Page 1


Institutionalizing a Global Movement Basheerhamad Shadrach Reema Singh


Š November 2009

Editorial Assistance: Anita Anand (

Report Design, Layout and Production Multiplexus (India), Delhi e-mail:

The Academy is the result of the hard work of many, many people. Special thanks to: Maicu Alvarado, Nancy Anabel, Anita Anand, S.K. Aggarawal, Subbiah Arunachalam, V.K. Arora, Jose Avando, Peter Balaba, A.K. Balani, Namrata Bali, Melinda Bandalaria, Isidre Bermudez, Alok Bhargav, Sagarika Bose, Girdhari Bora, Marc Botella, Claire Bure, Silvia Caicedo, Maria Teresa Magadia Camba, Julian Casesbuenas, Florencio Ceballos, Ray Chua, Maria Celedon, R Chandrasekhar, Salil Chaturvedi, Vivien Chiam, Noel Chicuecue, Jayalakshmi Chittoor, Chandita Das, S R Das, Amit Dasgupta, Gihan Dias, Ahmed Eisa, Hala Elsadek, Nasikye Esther, Ekaterina Fedatova, Jamine Franco, Florencia Feunsalida, Richard Fuchs, Beatrice Gabor, Polly Gaster, Shankar Ghose, Ravi Gupta, Julia Gorbunova, Kamolrat Intaratat, Ashok Jain, G Jayakrishnan, Veena Joshi, Shalini Kala, K Kannan, Yacine Khelladi, Kiringai Kamau, Karim Kasim, Abtar Kaur, Eiko Kawamura, Karishma Kiri, Sweety Prem Kumar, Romulo Lagos, Paola Andrea LiĂŠvano, Jacqueline Loh, Diana Lorena, Mark Luetzelschwab, Muthu Kumar Maganti, Beth Manugue, Gaspar Matyas, Yeong May, Meddie Mayanja, Anshu Meshack, Simon Mulcahy, Stephen McGurk, Rita Mijumbi, Satyan Mishra, Swapna Mishra, Ednalva Morais, Manuel Morales, Rumi Mullick, Chandrasekharan Nair, Gajendra Nautiyal, Satish Pai, Olga Paz, Latha Pillai, V N Rajasekharan Pillai, Melinda dela Pena, Fernando Portella, Marianna Posfai, Reena Prasad, Zulfikar Rachman, Surender Rana, Sujata Raghavan , Ananya Raihan, K. Ravi Kanth , Usha Reddy, Jose Rincon, Tim Rivera, Maria Rodriguez, Angelica Rojas, Gitanjali Sah, V Samaranayake, Raul Sanchez, Partha Sarker, Ashis Sanyal, Amitabh Saxena, Phet Sayo, S Senthilkumaran, Suneet Sethi, Ambika Sharma, Chetan Sharma, Erika Silva, Harbans Singh, Reema Singh, Marc Botella Serratosa, Sivakumar, Vignesh Sornamohan, J Sophia, Gavashkar Subramanium, Aruna Sundararajan, Murali Shanmughavelan, Shipra Sharma, Ndaula Sulah, H.Sundaresan, Mark Surman, Dr M R Surwade, M S Swaminathan, Sherif Tokali, Frank Tulus, Kunal Tyagi, Marta Mans Valles, George Varughese , Shilpi Varshney, Ganga Vidya, Mariana Villareal, Harsha Wijayawardhana, Peter Wolf, John Zoltner


The Vision The Academy offers skills-development programmes to support grassroots-level actors involved in creating new and inclusive economies in developing countries. It promotes the use of knowledge and information as means to empower millions of marginalised and poor communities living in peri-urban and rural clusters.

The Mission •

Establish a global programme to support the learning needs of over 1 million telecentre operators, thousands of key policy makers, investors, and leaders of existing and emerging networks who seek to succeed in telecentre work

Initiate appropriate skills-development programmes to promote livelihood and knowledge-based practices among grassroots communities

Develop appropriate learning systems and curriculum, based on the learning needs of numerous grassroots-level knowledge workers and stakeholders to sustain telecentre operations as mini- and microsocial enterprises

Establish linkages with academic institutions to develop a linear career path for grassroots-level knowledge workers, and with telecentre networks for peer-learning support, mentorship, and placement services

Demonstrate that the learning programmes initiated by the Academy fulfils the human resource development mandate of various governments around the world, in line with their national priorities

The First Steps •

On November 19, 2009, a global level Certificate Course in telecentre management was launched as the first activity of the newly established Global Secretariat of Academy at the Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, India.

The Certificate Course will offer 16 credits to learners in about 20 nations and in as many languages. The Certificate Course would be a base to pursue higher education up to the level of a PhD programme in any of the institutions in the consortium of national academies. Courses are offered online and offline through a blended learning format, which can be completed within six months.

Introduction of a 64 credit Diploma Course in telecentre management to be completed within 12 months for those who have completed either a graduate programme in any stream or the Academy certificate course in telecentre management.

The lead organisations that steer the Academy at a global level are the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), a consortium of national academies in various nations around the world, and the Foundation based in Manila.



A Global Secretariat housed at the Indira Gandhi National Open University will manage the day-to-day functions of Academy in about 20 nations around the world. By 2015, the courses will be available to learners in all countries where the telecentre movement exists and is growing.


The Indian national Academy is partnered by the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, the Jamsetji Tata Training School, the Department of Information Technology of the Government of India, the community colleges of IGNOU, the Service Centre Agencies of Bharat Nirman Centres, and a number of organisations that are committed to Grameen Gyan Abhiyan.


Academy ecosystem Academy: the implementation model While working on creating the Academy it became clear that the first task was development of an ecosystem of the Academy for the global programme and its mission to be successful. The following ecosystem framework developed by Basheerhamad Shadrach, the Lead of Academy serves as a guide for implementing the Academy. Academy eco-system developed by Basheerhamad Shadrach

5 Academy: The main stakeholders Academy is comprised of stakeholders who underpin the success of the programme at different levels. As a skills development programme for actors involved in sustaining the telecentre movement, the Academy concentrates on the: •

Four types of learners

Tutors and mentors that support learning

Content and curriculum providers

National networks and academies that promote and administer the programme

Consortium of universities that accredits learning and certification

Global Secretariat that facilitates the entire programme

Governing body that oversees the overall programme

Therefore, the following actors are important stakeholders of the Academy ecosystem. The first and foremost stakeholders are the learners for whom the Academy has been constituted. The learners are not only beneficiaries of the Academy programme, but the main stakeholders. They advise the Academy by providing feedback on the continuous professional development needs of grassroots-level knowledge workers. They are encouraged to stay in the learning loop until their academic and professional learning needs are met and beyond that too. They offer feedback on the learning support, pedagogical methods and the curriculum on a continual basis. Their active involvement in the Academy is fundamental to its success. The Learners •

Over 1 million grassroots-level knowledge workers who create and promote inclusive economies around the world

Over 10,000 policy-makers who need to aware of the benefits from the telecentre movement, especially from the one million grassroots-level knowledge workers who extend government and private services guaranteeing accessibility, affordability, reliability and responsiveness.

Over 1000 individuals who work passionately for the grassroots-telecentre movement as network leaders, promoters and advocates in their own right and capacity, especially from the non-governmental (NGO) sector

Over 1 billion community members who have the potential to benefit when these telecentres embrace community skills-development as their core work

The Tutors and Mentors •

Over 10,000 alumni of Academy who offer counselling, mentorship and learning support to over 1 million grassroots-level knowledge workers who audit Academy courses

Curriculum providers •

Training and capacity building institutions, telecentre networks and private and public service providers that can and do supply curriculum to Academy 6

National Academies The network of telecentre actors that have come together as partners to Academy in each of the countries where skills development of telecentre knowledge workers are seen as an important activity. At present, these national academies are present in the following nations •

Brazilian Academy

Chilean Academy

Colombian Academy

East African Academy in Uganda

Egyptian Academy

Malaysian Academy

Peruvian Academy

Sri Lankan Academy

Sudanese Academy – Jamsetji Tata Training School in India – Philippine community Tecentres Academy

Thai Academy

Consortium of Universities In order to certify learners with credits that are transferable, applicable for continuing further education, for finding employment, the Academy has agreed to partner with universities around the world that are interested to assess and certify learners. These universities will work closely with the national Academies and the tutors to fulfil their mandate in compliance with assessment and qualification standards that apply in individual nations and regions. As of October 2009, the following universities have expressed interest to join the Academy consortium: •

Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, India

Kyambogo University, Kampala, Uganda

Open University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Sukhothia Thammarthirat Open University, Bangkok, Thailand

University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil

University of La Frontera, Temuko, Chile

University of Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique

Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Peru

University of Philippines Open University, Manila, Philippines

University of Colombo, Colombo, Sri Lanka


The Global Secretariat •

A Global Secretariat is made up of a small team facilitating the work of the Academy. The Secretariat coordinates curriculum development, accreditation, maintenance of curriculum standards and global governance of the Academy

The Global Secretariat staff are supported by a Governing Body that safe-guard the interests of the global nature of the Academy and of the global telecentre movement which is widespread and growing

The Global Secretariat reports to IGNOU leadership for all administrative matters and to the Governing Body for all technical work

Governing Body of Academy •

The Governing Body of the Academy is a global team of experts representing the national academies, consortium of universities, curriculum specialists and the social investors who will support the global secretariat in its efforts to serve the academy

The Governing Body oversees and approves the curriculum, checks quality standards for administering courses, screens accepting universities in the consortium and new national academies



Participants at the first global stakeholder consultation on November 28-29, 2006 in Delhi, convened by the Department of Information Technology and

background The need for Global Academy was realised within a year of the launch of as a global programme hosted by the International Development Research Centre in 2005. The idea for a continuous learning programme for telecentre operators was mooted by Microsoft and further explored by the team members of in October 2006 as an exploratory theme. The staffs in Delhi were asked to lead the research and development process.

