[kictanet] Private Sector Roles (activities, motives & challenges) Day 5 of 10

Tim Unwin tim.unwin at rhul.ac.uk
Fri May 23 10:37:42 EAT 2008


For examples of some ICT4D multi-stakeholder partnerships in education, you
might like to look at the "Partnerships for Education" database -
http://www.pfore.org .  This is wider than just ICT4D related, but there are
many good examples of what the private sector is doing - and some case
studies from Kenya.


On 23/5/08 07:18, "John Walubengo" <jwalu at yahoo.com> wrote:

> Thanks Fred, Samuel et al,
> This was actually getting to the level I had anticipated.
> But we have to move onto the Private Sector Roles with
> regard to ICT4D.
> What are some of the activities the Private sector is doing
> in this area?  Anyone from Celtel, Safaricom, Nation Media,
> Standard Group, Royal Media, KDN, Symphony, Strathmore,
> TESPOK, Jamii, etc, (list definately not exhaustive)
> Plse share the activities, objectives and challenges along
> the lines of CFSK.
> We have today and tomorrow on this one.
> walu.
> --- Fred Okono <fredokono at cfsk.org> wrote:
>> Thank you so much for your kind words Leonard. I am not
>> quite sure there is a "secret", but the following have
>> certainly helped greatly:
>>   1.. A clear-headed analysis of the problem we wished to
>> address, which turned out to be a multi-faceted challenge
>> underpinned by a lack of resources;
>>   2.. Crafting an integrated solution, that addresses the
>> multifaceted challenge on a "one-stop shop" model;
>>   3.. Truly and constantly listening to and engaging with
>> the partners we seek to uplift, and inputing their
>> feedback into our programmes;
>>   4.. An uncompromising organisation-wide commitment to
>> clearly defined and reasonable standards in all we do;
>>   5.. A rare organisational esprit de corps driven by a
>> caring and unassuming chief executive and powered by an
>> incredibly enthusiastic, fired-up and innovative young
>> staff;
>>   6.. Finally, building strategic partnerships with
>> partners that share our vision and feel for our mission -
>> whoever they may be, wherever they are: Government,
>> private sector, civil society, etc.
>>  Leonard, the Government -  particularly in the last five
>> or so years - has done a tremendous amount of work to
>> promote ICT: removing a great proportion of taxes
>> previously chargeable on computers; establishing a
>> Directorate of eGovernment within the pivotal Cabinet
>> Office in the Office of the President; allocating a
>> quantum of funds for ICT integration in the budgetary
>> provisions for all Ministries; establishing the ICT
>> Board; etc. And at CFSK we have enjoyed enormous goodwill
>> and moral support from the GoK, including space to host a
>> number of our Regional Centres. However, we do wish we
>> could also get a budgetary allocation - it would enable
>> us to tremendously upscale and outscale our operations,
>> and we have proven worthy of this I dare say! And we also
>> wish there were many more Dr Bitange Ndemos in the upper
>> echelons of the Civil Service and more ICT-saavy Cabinet
>> Ministers and Members of Parliament!
>> My feeling is that the Government's challenge has been
>> failing to work with existing programmes that have proven
>> their worth, as opposed to establishing its own
>> programmes that replicate those other programmes - often
>> without the benefit of the expertise and responsive
>> structures that characterise these non-governmental
>> programmes (an absolute essential in this dynamic field).
>> I also feel that the Government is often hampered by a
>> lack of personal buy-in from the officers that are
>> directly responsible for implementation - irrespective of
>> what the "high-up policy" may be. A computer literate
>> officer, addicted and dependent on his computer like most
>> of us out here are would be a most enthusiastic proponent
>> for more ICTs (from their personal appreciation of the
>> same) than the illiterate officer who is merely
>> attempting to implement policy but has no personal
>> experience or appreciation of the same!
>> Then of course the Government has to take a bird's eye
>> view of the needs of the nation, requiring delicate
>> balancing given the limited resources available. The
