Always Start with the Organization of a Community Committee

Throughout this section, the various aspects related to participation at every development stage have been highlighted and there is no exception here. Aspects related to capacity-building do not simply come to fruition once the access center is installed, they have to be planned.

Prior to the access center's installation, it is necessary to work with the community to name a committee that will accompany the planning and construction process and that will, by preference, continue the technical assistance work of the center after its opening. The committee must:

  • Be formed by people with the natural ability to use technology;
  • Be heterogeneous in its age structure and include people with roots in the community and who are committed to it;
  • Spread the word to people who can provide technical support to the network in the long term.
  • Share responsibilities and obligations among members and, in addition, document procedures in an operations manual for support and guidance.
  • Collaborate closely with a local organization that provides support and take its opinion into account with respect to the integration of the team.

Having a committee that participates in all stages of the process allows the community to have personnel that understand the functioning of the network and the center, because they have participated in its planning and construction. This furnishes a foundation on which other abilities can be built, and it also offers a point of reference for the service provider to seek help in diagnosis and repair in case of operational failure.