[kictanet] Civil Society Roles (activities, motives & challenges) Day 4 of 10

Leonard Mware mleonardo at yahoo.com
Thu May 22 20:16:33 EAT 2008

Thanks Fred for your excellent contribution. As one of the main players in ICT4D , CFSK has been visible indeed. The achievements as mentioned by you indicates that your contribution as an "Implementing" civil society has been more successful than what the government have achieved in the same area over time.
My question then is: What is the secret? What hinders the public sector (government) from moving effectively like your selfs? I mean, in terms of resources MoE has more than CFSK.
Question two: Is there any impact assessment of the CFSKs rollout? Can you share some of the critcal findings?
Lastly, we have another category of Civil Society (that includes KICTANET) involved in policy advocacy rather than implementation. Which of the two in your view is more relevant? the "implementing" civil society (less talk) or the "policy advocacy" civil society. It is said some countries are so efficient in churning out policy documents but very little is taking place on the ground. It also said that some Civil Societies in the name of advocacy hinder developement by over "advocating" issues such as environment and human rights.
I want to suggest to the forum that Kicatenet should now come out strongly advocating for the implementation of the policies that it has helped nurture in Kenya. 


----- Original Message ----
From: Fred Okono <fredokono at cfsk.org>
To: mleonardo at yahoo.com
Cc: KICTAnet ICT Policy Discussions <kictanet at lists.kictanet.or.ke>
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 2:58:48 PM
Subject: Re: [kictanet] Civil Society Roles (activities, motives & challenges) Day 4 of 10

Hi Everybody!

We at CFSK are actively involved in taking ICT to the people - specifically 
what we call youth intensive environments: educational & training 
institutions and community information access & resource centres.

We are engaged in all the activities comprising the digital pipeline, from 
acquisition and placement of computers; through sensitisation, 
training,content development, evaluation and certification; to 
environmentally friendly and sustainable disposal of decommissioned 
computers and related equipment.

In the five and a half years we have been in existence, we have placed well 
over fifteen thousand computers in over five hundred institutions; and 
offered training (ranging from simple user proficiency to professional-level 
competence) to thousands of teachers and institutional managers. Our work 
has touched over half a million youth, and since we mainly work with 
resource-poor communities many of them would otherwise not have had the 
opportunity but for our intervention.

Having started off with a staff of three volunteers housed in a single room 
at Starehe Boys' Centre, CFSK now has over 70 highly-motivated mainly young 
people working towards its mission, distributed in eight centres around the 

We are an example of communities, private sector corporations, national and 
international civil society and government working together to transform the 
lives of communities that are often marginalised and suffering endemic 
poverty with no apparent means to escape the vicious cycle in which they 
find themselves.

Amongst locally-based organisations that have been pivotal in the CFSK story 
are IDRC (that supported the pilot phase and has been with us ever since - 
and without whom we simply wouldn't exist!); Microsoft (who enable us to 
provide legitimate sofware for every single computer we place); the 
Safaricom Foundation (which has directly worked with us to bring computers 
to 80 schools around the country and indirectly in many other areas); 
AccessKenya Group who have also been with us right from the beginning and 
whose support through quality Internet access is invaluable; Kenya Airways; 
Barclays Bank; Cadbury's; Unilever; Total Oil; Kenya Airways; AfricaOnLine; 
Nation Newspapers; Hewlett Packard and many other partners in Kenya. 
Internationally, ComputerAid International, Digital Links International, 
FAIR Norway, Siso, Partners Worldwide, Computers for Schools Canada, 
Computers for Development (Nertherlands) and many others have also supported 

The model that CFSK operates on is considered an exemplar of sustainable 
provision of ICTs to resource-challenged communities, and active efforts are 
ongoing in many African countries to replicate the same. Indeed, the Rwanda 
ICT miracle has been significantly fuelled by lessons they picked from CFSK!

That ICT is the greatest development facilitator available to Kenya today as 
we aspire for NIC status by 2030 cannot be overemphasised. We at CFSK hope 
to continue to make our small contribution towards the realisation of that 
noble vision - and we are keen to partner with one and all working for the 


Fredrick Okono Deputy 
Director -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 
Computers for Schools Kenya Semco Business Park | Unit 1, Mombasa Road | 
P.O. Box 48584-00100 | Nairobi , Kenya | Tel:254(0)202060919, Tel/Fax: 254 
(0)20 2060920 Mobile (0)723-527106|Email:fredokono at cfsk.org|Website: 
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Walubengo" <jwalu at yahoo.com>
To: <fredokono at cfsk.org>
Cc: "KICTAnet ICT Policy Discussions" <kictanet at lists.kictanet.or.ke>
Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 11:54 AM
Subject: Re: [kictanet] Civil Society Roles (activities,motives & 
challenges) Day 4 of 10

Thanx Jose and Louis, we are actually on Day 4 but I got
caught up in my 'real-life' duties ;-).

