Designing the Telecenter Program
for Impact and Sustainability
With the broad design issues of the telecenter program settled, it becomes increasingly important to focus on how to achieve maximum impact and sustainability, the benchmarks of success. As the design of the program continues to evolve, it needs to exploit opportunities for maximizing the development impact of the telecenters through the services they can provide—communications, community services, and e-government services. The hope is that the telecenters, by providing access to information, to services, to opportunities, and to assets, will empower the powerless, enhance productivity, and ultimately contribute to the country’s economic growth and development.
Achieving these goals, however, requires tackling key challenges to the financial sustainability of the telecenters—addressing barriers to the use of ICTs, developing affordable telecommunications services, extending the reach to the very poor, and developing coordination among the many stakeholders that need to be effectively engaged to ensure the program’s success. This chapter proposes ways to address both the opportunities and the challenges confronting the telecenter program.
The telecenter program remains a risky undertaking. Its success depends on other critical parts of the e-Sri Lanka program, especially the regional telecommunications network program, and on the policy reforms