DevelopNet Iganga - Uganda
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History
2002

Taylor Mork and Jake Elster met in Switzerland while studying international development at the School of International Training (SIT). The Lugano-based Association for the Cooperation between Ticino and Uganda (ACT-U) provides an opportunity for research in Iganga.  SIT and its parent organization, World Learning, provide support as it gets off the ground in the coming years.

Mike Bazira (left) works in Iganga, Uganda with MURUDA Development Organization and works closely with Elia Mulondo (right), Director of the Livelihoods Development Initiative (LIDI) in Iganga, Uganda.

Together they serve on the Executive Committee of the Iganga District NGO/CBO Forum – a group working to organize and empower community development actions in the area.



2003

Paths crossed in Uganda in 2003 while Taylor was conducting a survey of community development organizations and working with the Forum to perform a needs assessment to suggest priority actions. The group determined that the single greatest hindrance to more effective community development was ineffective systems for communication and informational organization. These are:

  • Availability of information on training, programming, constituents and impacts.
  • Communication between organizations, locally and internationally.

These functions were determined as necessary by under-staffed and overworked community development workers.

The discussion turned to solutions, and eventually the community decided that establishing a self-sustaining public internet café and nonprofit resource center would service the needs of the general population, provide efficient and effective tools to local leaders, and act as a headquarters for social servants from throughout the District.

 



2005

Two years later, on the 1st of April 2005, the DevelopNet Internet Café and Resource Center was opened to the public and to members of the District NGO/CBO Forum. At the time of its opening, about half of the funding came from Ugandan sources, with the other half coming from American donors. The Resource Center opened with 4 guest computers and 1 host server, and is currently running basic training programs that target area teachers, civil servants, development workers, and students.



2006

In 2006 we added one more guest computer to The Resource Center, due to customer demand.

 

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