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                                     ICT Model Village in the Dominican Republic                                      PDF File Version for Printing

   

Title of the Project

ICT Village Model

 

Location of execution

The Dominican Republic

 

Name of the local counterpart

 

 

Name of the requesting agency

OCCAM

 

Duration of the Project

 

2006-2007

 

Main aims of the project

 

·        To promote the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals through the use of ICT

·        To provide broadband connectivity and innovative services to a community and equip 3 main sites (community centre, primary school and health presidium) where to implement the project

·        To set a model for the UN Alliance able to be replicable in disadvantaged communities scattered throughout the world

·        To promote sustainable development and job creation.

 

 

 

1 introduction
 

[ps1]  This part will be devoted to the role of ICT in achieving the MDGs and the context of the UN Alliance for rural development.

 

2 Objectives of the project
 

 

Creation of a replicable and affordable model:

- to grant to disadvantaged community in the Dominican Republic access to the digital revolution and reap its opportunities for a sustainable development, thanks to the convergence of UN system agencies and programmes, as well as leading private companies and the civil society.

-       to experiment on the field the most advanced technologies, applications and services that are both fit to the needs of the communities and easy to use by all, so that positive effects can be rapidly achieved: providing solutions to emergencies (in fields such as health, education, food & water) and spurring endogenous development (creating jobs, building capacity, promoting the communitarian participation of all).

In order to realise those goals, the project is intended to provide connectivity to a village in Madagascar  to deliver to its population the following advanced services:

 

Ž  Telemedicine

Ž  E-learning

Ž  E-government

Ž  E-commerce

 

The ICT village model will be prepared on the model set for the World Summit on the Information Society 2005.

 

The realisation of the project will be completed bearing in mind that the project is intended, by all the partners in the initiative, as:

·      Experimental area where all implemented technologies can be progressively tested, including the evaluation on their social, economic and cultural effects on the population;

·      Living lab open to all stakeholders;

·      Generator of ICT for development innovation, especially designed for the needs of emerging countries;

·      Opportunity for enhanced international cooperation;

·      Node of the organised community groups and of the connectivity net on the territory;

·      Further support and strengthening of the strategies of the UN Alliance in the fields of job and micro-enterprises creation;

·      Area of evaluation and improvement of incumbent broadband wireless services that are revolutionising even the developed countries.

 

3 Expected Results
 

The project will be implemented in a village in the Dominican Republic chosen in agreement with the Government of the Dominican Republic and relevant institutions involved in the UN Alliance.

Convergence among the partners of the project, each with its best practices, will be able to bridge rural emargination, granting to the community knowledge, health, jobs.

In particular, the projects will deliver:

1.      An innovative Teleport, equipped with a portable satellite kit, powered also by solar energy, able to receive and distribute broadband WIMAX signals (satellite or terrestrial) for the whole territory and work as antenna for mobile communication.

2.      Three community centres:

·      Centre of Access

·      School

·      Health Presidium

3.      A co-ordinated training activity for the local staff, which will involve the community in the practical use of ICT as contribution to local needs.

4.      Some broadband services, hosted in the above mentioned centres such as:

·      E-governance, in the community centre of access, tied to the local government authority, with a communitarian centre of access, where the population can start learning how to use ICT (internet, e-mail, word processing) under the supervision of local trainers, and where they can have access to basic services such as the distribution of ID, permits, licences, official documents, visa, passports, etc.).

·      E-learning, in the primary school, to be closely linked to the existing school structures, endowed with didactic room and interactive computer lab. A network of Universities will take care of this part of the Project, guided by the University of Oklahoma, which has a very strong experience in this field and has developed a series of models fit to the needs of this kind of communities.

·      Telemedicine, in the health presidium, to be inserted in the local medical facilities. In the following months the services delivered through a specific portal will include diagnosis, prognosis, prescriptions, special services for disabled people and eventually light distance surgery thanks to the participation of a network of local and international hospitals, research centres and centres of excellence, extended to the basic consulting for botanic and herding diseases.

The project is also intended as opportunity to test and promote ICT for development innovation,  specifically designed for the needs of emerging countries, thus promoting the new tools that can really fit demands different from those of OECD countries.

 

 

4 duration
 

 

PRELIMINARY PHASES

a) research activities

b) Elaboration of the project

3 Months

Phase 1

Implementation of the project

6 Months

Phase 2

Sustainability

1 year

 

 

5- DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES
 

 

preliminaRy PHASES

(3 months)

    

A) Research Activities

 

1.    Study on disadvantaged communities in the Dominican Republic and ICT best practices, with data on villages, best practices, broadband services innovation.

