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Morino Institute From Access to Outcomes: Digital Divide Report and Dialogue
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Creating a Digital Peace Corps

Post:

02

Date:

Nov 26, 2000

From:

Peter Kleinbard


Thanks, Mario, for sharing this paper.

Your work continues to develop rich and interesting ideas and practical strategies. I found the ideas here compelling, but I also had two concerns. The first is that the five strategies be linked more clearly; while there are some obvious connections, the paper and strategies would be stronger if it is clear how they will reinforce and build on each other. There is always the danger that they become diffuse, drawing attention and energy away one from the other. A possible approach to this relates to my second concern: mobilization and infrastructure within communities that will be capable of applying technology for beneficial purposes is a prerequisite for success in this work. As I read [the rough draft of] From Access to Outcomes items 2 and 4 address building community infrastructure most directly. I wondered if the "Peace Corps" could not be further developed to be the center or linking piece for the other components: (this is based on a project we support called the Corporation for Business, Work and Learning which relies on local change agents who work to build career-related projects in communities, and has now taken over 100% of funding through local dollars):

* The community itself, represented in a small planning group, would select the Peace Corps members (several to a community), and commit to providing some of the resources to support them over time. At least some of them should come from the community. The work they do would concentrate on a plan or series of issues/ideas that the planning group had assembled.

* Your organization would support them with ongoing training in technology and also in community development strategies.

* They might participate in #2 or #5, or both.

* Corps members themselves come together in a regular (perhaps monthly) cross-community learning group to discuss their work and address issues common across sites.

* There would be an external assessment process to help them look at their work and understand their progress and lack of it.

* Finally, I suggest you consider providing a credential for the training. This will increase its value for community members. Of course, it will also increase the likelihood that they will walk with it, but that is a possibility anyway.

I look forward to learning more as you move forward.

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