>> tunnel vision - worms-eye view? - of sector players like
>> ourselves may limit our appreciation of the other demands
>> made on the Government; leading us to question their
>> failure to do more in our particular sector. Our demand
>> should be that the public resources allocated to our
>> particular sector are put to the best possible use,
>> creating the greatest good for the greatest number of
>> people - which of course is not always the case!
>> In response to your last query I dare say there is a
>> place for both policy advocacy and implementation CSOs in
>> this sector. But at CFSK we firmly believe in an
>> integrated approach - we implement as we advocate!
>> Subsequently the kind of advocacy we engage in is firmly
>> informed by the practical hands-on experience we have
>> garnered in the trenches! And I can tell you the
>> differences between desk-bound advocacy and that driven
>> from the battle front can be startling! Just one example
>> - the value of refurb computers which many desk-bound
>> advocates will dismiss as digital trash and eWaste
>> dumping while those of us who are out in the schools and
>> community centre's know that these computers will do
>> everything a brand new computer can do and for quite a
>> long period of time (albeit a little slower) given the
>> NEEDS of the partners we work with and the limited
>> resources available to them.
>> I regret Leonard that there has been no large scale
>> impact assesment of CFSK's work. But from anecdotal
>> evidence, we know it is immense - every child leaving a
>> CFSK school is a potential lifetime computer user, every
>> teacher/principal who has been through the CFSK training
>> programmes is an ICT integrator ready to go - and there
>> are numerous thousands of each; both categories are
>> potential clients of computer sellers and internet
>> service providers; and all are converts to the
>> Information Age that will preach this gospel to others,
>> bringing them on stream too. We firmly believe that
>> introducing ICTs in a big way in the youth intensive
>> environments is the ultimate gateway to ICT in national
>> life. And of course ICT is a great empowerer of young
>> people, and ICT and entrepreneurship form a natural
>> partnership for employment and wealth creation in an
>> enabling environment. Technopreneurship - especially for
>> a country such as ours with very limited known natural
>> resources to drive traditional industrialisation - must
>> be the primary medium-term conduit to Vision 2030. And we
>> believbe the work of CFSK has contributed greatly to
>> this.
>> IDRC will in the near future publish a study of our work,
>> but it will focus on our first two and a half years or
>> so. We hope to gather the resources for a broader study
>> in the not too distant future - particularly focussing on
>> impact, not just statistics.
>> 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:
>> www.cfsk.org    
>>   ----- Original Message -----
>>   From: Leonard Mware
>>   To: Fred Okono ; KICTAnet ICT Policy Discussions
>>   Sent: Thursday, May 22, 2008 8:16 PM
>>   Subject: Re: [kictanet] Civil Society Roles
>> (activities, motives & challenges) Day 4 of 10
>>   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.
>>   Leonard
>>   ----- 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 
> === message truncated ===>
> _______________________________________________
>> 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
>> Unsubscribe or change your options at
> http://lists.kictanet.or.ke/mailman/options/kictanet/jwalu%40yahoo.com
> _______________________________________________
> kictanet mailing list
> kictanet at lists.kictanet.or.ke
> http://lists.kictanet.or.ke/mailman/listinfo/kictanet
> This message was sent to: tim.unwin at rhul.ac.uk
> Unsubscribe or change your options at
> http://lists.kictanet.or.ke/mailman/options/kictanet/tim.unwin%40rhul.ac.uk


Tim Unwin
UNESCO Chair in ICT4D and
Professor of Geography
Royal Holloway, University of London
Egham, Surrey, TW20 0EX, UK


Tel: +44 (0)1784-443655
Fax: +44 (0)1784-472836
French mobile: +33 6 23 73 30 48
Swiss mobile: +41 794 617 527
Skype: timothyunwin

tim.unwin at rhul.ac.uk

ü Save paper and ink!  Please don't print this e-mail unless you really need

More information about the KICTANet mailing list