|Chapter 5: Ensuring Sustainability and Impact through Appropriate
Services and Content
Mali was one of the countries covered by UNESCO’s CMC scale-up initiative, which involves establishing 20 CMCs in Mali. Three were established as a result of the initial pilot, six additional CMCs were established recently, and 14 are in the process of being established.(8)
5.6. Case Study: Akshaya’s e-Literacy Campaign and Service Networks(9)
Akshaya, a project of the government of the state of Kerala, India, was piloted initially in the district of Malappuram and involved an extensive publicly funded e-Literacy campaign intended to teach computer skills to at least one person in every family. In less than a year, more than half a million people, about 65 percent of whom were women, were provided with basic computer skills.
The program emerged as a result of local demand for computer training. However, instead of outsourcing the e-Literacy campaign to existing private sector institutions or setting up government-run education centers, the state government decided to use this local demand as an opportunity to establish a network of telecenters providing a range of technology services in rural areas.
The organizational model deployed is a private franchisee model. It was felt that the level of “enterprise” and individual initiative required to make it work demanded a private enterprise model. This was based at least partially on an earlier unsuccessful experience with government-owned village libraries equipped with Internet-enabled computers.
The government’s funding of the e-Literacy campaign guaranteed initial sustainability of the centers. Each center took on approximately 1,000 learners and collected the equivalent of US$3.26 per learner for providing a basic computer course developed by the state’s IT mission. The local government (panchayat) covered part of the cost (US$2.79), as did the learners (US$.47). In about a year, the private entrepreneurs had recovered their initial investment.