Community Multimedia Centres
UNESCO gives high priority to providing and strengthening communication and information facilities at the level of local communities. Such facilities offer basic tools for introducing and managing community-centred development and change.
UNESCO's International Initiative for Community Multimedia Centres (CMCs) promotes community empowerment and addresses the digital divide by combining community broadcasting with the Internet and related technologies.
The CMC programme offers a global strategy for addressing the digital divide in the poorest communities of the developing world and also among countries in transition. The CMC opens a gateway to active membership of the global knowledge society by making information and communication the basic tools of the poor in improving their own lives.
A CMC combines community radio by local people in local languages with community telecentre facilities (computers with Internet and e-mail, phone, fax and photocopying services). The radio - which is low-cost and easy to operate - not only informs, educates and entertains, but it also empowers the community by giving a strong public voice to the voiceless, and thus encouraging greater accountability in public affairs.
Presenters search the web in response to listeners' queries and discuss, on air, the contents of pre-selected websites with studio guests.
Multimedia databases for development:
The CMC can gradually build up its own database of materials that meet the community's information needs.
The CMC exists to meet development needs in such areas as education and training, health and income-generation.