The community of Manhiça and its Telecentre
Background report: An evaluation study of two telecentres after three years of operation. It includes a participaory needs assessment of young people’s and women’s learning needs.
The Mozambican Context
Mozambique has embraced the application of modern ICTs as one of the most efficient ways of providing information and communication facilities to remote and isolated areas of the country.
In the late 90s two pilot Telecentros were established in cooperation with UNESCO and other international agencies. The experience from these centres on applying ICTs for development in Mozambique has had a large influence on the national ICT policy adopted in late 2001. Mozambique is now implementing additional centres and incorporating community FM radio to the telecentre services.
A current problem at the Mozambican Telecentres is the lack of content in local languages (or Portuguese) relevant for the local communities.
This project corresponds to the priority areas of the national ICT policy as well as the difficulties encountered locally by the community. The project will work with local and regional capacities in creating relevant local content for the telecentre in Manhiça and the emerging telecentre community in Mozambique.
As part of the recently launched strategy for the implementation of the National Policy on ICTs, the University of Eduardo Mondlane in Maputo is planning to establish Mozambique’s first ICT institute in 2003.
The institute will aim to enhance the ICT skill level of secondary school graduates and contribute to the development of relevant local PC-based content. The UNESCO project will contribute to the establishment of the institute by identifying which skills are needed for creating local applications as requested by the Manhiça community. The project will train key staff in application development through enforcing connections with the application development capacities in South Africa.
The mobilization mission
An interdisciplinary team composed of Peter T Schioler, expert in ICTs for development, Janne Kjaersgaard Perrier, project focal point at UNESCO Maputo and Susanne Schnuttgen, project team leader, undertook the project mobilisation mission to Mozambique from 03 to 09 March 2002. The specific tasks of the mission were the following:
Establish co-operation with local counterparts and field office;
Preliminarily assess the selected communities;
Develop a common understanding, between the local team and the UNESCO team, on the project content and approach;
Identify local project team and resources;
Propose next steps in implementation process.
This project builds on the UNESCO supported Multipurpose Community Telecentre (MCT) project in Mozambique, with the objective to pilot the participatory development of context specific applications for community learning, and contribute to transforming the MCTs into dynamic places of community learning.