The First Global Consultation of Academy Stakeholders -Delhi, November 2006 A global consultation of Academy stakeholders was organised by and the Department of Information Technology, Government of India in Delhi in November 2006. Its goal was to discuss and decide on the details of the proposed global Academy. The consultation was convened by Mr. R. Chandrasekhar, the then Additional Secretary of Department of Information Technology, Government of India, who stated that “such an academy should have set up years ago… but it is better to have it late than never.” It concluded with stakeholders voting to create the academy at the global level, with the creation of a taskforce headed by Professor (late) V K Samaranayake to develop and refine the conceptual plan of the Academy. The consultation was largely a brainstorming one. It discussed the need for the Academy and the modalities for organizing a global effort. The objectives of the brainstorm were: •

To learn about existing practices regarding training and capacity building in telecentres

To discuss common challenges in developing curriculum

To plan an institutional framework to address training-related issues at the global level. This would be in the form of a global academy, with chapters at national and regional levels

Major outcomes of the Delhi consultation Overcoming initial scepticism, all participants reiterated the relevance of such an effort at the global and national levels. It was suggested that the proposed global institution be called an “academy” not a “university” to avoid the legal connotations associated with the latter term. 10

Dr Stephen McGurk, Regional Director, IDRC; Professor Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor, IGNOU; Mr R Chandrasekhar, Additional Secretary, DIT, and Professor V K Samaranayake, Chairman, ICTA, Sri Lanka at the Delhi consultation

The consultation was an opportunity for experts working in the areas of training and capacity building to share their experiences and explore the potential for future collaborations. It suggested the formation of a core group to operationalize the global telecentre academy. The group would be co-chaired by Professor V K Samaranayake of the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka, and Ms Marianna Posfai of European Telecottage Association. Representatives of the Government of India's Common Service Centre (CSC) programme suggested that the Academy could provide crucial training and capacity building-related support. The participants arrived at a framework for the proposed academy.

Framework for a Global Telecentre Academy Professor M S Swaminathan, Chairperson of India's Mission 2007 initiative, sent a video message at the inaugural session of the meeting. He suggested that a tentative action plan - with a timeline - be developed to implement the proposal for a global telecentre academy. The plan that was developed detailed the role of the Academy, its structures and procedures relating to its administration and finance. More specifically: •

The name Global Telecentre Academy (GTA) was preferred over telecentre university due to the legal connotations associated with the latter term


The scope and role of the GTA was defined as research, accreditation, standardisation and quality control, evaluation, policy formulation, networking/ partnership building, collation and dissemination of best practices, coordination and providing guidance for facilitating training, and sharing of expertise and technology


The GTA would prevent the 'reinventing the wheel' syndrome globally by helping the national partners to arrive at a core module (in a few generic areas of training) that could be customised to local needs, thereby saving valuable human, material and financial resources

The GTA would ensure quality of the global curriculum, which would be distributed at national levels

The GTA would focus on providing cost-effective training through multimedia, in conventional and eLearning mode. The outputs of GTA would be available in multi-delivery channels

The Academy could be virtual with its Secretariat based in India

The GTA, initially, would be supported through an incubation grant. The funding sources for the actual work would be identified during the incubation period. will be requested to incubate the programme within a period of three years

The Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) platform, which has a wide audience reach in and outside India, would be leveraged for programme administration, content creation and dissemination.

Samaranyake Committee refines the concept The Samaranyake committee co-chaired by Professor V K Samaranayake and Ms Marianna Posfai worked on the action plan between December 2006 and February 2007 to determine a set of recommendations to realise the Academy programmes within three years. The Committee recommended that be asked to incubate the Academy before it became a new entity. The team members of at their annual team meeting recommended that Basheerhamad Shadrach, the Asia Programme Officer, IDRC be the Lead officer of Academy. It further recommended that the Academy be developed in a bottom-up rather than a top-down approach. . Therefore, the Academy would go national first. As a critical mass of national academies emerged, so would the proposed global entity.


The Membership and Governance model proposed by the Samaranayake Committee for the Global Telecentre Academy MEMBERSHIP - application-valuation criteria All those who wish to become members of the World Telecentre Academy should fulfil the following criteria: • Only institutions can become members; individuals are ineligible. • The applicant should be recognized as a member of the global telecentre-movement or a capacity building institution in a developing nation. • The applicant should have a proven track record of conducting at least one of the following three activities: a) providing direct grassroots-level telecentre workers' (managers, facilitators, and coordinators) training; b) being directly involved in the training process (e.g. train the trainers); and, c) dealing with accreditation and certification processes of telecentre movement-related training programme, • The applicant should provide a clear commitment to follow the WTA guiding principles, and to share training resources, practices and products within the WTA. STRUCTURE will steer, support and accommodate GTA until its full-speed legal and official start-up (envisaged period: two years): • A Board will be constituted to make decisions with regard to the Academy; Network-members of regional/national Telecentre Academies (depending on local needs and possibilities) - send members to the Board of Members • A Global Secretariat (with a selected managing director) will be responsible for managing and administering the Academy THE ROLES OF GTA ON A GLOBAL LEVEL • Networking - building partnerships, coalition and coordinating activities • Developing curriculum, knowledge and resource sharing including expert pool and training resources; and, ensuring a “Quality Seal” for training certificates • Promotion, marketing, and advocacy (influencing policy formulation) • Facilitating training through guidance, exchange programmes and other means • Providing consultancy services, initiating new, innovative training programmes • Coordinating annual Business Planning sessions based on members' needs ROLES OF REGIONAL / NATIONAL LEVEL TELECENTRE ACADEMIES • Ensuring, coordinating and facilitating grassroots level telecentre workers' training • Providing training certifications, and implementing national versions of global/regional training curricula – based on needs • Implementing and maintaining new, demand-driven training programmes, developing content, and promoting product development for related involved training institutes • Managing training databases, • Seeking funding for regional/national activities • Accumulating knowledge and learning objects, and making those available for WTA (creative commons) • Providing consultancy services to involve training institutions • Conducting studies / research

13 national Academy participants at the Second Consultation of Global Stakeholders of Academy in Barcelona, Spain in September 2008

The Second Global Consultation of Academy Stakeholders - Barcelona, September 2008 Since the first consultation of stakeholders, within two years, a part of the Academy ecosystem was implemented. This included addressing the existing gaps in curriculum available; creating national academies around the world; and creating a global repository of curriculum commons. By September 2006, the academy initiative had spread to over 14 countries. The creation of the 14 Academies suggested that the recommendations of the Samaranayake Committee – to set up an Academy at the global level – could be implemented. A consultation organized at the Esplai Foundation in Barcelona on September 22-24, 2008 brought together 41 participants from 18 countries belonging to national telecentre networks, academia, government agencies and those promoting telecentre training work. The consultation focused on the issues highlighted but needing resolution at the first global stakeholders meeting in Delhi in November 2006, and sought to expedite the work carried out by the Academy.

Ready to take off! The Barcelona Consultation 14

Basheerhamad Shadrach, the Global Lead of Academy setting the mood and the agenda for the Barcelona Consultation

The two global consultations held in Delhi in November 2006 and in Barcelona in September 2008 were instrumental in planning for strengthening the Academy ecosystem.

