Do it Yourself". This is where the disruption occurs--by passing organizations, hierarchies, cultural taboos, traditional power monopolies.--empowering people through ICT is THE disruptive innovation of the age.
How do we create something from nothing? This is the always the question. A global campaign cannot be planned--only initiated and if it is right it will go viral. What would it be like to have a site any women could contribute to and be paid through a micro financing strategy? This is very disruptive. New tools for transferring money are emerging making this a possibility now. So, yes, empower the women who need opportunities to create opportunities for other women. We need only a transparent process and an administrator with trust--
As for the first category you mention--people with no ICT literacy, leverage the mobile phone. Start there. Contributions can be made via SMS as long as there is guidance in the knowledge base building.
Perhaps there is a member of this community who would take the leadership with this? Even a ning could scale for now. The yearly fee easily absorbed or donated. Ning has done a super job of monetizing their platform. But Wordpress or a Google site come to mind-and those are free.
Perhaps by starting and producing a proof of concept sponsors will step up.
I have just finished building a digital learning center for a Women's Rescue Mission in the US. It uses a Web Education System with over 10,000 free educational web site, filter and a thousand lessons that nayone can modify. I only costs about USD 2 per termianl. If you send me you email I would be happy to forward the user guide and strategic plan. It is Christian based in the plan. But you can use it with any culture.
The system also has ESL, Parenting and Adult Learning content.
We are currently putting together a Tutor Training programs.
My advice is... Following adult learning methods will force you into recognizing the individual and how they fit into the culture. You will teach toward those needs.
Next advice is to make learning social with groups. One to one eLearning has exceptionally high failure rates.
Next advice. Look at UNESCO's "Life Skills Framework" also Scottland's "Adult Learning Framework"
We Use a Ning for the social community front end to the www.bascom.com Global Chalkboard (Below is a screen shot.
Again send me your email and I would be happy to help. You see our papers and webinars at http://globallearningframework.ning.com.
Hope some of this helps you.
we need to create an open socio-technolgy flatform which will implement woment empowerment services for multiple focuses and address knowledge, commerce and leadership issues with digital means.
We had done quite research on ground, and been developing a framework on web 2.0. It is based on E3 concept, http://www.telecentre.org/main/search/search?q=E3, which I belive Telcentres can be made sustainable.
we are able to initiate a pilot project as members of telecentre.org which actually make a difference reaching a milleniium goal,
1. The activities has to be done in a rapid phase, at least to have implemented by April 2011, Identifying needs, languages, content and deployment in underserved languages of world is the challange.
Yet one year is a good period for a rapid action with collaborative intelligence. we need experts on Everything
Technology, Management, communication, development, and subject experts (Agriculture, Health, Law) , Telecentres
A typical crowd sourcing project.
Anyone want to be in ?
As a designated Ambassador of Telecentre.org Foundation charged with helping the campaign to
empower women with technology and as a former domestic helper for 20
years, I wish to share the following:
Here are some thoughts based on my personal experience working with OWWA and their Microsoft Tulay
Project to empower OFWs with technology. We were asked to supply a
trainer for their program. After studying the program, I became
convinced the program would not be effective for the following
The program tried to teach too much for the time available.
The focus was on training women on the use of specific programs, such as, Microsoft Power Point or Microsoft Word.
Most women who need empowering by technology do not even own a computer, therefore the program needed to include a remedy for that reality.
From the Microsoft Tulay experience and my own positive personal experiences of being self taught, I set out
with my team to develop a curriculum that I felt stood the best
chance for success in empowering those like myself with technology.
The principle behind the curriculum is an old concept. “If you give someone a fish you feed them for a
day. If you teach them to fish, then you feed them for a lifetime”.
If we apply this principal to empowering women with technology, it
means focusing like a laser on two things.
First, we focused on overcoming their fear of technology by building their self confidence. This is
Secondly, teach the students the absolute basics of how to fish the internet for knowledge. By
fishing, we mean how to search. We would teach them how to search for
anything, including the thousands of YouTube videos and tutorials on
everything and anything they want to learn.
Empowered women with self-confidence and the skills to access the Internet (which is the greatest resource
of knowledge the world has ever known), they are equipped to continue
their training or pursue their passion. To exercise this new
knowledge and solve the problem of no computer, we would recommend a
field trip to a participating Cyber Café. There are literally
thousands of cyber cafes willing to provide the technical resources
they need to pursue their passion for less than 10 pesos per hour.
For the more ambitious women they should be encouraged to offer their ability to search for information
on any subject to their neighbors and even to their community. By
empowering women to teach themselves first, then others, we can
empower an entire nation.
