Decentralized cooperation

Project "Income Generation Through Information and Communications Technology" (Canadian International Development Agency - 2008/2010)

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Maximum Agence Canadienne de Développement International (ACDI) Contribution : 800,000 $.

Executing Agency - Partner - Recipient : Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT).

Sector :

- Information and communication technology (ICT) : 50%.
- Informal/semi-formal financial intermediaries : 20%.
- Business support services and institutions : 30%.

Description:

This project is an initiative of the Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT). It aims to train around 1,230 members of vulnerable groups and proprietors of micro and small enterprises to use information and communications technology to increase employment and generate income. This contributes to Lebanon’s reconstruction by providing income generation opportunities to small businesses and stimulating economic growth.

In 2003-2004, DOT piloted an innovative community-based sustainable tourism programme in partnership with the YMCA Lebanon to demonstrate the potential impact, results and profile that ICT could have at a community level in Lebanon.

Building on the strengths of that program, Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) is launching a new “Income Generation Through ICT for Development” (IG/ICT4D) project in October 2008 sponsored by the Agence Canadienne de Développement International (ACDI). The project will be implemented in partnership with the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Lebanon. The Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) Lebanon Income Generation Project will run for 2 years, and will be implemented in four communities in Year 1 and four communities in Year 2. DOT will train 32 Interns in total (16 per year), who will be “clustered” in the target communities and, who in turn, will impact approximately 1,200-1,500 community participants in these communities.

By harnessing the potential of ICT, entrepreneurs and small business and engaging vulnerable groups in community development, the IG/ICT4D initiative will be bring economic and social benefits to communities in Lebanon.

Specifically, the project will build ICT and business skills capacity of vulnerable groups (women, youth, unemployed) and micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in 8 selected disadvantaged communities to increase their employment and income-generation opportunities. Program results will be achieved through the delivery of ReachUp! and ScaleUp! training to marginalized community members by young ICT leaders (Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) Interns).

Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) and Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Lebanon will deploy Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) Interns to deliver basic business skills, personal empowerment and ICT training using Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT)’s ReachUp! curriculum. ReachUp! will target community members who want to start businesses, embark on projects to better their communities or increase their employability skills.

The ReachUp! Training of Trainer session (TOT) for the first group of Interns will be held in Beirut from November 6-21, 2008. The TOT will involve Interns from Nabatiyeh (Nabatiyeh Governorate), Saida (Sidon) (South Lebanon Governorate), Matn District (Mount Lebanon Governorate and Tripoli (North Lebanon Governorate).

The ScaleUp ! Training of Trainer session (TOT) for the second group of Interns will be conducted in Spring 2009 and involve Interns and community participants from four additional community clusters.

Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) ScaleUp! Interns will deliver ICT and more advanced business skills training to women and men owners of MSEs who need additional skills to make their businesses more profitable, access capital or expand.

Overall project results include :

- Social and economic benefit come in 8 disadvantaged communities.
- Young men and women Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) Interns gain workforce skills and contribute to their communities.
- Self-employment and workplace skills and increased income among youth, women and the underemployed.
- Entrepreneurs and MSEs gain effectiveness in accessing technology, micro-credit and business development services.
- Lebanon joins the growing Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) International community through an effective knowledge-sharing platform and regional collaboration activities.

The work in Lebanon demonstrates the power of partnership. The project will be managed by Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT), who will act as the executing agency for Agence Canadienne de Développement International (ACDI)’s contribution and work in collaboration with the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Lebanon. The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) Lebanon has been working for over 30 years in development activities aimed at ensuring the sustainable growth of livelihoods in Lebanon.

Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) also has a long-standing partnership with Cisco Systems, both globally and in Lebanon. The IC/ICT4D initiative will serve as a foundation for a new Connected Communities and Businesses Initiative (CCBI) to be launched by Cisco, in partnership with Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT), in November 2008.