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Christine Prefontaine's Blog (26)

Coworking, Fab Labs, and Hackerspaces in Telecentres?

Hi All,

Telecentres, Libraries, Coworking, Fab Labs, Hackerspaces, Makerfaires — all examples of "innovation spaces".

Can you share any examples of telecentres incorporating coworking or makerspaces? I found a few library ones, but would like to also include some telecentre examples.

This is for a brief for the Beyond…


Added by Christine Prefontaine on September 1, 2012 at 1:37am — No Comments opens Call for Proposals to spark innovation in public library services in developing countries

The Public Library Innovation Program aims to spark innovative library services that improve people’s lives through the use of technology. It's specifically designed to promote partnerships — with nonprofits, business, local governments — that create new services. Anyone can apply — providing that the service you propose is developed in partnership with a public library and serves the library community. Awards are up to $30,000 USD. is pleased to announce a… Continue

Added by Christine Prefontaine on November 25, 2009 at 12:30pm — 1 Comment

Microsoft helps Creative Commons reach fundraising goal

Way to go Microsoft. Yay! Creative Commons rocks. Read all about it at

Added by Christine Prefontaine on December 31, 2008 at 7:02am — No Comments

Moving from e-Government to m-Government

Great article in today's International Herald Tribune on mobiles and government services.


"Going online from a personal computer to access government services has been commonplace in some countries for several years. Now, in Estonia, Singapore and many countries in between, many of those same services are available through your cellphone."


"One place… Continue

Added by Christine Prefontaine on December 22, 2008 at 4:30am — No Comments

Incorporating communications into other activities & services

Telecentre networks implement a range of activities and services that can be augmented by incorporating communications. These include publications, events, study tours, and helpdesks. In designing these activities, remember to incorporate communications. How can you make it visible? How can you share and document? Set aside enough time and resources to contribute to the stream and help your members to do the same. You will quickly reap the benefits of your investment as key supporters and… Continue

Added by Christine Prefontaine on December 2, 2008 at 10:46am — No Comments

Connect to global initiatives: Create a strong presence on

Make sure your network is prominent in the global sphere, especially important if you want to reach international supporters. For telecentre networks this is easy to do:

• Create a profile page on with feeds and links to your website — and help your members to the same

• Provide network RSS feeds to a Community Facilitator so that they can promote your content

• Add… Continue

Added by Christine Prefontaine on December 2, 2008 at 10:30am — No Comments

Create an information kit

Create a simple information kit for new members and external publics. It can be in electronic format and posted on your website. Include:

• A fact sheet with your vision, mission, activities, number of members, number of telecentres, number of people served (use the information collected for the member directory). For guidance on clarifying vision and mission see IDRC’s Outcome Mapping Guide.

• Examples of… Continue

Added by Christine Prefontaine on December 2, 2008 at 10:00am — No Comments

Maintain a member directory

Creating and maintaining a member directory defines the network, makes it tangible, and provides a concrete service. Gather basic facts from each member: contact information, interests, activities, partners. You may also use the process as an opportunity to learn more about member practices, assets, and preferences — information you can use to develop or update your communications strategy. These include:

Internet access — What type of access do your members have?

•… Continue

Added by Christine Prefontaine on December 2, 2008 at 10:00am — No Comments

Provide regular updates

Touch base regularly with members via email. You don’t need to send much — share content you find exciting, practical, or inspirational. The goal here is to engage members and build a sense of community. Topics may include:

• Number of members and their characteristics

• Most active discussions (either from forums or comments to blog posts)

• Summaries of debates — what’s controversial? Where do members disagree?

• Links to new or most popular content (blogs,… Continue

Added by Christine Prefontaine on December 2, 2008 at 10:00am — No Comments

Invest in a Community Facilitator

Networks need a support team to coordinate, motivate, and carry the ball for busy people. For some networks the support team is made up of paid staff working as a secretariat. For others it is informal and volunteer-based. Support team roles can include:

Leaders — People with the power to convene and the charisma to rally members around a common vision.

