4 Aug 2009

Project E3 Briefing

E3 abstract
E3 designed as a concept, researched on ground to develop a replicable solution that will provide answers to Telecenter sustainability problems. E3 demonstrate that Telecenter Networks are an important development philosophy to shape future rural societies. E3 strengthened Telecenters by developing Telecenter Operators, Improved network wide Telecenter services and developed Telecenter leadership. E3 created impact in rural education, culture, commerce and peace. E3 used ICT4D to catalyze the development of rural societies. Project E3 improved Telecenters social and financial sustainability overcoming challenges in knowledge, resources, structure and change resistance presents a global model and an example of how to build, develop and sustain Telecenter Networks for shaping future knowledge societies


Project E3 is a Public-Private-Community Partnership, innovated an adaptable, scalable and replicable solution for sustaining Telecenter Networks. E3 stands for e learning, e business and e leadership, designed to serve emerging digital knowledge needs of rural societies, develop micro economic networks and to address MDGs through Telecenter leadership.

The framework for E3 Shown below

The PrincipalsProject E3 based on open development principals is owned by collaborative and impact community, provides free training, Telecenter tools, e learning content and advice to community initiatives. Paying electrical bills through internet banking, offline e learning, scholarship programs, and community content projects are examples.

Objectives and Process
Aimed at scaling up to 587 Telecenters in Sri Lanka, In the first year, Project E3 helped improving sustainability of 60 Telecenter network in Uva province by improving e services, visibility and usability. E3 developed Telecenter leadership by building local networks to enable peer support and collaboration to improve Network sustainability E3 M & E process integrated with capacity building, technical assistance, and content and services deployment is an assignment by ICTA which collaborated with Telecenters to transform isolated Telecenters to a Knowledge Network.

Developing a knowledge society

E3 reached isolated Telecenter operators, trained and made them local, regional and national leaders to lead Telecenter movement. Project E3 development is significant as Scientific, Technical and Social achievement as the process involved scientific approach to design of a solution, research and publications, Technical solutions that changed how Telecenters serve communities and development of Telecenter community as a knowledge society.

E3 Methods
E3 created benefits for all who participated. Making continued awareness, motivation and encouragement helped facing above challenges. E3 used mixed methods of informal and formal ways in handling bureaucracy and resistance for change. Open dialogs, bogging, group discussion, awareness, training all helped. Working with government and established institution always required formal approaches and practices.

Telecenter Operator Development

E 3 Developed skilled Telecenter Operators to sustain Telecenters. Implemented e learning to improve 150 rural youth communitiesDeveloped Telecenter leadership forming Telecenter CommunityHelped securing more than $ 80,000 funding for projects for the NetworkCreated a Knowledge network among 150 TelecentersInitiated global collaboration for Telecenter Research in Sri Lanka.

E3 Key Project Activities
- Uniting Telecenter operators for professional development
- Establishing a common portal for sharing knowledge
- Empowerment of grass root Telecenter workers to lead the movement
- Development of Technologies and content for Telecenter operator training
- Introduction of a Telecenter Operator certification examination
- Developing a concerned community on Telecenter Sustainability
- Involving Telecenter operators in the process of sustaining Nenasala Network. - The formation of Telecenter community Association to pave the way to expand and share development in other Regional Telecenter networks.

The E3 Development

E3 developed Youth and empowered Women with equal opportunities in training and leadership opportunities. Hardware, networking, web designing like advanced training developed their technical skills. E3 helped increasing their revenue by securing funds for community projects.

Telecenters faced risk of closing became operational and profitable with e learning services for National curriculum, helped youth to pass examinations and helped parents to save money from distance tuition. Networked Telecenters were able to share knowledge and initiate common projects targeting regional farmers, women, culture, environment, education and government services creating a knowledge network, increasing usage and revenue.

The improvements
The improvement of Telecenters benefited communities with improved ICT literacy, communications, and access to knowledge resulting economic improvements. Nenasala operators, who lacked relevant knowledge and skills, significantly improved their communication, technical, management and leadership skills with E3 capacity building program which increased their motivation, collaboration and performance that helped securing of jobs, increased project opportunities to form an empowered collaborative knowledge network for Telecenter development.

