How to get started and keep going: a guide to Community Multimedia Centres

There are growing numbers of grass-root communication and information service providers in the developing countries today. They are operating community radio stations, multipurpose telecentres, information centres, community learning centres and community multimedia centres (CMCs) that already combine both radio and telecentre facilities. This book is intended to be of use to all those wanting to become involved or already involved in such initiatives.

More particularly, this guide targets staff and managers, community groups, NGOs working for community empowerment, communication planners supporting development activities, trainers and project partners. It will obviously be of particular interest to those operating or considering starting a CMC as it covers the full range of topics linked to community broadcasting and to telecentre operations. But for those working in a more limited structure, some chapters will be of direct relevance while others can be useful to help situate one’s own activity within a broader perspective.

The CMC concept is not a narrow blueprint. A great variety of structures, institutional arrangements and facilities can be found within the CMC model. UNESCO has developed a programme based on this particular model – radio and telecentre combined - because it is proving to be a highly effective way of achieving community empowerment through the harnessing of communication and information for development. Radio acts as a bridge across the Digital Divide, providing indirect, mass access to digital resources.
But at the same time as it operates its flagship CMC programme, UNESCO also continues to support other types of grass-roots projects such as community media or stand-alone telecentres. In the same way, many other development organizations and communities across the developing world continue to explore and implement many different forms of community-operated communication and information service provision. In the effort to ensure the active participation of all in the Information Society, it is worth exploring each promising avenue.

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Details

  • Bibliographic reference
  • Collation: 144 p., illus. + 1 CD-ROM
  • Author(s): Hughes, Stella; Eashwar, Sucharita; Jennings, Venus Easwaran
  • Publication year: 2004
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