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Voice from the Pacific Grassroots: pactoc.telecentre.org

28-02-2006 (Wellington)
Voice from the Pacific Grassroots: pactoc.telecentre.org
PacTOC web sprint
© PacTOC
Community telecentre project operators from around the Pacific have launched 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.
Telecentres are public-access information and communication initiatives which provide a community gathering place where people can access communication technology and applications, learn new skills, tackle local social issues, face common challenges and empower their neighbours.

"This is a great resource as we set up our telecentre projects. Our organisation will use the website when we go out to communities to talk about the benefits of telecentres," says newly appointed Editor of the PacTOC website Seema Chand from Femlink Pacific- Media Initatives for Women, "The website empowers women because they can share experiences with other people from all over the Pacific through online discussions and forums. Through this website their voices can be heard around the Pacific and the world."

PacTOC's website is the first regional website in the telecentre.org network, a global initiative which aims to support community-based telecentres. The website was launched today as the culmination of a four day PacTOC workshop held in Auckland, New Zealand this week, coordinated by the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO.

"Telecentres are great initiatives as they support priorities and addresses issues highlighted in the Pacific Regional Digital Strategy. The timing of the workshop is great as stakeholders are preparing the implementation plan for the Digital Strategy for the Forum ICT Ministers Meeting March 28-30 in Wellington." Workshop attendee Siaosi Sovaleni, ICT Adviser from the South Pacific Applied Geoscience Commission (SOPAC).

The PacTOC website uses open source platform Drupal, which incorporates online tools including blogging and wiki to create an interactive website created by and for the community. Functionality of PacTOC includes:

• relevant news and events;
• resource centre;
• database of telecentre best practice models and other telecentre information relevant to communities in the region;
• discussion and comment.

Mark Surman, managing director of the telecentre.org programme, says, "In everything we do, we look at issues like social mission, free knowledge sharing, transparency, collaboration and learning. We've also made a firm commitment to technology neutrality. Telecentres should use the technology that they believe is most appropriate for the communities they serve. “

The creation of PacTOC is possible through the support of the Foundation for Development Cooperation (Australia), the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, New Zealand Aid, the Sasakawa Pacific Island Nations Fund (Pacific Island Digital Opportunity Study Committee) Japan, and the telecentre.org programme.

Telecentre.org is a Canadian $21 million collaborative initiative based at Canada’s International Development Research Centre, supported by Microsoft Unlimited Potential and The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. telecentre.org was launched at the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society in Tunisia in October 2005, and the programme is currently also working with telecentre networks in India, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Mozambique, South Africa, Chile and the Americas.
Voice from the Pacific Grassroots: pactoc.telecentre.org PacTOC web sprint
© PacTOC

Related themes/countries

      · New Zeland: News Archive
      · 2006
      · Asia and the Pacific: News Archive 2006
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  • New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO

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