REPORT ON THE JAMAICA CAPS NETWORK (JACAN) NETWORKING WORKSHOP Kingston, Jamaica – July 30 2009. The workshop gathered There were 27 local participants from 17 telecenters/CAP sites across the island. The objective of the workshop was to strengthen the networking activity among the the CAP operators/managers, within the framework of the JACAN, in order to enable permanent peer to peer support, dissemination of best practices, tools and resources, to strengthen the sustainability and social impact of the CAPS in the communities. It was organised by JACAN and ICT4DJamaica and Fundación Taigüey, in the framework of the ACT!IVATE project This workshop was organised thanks to the financial support of telecentre.org a program is a joint-venture of the International Development Research Centre (Canada), the Swiss Development Corporation and the Microsoft Corporation.
The ACT!ivate Project which was launched in October 2008, and implemented by Fundación Taiguey, aims to establish and maintain the core mechanisms of the Alliance of Caribbean Telecentres (ACT!), a regional framework for sharing and collaboration among Caribbean telecentres. The project is intended to support telecentre leaders’ interaction via virtual space and face to face events, networking, sharing information (general and thematic), accessing resources, service and tools and collaboration on regional projects.
There are over 30 individual telecenters in Jamaica as well as 30 additional internet access points in public libraries across the island. In March 2008, a Conference supported by ICT4D Jamaica, Ministry of Energy, Mining and Telecommunications and UNESCO was held in Kingston which was geared toward exploring the possibility of establishing a Jamaica Community Access Point/Community Multimedia Center (CAP/CMC) Network and to provide the opportunity for local community–based ICTs projects to share their knowledge and experiences. One outcome of the conference was the establishment of the Jamaica Community Access Point Network (JACAN) which is geared toward representing the interests of telecenters/CAP across the island.
In March 2009, a meeting was held between JACAN, ICT4D Jamaica and the ACT!ivate Project which was represented by Fundación Taiguey. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the ACT!ivate project and explore ways in which Jamaican telecenters could participate in it. By the end of the meeting, it was determined that a training workshop for representatives of Jamaican telecenters would be held in July. The workshop would be facilitated by JACAN together with the ACT!ivate project and ICT4D Jamaica. Its costs would be supported by the ACT!ivate project.
2 Objectives of the workshop
The objectives of the workshop were to:
The objective of the workshop was to strengthen the networking activity among the the CAP operators/managers, within the framework of the JACAN, in order to enable permanent peer to peer support, dissemination of best practices, tools and resources, to strengthen the sustainability and social impact of the CAPS in the communities
For this agenda included
- Sharing information on the Caribbean wide telecenter survey currently being undertaken
- Demonstrate the ACT!ivate networking platforms
- Identify challenges for sustainability and social impact , best practices, lessons learned and solutions that can be shared on the online platform
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3 The Participants
There were 27 local participants from 17 telecenters/CAP sites across the island. They are listed in Appendix 2: Workshop Participants List
4 The Agenda
The Workshop included both breakout groups and plenary sessions, in addition to hands on computer sessions. The agenda is appended (Appendix 3: Final Agenda). Because of time limitations the agenda was amended so that there were two breakout sessions instead of the three originally planned.
The ACT!ivate Project- Yacine Khelladi
The background to the Activate project and the objectives were outlined. The presentation is found at http://taiguey.org/activate/
Telecenters of the Caribbean – Valerie Gordon
The survey of telecenters currently being undertaken by the project was outlined. The survey undertaken in 2006 was described and a summary of results was presented. It was mentioned that the more detailed survey was intended to provide updated but more in depth information on the centres including the issues which affect them most.
Jamaica Community access Point Network (JACAN)- Zelris Lawrence
An overview of JACAN was provided and included how it started, the objectives, aims and some proposed activities. The presentation is found at http://www.caribbean-telecentres.net/group/JACAN
6 Working group outputs
The participants were divided into 2 groups, Group A and Group B.
In the first breakout session, Group A was introduced to the Caribbean Telecenters networking platform, www.caribbean-telecentres.net, and Group B was asked to consider: “Challenges facing Telecenters Best Practices and Lessons Learned”.
During the second sessions, while group B was introduced to the platform, the group A ‘” What can we do together; Next steps online; Tasks for JACAN “
6.1 Networking platform introduction sessions
Both group A and B participants were guided in the various features of the web site and instructed to join the group. They spent time learning all the platform features, adding their personal profile and /or that of their telecenter/CAP site; adding photos and finally locating their telecenter/CAP site on the map. There were some delays as the internet connection was very slow, however all participants were eventually signed in and set about sending sample messages.
6.2 Group B – Findings on “Challenges facing Telecenters Best Practices and Lessons Learned
The findings from the group were as follows:
- Location and Security – It is important for CAP sites to be in a location where the traffic is high i.e. many people can come to the centre easily, and which is also safe from break ins. This is to ensure that equipment (investment) is secure.
- Networks – Computer networks need to be
- Low voltage – This is a problem for some locations and can cause damage to equipment
- Finances – The main cost is for internet access and this need to be available to centres at a more affordable cost; the cost of repairs is also an issue for centres
- Maintenance – Centres with inadequate maintenance suffer from viruses, breakdowns etc. In addition, its networking architecture in telecenters can cause problems. Some persons felt that individually connected computers were more effective and required less professional trouble shooting when things went wrong, while others felt that a single server connected to several clients was more efficient.
- Maintaining good social relationships between the centre and the community which the centre is located is important for business, and also contributes to good security.
