UNDP-APDIP e-Note 19 - Telecentre Technology

Source: http://www.apdip.net/news/apdipenote19 

APDIP e-Note 19 - Telecentre Technology: The application of free and open source software, 2007  

The affordability of FOSS and its openness to modification and localization is contributing to the sustainbility of telecentres, and more broadly, to empowered communities and poverty reduction. This APDIP e-Note explores the benefits of using FOSS applications in telecentres with case studies from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Brazil, Egypt and Sub-Saharan Africa.Telecentre models are successful when the focus, starting from the early planning stage, is on its sustainability. Two critical factors affecting the sustainable operations of any telecentre are:

(i) its information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure; and

(ii) the choice of hardware and software.

Of course, the sustainability of the telecentre is also dependent on many other equally important factors including service delivery, staff responsiveness and community acceptance, especially of new technologies. This APDIP e-Note, however, will focus on the technological aspects.

The choice of hardware and software should not be based on what others are using, but rather on what is needed and appropriate to the telecentre and the community it serves in the long run. Recent findings from various experiences, some of which are mentioned in this APDIP e-Note, show that free and open source software (FOSS) applications combined with low-cost hardware have emerged as an intelligent solution for sustainable telecentres.

This APDIP e-Note explores the benefits of using FOSS applications in telecentres with case studies from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Brazil, Egypt and Sub-Saharan Africa. The affordability of FOSS and its openness to modification and localization is contributing to the sustainability of telecentres, and more broadly, to empowered communities and poverty reduction.

APDIP e-Notes are brief snapshots that present analyses of specific issues related to ICT for sustainable human development in the Asia- Pacific region. This online series introduces readers to the who, what, where, why and how of a wide range of current issues related to ICT such as Internet governance, ICT and poverty reduction, e- governance, free and open source software, and many others.

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