Community Multimedia Centers (CMC)

© UNESCO/ Serge Daniel

Community Multimedia Centers (CMC) combine community radio with telecenter facilities, offering training in ICTs, e-mail, Internet access and a large scale of services responding to development needs.

UNESCO and the Swiss Agency for Development set more than 40 pilot CMC on three continents. They were established by completing the existing community facilities. In some cases, telecentres were added to radio stations, in others, radio was added to existing telecentres.

Pilot phase

In Senegal the project reached its goals, with 24 implemented CMC, more than 400 people trained and new partnerships set up. Located in isolated rural zones, villages and poor town districts, the CMC make it possible for hundreds of thousands of people to have access to community radios, computers connected to Internet and multimedia facilities.  

Reducing digital divide is not only the objective of advocacy, but it is effective. By letting them have their say, the populations enjoy one of their fundamental rights, freedom of expression, which is one of the bases of knowledge societies.

© UNESCO/ Vorontzoff, Alexis N.

Operational Phase  

In Mali, Mozambique and Senegal, the first CMC are used and spread especially in the isolated zones in order to increase their impact and ensure their durability by developing dynamic national network.

The projects are carried out by national teams. The aim is to reach 50 CMC or more, so as to satisfy the local development needs.    

In concrete terms:

  • 64 equipped CMC;
  • 64 local communities trained in management, processing and programming;
  • Over 500 people trained in ICT;
  • Marginalized regions equipped at 94% in Mali, 82% in Mozambique and at 66% in Senegal; 
  • Setting up national coordination committees, outset of the CMC networks;
  • Development of output producing services; collecting and dissemination of information; 
  • Creation of workshops "training of trainers" and national diplomas;
  • More than 20 major partnerships signed and more than 500,000 $ of additional resources;
  • Governmental support and integration of CMC in national policy.

© UNESCO/ Serge Daniel

Example

Sustainable CMC in Ethiopia One-week multimedia training workshops are organized for rural CMC in Ethiopia. Its aim is twofold: To strengthen community capacity and produce resources for financial sustainability of the CMC on the long run. Technical and theoretical training is completed by a number of practical exercises. 

One part of the training is dedicated to the concept of social enterprise and encourages the participants to use the capacities they have and will acquire in order to find new resources of income. For example, the CMC in Harar produced a CD-rom on the history and culture of the city of Harar, which is now sold to tourists and visitors. There are other ongoing initiatives.

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