Poverty Alleviation and IT Awareness
The main objective of this program was to set up a sustainable support infrastructure in South Asia for helping the less privileged and to take steps towards computer literacy according to the needs of the particular region.
Some of the specific objectives of the project are as follows:
- To assist in the development of skills and manpower resources required for the rapid growth and development of South Asia
- To assist in the development of skills required for the growth and development of local and international economies by establishing IT institutes to service various localities.
- Afford community members an opportunity to exchange views and ideas on matters pertaining to computer education and training, and to maintain affiliations with local and foreign Associations with similar objectives.
This was a long-term program and was implemented in four different phases.
In phase one the study of research done by NGO`s of target countries was reviewed. This review identified the centers in the target areas for launching the project.
The second phase of the project envisaged the introduction of awareness-raising initiatives to notify the affected populations of the program, its aims, and the advantages of participating. Local media was used and public forums were activated for this purpose.
In this phase of the project, It training centers were established in centers identified in the selected project areas of these countries.
In the fourth and final phase of the project aimed at establishing a unique communal approach to resources within the tri-national project area. In this approach the best IT resources were shared as knowledgeable faculty was able to travel to different training centers and guest lecturers were invited to conduct seminars on particular topics of regional importance. Another important component of this phase included the launching of a portal website which served as a notice board and information source for all IT activities relevant to participants in the various career programs.
Description of Activities:
Need Assessment Study:
A need assessment study was carried out which ascertained the level of need in the main cities, suburban localities, and peripheral areas of the member countries. From this study priorities were determined based on need, affordability, and the willingness of populations to pay for IT education.
Development of A Portal Website:
A website was developed which conferred all the information about latest IT trends, international opportunities for IT professionals, international IT programs, papers from leading IT professionals, a listing of IT educational institutes, and other resources.
Open House Seminars:
Open house seminars were conducted in Pakistan in the capitals of each country. Government officials, educators, software houses and philanthropists were invited to participate in these seminars. In light of their suggestions and views an action plan was developed to incorporate their ideas into the centers.
The Information Technology centers were initially established in selected cities of the member countries based on the need assessment study. An outline of the proposed curriculum was developed in keeping with the program needs and specific areas of skill development required in the region. An outline of the proposed training was also developed keeping in view the program needs and specific areas of skill development.
Development of Infrastructure:
The infrastructure development was carried out according to the requirements of the program in consultation with the local authorities and professionals involved in the program.
Acquisition of Hardware
The specifications required for equipment and software were communicated to local representatives for acquisition. After receiving proposals from vendors the IT centers acquired the proposed hardware and software configuration that best meets its needs. After placing the systems into operation, IT experts provided the technical support.
It was 59,000$ worth project and duration was 18 months.