Syrian Arab Republic - ICT for Development Programme
Country(ies): Syrian Arab republic
Primary thematic focus: Sub-national capacity development: local solutions, national strengths
In a Nutshell:
UNDP launched community telecenters aiming:
1) Ehnance use of ICT in social and economic development
2) Contribute to bridging digital disparity between cities and rural areas
3) generate job opportunities
4) Assist small sized communities to use technologies and empower women
5) Participate actively in communities’ social and economic activities.
Under this project, 44 community telecentres were established in most rural,remote and deprived areas within Syrian governorates. These centers offer training in basic computer skills, ICDL, Internet, and other basic management courses. These Community telecentres are established in partnership with local organizations, who provided premises, electricity and water. The Reefnet project provided equipment and furniture, as well as the capacity building of the local telecenter staff, in addition to financial and managerial support reaching to center financial self-sufficiency. Each community telecenter contains networked PCs,printers,photocopier, scanner, fax, international phone line, video projector and ISDN or dialup Internet connection. Some community telecentres are equipped with a screen reader to be used by visually impaired people, and some of them offer special courses on ICT applications for deaf and mutes or for lightly mental disabled people. Teelcenters focus is on capacity building in accordance with the local communities needs, this capacity building is reflected by various courses and training, such as: Common ICT Courses: word processing and Internet, International Computer Driving License, advanced professional training on topics such as: AutoCAD, Photoshop, accounting, training of disabled people such as deaf & mute, blind, and physically disabled, summer kids clubs, SCRACH courses for children, tutoring courses, ICT training for the elders, ICT course for clergy, ICT training for policemen, literacy and numeracy courses, nursery training, small business management training, library, foreign languages courses, etc.
Results and Critical Factors:
In job creation matter, these telecentres employed as permanent staff 61 young people including young wiomen and employed indirectly 249 trainers. Each telecentres trained in average 309 persons per year. Number of disabled people trained in these telecentres was 928 persons, including 350 disabled from Damascus Governorate. These community telecenters have additional benefits in the area of gender equality, particularly in conservative and traditional societies where women may experience difficulties in using ICT structures such as Internet cafés. Rate of trained female by telecentres was around 48%. Although that part of courses and training are free, especially for disabled and unemployed people, the telecentres network was completely financially auto-sufficient. At the same time, these centers offered a great opportunity to the youth (men & women) who are in the rural remote areas to access training on ICT & access to internet and information; which saved them a lot of funds for commuting to the city centers and high costs of education. For girls, it was not possible for them to leave their towns and go to the city for training due to strict tranditions. Therefore, the benefits of these centers are numerous ..most important is introduction of ICT in development.
Name of Primary Contact Person: Faten Tibi
Title of Primary Contact Person: Dr. Nour Chieck Obeid