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Project definition

The CARIBTIC project proposes to dedicate itself to the creation of infostructures so as to obtain a better cooperation in the scientific and cultural sectors, as a foundation of a co - development policy with the DFA, policy that will be able to spread to all the fields of the civil society.

The construction of an infostructure, naturally goes beyond layers of transportation and transmission of networks, and mainly focuses on the aspects linked to users and services. There are not any technical obstacles today in the Caribbean region to the use of the Internet, exception being made of problems in the areas badly served by traditional telephony. On the other hand, problems of equipment or access in certain cases still remain, as well as problems of mutual knowledge of partners or identification of the existing resources in most cases, problems of training to the professional use of tools which should not be underestimated and, of course the necessity to practice the multilinguism in well-managed virtual communities 1.

An efficient strategy could start with the communities of intellectuals (sciences and culture), go on with the communities of social importance (health, education...) and attract the business circles 2.

Objective of the project

To create, from the French-speaking axis of the Caribbean’s, but spreading them to the whole region, the mechanisms based upon the Internet, to bring together the scientific and cultural sectors of the region and their involvement into a regional French cooperation actions, characterized by the transparency in the management and the opening to the multilateral.

Mechanisms to create

The project is articulated around a reference web site on Caribbean cooperation in French, Psanish, and English 3 that will include the following elements:

For the scientific part:

  • Systematic identification of Caribbean research centers, first with the French-speaking 4 ones with the redaction of identification cards and links toward the corresponding information resources.
  • Organization of the access to the existing information resources in and on the Caribbean region, be it of direct or indirect interest for the regional cooperation.
  • Negotiation and organization of Internet footbridges towards scientific data banks of regional interest.
  • Constitution of on line available scientist directories.
  • Creation of thematic virtual communities with all the essential ingredients for an efficient and pro - active management of communication (moderation, animation, support of users, translation, maintenance of the available archives, trainerd training of formatives and long distance training for the use of the NICTs).
  • Creation of a transparent mechanism of management of cooperation projects (call for project, management of projects 5).

For the cultural part:

It is difficult to propose a similar strategy because of the weak proportion of cultural actors on the Internet. A more efficient strategy would consist in the pilot phase, to constitute cultural actor directories in the Dominican Republic and in the DAF, from a work in the field. After the building of a network from this information, the partners of the project could replicate the same action in the other countries. This method should produce a better incitement among the cultural actors, to motivate them to have their work published through information technologies.

Parameters of the project management

The information that will be gathered in the Internet reference site will be accessible to the public with a special concern about offering a simple access. A certain number of protected access will be planned for commercial or restricted information.

The site will shelter a synthetic information on partners with cards, but will keep on being concerned about encouraging decentralization (as a rule, links toward the outside sites will be privileged to the reproduction of information).

A special stress will be put on the maintenance of the site and the constant updating of information. Users of the site will be permanently invited to comment and to criticize the information of the site and its arrangement. Assessments will be made to improve the site. The first objective of the site being to create conditions for gathering and cooperation, a particular importance will be given as far as possible to the quality of the working of virtual communities, with the encouragement to the decentralization of the mentioned functions.

A particular effort should be made to have the project being autonomous. During the progress, different options for the entity assigned to manage the service after the end of the project and the possible regional partnerships will be analyzed.

1 The virtual community concept is here used in the sense of networks: distant persons that mantain permanent communication only through electronic conferencing (simple tools that permit to exchange e-mails in a group) [back to text]
2 Actually, the same road of the Internet development [back to text]
3 Only in French during the pilot phase [back to text]
4 Particularly a development of network for offer available in the DFA [back to text]
5 Based upon the World Bank Infodev model [back to text]

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