In Bolivia, Internet coverage and mobile phone services are not available in most rural areas.
However, the importance of rural connectivity and access to computers is gaining recognition within Bolivia’s national government. Within this changing context there is considerable attention for ICT for Development (ICT4D) programmes implemented by civil society actors and the government. The IICD supported national ICT4D network TiCBolivia is in this area a leading reference in Bolivia. The nearly 25 partners (grass-root organisations, NGOs, governments and academic institutions) have consolidated active exchanges of experiences and lobbying and policy participation in the network.
TiCBolivia partners represent qualitative examples of sustainable use of ICT in the sectors agriculture, education and governance. The network is going strong with 19 projects and 2 leveraging programmes (January 2010). The projects have expanded their reach in 2009 from 90 to 150 access points nationwide: including 96 primary and secondary schools, 40 information access centres in agriculture and 14 centres in governance. The TiCBolivia partners have jointly trained 7,600 persons and serve 64,000 users and over 500,000 beneficiaries operating in all departments of Bolivia. Most centres are using innovative and sustainable connectivity and ICT solutions.
Most partners have largely integrated ICT in their organisations as an important tool to secure effective delivery of their services to end users. As such, ICT is not just a one-off project but much more a cross-cutting activity in their core development programmes. For example, partners CEPAC and Agrecol expanded ICT from agriculture to education programmes, funded by third parties. These results are partially realised thanks to the good integration of the different pillars of ICT4D network: capacity development and monitoring and evaluation.