5.3 Checklist for content providers and trainers

Courses and training in ICT skills

  • Are there women facilitators or trainers?
  • Are training materials accessible to illiterate populations and local dialect speakers?
  • Where illiterate populations seek to develop ICT skills, is their illiteracy also addressed, e.g. through online training?
  • Is any additional support or provision for women necessary? e.g. child-care?
  • Are training activities and access times and locations compatible with women's daily schedules and possible travel limitations?

ICT and education projects

  • Have efforts been made to ensure equitable access to ICTs for women and girls in schools and other educational facilities?
  • Are girls' and women's responsibilities for domestic chores taken into account in scheduling access and training?
  • Are there cultural or social issues that call for single-sex instruction in ICTs?

Systems for learning and training

  • Do women have equal access to technical training?
  • Have efforts been made to ensure that women are among those trained when introducing computer hardware and information systems?
  • Are necessary adjustments made to facilitate women's and girls' participation in view of multiple roles and cultural constraints?
  • Are there mechanisms for women to enter these fields and training programs or to develop as role models for young girls?
  • Are training opportunities available not only for technology professionals but for non-professionals to use ICTs?
  • Have attempts been made to find and select women participants?

Distance learning projects

  • Is data on students/users disaggregated by sex (to show possible gender differentials in users)?
  • Are the information and learning needs of both men and women considered in designing programs?
  • Is the content of programs relevant to both men and women?
  • Are there constraints to women participating in the courses (e.g. are courses for civil servants delivered at times that are convenient to women workers)?
  • Does the distance learning incorporate flexibility in scheduling and location to accommodate both men and women?
  • Are there differences in subjects and technical skill levels by gender, requiring remediation or accommodation?
  • Are there differences in foreign language abilities by gender among the targeted recipients? For example, if courses are in English, are women less likely to have a mastery of that language?
  • Does the course content recognize gender issues in the substantive material for the course (e.g. in public administration)?

ICT content development projects

  • Is the information/content distributed in ways that make it easily accessible to women and men at varying levels of literacy, education and economic status?
  • Is information made readily available to all users, regardless of class, race or gender?
  • Are opportunities provided for women to discuss the information received and ways to deal with the socioeconomic barriers they face?
  • What measures have been taken to protect women's traditional knowledge, particularly about crops and plants, so that it can be preserved, used without exploitation, and patented, if appropriate?

Information systems development (including health, legal and financial)

  • Do women have equitable access to the information in the system?
  • Is the information relevant to their information needs?
  • Is there equitable access for men and women to the training needed to use the system?
  • Have attempts been made, where relevant, to incorporate women’s indigenous knowledge?

The UNESCAP Guidebook, based on the Malaysian experience, provides a set of success factors that can guide community ICT center development. It is described in the box below.

Fact of Interest: Success factors for community e-centers (CeCs) in Malaysia

  • Focus on people, organization, content, and processes rather than on the technologies;
  • Research the actual needs and socio-economic goals of the community;
  • Provide ICTs and services via the CeCs, which are relevant to community needs;
  • Find local champions who can motivate and mobilize the community;
  • Capitalize on local strengths and resources in the development (planning, implementation, operation, evaluation and monitoring) of the CeCs;
  • Sound business plans and sustainability models ensure the CeCs’ continuing existence and growth;
  • Maintain ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the CeCs’ performance;
  • Foster and develop smart partnerships (government, industry, NGOs, and community) for strategizing and translating CeCs’ goals into action; and
  • Continue to train and educate the CeCs’ personnel and community.

Source: Guidebook on Developing Community E-Centers in Rural Areas: Based on the Malaysian experience, UNESCAP, 2006