The Barcelona consultation deepened the commitment made in Delhi in November 2006. It underscored the importance of shifting the ownership from to its partners engaged in the Academy work. All participants at the meeting unanimously agreed that collective ownership the Academy would help to sustain and strengthen the venture. The main objectives of the consultation were to discuss and plan the implementation of Academy at the global level and to strengthen the functions of national and regional Academies. More specifically: •

To share knowledge on the current practices of Academies in various nations

To identify common principles, standards and practices in order to make the national academies comparable and competitive

To discuss and agree upon the global character of the Academy and its implementation mechanism including the best-fit online platform

To agree upon the future directions of Academy and develop a framework for its business plan

The consultation was instrumental in setting up three working groups to investigate and find solutions for a) agreeing upon the gold standards for a global curriculum; b) investigating the best-fit technology solution for the academy; and c) producing the Charter of the Academy.


the national Academies

Graduates of the Indian Academy at their convocation at the Indira Gandhi National Open University,

India The Indian Academy was launched in February 2007. It was called the Tata National Virtual Academy. The Indian Academy, hosted by the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, carries out its training programme in partnership with the Mission 2007 partners, local NGOs, the state-level agencies implementing the national eGovernance Plan and the Common Service Centres (CSCs) in several states in India. Further, in partnership with the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) under the Village Resource Centre programme, the Indian Academy utilizes the state-of-the-art technologies, such as the country wide classroom, video-conferencing over EduSat and Radio programmes as well as face-to-face tutoring for delivering its training programmes. It introduced a number of courses and focused on training telecentre operators' and community people. Over 15 national programmes and many regional training programmes have been organized by the Academy, attended by over 5000 participants. They have acquired skills related to telecentre operations, results-based management, participatory research, needs assessment, online discussion forums, and procedures related to basic operations of telecentres. Needs assessment studies continue on various levels and various needs. The Academy is unique in that it is constantly responding to the needs of grassroots workers, policy makers, the corporate sector, and other development agencies Trainings have been conducted on results-based management and aimed to enhance the monitoring and evaluation skills of telecentre staff. The training responded to the long-standing demand of telecentre networks for skills in resulted-oriented approaches using both qualitative and quantitative techniques. Country-country learning: ICT Agency of Sri Lanka sent 25 Nenasala operators to MSSRF, Chennai and Puducherry VRCs and VKCs to look at the work of VRCs and VKCs, NVA Fellows, capacity building, training for knowledge workers, monitoring and evaluation of VRCs and VKCs, functions of Grameen Gyan Abhiyan secretariat, ICT-based trainees, and NVA Fellows. In October 2009, members from Indian Academy visited Chile and shared the Indian experiences with Ministry of Agriculture, Government of Chile, World Food Programme, different Universities, Fundaci贸n para la Innovaci贸n Agraria and Chilian Telecentre Academy. The Government of Chile and WFP will send 10-15 persons to Indian for training in the area of ICT-enabled development activities.


S. Senthilkumaran, the Director of Indian Academy preparing Sri Lankan telecentre operators

Study of various Models of Telecentres: The GGA secretariat is in the process of the developing tool kits for different ICT-models. At present in India several models are existing and implementing several new initiatives such as community based model (MSSRF), government initiated models (AKSHYA, e-Seva, ISRO's VRCs, Bhoomi, etc.), entrepreneur models (Rural BPOs, Drishtee, n-Logue, etc.), corporate sector models (ITC eChoupal, etc.), mobile based models (IFFCO's mobile services, QUALCOMM's Fisher Friend Mobile Application, m-Krishi, etc.), etc. In order to understand better the functions of different models, JTTS and GGA Secretariat would like to develop tool kits of different ICT-models. This will be helpful for different telecentre managers to provide the necessary capacity building in the areas of content generation and dissemination in an effective way to the target communities. These studies also aim at assessing the relative advantages and disadvantages of various rural connectivity, content and business models. In December 2009, Indian Academy will launch a Multimedia Resource Centre for Indian Telecentre Managers in the area of content (audio, video and text) and capacity building resource materials. The resource center will also act as help desk for Indian telecentre managers.


Olga Paz and Paola Lievano, managers of Colombian National Academy

Colombia In January 2008, the first National Academy pilot was initiated in Bogota. It was supported by in Latin America. It was called the Colombian national Academy and had technical assistance from the Esplai Foundation in Spain. Once the pilot was successfully completed, a two-year programme was initiated in April 2008. The Academia Nacional de Telecentros or the Colombian Academy developed a set of courses on the basis of the curriculum offered in Spain by the Esplai Foundation, with a number of course authors and tutors supporting the process of learning. The Colombian National Academy has implemented several cycles of courses for over 800 telecentre operators and NGOs in Colombia and in neighbouring countries. A two-member team based at Colnodo is spearheading the work with support from the Colombia Digital Corporation, Makaia Corporation, Colombian Ministry of Communications, among others. The Academy Model is more streamlined and areas such as the announcement, the application form, the participants' follow up and the evaluation have been improved. Through, The Academy enrolled participants from telecentres in Salvador and Panama. Five participants from The Infocentros Network in Salvador were enrolled.


Participants of the first stakeholders meeting of the Chilean National Academy on March 13, 2008 in Santiago, Chile

Chile The work of the Chilean National Academy began with a meeting on March 13, 2008 in Santiago. Through a well-formulated network, and with the support of University of La Frontera, the Chilean National Academy is in the process of identifying the training needs of Chilean telecentre operators. The Academy is developing a set of parameters for formulating and implementing an e-Learning programme in support of the global efforts and is advocating for recognizing the operators as 'change-agents'. It is exploring the right management model for sustaining its operations in the long-run. The programme is partnered by Subtel, the national telecommunications office, a number of NGOs and the UN Economic and Social Commission for the Latin American and Caribbean Nations. On the 29th of October 2009, at a public function in Santiago, in the presence of Professor M S Swaminathan, the stakeholders of the Chilean Academy launched their program. The Academy in Chile seeks to professionalize the role of the telecentre operator with an aim of ensuring the centre’s social, economic and administrative sustainability. The Academy will begin its pilot in March 2010 for 500 operators who staff 600 telecentres in Chile. “In the initial phase, we will develop a model for sustainability that will allow linkages, through training, between the needs of the State (in terms of public policies) and the needs of telecentre networks,” according to Angélica Rojas, coordinator of the Telecentre Academy run by ATACH, the organization that will design the training courses. Their partner Biblioredes will contribute content and the Universidad de la Frontera (UFRO) will provide certification. Being the fifth Academy in the region, the Chilean Academy will be partnered by Swedish COSUDE alongside Microsoft and the International Development Research Centre.


Users of the Brazilian facilities

Brazil The Brazilian national Academy, run by the telecentre information and business association, ATN is partnered by the Ministry of Development, Industry, and Foreign Trade (MDIC), Microsoft, and the Technology Development Centre of University of Brasilia (CDT). The Academy offers courses in telecentre management and digital entrepreneurship. All 356 telecentre operators that registered for the first pilot were supported in their efforts to promote more options for their social enterprise, and to become centres of digital inclusion. In all, 627 people participated in the second pilot. At present, the Brazilian Academy is experimenting with its successful programme in Mozambique through a technical cooperation agreement signed with the University of Eduardo Mondlane's Centre of Informatics.


Philippine Community e-Center Academy LOI signing of Partners hold at Manila Peninsula, November 26, 2007 (Partners: National Telehealth Center, Philippine Rice Research Institute, Intel Technology Philippines,, International Development Research Centre, Commission on ICT, University of the Philippines-Open University, Development Academy of the Philippines, Asian Institute of Journalism and Communications)

The Philippines The Community eCentres Academy was created in on November 26, 2007, through a Letter of Intent to Collaborate (LoI) signing ceremony and a strong partnership between and the Commission on Information and Communication Technology, Government of Philippines. As a consortium of ICT4D and CeC capacity building and content development institutions, the role of the Academy was seen as setting academic standards for accredited courses aimed at community eCentre managers. The Academy was set up to develop and offer competency-based training curriculum to support CeC managers with an online assistance facility to promote their active participation in CeC related networking activities The tPCA piloted its first course on June 15-19, 2009 in a series of foundation courses geared towards professionalizing CeC managers. The courses are aimed to lay the ground for a deeper understanding of CeC knowledge workers and Managers' strategic role in development. They seek to provide an overview of CeC management functions, the ecology of existing CeCs and the administration of CeC products and services, while focusing on operations management, financial management, content management, project management for sustainability, and monitoring and evaluation.


Components Curriculum, Education, Training

Outputs •

Competency-based curriculum

Sustained on-line assistance to CeCs

Empirical data on PhilCeC Academy and CeC impact

Outcomes CeC as a tool for citizen participation in governance CeC for development

Extension Services

Results Research

Content Development

PhilCeC Academy and CeC network

Competent CeC Knowledge Workers

Content for CeCs

Sustained CeC Operations

Sustained use of CeC portal

CeC Portal

Framework of Community eCentres Academy


Sri Lanka The Sri Lankan National Academy was launched at a public function in Colombo attended by over 500 Nenasala operators and the major stakeholders of the Sri Lankan telecentre movement. The Academy works to enhance entrepreneurship and high quality service standards among telecentre operators in Sri Lanka to create livelihood opportunities for communities served by more than 500 telecentres there. The Academy is involved in scanning and gathering all telecentre-related training material that exists in Sri Lanka to support the development of a basic curriculum in telecentre management. The programme is run by the Information and Communication Technology Agency of Sri Lanka with support from various academic and private sector partners. The University of Colombo's School of Computing leads the implementation of the programme. The Sri Lankan Academy has also stepped forward to offer some support to the global efforts of Academy. Working closely with the Global Secretariat of the Academy based at the Indira Gandhi National Open University, the Sri Lankan Academy will host and maintain the learning management system. The LMS will offer courses at certificate and diploma levels in about 20 languages for their administration in all nations. The University of Colombo’s School of Computing that partners in the Sri Lankan Academy will assume the role of the host of the LMS.


