Connecting Island Communities: Nurturing Telecentre Initiatives in the Pacific

Establishing a ‘Pacific Telecentre Online Community’ to encourage ongoing collaboration between telecentre initiatives in the Pacific is among the challenges being addressed in the development of knowledge societies in the Pacific region.

This was one of the recommendations of a Pacific Telecentre Workshop held in Brisbane from 1-3 December 2004. Over 60 representatives from 16 countries in the Pacific region identified ICT infrastructure development including rural telecentres as a specific priority for Pacific Islands.

The workshop was organized by the Foundation for Development Cooperation (FDC) with support from UNESCO, the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) and the Sasakawa Pacific Island Nations Fund (SPINF).

Outputs included a five-page communiqué setting out actions and recommendations for telecentre initiatives in the Pacific. These recommendations provide one of the basic reference points for UNESCO’s continuing work programme on telecentres in the Pacific.

One follow-up action concerned the launching in February 2006 by community telecentre project operators from around the Pacific of a regional online community website to support and develop the telecentre movement in the Pacific. The Pacific Telecentre Online Community (PacTOC) gives a voice to grassroots telecentre projects, so they can share experience and expertise with each other and the world.

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