By getting the nation's cyber cafes involved in the project, we tap into a enormous source of technical
resources and talent. At the same time, we create more jobs in the
technical sector by putting this group to work helping us empower a
Lastly, I want to take this opportunity to thank the Stakeholders of Telecentre.org Foundation and the Team,
to all of you for getting me involve in this project. To all of you
who have helped Telecentre.org Foundation and support this advocacy
to Empower less-fortunate women...you will find your effort
worthwhile and meaningful.
Please feel free to contact me send to email@example.com . Any feedback or comments would be appreciated.
At last we have a female voice on the subjec!
As you have pointed out teaching ICT to women if they dont have access to computers is less use!
In my view there are many women groups around telecentres, the focus of digital literacy should not be teach them office applications but how they can Improve knowledge, health, economy and their position in the society through digital means.r
1. Introducing skype and internet to an old mother can make she connect with her children working abroad as domastic workers.
2. Introducing email to a enterpruner women to write to a buyer in City can improve women economy.
3. Setting up a jobs portal can help rural women to find a job.
The possibilities are enoumous if we think beyond traditional "training" model. As well as we have to have focuses on mobile.
One big issue in taking mobile service to rural women is language issue, there are no proper mobile technologies supporting many local languages. I understand 1 year is not adequate to solve these issues, but its a good time to create a sustainable foundation looking at 2015 MGD of women empowerment.
Thanks Niranjan for starting this critical discussion and promoting the Women digital literacy campaign. So, that makes you the ambassador too, like Myrna :) The discussion is taking an interesting shape with contributors like Richard, Jan and Myrna sharing thier thoughts on this. So, that encouraged me too to share my viewpoint on this.
As far as computers are concerned, I am also a self learner. I was only a little fortunate to have my own PC to practice and learn the nuances of the online world. I was exposed to computers In the latter half of the 1990s, when I was working at Department of Social Work, Delhi University. I learned to use the computer out of my own need to type and edit my reports, articles, etc. thanks to the reluctance of the only typist, who worked on the computers in the Department, to do so many things. He was pressed hard for work; otherwise, he was a very nice and very friendly guy.
This need led me to learn to use MS Word. And, I learned by practicing really hard on my PC. My introduction to Internet came about later when I found that a lot of material related to my area of work is available online. I raelised that I have to do nothing, just search the web and I can get a lot of information in the comfort of my house without running here and there. this realisation brought about a mental shift in my thinking about how I can source information related to anything - even a traditional dish recipe for that matter. I no longer had to run to my mother or grandmother to know how a particular traditional dish was made! I just had to start my system and search for it and lo and behold - there were the most perfect of them available in seconds! it brought about a mental shift in the way I source information and knowldge.
This realisation and mental shift changed the whole way I started accessing information and knowldge and later on, also connecting and networking with people. So, I think, what the telecentres can do is that along with training the women to use the PC and the Internet, they also need to bring about a mental shift in the way the women source information. This transformation would not only drive them towards digital literacy, it would also empower them by exposing them to the vast online world where everything is available at the click of a button or mouse. I know it takes some time to change the way one accesses information and knowldge. But this is the way and women are very intelligent to recognise it!
My apologies for sharing a long story to come to my point.
As we all accept that telecentres are helping the social change in underserved communities, I think empowerment of women through telecentres is top of our agenda. last 5 -6 years we all have been working to make role of telecentres a hypothisis for social innovation. Now we are at a critical tipping point to enlarge role of telecentres. Our strenghth as well as challange is diversity of telecentres in infrastructure, content and services, operators, culture and policy. Hence we at least require adressing issues that are close to localities. The programs we design should have a global policy but a localalized implementation.
As we have the leadership of telecentre.org foundation, if we get some support we are able to develop a global frame work for women empowerment through telecentres, and based on that we are able to create regional, national and local plans within our resources.
The questions we need to answer
1. Which groups of women we will need to reach?
2. What are their issues and needs that can be served through telecentres?
3. What digital technologies, content and services we should make available?
4. How we develop and make local adaptations ?
5. What are the roles played in this process by TC foundation, Regional networks, National networks, local networks, telecentres stakehold
5. What barriers and limiations exist in achiving above and how they could be mitigated?
This forum is a wonderfull paltform discuss this, as well as we need more human to human interaction to create sustainable global to local work plan.
The Philiipines has started the "ball rolling" for the digital literacy for woment campaign thru a campaign launch on 2 March - very timely as we also start the celebration of the women's month.
The major issues that we think we face, in the context of the Philippines, are access and cost of access. In this regard and in response also to question #2, we plan to mobilize our community e-centers as training venues to reach the grassroots women and engage our Campaign Champions in mobilizing resources in support of the program.
At this point, the first real challenge that I see is marketing the idea of digital literacy to the primary audience - the grassroots women themselves- therefore, we really have to come up with a very good social marketing and beneficiary mobilization program to support the campaign.