First stakeholders meeting in Lima, Peru on May 9, 2008 at the CEPES centre

Peru The Peruvian National Academy was established in March 2009. It aims to establish a certified online training facility for over 4000 telecentre operators of Public ICT access points. Through its cooperation with National Academies in Colombia, Chile and Brazil, the Peruvian National Academy will establish a network in addition to promoting courses developed by the Academy. Led by the Centro Peruano de Estudios Sociales (CEPES), the Academy is supported by NGOs such as Engineers without Borders, Practical Action, the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia and Rural Telecom, a private telecom provider in Peru. The Academy plans to implement two if it's first courses; systematisation, evaluation and diffusion of pilot experiences and migration to global Brainhoney platform by January 2010.


Members of the Egyptian Academy

Egypt The Egyptian national Academy is setting up an institutional framework to administer Academy curriculum in Arabic for Egyptian telecentre operators. The academy is recruiting over 30 operators from 10 telecentres as mentors of the Academy, who will reach out to hundreds and thousands of telecentre operators in the Arab region. It has initiated awareness sessions to promote telecentre leaders as e-facilitators. The two modules developed by the academy on web 2.0 and blogging for telecentres are in demand all over the world. In addition, the academy is developing a module entitled 'Safety on the net for telecentres'. The Academy partners with the United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology in Egypt. The e-Learning Portal of Egypt Telecentre Academy was launched in October 2009 The team includes enthusiastic members, such as developers, graphic designers, Network administrators, and management and coordination and have developed the content, customized it into e-Learning tools. The content is provided to the telecentre leaders and practitioners through distance self learning courses which include 9 modules/courses. The content is in Arabic and modules, such as IT Skills and Soft Skills are one of the most needed and requested training materials. A Training of Facilitators was conducted in October 2009. The project ensures close coordination with Knowledge Sharing and Networking project Middle East and North Africa MENA.


Members of the East African Regional Academy

East Africa The East African Regional Academy had its first regional meeting on May 18-19, 2009 at the Open, Distance and e-Learning Centre of Kyambogo University in Kampala. The meeting was a result of a decision at the East African Telecentre Leaders Meet in Khartoum, Sudan in June 2008. The Academy, hosted by Kyambogo University will collaborate with telecentre networks in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, and Tanzania while working closely with key stakeholders, such as the ministries of ICTs in the above nations, the Uganda Communications Commission, Schoolnet and other programmes that promote grassroots-level training in the region.


the curriculum commons

The launch of Curriculum Commons Grant by Mrs. D Purandeshwari, the Union Minister of State for Higher Education, joined by Basheerhamad Shadrach of IDRC, Professor V N Rajasekharan Pillai of IGNOU, Michael Rawding of Microsoft, Suhas Pani of the Planning Commission of India, R Chandrasekhar and Jainder Singh of Indian Government's Department of IT, M P Narayanan of CSDMS and Praveen Vishvakantiah of Intel

The Curriculum Commons For the success of Academy, it was critical to develop a curriculum responding to the learning needs of hundreds of telecentre operators at a very early stage of the project. The national academies had expertise, especially at places where the academy-network partnership was stronger. However, many capacity building organizations too possessed expertise that could be used. Towards this, a curriculum commons grant was announced at the eIndia event in August 2008 by Mrs. D Purandeshwari, the Minister of State for Higher Education, Government of India, in the presence secretaries of various government departments, the academia, the private sector, and non-governmental actors. A grant of USD 5000 was offered to organizations with expertise and interest to develop, package and license training content under Creative Commons for wider use among the Academy fraternity. Telecentre networks, training organizations and academic departments were eligible to develop training material in varied subject areas in multiple languages to assist Academies all over the world in their attempt to fulfil the learning needs of grassroots telecentre managers. Of 30 proposals, 15 proposals from 13 organizations based in 7 countries were selected by, , Microsoft, VACID Africa and the Commission on ICT, Philippines. The curriculum developed is added to the Academy repository at for its use, reuse, translation, and adaptation across the world.


Winners of the Curriculum Commons Grant Accessing e-Governance Services - 4C, Hungary: The objective of the proposed curriculum is to empower telecentre managers to access various e-Government services. It aims to provide a simple step-by-step guide to the telecentre managers to reach the masses. Knowledge Management for Community Development - Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication, Philippines: The developed curriculum is an interactive self-learning multimedia curriculum aimed at assisting telecentre managers to understand knowledge management skills and learn various ways of integrating people, knowledge processes and technology into a community knowledge system. Curriculum Development for Thaitelecentre. org - Centre for Communication Development and Knowledge Management (CCDKM), Thailand: The objectives of the curriculum include understanding the training needs of telecentre managers/operators and developing the curriculum for academy. Basic IT Hardware Maintenance - Centro de Informatica da Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (CIUEM), Mozambique: The objective of the proposed curriculum titled 'Basic Preventive and Curative Maintenance Techniques for Community ICT Practitioners' is to educate the telecentre managers to increase the efficiency and durability of IT hardware through preventive and maintenance procedures. Vocational Skills on Mobile Phone Repairing - Datamation Foundation, India: The interactive and selflearning curriculum aims to help telecentre managers develop vocational skills on mobile repairing, candle making, mehndi (henna) art, and stationery items production. The content will be available in English, Hindi, and Bengali. Joomla Training - Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka: The project helped to prepare Joomla training material in the local language, Sinhala. The entire training module will be based on the Moodle virtual learning environment. Telecentre Management - Egypt ICT Trust Fund, Egypt: The curriculum aims to enhance project management capacity, ICT skills and produce state-of-the-art content for telecentre management. ICT based Agricultural Extension – Faculty of Information and Communication Studies (FICS) and University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU), Philippines: The objective of the curriculum is to 'Train the Trainers on ICT based Agricultural Extension and Community Development' applications. The curriculum is divided into seven different modules ranging from Agricultural Extension to Social Capital Formation and ICT4D. Entrepreneurship and Legal Literacy – Friday Solutions Private Limited, India: The curriculum includes modules on entrepreneurship, legal literacy for rural population and leveraging the Internet for employment generation. Telemedicine - Humaclin Healthcare Private Limited and SATHI, India: The curriculum aims to assist telecentre managers in operating the telemedicine system in their telecentre. The curriculum will also help them enhance soft skills to communicate with villagers and the consulting doctors. e-Learning - ICT Agency of Sri Lanka and School of Computing, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka: The curriculum aims to develop an e-Learning, Evaluation and Accreditation services guide in English and local languages to increase ICT literacy among the rural population. Healthy Lifestyle - Rural Development Institute, India: The proposed interactive self-learning curriculum will include modules on Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health, Nutrition, General Health, Livelihoods, Rights and Entitlement, etc. Each module is game based to facilitate easy learning and understanding of the subject. 30

the curriculum commons site Academy Curriculum Commons site accessible at:

In partnership with UNESCO and Human Info, an NGO based in Romania, Academy developed the Curriculum Commons Site as the common repository of all training content developed by partners and other stakeholders. The site accessible at serves as the online repository of curriculum and training material in order to encourage its use, re-use, translation and adaptation all over the world. UNESCO's Open Training Platform has been customized to form this site which makes available training material in varied subject areas in multiple languages to assist telecentre academies all over the world in their attempt to fulfil the learning objectives of grassroots telecentre managers. All curriculum developed by the national academies, through Curriculum Commons Grant, and other material produced by will be added to the repository. In addition, the site will offer access to a variety of training material on ICT4D and related subject areas, produced by a number of partners and partner initiatives such as iTrain Online, Open Educational Resources, Curriki, the Shuttleworth Foundation and the Development Gateway Foundation.


the global curriculum

Participants at the global curriculum workshop, Singapore, June 2009

The Samaranayake Committee as well as the global stakeholders meeting in Delhi in November 2006 and in Barcelona in September 2008 had been pushing for a global face of the work. With 14 academies around the world and over a hundred training modules in multiple languages in place across national Academies, it was evident that the process of developing a global curriculum through consensus was fundamental to the success of Academy. The curriculum would be rolled-out in various countries in multiple languages with the help of a Consortium of Universities. In Singapore, on June 2-5, 2009, Academy organized a write-shop to begin the process of developing the global curriculum. The write-shop held a day-long crash course on curriculum development and discussed pedagogy for to adult and neo-learners whose needs and processes of learning are different to those of mainstream academic learners. Professor Abtar Kaur supported by Angelica Rojas, Melinda Bandalaria and Harsha Wijayawardhana, guided by Basheerhamad Shadrach, and offered the day-long training to the course authors of various national academies present. Participants learned about the theory and practice of instructional design and its application for development of course content for a new global curriculum for telecentre management. The crash course also helped participants to understand how to integrate technology, specific assessment methods and techniques in an eLearning-based global curriculum. They discussed the new curriculum for Academy. The Singapore write-shop was instrumental in achieving the following: 1.

