Second Regional Seminar for IDAMS Distributors in LAC
The Escuela Colombiana de Ingeniería (ECI), in co-operation with UNESCO Quito Office, organized 3-day seminar on IDAMS from 10 to 12 September 2003 in Bogotá, Colombia. Representatives of IDAMS distributors from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama and Peru as well as 10 specialists from various Colombian institutions, attended all sessions of the seminar, performed some individual work and obtained appropriate certificates.
The programme of the Seminar and training material in Spanish were prepared by UNESCO in co-operation with ECI, and reproduced at ECI. Each participant received CD-Rom with WinIDAMS software and its documentation in English, French and Spanish, and a hard copy of the documents "Presentación del paquete" and "Ejercicios". The seminar room was equipped with at least one computer per participant. All computers were connected to the Internet.
Mr Isidro Fernandez-Aballi, Regional Information Adviser at the UNESCO Office in Quito, opened the Seminar from Quito. He made a detailed presentation of INFOLAC activities in the region. The first short working session was devoted to the presentation of a proposal to launch development of a new version of IDAMS as an Open Source project.
During the whole seminar, participants concentrated on IDAMS concepts and techniques. They were also introduced to the WinIDAMS User Interface and three modules for interactive data analysis.
Co-operation with UNESCO and among IDAMS distributors in LAC
The Seminar provided a good opportunity to review distributors' activities around IDAMS software, and to discuss current and future co-operation between UNESCO and IDAMS distributors in LAC as well as among distributors. Up to now, activities of distributors were rather limited.
Conclusions and agreements
· Distribution, if any, should be done through the web, i.e. the user should download the software and documentation, after being accepted by the distributor and obtaining the licence.
· Distributors should assume the promotion and support to the users in their respective countries.
· The minimal functions of a national distributors are the following:
- follow IDAMS users,
- assure support and backing-up for users,
- make the software known to wide range of public,
- stimulate development of IDAMS applications.
Create an office of support and regional coordination at ECI, Bogotá. This office will work directly with INFOLAC, and will assume all the functions of technical support and coordination of IDAMS distribution in the region. Its minimal functions will be the following:
- provide permanent support to the national distributors in their distribution activities,
- organize every two years meetings of distributors in the LAC region,
- organize, together with national distributors, training seminars in the use of IDAMS,
- organize every year, or every two years, a meeting of IDAMS users in order to strengthen contacts among users.
As for the distribution policy, it was agreed once again that each national distributor is allowed to place IDAMS software and its documentation on a server for downloading, but a register of requests should nevertheless be kept.
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