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The committee creates informal spaces linked to local community institutions and leaders that combine inclusion and technological education with training in citizenship and entrepreneurship.

  • Organisation:

    CDI: Committee for Democracy in Information Technology

  • Country:

    Brazil

  • NAME OF INNOVATOR/FOUNDER:

    Rodrigo Baggio

  • Address:

    Rua Alice, 150 –Laranjeiras Rio de Janeiro / RJ – CEP 22241-020

  • RECOGNITION/AWARDS:

    1996 Rodrigo Baggio es Ashoka Fellow.

EDUCATIONAL LEVEL (age)

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ANALYSIS OF INNOVATION

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1. PROBLEM THAT THE INNOVATION TRIES TO SOLVE

Computer- and information system-based equipment and communications are opening up new opportunities in almost all fields of human activity. Distances are shrinking and the global village is rapidly becoming an everyday reality.

In education, at work and in many leisure activities, ICT skills are the difference between yesterday and today. Unfortunately, these resources are not being shared out fairly. In countries like Brazil where poverty is widespread and the public education systems are extremely deficient, access to the necessary equipment and a lack of training prevent these benefits from reaching the great majority of lower income people. As a result, the gap between rich and poor is widening, and the opportunities for the disadvantaged are shrinking proportionally. 

The challenge facing the CDI is the urgent need to increase access to knowledge of computers and ICT among the disadvantaged and, by means of these skills, to improve their economic opportunities and give them more rewarding participation in all facets of life.

2. WHAT SOLUTION IS PROPOSED?

Rodrigo Baggio heads this growing movement to train young people in disadvantaged communities in digital skills and, in this way, to increase their chances of finding employment and being included in contemporary society. This is a movement that combines technological education with education in citizenship and entrepreneurship.

The CDI Communities are informal spaces for learning about computers and citizenship. They are implemented under the umbrella of institutions with links to the community.

A method has been developed that is being implemented in various countries

This network, coordinated and supervised by 23 regional, national and international offices, has a presence in low-income communities, prisons, mental heath institutions, centres for those with disabilities, indigenous communities and rehabilitation centres for minors in custody. It operates in urban and rural settings. In Brazil the organisation has a presence in 15 states and the Federal District.

3. HOW DOES THIS SOLUTION WORK?

These spaces are headed by community leaders. In this way, the social issues, values and other special features of each community are respected and taken into account by the CDI. The digital inclusion and citizenship tasks can be adapted to local needs and audiences.

The training takes place in rooms that are made available free of charge by community organisations, schools, parish halls and so on.

The CDI Communities training programme provides the trainers with the necessary training. They are paid a salary when they start work. 

The CDI offers basic and advanced courses in computing for a broad public, aged from seven years old to the elderly. These courses can be free but in some places a monthly fee is paid.

They have the enthusiastic support of companies in the community, which donate equipment and training manuals. The equipment is maintained by volunteers who work with the CDI. 

Each CDI Community can include specific projects including, among others, the HP Life Project, Light Project, SMS-DC RJ Project and Friends of the Planet.

Projects have been developed with mobile devices, which are more accessible in these sectors.

4. IMPACT INDICATORS AND RESULTS

By 2012, the CDI Communities network had trained 92,084 students and had 1,007 trainers trained in the CDI methodology.

Currently the initiative has 780 digital inclusion spaces in Brazil and 12 other countries.

5. INNOVATION HIGHLIGHTS

  • Strong orientation to inclusion, through digital training.
  • Solid methodology.
  • High-potential educational combination: citizenship, entrepreneurship and technology.
  • A widespread international network to enrich the model and the experience.
  • Significant cooperation from local companies.
  • Effective, accessible model for school support activities.
  • Significant reach.
  • Mobilisation of volunteers.

6. GEOGRAPHICAL AREA

As well as Brazil, it operates in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Spain, USA, United Kingdom, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Uruguay and Venezuela.

7. INCOME MODEL

The CDI’s strategy places a special emphasis on each of the communities having self-management, financial independence and sustainability. 

The funds needed to pay the salaries of the trainers and the maintenance of the installations are generated in part by student fees (in some cases) but other sources of income include becoming a part of the budget of public schools and using school equipment (outside school hours) in order to provide a variety of paid services to community groups or small local companies.