Anyway it is instructive to note that most of the Civil
Society chaps have suddenly gone quiet - IDRC, AeRC,
KICTAnet, FOSSFA amongst others.  I hope it wont set a bad
precedent for the Private sector tomorrow...

Let's hear more on that above please.

--- "Othieno, Louis" <LOthieno at ke.peacecorps.gov> wrote:

> Hi all
> Every year the ICT programme at the U.S.Peace Corps
> receives and assigns about 8 American ICT professionals
> to work for up to 2 years on Voluntary basis with ICT
> ventures across Kenya. Their skills vary. Some are
> trained and experienced in hardware maintenance and
> networking, while others are programmers and experienced
> in setting up huge and complex databases. Some are
> involved in teaching basic ICT skills while others are
> computer graphics designers and web-developers and
> programmers -including establishment of e-commerce
> enabled websites for small businesses and co-operatives.
> A number have worked on programming in wireless
> environments -to take advantage of the wide cellphone
> coverage in Kenya
> Computers for Schools - earlier mentioned, is one of the
> Peace Corps clients. Others are Land O Lakes -which is
> currently beta-testing a program known as co-op works
> created with assistance from FAO. Co-op works is an ICT
> platform that integrates all aspects of running a dairy
> co-operative, and with minor modifications will work for
> other kinds of co-operatives as well. Peace Corps
> Volunteers were involved in programming the software for
> drumnet - also earlier mentioned. Peace Corps Volunteers
> were assigned to support a pilot effort in Western Kenya
> to bring Internet Connectivity wirelessly to 20 schools
> within a 15 km radius using refurbished satellite
> equipment from Eastern Europe, and then deliver
> interactive education content through this means
> The Peace Corps does not directly advance its own ICT
> agenda. Rather it supports efforts to make ICTs more
> relevant and impactful upon the lives of rural
> populations - especially low income segments of this
> population - whether the impact is long-term (as in
> education) or short term e.g. an e-commerce enabled
> website for Malindi Handicrafts co-operative society.
> Volunteers also share their ideas about opportunities to
> deploy ICT for the benefit of poor rural populations in
> the hope that some local institution might get interested
> and "sponsor" the prototyping and testing of the idea
> Cheers all
> Louis
> ________________________________
> From:
kictanet-bounces+lothieno=ke.peacecorps.gov at lists.kictanet.or.ke
[mailto:kictanet-bounces+lothieno=ke.peacecorps.gov at lists.kictanet.or.ke]
> On Behalf Of Jose'
> Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2008 6:03 PM
> To: Othieno, Louis
> Cc: KICTAnet ICT Policy Discussions
> Subject: [kictanet] Civil Society Roles
> (activities,motives & challenges) Day 3 of 10
> Greetings Walu and all,
> It happens that am in the workshop with Mr.Hare.
> Kimathi Information Centre based in Kamukunji
> constituency and its offices in Kimathi Estate;
> 1)Uses computers as a tool in catalyzing Macro n Micro
> businesses to get skills on how to use office based
> programs.
>  2)Offer trainings/workshops for Ideas,Macro & Micro
> enterprise on how to write business plans,letters and
> business etiquette.(August trainings registration open.We
> are in partnership with University of British Columbia).
>  3)We provide convenience to the community inhabitants in
> offering Internet based services as its main
> sustainability model.
> 1) Convincing the stakeholders to fund initiatives
> e.g,Workshops/Symposiums.
> 2) Poor Internet connectivity.Unfortunately its our
> sustainability model.
> 3)Capacity building on training staff on changing trends
> in the ICT field.However its important to note that this
> issue is being addressed by stakeholders like Kictanet
>  Regards,
> José.
> > _______________________________________________
> kictanet mailing list
> kictanet at lists.kictanet.or.ke
> http://lists.kictanet.or.ke/mailman/listinfo/kictanet
> This message was sent to: jwalu at yahoo.com
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