 

2.    Research and definition of partners in the project, through the activation of the Infopoverty network (UN system agencies and programmes, NGOs, R&D institutes, universities), organising international conferences, seminars, multilateral and bilateral meetings.

 

B) Elaboration of the project

1.   Elaboration of the concept of the project, and individuation of the site where to realise it and the partners to be involved.

 

2.      Analysis of the social and economic context of the community in the Dominican Republic and evaluation of the local needs through fact finding missions carried out together with the relevant institutions for the elaboration of the local model.

 

3.      Evaluation of the global context through the comparison with the prevalent needs of remote communities (water, food, electricity, education, alphabetisation, etc.) and individuation of the Common Needs.

 

4.      Elaboration of the specific model in partnership with the members of the UN Alliance with the individuation of ICT solutions and best practices, to be presented and approved by stakeholders in the initiative.

 

5.      Editing of the executive project and budget, enriched with the best practices of the partners and harmonised in order to be easily replicated as affordable model in other communities in the Dominican Republic and possibly in the other countries to be involved in the UN Alliance

 


 

PhASE 1: implementation of the project

(6 months)

 

1.  Delivery of appliances

 

1.1. hub for broadband CONNECTIVITY

Due to the idea of the creation of a model to be replicated in disadvantaged contexts it has been chosen to use an innovative hub, supplied also by solar power, able to provide connectivity (broadband terrestrial or satellite bi-directional signal and a antenna for mobile telecommunication, and a WIMAX system, able to cater for connectivity to the entire village and to the 3 main sites where the project will be implemented).

 

 

1.2 Delivery and installation of basic appliances in the 3 locations

 

community access centre

·      unit to access internet[1]

·      videoconference unit[2][ps2]                       

·      multimedia unit[3]

·      unit for e-government services[4][ps3] 

 

 primary school

·      digital classrooms for 20 pupils[5][ps4] 

·      multimedia lab x 20 pupils[6]

·      training units for telemedicine / e-government / e-community services[7][ps5] 

 

Health Presidium

 

The Health Presidium will be equipped with Telemedicine appliances that will provide health services to the population, such as:  

tele-cardiology, tele-dermatology, tele-pneumatology, tele-radiology, tele-ultrasound, tele-ophthalmology, tele-nursing.

 

2.Training activities for social, teaching and health staff

 

2.1 Training: Human Resource for the Communitarian participation

ICT can have a strong impact on the population only if the community is informed on the opportunities that technologies offer to them and actively and directly participate in its use.

Training of local trainers is a key element for the success of this action. This crucial need will be satisfied though a phase of training concerning the use of ICTs and their maintenance. Once trained, the trainers will become the means of innovation on the ground: they will have to be fluent in the local language, with a charismatic personality and high ethical profile.

In this phase we will apply the methodology of the WB, School Telecenters “building community by building connections”[8], thus training people who will be both technicians and social trainers, understanding the needs of the community in all of its aspects.[ps6] 

 

 2.2 training: HW/SW equipment

Training for the technical staff, with specific training on the appliances used in the project and their maintenance, moreover basic skills of data-editing, word-processing as well as web-editing will be taught, using all the software innovations facilitating access for illiterate population, such as oral languages, iconography and multi-languages.

 

 

2.3 Training: Broadband services

Training for experts in the specialised services progressively delivered

 

3 Delivery of Broadband Services

 

3.1.The Community Access Centre will enjoy the direct participation of the community for the following activities:

 

§         Digital alphabetisation for adults.

§         Community Multimedia Centre (UNESCO) for Cultural services for the re-discovery of traditions and community identity, trough audio-visual material and exchanges with other communities.

§         Virtual meetings with migrants through videoconference and interactive events in music, movies, poetry to connect the diasporas.

§         E-governance, according to the guidelines approved by the Government of the Dominican Republic, (distribution of ID, permits, licences, official documents, visa, passports, etc.) and access to practical information

§         Access to permanent education databases

§        Access to the Internet according to areas of communitarian use

§        Access to E-commerce services

 

 

3.2. The Primary School will host the following e-learning services, which will be delivered in collaboration with the local teachers and supported by ad-hoc created teams:

 

§         Online Integration of curricular activities, connected to the teaching centres in the country

§         Activities for e-learning and relevant training skills

§        Advanced training on technologies used in the project on the basis of a learning by doing approach

§         Advanced training on services, with particular reference to exchange of experiences and interactivity

§         Support to the start-up of micro-enterprises  and job creation

§        Multimedia lab for on line new creativity

 

3.3. The medical centre will host the following services

§           tele-cardiology

§           tele-dermatology

§           tele-radiology

§           tele-pneumatology

§           tele-ultrasound

§           tele-ophthalmology

§          tele-nursing

 

 

 

Phase 3: sustainability

(1 year)

 

The activities will continue for 1 year after the end of phase 2 under the direct supervision of the partners in the project in order to achieve autonomous management and sustainability and to work to fine-tune the model, whose results will be constantly monitored in order to perfect the methodologies of implementation, ready to be easily replicated.