Obtained Results
Achievements of the project Project E3 goal is to achieve a Sustainability Index (SI) of 6.0 by November 2009. SI is a 1 to 10 scale indicator that describes the Telecenter and Network sustainability position in E3 methodology. By June 2009, Uva Telecenter Network SI grew from 2.6 to 5.1. Weak Nenasala reduced from 38% to 18.33%. The average number of users has grown from 28 to 101 (364%) and average income grew from Rs. 7650.00 to Rs. 17597.00 (230%) with in a year. This is viewed as significant increase of performance in the network.

E3 Imapact
The impact of E3 shows that Uva TCN sustainability growth by 96% in an year reducing closing risks from 68.3% to 18.33%. E3 formed a Telecenter Think Tank forming a Telecenter community organization to empower Telecenter Operators, involved them in planning, decision making and managing of the Network development process.

E3 Outcomes
As an outcome of the project E3 a new research framework presented to global ICT4D by presenting it in e-India 2009 as a paper and several papers published in international development conferences, is an indication of the acceptance of E3 methodology in Telecenter Sustainability development.

Project E3 design based on several years of Telecenter and e studies, indicates a new direction for Telecenters who are facing a transitional sustainability issues. E3 building local, regional and National knowledge networks has helped Telecenters to develop a collaborative vision using e learning, e business and e leadership to serve rural societies that will help sustaining the Telecenters and Telecenter Networks.

E3 Challenges and how were they overcome?
- Getting the support of Telecenters and establishing a trusted network.
- Bridging knowledge gaps among Telecenter operators.
- Finding of resources to build capacity of Telecenters.
- Retaining operators in Telecenters for continued contribution to the network.
- Establishing common Network practices and standards.
- Developing standards and tools for e learning and e business.
- Collaborating with the government officials who were bound by various rules.
- Limitations in knowledge and skills of Nenasala operators.
- Implementing social innovations suggested by E3 which were new concepts.
- Resistance from Senior Nenasala who were reluctant to change.

During the E3 project design, we anticipated above challenges, and pre prepared with strategies to overcome them. The prime strategy was openness, communication, inclusion, participation, collaboration and creating partnerships in E3.

The Lessons Learned
Project E3 foundation is openness, inclusion, participation and collaboration aims creating benefits for all Nenasala, ICTA, Service Providers, Local and provincial governments, schools, professional bodies and community to enable sharing of knowledge and resources, co-creation of services and share project ownership for motivation, speedy action and increased impact. Project E3 shows a promising direction how Telecenters could be made sustainable with e learning, e business and e leadership is a global example of open development for a knowledge society.

Cultural integration was one of the important strategies in E3 development; it helped creating a common flat form and respect each other’s views.E3 found that transparency, accountability and good governance of the process can help overcome any issues that hinder development, in which empowerment and participation of impact community (Telecenters) makes an important variable on success. Therefore from the inception E3 shared the project ownership with Telecenters and created social and economic benefits for contribution.

What in Future?
Project E3 Telecenter Network Sustainability model is nation wide replicable. For global replication translation of content and adaptation of method required. Project E3 started replicating in 150 Telecenters in five provinces with ICTA e-SDI assistance. More Research is being planned to expand E3 experiences to other regions from January 2010.

E3 demonstrated that Telecenter movement as one of best ways to shape future societies building a digital knowledge centered economic networks on Telecenter networks.

E3 achievements are local, regional, national and possibly global innovations and eye opener in scientific, technical and social context of Telecenter Sustainability Development Initiatives.

Key People Involved

Niranjan Meegammana
BCS qualified ICT4D activist, involved in grass root Telecenter development with strong experiences in developing e learning, e business in local language technologies. He is a Member of ICTA E-Society focus group, Head of K4D Special Interest Group, Managing Director of E fusion, and the designer of Shilpa Sayura Project which won I4D 2007, GKP 2007 and Stockholm Challenge 2008 & WYSA Global ICT4D awards. Niranjan is the Team Leader for Regional Impact Team for Uva Province Nenasala, appointed by ICTA.

Gavahkar Subramanimum
ICTA Nenasala project manager, responsible for Island wide Nenasala Telecenter Network and qualified in ICT. Involves in Leading Nenasala Team and management of government services for the network and review of RITs and Hardware and Internet service providers.

