Re: [GKD] Analyzing the Harvard e-Readiness Guide

2002-05-21 Thread Nancy Hafkin

The infoDev web site has a four page list of e-readiness sites, guides
to doing same and methodologies. It's the best place to look for a
better model.

Nancy Hafkin

Philipp Schmidt wrote:

 Many people seem to have valid criticism for the Harvard e-Readiness
 guide. Does anyone know of a better model/methodology that is freely
 available? In addition I would be interested in e-Strategy examples
 (which I understand as the necessary next step after e-Assessment
 efforts) that have been done for developing countries.

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Re: [GKD] Analyzing the Harvard e-Readiness Guide

2002-05-21 Thread clupan

Dear GKD members,

I would like to join this interesting discussion on e-readiness,
especially since the Development Gateway was mentioned in the first
message from Mr. Hopmann, dated May 6, regarding the Harvard
e-Readiness Guide. My name is Calin Lupan and I am on the Development
Gateway team, my role being to help Country Gateways (our project
counterparts in developing countries) to elaborate their models and
strategies for the local ICT development initiatives. As part of this
process, Country Gateway teams perform an e-readiness assessment to
research and understand the context of the country where the project
will be implemented.

More than 20 of the currently over 40 Country Gateway teams have already
produced an e-readiness report. Most of them are indeed using the
Harvard Guide, although this was not a requirement, and teams are free
to choose the methodology they want to follow. My sense is that teams
choose to follow the Harvard Guide mostly because the methodology is
straightforward in its application, as well as being cost-effective.
These are important factors for many of the Country Gateway teams, which
are operating in countries where ICT research and analysis are still
very new.

As it relates to the context of a Country Gateway, I can also mention
some limitations that result from an ad-literam application of the
Harvard Guide. These are the quality of local Internet content, the
existence of a digital divide within the country itself, the existence
of an enabling legal framework (laws regulating e-commerce, copyright
protection, digital signature, etc), and the utilization of ICT
(particularly the Internet) to create wealth or to sustain a project.
(This is very important for Country Gateways, which aim to become
self-sustainable within a certain period of time.)

Nevertheless, I don't think the Guide should be dismissed as a tool for
e-readiness assessments. Our recommendation to any team that chooses
this tool is to adapt it to the local situation and to the scope of the
Country Gateway project in the particular country (which is also a
recommendation by the Guide's authors). The Guide gives an excellent
framework for organizing a quest for knowledge, and its system of
assigning ratings is very useful -- this gives a project like a Country
Gateway (which aims at promoting ICT development and hence increasing
the e-readiness of a country) the possibility to assess over time its
impact. Some specific solutions we found to the limitations I mention
above include: assigning dual ratings for e-readiness factors to reflect
the internal digital divide, more focus on commercial utilization of
ICT, qualitative analysis of the local content, and analysis of ICTs
other than Internet for distribution of content.  I have to say that
most of those Country Gateway teams that customized the guide produced
some very good assessments and were able to position themselves as
competent and useful initiatives.

You might be interested to see the Country Gateway reports, which are
made public on a country-by-country basis on the Development Gateway
site, at:

Best regards,

Calin Lupan
Development Gateway
Web: Http://

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[GKD] Africa ICT Maps and NICI Graph

2002-05-21 Thread Assefa Bahta

Dear GKD members,

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has developed various ICT maps
based on data collected from different sources. Currently maps on the
status of National Information and Communication Infrastructure (NICI)
strategies, Africa's Internet and teledensity, the number of ISPs (and
ownership), mobile teledensity, and broadcasting (regulation, radio, TV)
can be found at: 

A NICI graph has also been prepared and is available from the same site.
The links are located at the right bottom of the page - ICT Maps of
Africa and NICI Graph.


Assefa Bahta
Information Network Officeer
Tel. 251-1-443455
Fax 251-1-510512

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Re: [GKD] Non-profit Local Wireless Networks

2002-05-21 Thread Imran Rasheed

Dear GKD Members,

LEARN Foundation is implementing a Wireless Broadband project connecting
7 rural ecosystems in the north eastern part of Bangladesh in the
districts of Sylhet and Sunamganj.

