Please help me update what “telecentre” means for ICT4D
August 28, 2012 Editor 0
In it, I start by defining a range of innovation spaces: telecentre, hackerspace, coworking, fablab. (I’m working open: see and comment on messy work process.)
The definition of a telecentre wasn’t working for me. It missed some crucial aspects:
- Access to support: people (formal and informal infomediaries) and services, such as training.
- The fact that “telecentre” is a high-level, catch-all term to describe a type of space, stand-alone or embedded into an existing organization. So folks this means that you can be/run a telecentre even if you hate the word or don’t think of yourself that way.
- Highlighting the diversity of business / organizational models.
- Highlighting the focus on advancing well-being and development at all levels (individual, community). I decided good to leave this broad and not start enumerating different kinds of development (social, cultural, economic), or specific domains, such as health, democracy and governance, the environment, or education.
You can go look up the old definition on Wikipedia. Here’s my update to make the term “telecentre” more holistic:
“Telecentre” is catch-all term for a public place where people can access digital technologies and the Internet, information, and support and services that enable them to create, learn, play, and work – while building skills and connecting with others. Telecentres go by many different names (community multimedia/knowledge/ technology centre, public Internet access point, etc.), operate under a range of business models, and are sometimes embedded into existing institutions, including libraries, community organizations, nonprofits, and businesses. The common denominator is a commitment to advance well-being and development – of individuals and communities – which often includes efforts to support groups facing social and economic challenges, including youth, the elderly, people with disabilities, immigrants, and displaced workers.
I expect it will change a bit. The last part is still clunky. But you get the idea. And I welcome your feedback on my new definition.
Christine originally published this as Re-defining “telecentre” and its reposted here with her permission
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