1.2.2 Contents of Chapter 3. What is the role of governments in the generation of an enabling environment for ICTs in Indigenous communities?

Helping Indigenous communities is not only a question of providing connectivity -- that is, it is not simply about giving materials or bringing services. Instead, it is about creating an environment that allows Indigenous peoples the full use of ICTs to promote their own development. The key is providing an enabling environment that encourages and facilitates the development of (1) ICTs in Indigenous communities and (2) applications and content from and for the people in those communities. School community access centers are the final link in a chain of necessary steps, all of which must be completed in order for the centers to function.

How can a school community access center operate when there are no trained personnel to maintain it or guarantee its use, or when the energy supply is inadequate, or when, by implementing such centers, vested local interests are strengthened, or when it is impossible to increase the service according to demand?

Studies of this issue have identified several factors that are essential in order to sustain communication in remote areas. These factors include skill building, community participation in policy design, the availability of radio frequencies and the incorporation of relevant content. Chapter 3 will provide examples of best practices and general guidelines for an evaluation of policies and programs developed on a national scale.