The technology uses Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) between the
Base Unit (BU) -in Sylhet town-  and the Remote Bridge (RB) units,
the 7 rural ecosystems about 50 kms in all directions, operating at 2.4
GHz at the ISM free band. From the RB backbone, 802.11b radios, both
DSSS and Frequency Hopping are being tested.

The hub of these rural ecosystems (each comprising 14-20 villages,
50,000 population, 10 sq km) are the MCNs (Micro Community Nodes)
which links to rural schools  LEARN IT training centers adjacent to
these schools. The remote bridge units (RBs) are being configured around
towers on top of these schools. From the RBs, the last mile proceeds via
three possible access solutions to the end users:

(1) drop down to standard  Ethernet LAN straight to the class rooms,
cyber cafes,computer labs, school office, etc - this is the education
pipe. LEARN joint ventures with SDNP (Sustainable Development Networking
Programme), a UNDP supported project, as its regional node partner to
support this pipe for rural schools. This is the not for profit

(2) Through RAS (remote Access server)  PABX, modems  copper wires
extend 2 km to various rural shops, markets, pharmacies or individual
users for delivering email, fax, browsing, SMS, Internet telephony,
telemedicine, software and rural e-commerce, and

(3) use 802.11b compliant radio access devices to other clients within
0-30 km from the RB radio backbone. This would be used where (1) and (2)
are, for any reason, not applicable or could be used in addition to (1)
 (2). This is also an income generating pipe or an education pipe
depending on where the client radios are located. The attached file
shows the ecosystem picture, the 802.11b radios, and the applications
being discussed with the local Alvarion representatives.

We are testing out two systems side by side in the pilot project: (a)
Israel based  Breezecom Alvarion and  (b) British
Wavelength Digital

Wavelength Digital systems are in use under similar structure using
rural schools as centers by the Initiative Foundation in a project
located in a small town called Sergiev Posad, about 100km from Moscow,

The LEARN project is configured in two divisions: (1) LEARNNET which
comprise the BU, operate and manage  the network  and  distribute
bandwidth to the various remote RBs. LEARNNET buys bandwidth and sells
it to the remote units. (2) The MCN division- are the remote units - 
which would buy the bandwidth from LEARN NET and distribute to users
within the ecosystems.

LEARNNET would use SDNP's DDN link to an ISP gateway in Dhaka but
eventually would set up it's own Internet gateway in Sylhet.

When linked to a VSAT Gateway and Satellite Space Segment to an internet
portal, the technology allows the building of telephony-cum-internet
service capable wide area networks in Zero-Infrastructure situations -
that is, the network can be successfully implemented when it is needed,
where it is needed without any prior basic infrastructure being present.

During the pilot project (12 months), both the divisions operate under
the legal umbrella (auspices) of the LEARN Foundation within an
agreement signed by all stakeholders.

There are four stakeholder groups: (1) The rural IT student group called
TROJANS, 200 of them spread over the 7 ecosystem (2) The IT professional
groups called BULLS (3) The funding group, corporate, individuals, IT
companies, etc called ANGELS and (4) the Foundation. The Angels fund the
entire process through the Foundation - the IT training program, setting
up the infrastructure  finally incubating the business models.

At the end of the pilot phase, LEARN NET division, along with all other
MCN units, are to be converted to private limited companies by the
stakeholders. LEARN Foundation, like any other stake holder, would then
be a shareholder in these companies with representation in the boards.
Management to be handed over to these companies by the Foundation. The
income from LEARN's share in the companies are to be ploughed back  into
education  IT training in new ecosystems.

All day to day operations are carried out by the Trojans under
supervision of the Bulls  and peer support from the Angels and the

The Trojans are a special breed of rural teenagers. They are trained
(over 4 years ) in Internet technologies, data communication, software,
multimedia  business processes. A Trojan's mental vision scans the
rural landscape in radically different ways. For example, a rural hut
will be read as  WCP (Wireless Client Point) instead of mud and straw, a
concrete building would read as WSP ( Wireless service point), a rich
farmer as an e-CRM target , a village pharmacy as a TMDP Telemedicine
storage delivery point) and a