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Morino Institute From Access to Outcomes: Digital Divide Report and Dialogue
Report Supplement

Working Through the Community

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Dec 8, 2000


David Hunter

Really, this very insightful contribution gets back to the issue of infrastructure...and what one can expect to find in socioeconomically disadvantaged communities, including the capacities of the npos in these communities to absorb even moderately sophisticated technology.

At the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, we are trying hard to figure out how to develop organizational capacities in the npo sector, and thus far find that this takes a tremendous amount of technical assistance beyond the financial investments in core capacity development. But the problem becomes even more knotty when one considers the kinds of TA such organizations can use to their advantage - or, more precisely, the conditions under which they can use it to their advantage. It looks to us at the present that there needs to be considerable investment of time in developing a high level of trust before TA is welcomed or incorporated into organizational or operational change. So any systematic approach to the kind of work we are discussing here involves the allocation of intensive and expensive time and addition to the costs associated with the design, purchase, installation, and running of sophisticated technology systems. Therefore, as I said in an earlier comment, it is probably unwise to use concepts like "cost effectiveness" to assess the value of this work.

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