Developing the global curriculum framework

2. Reviewing the existing curriculum of various national academies with a view to identifying elements of content for inclusion in the global curriculum 3. Identifying appropriate instructional and curriculum design standards and principles 4. Developing the global curriculum matrix and a proposal for developing the curriculum 34

Participants at the Singapore write shop

The participants working together and in groups developed the following schema which was the polished and developed further.

35 Academy Course outline Produced by Academy: Global Curriculum Workshop Participants August 2009 Core modules (24 credits - 60 hours of learning time for each of the 12 modules) No Modules




Fundamentals of telecentres

1. Introduction to telecentres 2. History of global telecentre movement 3. Kinds of Telecentres 4. Telecentres in Community Development 5. The telecentre professionals



Understanding your community

1. Understanding community stakeholders 2. The role of local government institutions 3. Economic lifeline of local communities 4. Understanding Diversity and Community Resource Mapping 5. Community Statistics



Community informatics

1. Understanding information needs 2. Understanding local information systems 3. Stakeholders in community information systems 4. Information needs-gaps analysis 5. Information entrepreneurship at community level



Planning a telecentre

1. Basics of planning and its relevance to the telecentre 2. Planning the Logistics of a Telecentre 3. Planning the Services of a Telecentre 4. Planning for Business: preparing a business plan for the telecentre 5. Planning for Resources and sustainability



Telecentre management techniques

1. Basics of Telecentre Management 2. Business management tools 3. Financial Management 4. People Management 5. Quality, Risk and Crisis



The qualities of telecentre operators

1. Who is a telecentre operator 2. Leadership and motivational skills 3. Entrepreneurial and business acumen 4. Partnership and networking skills 5. Managerial and problem solving skills



Basic IT skills

1. Fundamentals of Information and Communication Technology (ICT)



2. Fundamentals of Computer Networking 3. Internet – its uses 4. Doing business over Internet 5. Word Processing, Spread Sheet, Presentation and Database Applications (Microsoft Office Suite and Open Office Suite) 8

Content and services in telecentres

1. Introduction to content and services 2. Identifying information entrepreneurship activities 3. Using tools to manage local content and services 4. Developing partnerships to provide value added services 5. Assessing the effectiveness of services


Community use of telecentres 1. Telecentres for children and students 2. Telecentres for young adults and the unemployed 3. Telecentres for the elderly and marginalized groups 4. Telecentres for various occupational groups 5. Telecentres for local institutions



Information management at telecentres

1. Searching the Internet 2. Using local information systems 3. Identifying information sources 4 Telecentre as a local resource centre 5. Developing local databases at telecentres



Promoting your telecentre

1. The need for marketing and promoting telecentres 2. Community participation and engagement 3. Customer relationship 4. Networking and partnership development 5. Using various marketing and promotional tools



Assessing the progress of telecentres

1. The need for tracking telecentre progress 2. The concept of monitoring and evaluation 3. Tools and techniques and Monitoring and Evaluation 4. Reporting on the progress 5. Planning for improving telecentre services and business




Advance modules (4 credits each - 120 hrs of learning for each module) No Modules



Citizens participation and eGovernance

1.Egovernance and ecitizens 2. The importance of citizen participation 3. The role of telecentres in forming new relationships for citizenship 4. Global experiences



Community Radio and telecentres

1. Fundamentals of community and alternative media 2. Involving community in developing community radio content 3. Packaging content for the community 4. Interactive techniques in community Radio work 5. Operating a community radio station and the tools and techniques



Telecentres for social business

1. Telecentre as a social enterprise - introduction 2. Social business opportunities for telecentres 3. Social business models for blended value 4. How to set up a social enterprise venture


Attracting seed investments for social businesses 4

Collaborative technologies for 1. Introduction to collaborative technologies and tools telecentre work 2. Web 2.0 tools and techniques 3. Website development techniques 4. eMarketing and social promotional tools 5. Moderation and motivational techniques in social networking and collaboration



Digital Literacy curriculum


1. Computer basics 2. The Internet and the World Wide Web 3. Productivity programmes 4. Computer security and privacy 5. Digital lifestyles


the Academy online

Experts discuss the options for Academy platform at the GK III meeting in Kuala Lumpur, December 2007

Technology choice was discussed at both the Delhi and Barcelona meetings. At the Global Knowledge III conference, the Academy organised a workshop where it was concluded that the Academy needed to develop a Learning Management System (LMS) which could handle the multiplicities and complexities involved in delivering learning programmes to millions of learners in different continents. The curriculum would be delivered in local languages, giving the learners ample scope to learn at their own pace. In addition, as Internet connectivity is unreliable in Africa and Asia, the learning experience would be offline as well. Several national academies, especially those in Latin America and in the Philippines, follow free and open source tools such as Moodle, Ilias, and others. The Academy needed to make a rational decision, keeping the interest of the learner in mind. appointed a consultant to review the available tools, particularly those used by national academies, and to provide with an informed view on the matter. The consultant was asked to survey existing Academies to understand what technology support was required; studying the various LMS' in use and available in the market for open and distance learning work; preparing a scorecard matrix of the LMS' based on the needs of national academies; and recommending the best-fit specification and product as the technology platform for Academy. The recommendations were based on the following criteria: •¡

The LMS should cater to learners using a variety of languages, including Hindi, Bahasha Malaya, Spanish, French, Tamil, Sinhala, Portuguese, Bengali, Telugu, Kannada, Urdu, Arabic, and Malayalam.


It should comply with open standard principles for existing academies so that they could to join and share content in a collaborative environment. This should not impinge on national Academies' freedom to choose content distribution tools and technologies. It was decided that the Secretariat would host and maintain one central LMS for this purpose. 40


It should require minimum development and customization, and should be equipped with an in-built 24x7 support structure.

In addition to the above criteria, it was essential to consider if the LMS would enable the Secretariat to manage and schedule 'training and learning' events in enterprise mode to track the progress records of learners. Further, it was essential to figure out if the LMS was capable of facilitating the online management of classroom learning and resources and whether it offered authoring tools, along with a full-fledged content management system.'s assessment, ably supported by Microsoft Corporation, helped to identify a partner who is also its learning channel partner. Agilix, based in Utah, USA with considerable experience and comparable business advantage in the field with over half a million learners already participating in its LMS-enabled distance learning programmes, was chosen as the partner to develop's LMS. Agilix customized its LMS to form the online learning system for the Academy. Engineers at Agilix identified, designed, and customized a product called BrainHoney for the Academy. BrainHoney will help to identify and develop's online learning management system and train the staff responsible for 24x7 services to the learners. The staff, a part of the Secretariat, will ensure that the system works efficiently and effectively, around the clock. The learning platform, when implemented, will help telecentre managers' access training content online and offline through any portable media without depending on the Internet, while participating in the learning programme. The system will work for multiple language and geographical groups with a robust professional development path by using customized learning content authored by the academy. The system will also use the learning content acquired and authored by national Academies.


Agilix Labs, Inc., the technology partner of Academy, was founded in 2001 with more than 800 publishers, including 8 out of the world's top 10 as its customers. The BrainHoney online system, customized for the Academy, presently supports more than 16 million registered users, searching millions of records. Within the past 18 months, the BrainHoney community learning system recorded over half a million enrolments. Academy Platform will be OS-independent; compatible with open standards, and applicable to both online and offline clients with caching support


the global certification schema

Maureen O'Neil, President IDRC, Stephen McGurk, Regional Director IDRC, and with Professor V N Rajasekharan Pillai, and Mr. Chopra, IGNOU – September 2007

The Samaranayake Committee had recommended that the Academy would be global only if the certification and assessment scheme would be global. This was intended to offer vertical mobility to learners in their academic pursuits and a horizontal mobility in their professional pursuits. This necessitated an assessment scheme which allowed learners to move across telecentres, networks and nations to work. This was in the cards, especially in the context of hundreds and thousands of telecentres emerging in the developing world, and particularly in Latin America -where operators have shown interest to move between countries to serve as telecentre operators. Such horizontal mobility is possible only if universities agree to certify and recognise certification based on a commonly agreed credit systems. The vertical mobility makes it possible for students to pursue their studies for getting credit in any university of choice in any nation that participates in the Academy programme. In addition, the flexible credit schema would help to pursue all other courses offered by the university consortium on the basis of learner's individual interests. The first step towards implementing the Samaranayake Committee recommendations was undertaken by the President of IDRC, Ms Maureen O'Neil and the Regional Director, Dr Stephen McGurk. In a meeting in September 2007 with Professor V N Rajasekharan Pillai, they discussed the role of IGNOU in the Academy programme. It was then agreed that IGNOU would accept any role, including the role of being the global host of the Academy, if the National Academies chose to decide so.


