- Community contributions through “sweat equity”, where community members see benefit in offering their time in project implementation. This could be through the setting up of equipment,
- the building of infrastructure, the provision of security at community centres to safeguard ICT equipment, or the contribution of volunteer training to other community members.
- Community management through the use of culturally appropriate decision-making processes, which could take the form of consultation with local leader groups, the establishment of management structures such as community forums, or the use of existing or specially convened community structures such as women’s groups or church groups.
- More formal management structures such as the creation of a hierarchical structure with employed staff (voluntary and/or paid), or the establishment of a board of directors, advisory committees, or elected local officials who are bound contractually to provide strategic direction for the project. The irrigator commissions comprising locally elected farmers in the Huaral case study would fall into this category.
- Community ownership through various mechanisms such as cooperatives (see the section on cooperatives below), where community members or workers own shares and have voting rights
- in the project, as in the case of unions.
- Universal service funds (where they exist) and the provision of subsidies and/or infrastructure roll-out to support ICT provision to underserved communities.
- Low- or no-interest loans, as was the case in the US rural cooperative model.
- The “embedding” of a project through partnerships with other institutions to create alternative sources of income such as access to credit through unions or micro-finance businesses (as in the case of the Grameen Village Phone project).
- The introduction of mechanisms for cost recovery from the community for service delivery, such as:
- i.member subscriptions
- ii.the levying of monthly fees from users
- iii.pay-as-you-use income from services rendered
- iv.the provision of “sweat equity” by community members for the installation of networks and ICT equipment
- v.the use of volunteers to provide support and training
- vi.in-kind contributions such as the provision of buildings or computers
- vii.the pooling of community resources to provide start-up capital.
- Requesting donations from the international public, such as the Nepal Wireless Networking Project has done in setting up a fundraising effort in partnership with a US-based university for one-dollar donations, which provides another interesting model.
|The Mozambique Health Information Network (MHIN)||Health workers use mobile networks and PDAs to collect, transmit, and manage health data as part of implementing government commitments to provide affordable health services to communities||The technology users are health workers who are often
older in age and
less prone to the adoption of new technologies. With proper training,
health workers collected information and data from the field that
benefited people. The case study illustrates a number of critical
elements required for moving a project from prototype to pilot and
eventual sustainable roll-out.
|The Huaral Valley Agrarian Information System, Peru||The project is providing phone and internet access to poor farming communities and access to an agrarian information system||Although originally planned as an ICT installation to
network of irrigation canals for local farmers, the project has evolved
into the provision of telecoms and internet access for poor farming
communities that would otherwise have been excluded from such resources.
|Nepal Wireless Networking Project||Low-cost and easy-to-maintain wireless networks used in harsh and remote locations in Nepal to provide phone and internet access to dispersed and marginalised communities||A combination of strong community support and effective
leadership is delivering much-needed communications, community and
entrepreneurial services. This case study serves as an excellent
example of how a community-based project can be implemented with few
resources but was able to challenge existing policy frameworks to allow
for the use of innovative technologies to provide ICT access to poor
|Providing Universal Access: FITEL, Peru||This programme provides mechanisms for minimising the subsidy required for commercial telecoms companies to extend the network into non-commercial areas||Evidence has shown that the installation of public phones has enabled people to save on transportation costs. The project reduced the distance to the nearest public phone from more than twenty kilometres to less than five kilometres for over one million people. Anecdotal evidence has also shown that rural phones have increased the incomes of store owners who provide public phone services.|