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eTUKTUK project makes it to the final round of Stockholm Challenge GKP Awards

14-11-2007 (Kothmale)
eTUKTUK project makes it to the final round of Stockholm Challenge GKP Awards
Sujee announcing from the
eTUKTUK, a mobile telecentre/radio broadcasting unit that currently operates out of the Kothmale Community Multimedia Centre (CMC) in Sri Lanka, has made its way to the final round of the Stockholm Challenge GKP Awards. The winner will be announced during GK3, Third Global Knowledge Conference taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 11 to 13 December 2007.
The Stockholm Challenge GKP Awards 2007 is a new prize, launched by Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP), and the Stockholm Challenge. To enter the Challenge, projects had to be Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships in ICT for development.

The eTUKTUK project seeks to explore and understand how complementary technologies, including mobile connectivity and mixed media, can extend the community telecentre model to improve access to information and knowledge in the developing world. Ethnographic Action Research (EAR) has focused on the activities of the eTUKTUK and followed the initiative to multiple sites as it engages with the community and encourages broader participation in local media through the use of ICT. Unique to the project is the utilisation of a mobile CDMA Internet connection that effectively brings telecentre services to communities living in remote and non-serviced areas.

The equipment is located within an auto-rickshaw, which is a three wheeled motorcycle and favoured form of transport throughout much of South and South East Asia. The vehicle acts as an extension to an existing fixed telecentre, utilising its wireless Internet connection, loudspeakers and multimedia projector. Trained intermediaries visit villages to provide knowledge dissemination, training and participatory programming to the community.

A recent initiative to recruit more participation from the minority Tamil speaking community has met with a positive response, thanks to the intervention facilitated by the eTUKTUK. EAR had identified a decline of participation from this community due to a lack of Tamil speaking teachers. Respondents also noted lack of awareness about the training activities offered at the CMC, and some of them stated that their participation would not be welcome due to their ethnicity.

In order to address this issue of isolation, the station organised a gathering at the nearby Knapathiwaththa tea estate. The eTUKTUK preceded the gathering announcing the event via the loudspeakers. The following day a large crowd gathered to learn about the proposed training programme. A selection of digital stories (short, personal multimedia movies using audio, video, photographs and sketches) was displayed and the community was informed on the activities of the station. A short introductory session was conducted to demonstrate the equipment located in the eTUKTUK.

Interested participants were invited to return to the CMC and conduct a six-week training course. The students were carefully chosen based on their potential to complete the training and continue at the CMC as Tamil speaking instructors and content producers.Tthey were trained primarily in new media tools and the creative use of computers. After the course, the students started a weekly radio programme for Tamil speaking youth and continue to produce short movies highlighting issues faced by the community that are narrowcast via the eTUKTUK.

The eTUKTUK project is a joint initiative from the Kothmale Internet Listeners Club with support from UNESCO, Pan Asia Networking ICT R&D Grant, Suntel Ltd., Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation, Information Communications Technology Agency of Sri Lanka, the MJF Charitable Foundation.

Story contributed by Kosala Keerthirathne and Benjamin Grubb
eTUKTUK project makes it to the final round of Stockholm Challenge GKP Awards Equipment inside the eTUKTUK

eTUKTUK project makes it to the final round of Stockholm Challenge GKP Awards People around the eTUKTUK
Related themes/countries

      · Community Multimedia Centres
      · Sri Lanka
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