UN Launches Database of Telecentres in Asia and the Pacific

The Asia-Pacific region is currently home to thousands of telecentres, which provide many communities with their first chance to go online or learn about computer basics. These centres help to improve the lives of many, for instance, by enabling farmers and rural entrepreneurs learn about market trends, business opportunities, and how to market their products.

In order to foster development of these centres, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has launched a Telecentre Online Database. The database, covering more than 12,000 telecentres in 16 countries, aims to support research and the exchange of information among people working in the field of telecentre development.

The database gives researchers a platform for taking stock of telecentre projects in the region. All information can be accessed by typing in key words, advanced searches based on specific criteria or by browsing a specific country or a selected telecentre project. The online database also provides statistical data related to telecentre projects in the region, including the number of telecentres per country and per geographic area.

The Telecentre Online Database is an output of a joint project carried out by the five regional commissions of the UN. The project aims to empower poor and disadvantaged communities -- and women in particular -- through transforming selected telecentres into knowledge hubs of a global knowledge network. These hubs will make it possible for community members to develop, organize, share and disseminate knowledge.

The Telecentre Online Database can be accessed at: http://www.unescap.org/icstd/applications/cec