It took almost two years - since the first meeting of the Academy at IGNOU in September 2007 - to develop and consolidate the ecosystem of the Academy. A meeting of the consortium of universities hosted by IGNOU in August 2009 defined the role of Universities in the Academy programme. The meeting served as an opportunity to discuss the academic standards required for implementing the global curriculum across nations. The meeting was instrumental in deciding on credit transfer opportunities offered to students for pursuing studies in various universities in the consortium, particularly for diploma and post-graduate degree programmes. To fulfill these and other needs, the Consortium of Universities an idea mooted by the Samaranayake Committee – was formed to strengthen the Academy programmes. At the Singapore meeting it was agreed that a team should take the work forward. Subsequently, Ms Anita Anand was asked to lead the curriculum development of the certificate course and Ms Swapna Mishra was asked to steer the diploma course. Dr Chandrasekharan Nair of IGNOU and Dr Basheerhamad Shadrach would guide the course development process working closely with Ms Anand and Ms Mishra. Professor Abtar Kaur of Open University Malaysia would provide the necessary instructional design support.

Anita Anand, Lead, Certificate Course and Swapna Mishra, Anchor Diploma Course

Authors for the courses:

The course management team:

Ms Angelica Rojas, Chile Ms Anita Anand, India Mr Ashis Sanyal, India Mr Harsha Wijeyawaradhana, Sri Lanka Mr Isidre Bermudez, Spain Mr Jayakrishnan, India Ms Marianna Posfai, Hungary Ms Marta Mans, Spain Ms Melinda Bandalaria, Philippines Ms Nancy Anabel, India Ms Paola Lievano, Colombia Ms Pilar Pacheco, Chile Ms Reema Singh, India Ms Swapna Mishra, India Mr Vincent Victor, India

Dr Abtar Kaur, Malaysia Ms Anita Anand, India Dr Basheerhamad Shadrach, India Dr Chandrasekharan Nair, India Dr Mark Luetzelscwab, USA Ms Swapna Mishra, India


As of August 2009, the following universities are participating in National Academies in different countries: • • • • • • • • • •

University of Brasilia, Brazil University of La Frontera, Chile Indira Gandhi National Open University, India Open University, Malaysia University of Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Peru University of Philippines Open University, Philippines University of Colombo, Sri Lanka Sukhothia Thammarthirat Open University, Thailand Kyambogo University, Uganda

The Consortium of Universities meeting reviewed the credit scheme recommended by the participants of Global Curriculum workshop held in Singapore in June 2009. There was unanimous approval to the course structure and the schema. Levels



Entry Qualifications



3 months (min) 6 months (max)


Read, write, Numeracy, basic digital literacy; X standard or 'O' level examination

Certificate program


6 months (min) 2 years (max)


Completed Secondary level or 'A' level; or completed Level 1; or passed entry level test for Level II Certification

Diploma program++


1 year (min) 3 years (max)


Completion of bachelor's degree; or completion of level 2; or passed entry level test for Level III Certification

PG Diploma program++


2 years (min) 4 years (max)


Completion of PG diploma programme

MBA in social enterprise**

A credit-schema proposed at the Curriculum Write-shop held in Singapore in June 2009

Notes: *1 credit requires 30 hours of total teaching/learning experience as per the international accreditation process ++ The credits acquired in level I or II would be counted for higher level certificates. For example, if a student who has completed the certificate programme with 12 credits would need to acquire 12 more credits to obtain a diploma; and a student who has a diploma with 24 credits would be expected to acquire 24 more credits for a PG diploma certificate ** Students are entitled to audit others courses offered by universities in the consortium, such as the MBA in social enterprise offered by IGNOU


a symbolic launch of the Academy

Mr Jairam Ramesh, Union Minister of Government of India, Professor M S Swaminathan, Chairperson, Grameen Gyan Abhiyan , and Mr Richard Fuchs, Regional Director of IDRC for South East and East Asia announce the launch of Academy in Delhi, October 2008

The Academy was formally announced as a global programme on October 3, 2008 at the Grameen Guan Abhiyan Convention held at the National Agricultural Science Complex Auditorium in New Delhi in the presence of Professor M S Swaminathan, Mr Jairam Ramesh, the Union Minister for Power and a number of leaders from the private sector, academia and civil society organisations. The Honourable Union Minister for Power, Mr Jairam Ramesh and Professor M S Swaminathan welcomed the Academy initiative recognising the mandate to prepare a workforce that will serve the base of the pyramid. The launch marked a renewed commitment from and its head, Dr. Basheerhamad Shadrach to establish global standards for curriculum, global partnership for curriculum administration and the much required global governance for the Academy programme.


The Consortium of Universities to power Academy

Participants at the Consortium of Universities meeting in New Delhi, India organised by and IGNOU, August 17-18, 2009 in New Delhi

At the August meeting of the consortium of universities that support the Academy, a letter of intent to collaborate was signed by IDRC and IGNOU, mainly to constitute a global secretariat with associated governance mechanisms to help steer the Academy for 2.0 phase from 2010-2015. The Vice Chancellors and Pro Vice Chancellors present witnessed the signing ceremony while agreeing to enter into a MoU with IGNOU that hosts the global secretariat. The meeting was aimed at discussing and arriving at common consensus on the following: •

The structure and content of global curricula in tune with ground realities and the expressed learning needs of telecentre operators

The common benchmark standards that apply while delivering the global curriculum across nations, languages and cultural settings

The long-felt need for university certification as means to providing vertical mobility and employability options to learners

The operational framework for cooperation among national academies with a secretariat functioning at the global level

The Global Curriculum and the credit schema The Vice Chancellors welcomed the overall curriculum structure presented to them, particularly the pedagogical approach underlining the delivery of curriculum. They agreed: •

The curriculum is in simple language while communicating complex concepts, keeping in mind the target audience of the courses.

The curriculum is introduced at a very basic level for beginners.

Development of a certification scheme - based on prior knowledge - for those operators who have been active in telecentres for more than three years. 50

The Academy will have at least 24 core and 24 elective modules for the learners to pick and choose the ones most appropriate for their needs. •

The basic course be inviting so that beginners be helped to join the learning curve.

The basic course introduced as an appreciation course offering eight credits with options to complete the overall course in a period of three months.

Introduction of other certification courses including a certificate, a diploma and a higher diploma programme for those operators who wish to continue their learning pursuits, offering 16, 32 and 64 credits that could be in a period of 6, 12 and 24 months respectively.

The VCs and the national Academy stakeholders discussed the hours of learning mandated by certain university systems for obtaining credits, and have agreed to pilot 30 hours of learning as the bench-mark for obtaining one credit. Such a formula would demand about 240 hours of learning for a beginner level appreciation course. The learning hours include the total time spent on learning such as reading, submission of assignments, participation in self-assessment exercises, reflective thinking, peer and group learning, and participation in tutor-learner sessions. In addition, the VCs recommended establishing an 'Academic Committee' in support of the curriculum work of the Academy.

The Academy common standards The VCs agreed to a proposal for common standards that apply to curriculum administration. The proposed indicators and benchmarks for the following dimensions of the Academy work: •

Curriculum design

Resource management effectiveness of teaching and learning process

Evaluation of national academy programmes

Several factors were identified for standardizing some commonly agreed and uniform practices. As an example, under the curriculum design phase, a suggestion of standard practices in selection, admission, profiling of students and tutors; content plans; instructional design plans; credit systems; and, teaching and assessment methodologies that underpin the curriculum. These standards would also determine the studentteacher ratio, preparation time and attributes of tutors required to coach a particular group of learners.

Proposal: Quality Standard for Academies



Seal of Quality Academies DEVELOPMENT


Meeting of the Consortium of Universities 17 -18 August 2009, New Delhi

Model of Quality Standards for National Academies proposed by Angelica Rojas of Chilean Academy 51

Richard Fuchs (on behalf of IDRC) and Professor V N Rajasekharan Pillai (on behalf of IGNOU) sign the letter of intent to collaborate on August 19, 2009. The ceremony included the Vice Chancellors present at the event, authors of the Academy curriculum and Dr Basheerhamad Shadrach, lead of the Academy initiative.

The Vice Chancellors approved the proposal of Angelica Rojas for benchmarks and recommended establishing a 'standards committee' to support the development of curriculum standards and the accreditation process.

