PUBLIC ACCESS TO INFORMATION & ICTs HONDURAS
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The present document reflects the actual situation in Honduras as far as access to information and communication is concerned. To better elucidate the situation in this country, a situational diagnosis was carried out in the following four points of access to information: ‐The Public State Libraries: these libraries belong to the Library Network and work with funding and resources provided by the State. This network was formed through a project funded by the International Cooperation and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA). SIDA’s involvement is in its closing stage, so monitoring and sustaining the libraries will soon be a responsibility of the State. 5 ‐ The Public Libraries of the Riecken Foundation: the Riecken Foundation is an organization that emerged in the year 2000 with its headquarters in Washington DC; it conducts its work in Central American countries like Honduras and Guatemala. A former Peace Corps volunteer who worked in Honduras in the sixties funds the Riecken Foundation and its libraries. Upon returning to the United States he invested in new technologies that generated considerable economic growth and therefore decided to invest in libraries in Honduras. This took place because during his childhood he made his studies in a library in this country due to the scarce resources of his family. The purpose of the Foundation is to promote democratic processes through the establishment of libraries. These libraries are also the means for generating communal inter‐generational spaces through various activities that promote the wide organization and participation of diverse social groups. ‐The Community Centers of Knowledge and Communications (Centros Comunitarios de Conocimientos y Comunicaciones; CCCC) : promoted by the Honduran Council of Science and Technology [Consejo Hondureño de Ciencia y Tecnología (COHCIT)]. The CCCCs, commonly known as Telecentres, were created as part of the Expansion Project of Technological Capabilities for Poor Communities (ACTECOP), financed by the Inter‐ American Development Bank (IDB). In addition to the venues mentioned above, the Internet Cafes/Cybercafés were also taken into account at the national level. Internet Cafes are neither registered to any institution nor organized as a network. Taking into account the different points of access to information considered in this investigation, we derive a number of relevant aspects worth studying, such as the access to information based on the social status, level of education, age, gender and area of residence of the individual. Furthermore, it was added to this list the phenomenon of immigration because the impact consignments have had on the economy of Honduras. In this sense, the initiative is focused on the diverse processes of information utilized by Hondurans to communicate with family members that live abroad. Taking into account the issues already mentioned and the several points of access to information considered, it is required to identify the uses, benefits (at a personal and communal level), coverage, activities, programs and courses developed by these venues. Likewise, it is necessary to identify the weaknesses and the obstacles encountered by the users at the venues. Information and ICT needs of the diverse communities where the venues are located need to be assed. The idea is to show an overview about the access, use and appropriation of information and information and communication technologies (ICT) in the venues consulted. This will help us to understand the role ICTs play as a mechanism/tool to access information and communication. 6 Besides the issues already mentioned, the idea is to give a general view of Honduras, a contextualization that reflects social, economic and political processes. Such as the existence, or lack, of public policies that respond to the needs of information of the population, of adequate spaces, of themes that are relevant to the people, of support and follow up of political initiatives already in existence; as well as frets of political character which have a direct influence on the access to information.
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