Managers — People responsible for overall administration and coordination. Managers develop and implement… Continue

Added by Christine Prefontaine on December 2, 2008 at 10:00am — No Comments

Create a strong online presence

Your online presence starts with your website. But it also includes making yourself visible in all the places your publics go: other organizations’ websites, social networks, portals, blogs, forums, and email groups.

When developing an online strategy start by researching what already exists and where your members already go. To cut costs and maximize reach look for opportunities to build on, leverage, and complement existing efforts. What can you contribute to? What partnerships can… Continue

Added by Christine Prefontaine on December 2, 2008 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

The building blocks

To think about communications holistically, map out how information will flow between publics: support team, network members, supporters. Write a simple, action-oriented plan that outlines:

Internal practices and systems

Support team members should agree on the collaborative structures, processes, and activities that they will need to adopt to work effectively and efficiently. (The team, be it a formal secretariat with paid employees or a loose group of volunteers, should… Continue

Added by Christine Prefontaine on December 2, 2008 at 10:00am — No Comments

The eavesdropping model

Communications and knowledge sharing are often treated as if they are separate things. In reality, however, they are points along a continuum — two aspects of the flows of information to, from, and between the publics upon whom an organization’s success depends. It’s all about getting the right content to the right people at the right time. Similarly, much communications planning focuses exclusively on external publics. But the actions of internal publics (and in particular the network’s… Continue

Added by Christine Prefontaine on December 2, 2008 at 9:30am — 1 Comment

[nět'wûrk'] noun. A community of purpose sustained by communication.

A network is a community of purpose — a group of organizations and individuals that come together to achieve common goals. Reasons for creating networks include:

Exchange information and learn from one another

People form networks to share ideas, experiences, solutions, and information; to learn about each other’s activities, strategies, and programs; and to identify best practices and innovative ways to address common problems

Coordinate approaches,… Continue

Added by Christine Prefontaine on December 2, 2008 at 9:30am — No Comments

Network Communications Guide

This post is the first in a series that together form a basic guide to communications for telecentre networks.

The guide is simple: It starts with a quick overview: what a network is, why we choose work through networks, and the role of communications. It then proposes “the eavesdropping model” — a new… Continue

Added by Christine Prefontaine on December 2, 2008 at 9:00am — 9 Comments

Mobile access to media and the Internet among low-income South African youth

Tino Kreutzer, formerly with the UNDP in the Central African Republic, is now doing an MA at the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town. He's now working with a research project that aims to assess mobile access to media and the Internet among low-income South African youth.

From his blog:

Growing mobile access to media and the Internet… Continue

Added by Christine Prefontaine on November 6, 2008 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Hugh McGuire on eBooks, mobile phones

Yesterday I commented on The Tactile Book, a post that Hugh McGuire wrote on The Book Oven Blog. You can read the full post and our discussion. He makes some great points that are very relevant to our community. Here are the juicy bits:

Christine: At the risk of sounding like a luddite, I just don’t see the… Continue

Added by Christine Prefontaine on October 21, 2008 at 12:00am — No Comments

Sharing knowledge and helping each other using microblogging and text messaging

Last Saturday, I was on a panel at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, discussing online media and social activism. I talked a lot about — and particularly our move to a "social networking"-based website and an online strategy that would support (rather than compete with) our partners and that would build on spaces that people already know and trust, like… Continue

Added by Christine Prefontaine on October 1, 2008 at 9:30pm — 1 Comment

A vision for knowledge sharing

This week, I attended an intense Outcome Mapping training at IDRC. I'm trying to apply what I learned right away. So I want to share with you a draft vision statement for our Knowledge Sharing initiative, which created and manages this website.…


Added by Christine Prefontaine on September 27, 2008 at 4:00am — No Comments

Learning about networks

Today Silvia, Kike, Meddie, Floro, Partha, Frank, and I got together to provide feedback to Meddie, who writing's network support strategy. As part of the meeting, Floro asked us "What's the one piece of practical advice you'd give to a… Continue

Added by Christine Prefontaine on September 5, 2008 at 9:00am — No Comments


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