Organizations from Panama, the United States and Uruguay visited us to learn about ICT adoption

With the presence of members from organizations as diverse as Infoplazas Panama, Antel Uruguay and the research group Technology & Social Change – TASCHA of the University of Washington, United States; MAKAIA held a training event under a “Learning Visit” methodology from June 19 to 22 of this year. Through the interaction with different public and private actors in the cities of Medellín and Bogotá, experience and knowledge transfers were generated in ICT access centers.

The main objective was to generate competencies for the innovative management of processes of social adoption of ICT with emphasis on access centers; a process in which MAKAIA has an experience of 12 years. Since our creation in 2006, we have formulated and accompanied innovative intervention initiatives ranging from digital literacy, to the incorporation of new technologies in libraries and community spaces. The developed agenda was inclusive, since it involved different views of people and organizations such as the Mayor’s Office of Medellin through its Secretary of Citizen Participation, the Public Library System of Medellin, EPM Foundation, the Library Network, the Ministry of Technologies of Information and Communication MINTIC, Telecommunications Comapny TigoUne, the National Library of Colombia, Samsung, Telefónica, and  Tiempo de Juego Foundation, among others.

This activity is part of our line of work Technology for Social Change, and because this, during the four days of the event, special emphasis was placed on the methodology developed by MAKAIA: o “ICT appropriation model”, as well as some international organizations that we have implemented and promoted in Colombia, as the principles for digital development. The Digital inclusion processes developed, were tailored to respond to the needs of the different population groups. Experiences and good practices in the management of ICT access centers were presented, and people and entities related to the ICT for development ecosystem were visited providing spaces for debate and discussion.

Ana Isabel Restrepo, Project Director of MAKAIA and who accompanied the visit, highlighted some conclusions of the successful days: the importance that visitors gave to the processes of diagnosis of needs and adaptation of the methodologies to the cultural and social particularities of the communities, the constant participation in the activities and appropriation by the actors of the territory, the decentralization of the same that justifies the investment that public and private entities make in these, and the active presence of beneficiaries and users in all the spaces that were visited. In this way, new concerns and knowledge are generated, while new ties of cooperation and joint work are strengthened or created between the organizations promoting access and appropriation of ICT in Colombia and America.

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