The Consortium of Universities While the Vice Chancellors present wanted to be a part of the consortium, for want of legal review from their respective organizations, they were not in a position to sign a tripartite memorandum of understanding with IGNOU and However, they agreed to empower a drafting committee for proposing a set of terms for the cooperation agreement. With Melinda Bandalaria and Maria Teresa Camba as coordinators, a drafting committee prepared two sets of documents. 1) A 'Letter of Intent to collaborate' document for and IGNOU to consider; and, 2) A tripartite MoU between the consortium of Universities to consider partnering with IGNOU and


Letter of Intent for Collaboration

Letter of Intent for Collaboration between Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and International Development Research Centre, Canada (IDRC) for the Academy, signed, August 2009






the global charter of Academy

Dr Manugue compiling the Academy charter

At the second global stakeholders meet it was agreed that a task-force headed by Dr Elizabeth Manugue would work to develop the global charter of the Academy. Dr Manugue and a team of eminent group members and volunteers developed the draft charter.


The Global Charter of Academy Section I: Name and Domicile The organisation shall officially be known as the Academy. Its office shall be located at __________________________________________________________________________________ . Section II: Nature and purposes Nature: The Academy is a global consortium of academia and telecentre networks that administer capacity building programmes of Academy at national and region level as national/regional academies. The Academy shall serve as a guiding, consolidating, coordinating, supporting, and accrediting institution in shaping a focuses and organised international effort to build the capacity of telecentre stakeholders throughout the world. Purposes: In line with the main purpose of improving the responsiveness, sustainability, and effectiveness of telecentres around the world by building the capacity of telecentre workers, the Academy shall focus on: •

Leadership – provision of leadership for the academies around the world by consolidating and coordinating various telecentre capacity building programmes around the world, thereby creating a focused effort and momentum for upgrading and training telecentre stakeholders.

Standards – development of curricula, standards, models leading to a system of global accreditation and certification applied to Academy programmes and knowledge products worldwide

Partnerships – development of strong Academy partnership through an international hub that enables and promotes knowledge and resources

Resources – generation of resources for and support national academies and related capacity building organisation with aggressive donor/government/private initiatives and fund-raising

Section III: Academy mission •

Establishing a global programme to support the learning needs of over one million telecentre operators; thousands of key policy makers; and, investors so also leaders of existing and emerging networks in their attempt to succeed in telecentre work

Developing appropriate learning systems and curriculum based on the learning needs of numerous grassroots-level knowledge workers in their attempt to sustain their operations as mini- and microsocial enterprises

Establishing linkages with academic institutions for developing a linear career path for grassrootslevel knowledge workers by mainstreaming their learning programme

Establishing linkages with telecentre networks for a new and innovative operational model for the learning programme through peer-support, mentorship and placement services 61

Demonstrating that the learning programme initiated by the academy as a function that fulfils the human resource development mandate of various governments around the world in line with their national priorities

Section IV: Functions The Academy will have the following functions: •

Academics and professionalization – develop a global set of management performance and training standards, training curriculum, and courses towards a system of global accreditation and certification for capacity building programmes and knowledge products characterised by a seal of quality

Leadership and networking – develop and strengthen a global network of national and regional academies towards implementing the academics and professionalization programme, enable resource generation and sharing, knowledge sharing, partnership matching and formation, and country exchange programmes, among others

Advocacy – promote the Academy and its national and regional arms in existing and potential donor environments, help influence government policies supporting resources for telecentre growth and development

Administration – establish a global hub and centre for the Academy as well as coordinate and facilitate interactions to enhance operation and sustainability of its associated national and regional academies.

Section V: Roles and Responsibilities • Academy: shall assume the roles/responsibilities as the global lead and coordinator, resource generator and distributor, curriculum developer and coordinator, global advocate and promoter, and academic initiator for a new level of competency for telecentre operators, managers, network leaders, policy-makers and other stakeholders. The Academy shall also be responsible for setting standards, creating training programmes and developing accreditation and certification system for global recognition and application national and regional academies: as members of Academy, the national and regional academies will assume the roles/responsibilities as main implementers of Academy programmes at the country/regional level, delivering curriculum at the local level, accumulating and documenting knowledge and making such available within the Academy membership, and act as consultants for training organisations at their level. The national and regional academies would also advise the global hub/centre on the learning needs of telecentre stakeholders.

While each national and regional academy shall have its roles and responsibilities defined in own specific charters, their relationship with the global hub/centre will be that of members of the Academy. As members, they are to abide by Academy organisational standards, implement programmes at the local level, share knowledge and resources generated from local operations, interact actively within other members, ad fully support initiatives for resource generation and knowledge enhancement emanating from the Academy 62

Section VI: Governance Interim set-up (2006-2010) – will assume steerage, accommodation, and support of the Academy until its full and official start-up expected as of 1 January 2010 Governance Body – the Academy will be governed by a Board of governors Board of governors' functions – the functions of the BoG shall be: •

To formulate and institute policies and guidelines for the achievement of the Academy purposes

Prescribe the structure, composition of executive staff, and staff levels of Academy

To represent the Academy in any international, regional, country assembly or forum where the Academy and its concerns may be discussed

To actively lead the generation of resources for the Academy operations and activities

To appoint officers of the Academy as recommended by a specially formed and mandated search committee

To review, discuss, and act on Academy plans and budgets

To act on applications and other membership concerns, and to ratify agreements, partnerships, and commitments entered into by Academy leadership

To review performance reports of the Academy

BoG composition – the BoG shall have ___ members. Members shall represent the global telecentre environment among the following: •

National/regional academies

Academic institution/host institution

Government agencies and private sector entities

Sponsoring agencies

Terms of office for BoG members – members of the BoG shall serve a term or two of two years each who among them will elect a Chair and a Vice-chair. Meetings of BoG – convened by the Chair, and assisted by the global hub, the BoG shall meet semiannually, once online and once more face to face Section VII: Academy officers The composition of Academy officers and executive staff, the nature and responsibilities of position, shall be determined in detail by the BoG as its prerogative in shaping the Academy organisation in a manner most conducive to the attainment of its goals The centre/hub/secretariat: A global Secretariat to assume the role of a permanent management and administrative unit shall be established to operate from 1 January 2010. To be headed by an Executive Director, the Secretariat, permanently housed at the official domicile of the Academy, will assume all the functions outlined in Section IV and V above. 63

Section VIII: Membership Eligibility – Membership shall be limited to institutions duly recognised by their countries. Two categories of membership shall be instituted: a) regular: national and regional academies, government and private agencies, donors and funding organisations; and, b) honorary: institutions and agencies which, though not directly and exclusively aligned with the Academy, have contributed to the achievement of the mission. Section IX: Academy resources Financial resources - The Academy shall employ a wide range of strategies to ensure the sustainability of its existence and operations. Among these may be: •

Exploration of various funding sources (state/private)

Aggressive and managed marketing of the organisation's purposes and the impact of its end result

Wide dissemination of impact stories from all over the world showing the benefits and potential impact of the telecentres in changing the lives of people

Formation of alliances and partnerships with IT philanthropists, software and hardware companies, retail companies, foundations and trusts, funding institutions, etc

Marketing of organisation skills, expertise, products and services

Membership dues – regular annual contributions of members mandated by the charter

Members resources – members, upon application, will be requested to commit their resources to the Academy per conditions and guidelines agreed upon.


The Making of Academy - Chronology of Key Events

October 2006

Global telecentre idea floated by Karishma Kiri and Basheerhamad Shadrach Basheerhamad Shadrach agrees with team to test the idea with a wider group The first concept note on the global telecentre university produced by Basheerhamad Shadrach A global consultation meeting planned for Partner identified in India

November 2006

The first stakeholders consultation in Delhi attended by 10 International and about 50 Indian participants, convened by the Department of Information Technology, Government of India Microsoft expresses happiness with the exploration The Indira Gandhi National Open University expresses interest to support the effort Professor V K Samaranayake and Ms Marianna Posfai asked to refine the thinking process – the Samaranayake committee for the global telecentre Academy formed

December 2006

IDRC President Maureen O’Neil, Regional Director Stephen McGurk and Basheerhamad Shadrach meet the Indian Union Minister for ICTs for soliciting his support for the Academy; The Indian Minister wants his department to explore the idea further

January 2007

The Samaranayake committee meets virtually; Basheerhamad Shadrach serves as the Member-Secretary to the group

February 2007

Samaranayake Committee meets in Putrajaya to discuss the operational framework First national academy announced - The Indian Academy as a partnership initiative of the Jamsetji Tata National Virtual Academy; the announcement is made by the Hon’ble Minister of State for Higher Education, Mrs. D Purandeshwari Academy workshop held at eAsia in Putrajaya, Malaysia. The concept note finds endorsement from all quarters

March 2007

Samaranyake Committee tables its recommendations; Asks for a global academy to be created at the earliest and asks’s Delhi office to assume the role of a convenor for the initiative team meeting discusses the Academy proposal in Ottawa; decides to pursue setting up of national academies first

May 2007

CICT, Philippines, Intel, IDRC,, ILFS discuss the Academy in Manila to explore partnership between India and the Philippines Academy work plan developed; Basheerhamad Shadrach tables the plan for team’s approval

