From the outset a telecentre is a single isolated entity located inside a particular community. But in reality, it is not. It is a part of another eco-system constituted by multiple stakeholders (see the blog> elements of telecentre eco-system ).
Why does the eco-system matter? This had been a question raised during Sustainability First panel discussion during GK3. Following are the answers (synthesized) from panellists;
1. Individual telecentre is an isolated entity, and perhaps the manager is overburdened by operational demands. Network can provide assistance, fill the gaps (such as content generation) and address the challenges, to make them function better.
2. Networks can document best practices in telecentre sustainability and disseminate the same to the telecentre managers to learn from each other.
3. Connectivity cost is a deciding factor of telecentre revenue and sustainability. And it needs negotiations with the corporate partners (telecom operators) and government policy makers. Networks have the better mandate, power and capacity to negotiate / influence them.
4. It is important to build correct partnerships with diverse individuals and institutions to find opportunities and expand operational space. The network can help in partnership building.
5. The networks can build the capacity and motivate the telecentre operators.
6. The networks can also help in setting up monitoring and evaluation systems at the micro and macro levels.