 

The activation of start-ups, the hub for mobile connectivity, the support from diaspora and migrants, as well as the progressive growth of costs in the delivery of specific services, together with some forms of voluntary activities by those who have been trained in the first phases of the project will be able to support the project, and to become the engine of the economy of the village.

 

This project takes into account the communitarian use of the ICT but all the infrastructures can be used also by single entities (such as associations or consortia) or micro-enterprises at adequate market prices.

 

At this stage the village is already open to new experiences, rich in knowledge, aware of its cultural and social identity and curious, stimulated to give real value to its agricultural and craft products. The community is getting hold of new techniques of trade, it is being structured also in regards to the administrative apparatus, thanks to basic applications of e-government, thus becoming a positive example able to influence development patterns in nearby villages.

 

Specific effort will be put in promoting micro-enterprises , which can carried out entirely by the locals, with initiatives such as ICT appliance maintenance, private use, and data elaboration, as well as more traditional as local craft, horticulture, agricultural products .

 

This phase will lead to the sustainability, also thanks to the ad hoc digital platform to be finalised in the final stage of the project in order to grant the growing continuity of the experiences.

 

Apart from the above mentioned deliverables, the project will be promoting partnerships among international organisations, harmonising their procedures on the ground and highlighting best practices in each field of operation (telemedicine, e-governance, e-learning, etc). Thus the project will become replicable for other disadvantaged locations in the Dominican Republic and other emerging countries.

 

The services provided in the first village can be replicated anywhere in the Dominican Republic and in other disadvantaged communities, adopting it to the specific needs of communities where to implement it, also thanks to a specific satellite broadband platform that will be created.

 

It will be possible to valorise the vast wealth of competences articulated in the UN system and transform them into services. The innovative platform, accessible everywhere, means transferring our knowledge to concrete aid to disadvantaged communities and strengthening States and International Organisations in their role of promoters of development and coordinators of activities aiming at fighting poverty and achieving the MDGs.

 

 

6. partnership
 

 

The project is based on partnership, as clearly indicated by the composition of the Advisory Board set in Hammamet for the project in Tunisia and which we believe could be replicated in the Dominican Republic, involving also the local representatives of all organisations part of the ICT village model in Tunisia:

 

Pierpaolo Saporito - Observatory for Cultural and Audiovisual Communication (OCCAM)

Abdul Waheed Khan – Vice Director General for Communication – UNESCO

Pierrč Gagne – Acting Head, Field Operations Unit – ITU

Najat Rochdi – Regional Coordinator – ICT for Development in the Arab Region - UNDP Giuseppe Viriglio – Director of EU and Industrial Programmes – ESA

Ichiro Tambo – Advisor – OECD

John Steffens – Executive Director – Infopoverty Institute

Arthur Cole – Senior Adviser – University of Oklahoma

Christopher Lamb – Senior Advisor –  International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Anton Mangstl – Director Library and Documentation System Division – FAO

Guido Bertucci –  Head – UNDESA

 And, following the V Infopoverty World Conference, Alan Rossi, CEO of the Development Gateway Foundation.

 

The Advisory Board has a management role, in regards to the strategy of the project and to the evaluation of all activities, with particular reference to the best practices to be implemented.

 

Each member, as representative of a specialised agency or programme, provides his/her expertise in the field of competence:  

 

UNESCO

UNESCO will deliver and realise the Community Multimedia Centre for the creation of services that are more complex than connectivity, through the community radio and other forms of expression.

 

ITU

Will make available its experts for the evaluation of technical protocols and standards and the applications.

 

ESA

Will realise the projects in the field of telemedicine, with particular regards to the NESA project, for the delivery of first assistance mobile services, through X ray appliances and the monitoring of vital signs in patients.

 

FAO

Will provide information and specific training programmes for the agricultural sector

 

UNDP

Will provide the Telecentre according to the already completed model set in other developing countries

 

IFRC (The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies)

Will provide the support of the local Society of Red Cross and Red Crescent, in order to collaborate to the project with specific services in telemedicine

 

OECD

Will support the project in the evaluation and certification process of the results

 

 

Infopoverty Institute

It is the American interface of the project. It will support the project raising funds for the project and evaluating  the most suitable e-learning experiences.

 

University of Oklahoma

Will take charge of the net of Universities as high level support to the envisioned services.