E3 Research Collaboration Dr. Peter Mozellius & Dr. Henrick Hanson Stockholm University, Sweden

Rasika Sampath
M & E Officer, is an ICT4D activist operating in grass root communities, Regional Impact Team (RIT) for Uva Nenasala, specialized in M & E of Nenasala, Nenasala Operator and qualified in business and ICT, member of Shilpa Sayura National Impact Team and registrar of Telecenter Community Association, Sri Lanka. Murali Khrisna Telecenter Manager, an ICT4D activist, from Haldumulla Nenasala, involved in grass root Telecenter operation with strong experiences in community development through e learning and cultural integration ICT ambassador appointed by ICTA and National organizer for Shilpa Sayura, ICTA e-SDI district consultant and The President of Telecenter Community Association.

Gamini Chamara
Deputy Team leader, Regional Impact Team (RIT) for Uva Nenasala, specialized in content and services qualified in ICT, Director C & S Shilpa Sayura Project.Suranga Sampath - Deputy Team leader, Regional Impact Team (RIT) for Uva Nenasala, specialized in Technology Services, qualified in ICT, Director Mathematics & ICT Shilpa Sayura Project.

V. Murali Khrisna
Telecenter Manager, an ICT4D activist, from Haldumulla Nenasala, involved in grass root Telecenter operation with strong experiences in community development through e learning and cultural integration ICT ambassador appointed by ICTA and National organizer for Shilpa Sayura, ICTA e-SDI district consultant and The President of Telecenter Community Association.

Rasika Muthukuda
General Manager, e fusion, Regional Impact Team (RIT) for Uva Nenasala, responsible for Finance and general management

Yamuna Ratnayaka
President Shilpa Sayura Foundation, National Curriculum Content Expert. Manages content creation process for Shilpa Sayura

Other Members of ICTA Sarath De Silva (Review), Janaka Manjula (Infrastructure), Gayani Perera (Review), Shriyananda Ratnayaka (Content), J K Perera (Review)

Other members of E fusion : Sarath Gunatilaka (Transport), Srimal Iresh (Content), Chulani Jayathilaka (Content), Saliya Randunuge (ICT e learning), Thusitha Randunuge (Web), Gamini Pathirana (Internal Audit), Tissa Senarantha (Communications), Suranga Dharmasena (Help Desk)

Nenasala Operators : Keeragolle Dhammasara Himi, Gayan Pradeep, Narada Asanka, Saman Kumara, Buttala Asela, Yapa Chandralatha, Samptha Eranda, Dilhani Balagolla, Linugala Deshani & Gayathri, Chaminda Mapakadawewa, Nisansala Wekumbura, Siri Udaya Himi, Siri Vipula Himi, Nuwan Bibile, Thaminda Balasoriya, Sajani Dilrukshi, Nandana Madugalle, Handesse Mahinda himi, Sampath Karunanayaka, Duminda Alahakoon, C I Clement , Dilip Kumara, Chaminda Siyambalanduwa, Janaka Srimal, Nalika Priyadharshani

Uva Provincial Council
Mr. Wimalasena (Director Provincial Library), Mr. Sumith Siriwardena (Secretory of Education)

Sinhala Unicode Group : Vishwa Kumara, Dasun Sameera and many more Telecenter operators, professionals and community leaders

For Related and useful information
http://www.telecenter.lk/photos .

Related Projects in E3

Shilpa Sayura Project :
Local Language e Learning Initiative operating in 150 Telecenters in Sri Lanka. Provides Self e learning for National curriculum to over 10,000 students marginalized with lack of educational resources. The project has helped rural students to seek an alternative route to success in National Examinations. Project Won I4D, GK3, Stockholm Challenge, Diskobolos Awards and WYSA runner up (2006-2009).

Navagoviya Project :
Local Language e Agriculture Project to provide e Learning on Sustainable agriculture for Farmers at 60 Telecenters. Intend to develop CSR assisted outgrowing, seeds and plants production for economic development, sustainable environment and farming practices.

Photos :

Find more photos like this on Sri Lanka Telecenter Community Network

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