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An Expert Meeting on the project was organized from 28 April - 2 May 2003 to finalize the project details and lay the ground for the following:

Key results
Community empowerment through capacity building using ICT Through the project, APPEAL is supporting five countries (Indonesia, Lao PDR, Thailand,
Sri Lanka and Uzbekistan) which were able to provide suitable delivery mechanisms for ICTbased activities for community empowerment. Countries reported that ICT had proved useful in strengthening the effective planning and management of CLCs. In particular, ICT tools have mobilised the interests and participation of youths in CLC management and initiated new activities, for example Web-based marketing. More examples of project activities include:

  • In Lao PDR, the project is focusing on improving village incomes amongst rural youth in Namon Nuea and Chahom villages in Vientiane province. Under the project, the NFE Department is strengthening community learning centres (CLCs) to serve as resource centres where ICT equipment is used to disseminate news and information in various areas, including life skills and income generation. Project staff provide training in CLC planning and management and in the skills needed to use ICT for maintaining a community database, community accounting and the marketing of community products, among other activities. In addition, project participants are renovating the existing meeting hall of the District Education Bureau in Vang Vieng district to serve as the district cultural and information resource centre. This centre will preserve the culture of the district and provide information to tourists, especially in regard to the sale of local products.
  • In Sri Lanka, the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement is establishing multi-purpose community telecentres for community development in Rathnapura, Gampaha and Kuliyaputiya districts. These community telecentres will serve Sarvodaya’s village banks as well as six CLCs operated under the NFE Unit of the Ministry of Education. Project activities include the development of community databases and the dissemination of appropriate information to villagers and entrepreneurs through Sarvodaya’s Mobile Multimedia Unit. Also in operation are an entrepreneurial skills development programme, the provision of revolving funds for villages to start self-employment activities, and computer training for village bank staff, village volunteers and CLC officials.
  • In Thailand, under the Northern Regional NFE Centre, the project is developing inter-village connectivity and empowering the members of rural communities, particularly youth, who want to use ICT as a tool for community development (especially in the areas of family accounting, community savings and community store accounting). The sites are Ban Samkha, Ban Tung, Ban Gom and Ban Don Fai in Mae Ta district, Lampang province. In particular, the project tries to extend the learning experiences in Ban Samkha to the other three connected villages by means of ICT laboratories in those villages. Project staff also organize and coordinate the sharing of learning among all residents of the targeted villages.
  • In Uzbekistan, the project aims at facilitating the application of ICT for community empowerment in Samarkand, Andijon and Bukhara. Under the project, the National Commission of Uzbekistan for UNESCO is helping to develop community databases and documentation for community planning and management. Other activities include establishing an ICT network among CLCs in the target areas and providing training to all personnel and community people at the project sites. An important component of the project is the development of ICT materials for community empowerment, poverty alleviation and improving the quality of life.
  • In Indonesia, the Directorate General of NFE and Youth is planning to introduce an ICT-based learning model to CLCs in Central Java and South Kalimantan. The planned activities include community data collection using the PRA approach through CLCs and a programme using the Internet to enable greater access to data and improved information flows between local communities and the Government. There will be learning programmes relying on Internet and cable TV access for improving learning activities, as well as providing more prompt and effective consultation and problem solving via ICT on the part of supervisors.

NFE resource pack development for improving the planning and management of CLC personnel through ICT

In follow-up to the recommendations of the Expert Meeting, APPEAL has compiled existing NFE and community development resource materials of UNESCO and other organizations. Based on these resource materials, APPEAL organized an Expert Workshop on the Development of the Resource Pack on
Literacy and Continuing Education in Bangkok on 1-4 March 2004. As outputs of the workshop, APPEAL's existing NFE resource materials were compiled and a draft NFE Resource Pack was developed including the following contents:

  • Part 1: Literacy and Continuing Education: Policy, Planning and Management, Curriculum and Materials Development, Training, Monitoring and Evaluation and Research
  • Part 2: Further Reference Materials in SpecificContent Areas: ICT, Gender, HIV/AIDS, Environment and Culture

The resource pack will be finalized in print, CD and on the Web by late 2004 and disseminated to planners, practitioners, researchers and other personnel working in literacy and continuing education. The pack is expected to be used as the basis for developing national resource materials in this area.