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This case study is about the involvement of RITS (Rede de Informacão para o Terceiro Setor) – a Brazilian civil society organisation involved in ICT policy monitoring and advocacy – in setting up community access centres (telecentres) in São Paulo which inspired various policies to roll out telecentres in Brazil.
The São Paulo Telecentres Project was selected for inclusion in this toolkit as a successful example of how practical ICT demonstration at a local level can support national advocacy for policy change. This partnership-based project mobilised policy, investment and technical support leading to the establishment of 128 community-based telecentres. The São Paulo model was based on free public access to facilities and training, community participation in management, free and open source software, and development of the community telecentre as a venue for social organisation.
RITS provided support for the São Paulo telecentres right from the conceptual stage. RITS was instrumental in pioneering new and innovative approaches and ensuring results were widely disseminated. The project has influenced national policies on digital inclusion and free and open source software and has inspired proposals to roll out community telecentres across Brazil.