|Chapter 10: ConclusionóLearning, Looking Ahead, and
Keeping an Eye on the Ball
10.1. The Learning Imperative
While it is true that we have learned a lot about telecenters in the past decade, it may still be the tip of the iceberg, while what we have yet to learn is under water, unexplored. Learning is an ongoing, dynamic process. The world around us is changing, and new technologies are emerging continuously, bringing new opportunities and changing the structure of markets. Therefore, we must continuously analyze our environment to make the most of opportunities while moving toward our goals.
We are now in a stage where our experiences with pilot telecenters and initial scale-up initiatives have started to yield significant lessons, many of which have emerged from failures rather than from successes. There are few exemplary models readily available for replication and scaling up, yet we continue to believe strongly in the potential benefits of shared-access facilities for social and economic development. Our knowledge of “how to scale” is still limited. We hope this book has provided some useful insights, yet we cannot claim to know all the answers. However, we can highlight key knowledge and asset gaps that need to be addressed in the coming years to support scale-up initiatives. Some of these are not new gaps, just gaps that have yet to be filled:
Learning systems require appropriate monitoring and evaluation frameworks. These have often been lacking in the context of pilots, but they continue to be essential in the context of scale-up activities.