- Turning off equipment when not in use not only save on electricity cost but also protests the equipment form electric surges etc
- Good customer service is important to good business and also to maintaining good social relationships.
- JACAN as an initiative provides the opportunity for collective action, advocacy for the interests of telecenters, better prices for goods and services etc
- Less expenditure where equipment is turned off
- Laptops are more convenient than desktops and centres should consider these for portability and taking less space.
In this session, Group B was introduced to the website, while Group A was
6.3 Group A Findings on: What can we do together; Next steps online; Tasks for JACAN
What can we do together?
- Register JACAN as an NGO so as to ensure that the entity can act on behalf of the telecenters including accessing funds
- Draft a business plan for JACAN – this will ensure that the entity can be sustainable
- Communication media
Next steps online and otherwise
- Develop a skills bank
- Develop a needs assessment of telecenters
- Establish online training and resources using the website
Tasks for JACAN
- Capacity Building – on behalf of the members and telecenters based on identified needs
- Advocacy and lobbying- on behalf of the needs of centres
6.4 Plenary Discussions
Participant strongly felt that the way forward was to establish the JACAN group and the entity to represent the telecenters’ interests. It was felt that the website would be an important part of maintaining contact and collaboration among groups.
The original Steering Committee was recognised for the work they had already done and participants were urged to consider the documentation already available in moving to the next level.
The importance of selecting a Board was highlighted as a prerequisite to registration.
7 Follow up Commitments
Participants committed to the following.
|Workshop report preparation||Valerie|
|Completion of Website; Help and Resources section||Zelris and Yacine|
|JACAN Registration||Joan, Marsha|
|Selection of board||All participants|
|Personal profiles||All participants|
|Donations for registration (J16,000)||All organisations (J1000 each)|
|Collections/holding of funds for registration||Valerie to ask ICT4D Jamaica|
|Technical help with troubleshooting||Mervin|
Appendix 1: Participants Workshop Evaluation
Participants were asked to rate the workshop. Twenty persons filled in the forms and their responses are shown below.
On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest say whether this workshop added to your knowledge of :
|Telecenters in the region||
|Telecenters in Jamaica||
|How to use online networking tools||
|Opportunities for sharing information, knowledge||
Assess the following attributes on a scale of 1-5
|Opportunities for participation||
|Opportunities for networking , knowledge sharing||
|Participant / Group composition||
On a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest, rate the extent to which you think the workshop objectives were met
|Strengthen networking among telecenters||
|Demonstrate the ACTivate regional and national networking platforms||
|Discuss problems and challenges for sustainability and social impact||
|Share best practices, lessons learned and solutions on what we can do to support our telecenters||
The thing participants liked best about the workshop were: the Information sharing, meeting new people and networking (95%); participants’ level of excitement (5%)
The thing participants liked least were; – the slow internet (80%), inadequate time for workshop (10%) the late start of the workshop (5%); not enough new information (5%)
Appendix 2: Workshop Participants List
|Mervin Jarman||Container Project||Clarendon|
|Andre Johnson||Container Project||Clarendon|
|Tyrone Smith||Container Project||Clarendon|
|Zelris Lawrence||JACAN/ Liguanea Cybercenter||Kingston|
|Michelle Desgouttes||Spring Village Development Foundation||Clarendon|
|Martin Morrison||Liberty Hall||Kingston|
|Kevonia Wedderburn||Bluefields Peoples Community Association||Westmoreland|
|Donna Moodie||Bluefields Peoples Community Association||Westmoreland|
|Sancia Stone||Bluefields Peoples Community Association||Westmoreland|
|Shaunette Senior||Association of Clubs||Westmoreland|
|Asa Wynter||Association of Clubs||Westmoreland|
|Teran Davis||Hills United Development Organisation||St Ann|
|Shanique Gaynor||Hills United Development Organisation||St Ann|
|Keisha Bhoorsingh||Stella Maris Foundation||Kingston|
|Joan Stephens||Lucea Skills training Center||Hanover|
|Dwight Grant||Jamaica Library service||Kingston|
|Erica Brown||Jamaica Library service||Kingston|
|Sherese Lindsay||Sophie’s Place||St Andrew|
|Norma Lindsay||CINTAC||May Pen|
|Nadine Williams||JACAN/York Community Development Centre||St Thomas|
|Sonia Richards||Rainbow Kicks||St Thomas|
|Marsha McPherson||JACAN/ NE Manchester Constit Office||Manchester|
|Floyd Moncrieffe||Kingston and St Andrew Action Forum||Kingston|
|Mark Myers||Geddes Mountain Community Access Point||St Mary|
|Samantha Harvey||Kingston and St Andrew Action Forum||Kingston|
|Valerie Gordon||Fundación Taigüey /ICT4D Jamaica|
|Yacine Khelladi||Fundación Taigüey|
Appendix 3: Final Agenda
10:00 Opening and Welcome Valerie Gordon
10;15 Introductions Participants
10:30 The ACT!ivate Project Yacine Khelladi
Telecenters of the Caribbean Valerie Gordon
JACAN Zelris Lawrence
11:00 COFFEE BREAK
11:30 Breakout Groups
Group 1: Common challenges
Best practices, Lessons Learned
Group 2: Introduction to the Platform – Yacine Khelladi
Hands on Exercise: – Participants enter their data, photos on platform; test etc
12:30 Plenary: Common challenges; Best practices
2:00 Working groups
- What can we do together?
- Tasks for JACAN
- Next steps online
2:45 Plenary: Presentations from working groups
3:15 Wrap up discussions and Commitments
4:00 Workshop Close