 

World Bank

Will provide guidelines on the protocol of action and evaluate the most effective way to replicability of the model.

 

UNDESA

Has taken the lead in the e-government services

 

Development Gateway

Will provide services for development, with regards to the market opportunities of  Madagascar enterprises and for foreign enterprises in Madagascar.

 

OCCAM

Research activities

Elaboration of the project

Coordination and follow-up

Further to the institutional partners, technological partners have been chosen to collaborate in the realisation in loco of the project. They are:

 

Motive-geeks (Pavia)

The specialists of this enterprise have participated in projects and experimentations in the fields of security, management of fleets, e-government services and telemetry.

Starting from this experience, Motove-geeks has developed ChiPilots®,  an integrated  system of personal identification and security, based on smart microchip, which allows writing and reading of:

* Personal data

* Personal medical data

* Personal digital image

* Biometric data (finger-prints)

which will be used for telemedicine and e-government

 

Laser Navigation and Microsystems, Milano.

Laser Navigation and Microsystems, are certified MIUR (Ministry of University and Research) laboratories and have a 20 year experience in elaborating, developing and realising advanced technologies

Primary experience of Laser Navigation is the management and the transmission of data directly linked to personal security, using the most advanced technologies currently available and their patented applications

It has worked with the Civil Protection Dept., the Italian Ministry of the Environment, 919 and the Alpine recue teams. Moreover, it has realised almost the entire operative centres of the Carabinieri (Army). Moreover, thanks to one of its products, Galileo Avionica, it can guide its drones.

Microsystems has developed specific products in telemedicine and remote control of vital functions in partnership with the most important scientific universities. It is very active in the fields of robotics and will make possible connections with important hospitals and R&D centres providing support and distant assistance.

 

Siemens Mobile Communications, Cinisello Balsamo, (Milano).

Siemens Mobile Communications is one of the biggest companies in the field of ICT and the health sector. In 2004 it has signed a memorandum of understanding with OCCAM  for the promotion of new technologies in developing countries and the participation of Siemens in the projects in the framework of the Infopoverty Programme. Siemens will be in charge of informative systems and the distribution of the WIMAX signal 

 

Tonali, Arluno (Milano).

Founded in 1958 and active in the Mediterranean countries, Tonali is specialised in security products and in communication. It has developed an innovative broadband telecommunication system and it will provide the wireless connectivity hub for the distribution of connectivity to the sites of the project.

 

E-ducation.it s.p.a, Florence.

E-ducation.it S.p.A. has been founded in 2001 by Scala Group S.p.A., leading company in the field of multimedia publishing. The corporate is based in Florence and has 80 professionals and more than 200 researchers.

E-ducation.it develops a global learning kit based on the so-called blended methodology, including live training, supporting technologies in the classroom, e-learning and collaborative learning systems, in a perspective taking into account the potentials of  Content Management and Knowledge Management.

It provides the following services

Integrated training projects

Analysis elaboration and development of tailor suited e-learning solutions

Integration and personalisation of the main e-learning platforms

Digitalisation, of already existing contents

Elaboration and realisation of didactic kits for training

Training on and off-line

 

Moreover, there are ongoing talks with other entities to participate in the project, including:

 

Fondazione Valduce - Ospedale Valduce - Lecco, Italia

This rehabilitation centre has already been involved in Euro-Mediterranean projects for the realisation of rehab units for patients with motive dysfunctions, caused either by genetic diseases or by traumas.

The Fondazione Valduce would be involved in the project providing specific telemedicine services related to disabled people

 

ICTP (International Centre for Theoretical Physics), Trieste.

Founded in 1964 by Nobel laureate Adbus Salam, the Centre operates in the framework of an agreement between the Italian Government and 2 Un agencies, UNESCO and IAEA.

Its mission is that of promoting advanced studies, mainly in developing countries. Although its name refers to its origins, the ICTP activities are currently involving vast areas of physics, including applications.

 

ICTP will be involved in the project for the realisation of:

 

-         Low-cost Antennas for Wi-Fi transmission including can-based antennas

-         Bandwidth Optimization for Low-bandwidth Networks

 

Moreover it will collaborate for training and e-learning activities

 

 

ROLE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF THE Dominican Republic

In order to grant the maximum success to the project, we maintain that the role of the Government of the Dominican Republic should be as follows:

1.      Favouring the partners in accessing to the site of the projects (primary school, community centre of access, health presidium) and in the delivery of all necessary materials for the realisation of the project.

2.      Taking care of the local staff involved in the project.

3.      Granting the maximum visibility of the project in the framework of the UN Alliance.

4.      Facilitating the presence of the Dominican Republic companies to be included in the project.

 

 

       Scheme of the Partnership

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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