chapter  18
12 Pages

So Few Lessons Learned? Quality Assurance in the Global Telecentre Movement

Sitting in on a workshop in rural Costa Rica with 45 or so information and com-

munications technology (ICT) and telecentre activists, supporters and host orga-

nizations, was Yacine Kheladi, an Algerian by birth and a telecentre practitioner

and consultant living and working in the Dominican Republic. The session was

called ‘Lessons Learned’, and speaker after speaker recounted their experiences in

starting telecentres and then, almost without exception, concluded their presen-

tations with one or two PowerPoint slides headed ‘Lessons Learned’. Kheladi was

a veteran in this field. He had seen so many national governments, international

development agencies and foreign donors announcing major new telecentre

initiatives with a curious sense of hubris-fuelled self-discovery. No account was

ever taken of what had gone before and had, or had not, worked in attempting

to bring digital skills and tools to the developing world. Kheladi couldn’t help

but ask what was on his mind, ‘why are so few lessons learned from the ‘‘Lessons

Learned?’’’ The room went quiet.