October 2007

After internal re-organisation within following a leadership change, Basheerhamad Shadrach is asked to resume his role as the convener of the Academy programme

November 2007

The Colombian Academy launched as a pilot programme Letter of Intent to collaborate on Community eCentre Academy signed in Manila; several national partners agree to join force 66

December 2007 Academy workshop held in Kuala Lumpur at the Global Knowledge III meeting; the workshop discusses technological solution to distance and open learning

January 2008

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s school of social entrepreneurship declines to partner with Academy while MIT Media Lab expresses interest to house telecentre network leaders on a Fellowship programme Microsoft reinforces its partnership in a meeting in Redmond; agrees for considerable amount of its funds to be spent in FY 2008-09

March 2008

The Chilean Academy initiated; Government’s subtel, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean; partner, ATACH, UTEM and Zoltner Consulting group become the Founding partners of the Academy The Colombian Academy reviews progress of its pilot phase; agrees to pursue the Academy in partnership with Esplai Foundation of Barcelona allocates full-fledged budget for 2008-09 for the Academy work; three quarters of a million CAD allocated for Academy work

April 2008 Community eCentre Academy starts work through a grant from

May 2008

Brazilian Academy conceptualises work; Microsoft, the Ministry of Industry, Development and Trade, University of Brasilia agree to partner with the Association of Telecentre Network to initiate the Academy; A grant announced in support of this partnership Peruvian Academy conceptualises work; CEPES - a think-tank in Lima, Practical Action Group, Rural Telecom – a private telecom provider, and the Ministry of ICT agree to partner with Colombian Academy initiates its second phase through another grant from

June 2008

Sudan initiates the Sudan national Academy (SuNTA) at the East African Telecentre Leaders Forum; Sudatel becomes the main partner of SuNTA A working committee to develop the East African Academy formed in Khartoum; Rita Mijumbi asked to lead the East African efforts Esplai Foundation formally agrees to partner with in its global effort

July 2008

Curriculum Commons Grant announced by the Hon’ble Minister of State for Higher Education, Mrs. D Purandeshwari at a public function in Delhi; The announcement is jointly made by Microsoft’s global Vice President and Basheerhamad Shadrach of A search committee shortlists curriculum commons applications; Karishma Kiri of Microsoft, Tess Camba of Philippine Community eCentre Network, Kiringai Kumau join Basheerhamad Shadrach to select winners


August 2008

Winners of the Curriculum Commons grant announced; A grant of USD 5000 issued to 13 organisations UNESCO partners with Academy and offers its Open Training Platform for archiving curriculum commons outputs Consultations with Mozambican telecentre stakeholders initiated in Maputo. UNESCO, FORCOM, UNDP, CIUEM and the government express interest to partner. UNESCO offers to lead the effort.

September 2008 IDRC President Maureen O’Neil, Regional Director Stephen McGurk and Academy lead Basheerhamad Shadrach meet up with Professor V N Rajasekharan Pillai of IGNOU to solicit support; IGNOU offers unconditional support to the Academy Human Info, a partner of UNESCO contracted to customise the Open Training Platform for archiving Academy: curriculum commons outputs October 2008

A symbolic launch of Academy at a function in New Delhi at the Grameen Gyan Abhiyan convention; Richard Fuchs is joined by Professor M S Swaminathan at the launch; Mr Jairam Ramesh, the Union Minister for Power lauds the effort. A national consultation on Indian Academy held; The Indian Academy lead, S Senthilkumaran and Karishma Kiri initiate discussions with the telecentre stakeholders during a two day retreat The second global stakeholders’ meeting of Academy organised in Barcelona at the Esplai Foundation; About 40 participants from 18 nations attend the meet Three working committees formed to investigate modalities to speed up the Academy work – charter development; technology decisions; and, curriculum standards The Academy working committees start to work virtually

November 2008

Consultation with national academies held on their technology choices Microsoft approached for offering its LCDS as the Academy learning platform Curriculum Commons Grant winners start to deliver curriculum – a total of 14 courses developed

December 2008

The technology consultation report tabled. Three options identified for the Academy Human Info completes the customisation of UNESCOs OTP as the curriculum commons site of Academy IGNOU organises meeting with Indian telecentre stakeholders

February 2009

The Sri Lankan Academy launched Meeting with stakeholders in Uganda held to initiate the East African Academy; Kyambogo University expresses interest Egyptian Academy conceptualised The Malaysian telecentre stakeholders meet at the Prime Minister’s Office to discuss the Academy work

March 2009

The technology option for the Academy finalised The Working Group on charter for Academy tables its recommendations 68

May 2009

East African telecentre stakeholders meet in Kampala to discuss the prospects of initiating the East African Academy with support from the Kyambogo University

June 2009

A write-shop to determine the global curriculum for Academy held in Singapore; 20 experts from 9 countries participate Agilix, a partner of Microsoft identified to develop the learning management system for Academy The draft version of global curriculum development framework produced

July 2009

Authors of global curriculum and course anchors identified The global curriculum development work begins

August 2009 Academy: consortium of universities meeting held in Delhi led by the Indira Gandhi National Open University International training programme for curriculum authors offered by, IDRC and Agilix in New Delhi IDRC and IGNOU sign a letter of intent to collaborate in the presence of university vice chancellors from eight global universities

September 2009 Open University Malaysia agrees to join Academy to promote courses in Malaysia. The OUM will also consider developing a prior learning assessment methodology for the Academy Indira Gandhi National Open University brainstorms to provide future leadership to Academy Curriculum Development Workshop for the certificate course in telecentre management held in Delhi at the Indira Gandhi National Open University’s Centre for Extension Education October 2009

The Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister’s Office in Malaysia agrees to partner with Academy efforts in Malaysia and support the Open University Malaysia in promoting the courses The Egyptian national Academy partnered by UNDP, the Government of Egypt organises training programme for the Academy tutors in Cairo Chile launches its national Academy in Santiago, Chile Indian Academy partners, the M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, the Jamsetji Tata Training School meet up with the Latin American Academies in Santiago, Chile National Academies in the Latin American region meet to discuss their future course of action in Santiago, Chile Academy eLearning providers, Agilix train the personnel of Sri Lankan national Academy for taking over maintenance and support function for the LMS of the Academy

November 2009 Academy’s global secretariat is formally launched The first activity of the global secretariat of Academy initiated with a global certificate course in telecentre management The First global course in telecentre management launched in English and Hindi with a concrete plan to localise curriculum in 10 Indian and 10 other non-Indian languages


About us is a global community of people and organizations committed to increasing the social and economic impact of grassroots telecentres. Working together, we provide the resources that telecentres need to succeed: locally relevant content and services, support and learning opportunities, and networks that help telecentre activists connect to each other. With these things in hand, tens of thousands of telecentres will be in a better position to enrich the communities they serve.'s founding investors include Canada's International Development Research Centre, Microsoft, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. The International Development Research Centre is a public corporation created by the Parliament of Canada in 1970 to help developing countries use science and technology to find practical, long-term solutions to the social, economic, and environmental problems they face. Microsoft Corporation is a global technology leader committed to innovation and broadening digital inclusion through its Unlimited Potential programme, which enhances technology skills of underserved young people and adults through community telecentres. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation is Switzerland's international cooperation agency responsible for overall coordination of development activities and cooperation with Eastern Europe, as well as humanitarian aid. Academy is a skills-development programme that supports actors involved in creating new and inclusive economies in developing countries, especially at the grassroots-level, by taking advantage of knowledge and information into both tangible and intangible services for millions of marginalised and poor communities living in peri-urban and rural clusters around the world. Indira Gandhi National Open University is the world's largest distance education institutions with enrolments exceeding 2.2 million students at any given point in time. With presence in over 30 nations around the world, the University is remarkably a global one offering over 300 academic programmes and numerous skills-development programmes developed in partnership with various public and private institutions.



National Academies The project leaders of the respective academies are as follows: Brazilian National Academy José Avando ( – Jamsetji Tata Training School, India S Senthilkumaran ( East African Regional Academy Rita Mijumbi ( Egyptian National Academy Hala ABD ELMONEM EL SADEK ( Malaysian Academy Puan Azizah Hamzah ( Peruvian National Academy Maicu Alvarado ( Philippines CeC Academy Tess Camba ( Chilean National Academy Angélica Celedón ( Colombian National Academy Julian Casasbuenas G. ( Sri Lankan National Academy Gavashkar Subramanium ( Academy Global Secretariat Indira Gandhi National Open University Maidan Garhi, New Delhi- 110068, India T: +91-11-29534185 W: Latha Pillai: M.C. Nair

International Development Research Centre 208 Jorbagh, New Delhi 110003 T: +91-11-2461 9411 E: W: B. Shadrach: Reema Singh Gideon:

Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft Confédération suisse Confederazione Svizzera Confederazium svizra


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs FDFA Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperaion SDC Academy Academy  

The idea to the instituting the Academy as a global movement