This commitment will launch a mass scaling strategy, doubling the outreach and impact of CDI's work both within CDI's existing network of 840 Technology & Civic Engagement Schools as well as in new schools to be created. The expansion will focus on excellence and innovation and will build upon the CDI differential of having a structured, controlled, and operational network with concrete results, transparency, and accountability. Emphasis will be placed on:
1. Outreach & Impact: Doubling the scope and total number of poor youth and adults benefiting yearly by CDI programs whilst reducing costs and improving both quality and efficiency; Replicating successful pilot initiatives already tested in the CDI Network such as the 'Connections' program (see partnership opportunities); and Sustainability training - development of local cyber cafes, youth-led micro enterprises and other value-added IT-service based initiatives that can contribute to schools' sustainability as well as generate income for local families.
2. Quality: Strengthening the CDI Network by investing in necessary upgrades, infrastructure and capacity building throughout CDI's existing 840 Schools, 36 Regional Offices as well as in new schools to be created as a result of this expansion; Strengthening monitoring and evaluation processes by launching a new system that will add a significant qualitative component to CDI's current set of indicators.
Today nearly 40 percent of Latin Americans live below the poverty line, quality education and health care are scarce, and unemployment borders on 20 percent. Knowledge and information are the world's new common currencies, but even in Brazil - the world's 10th largest economy - roughly 80 percent of the country's 180 million people have never accessed the internet. Technology has proven to be the fastest and most powerful 'leapfrogger' to overcome this deficit. The true challenge is making technology relevant and useful for marginalized populations.
Since 1995, CDI has empowered poor youth and adults to use Information & Communication Technologies (ICTs) as tools to exercise their full capacities as citizens and tackle the issues that affect their communities. CDI Schools are rooted in Latin America's most vulnerable regions - from the sprawling urban slums of Rio to the refugee camps of Bogotá, as well as prisons, psychiatric institutions and juvenile delinquency centers. CDI's experience has shown that local appropriation of technology fights poverty, stimulates entrepreneurship, and empowers poor youth and adults to find solutions to their problems, thus becoming agents of their own destinies.
1. Strengthening the CDI School Network by investing in new programs to improve quality and student achievement at CDI Schools and take advantage of CDI's scale. The commitment will leverage CDI's structure by channeling investments through CDI's 840 Schools and Regional offices to ensure maximum effectiveness and reach.
2. Fostering increased outreach and impact within the CDI Network. The model has been tested, proven, and replicated. This commitment will allow CDI to launch new schools and develop additional strategies and programs in income generation and entrepreneurship (see below) that will reach more communities, youth, and adults in Latin America's most vulnerable regions.
3. Upgrading of educational curriculum to incorporate new technologies, courses, and multimedia educational tools. Enhance CDI's educational methodology (digital literacy + civic education) that focuses not only on providing access to the internet or basic software, but rather on answering questions like: What could communities do using information technology to better understand their realities and solve their problems? How can they best use it to bring about change in a way relevant to their lives and communities?
4. Identifying best practices and experiences for replication. Through this commitment, CDI will take successful local IT-based solutions and initiatives developed by CDI Schools and scale them up to the rest of the CDI Network and other interested organizations.
5. Upgrading of CDI's monitoring and evaluation processes into a new set of indicators that will allow CDI to make better decisions, monitor implementation more closely, and even track individual students' progress.
MEASURES OF SUCCESS
These set of Key Performance Indicators are updated every four months and inputted into CDI's current Information Management System.
1. Number of beneficiaries (Goal is to increase total beneficiaries by more than 10 percent a year and reach 150,000 direct beneficiaries and 600,000 indirect beneficiaries per year by 2014);
2. Number of CDI Schools; (Goal: 1,680 Schools by 2014)
3. Number of installed computers in CDI Schools. (Goal: 16,800 computers installed by the end of the commitment, increasing current average of 10 computers per school to 12);
4. Increase student digital literacy rate (to be launched in 2008)
5. Increase student community participation index (to be launched in 2008)
1) Launch of the roll-out phase of the 'Connections' program (see description above) - November/2007
2) Launch of new version of the CDI website that includes interactive channels for education/communication with CDI students and Network - May/2008
3) New educational curriculum including upgraded multimedia educational tools - Phase 1 June/2008
4) New version of improved monitoring & evaluation system - Phase 1 July/2008
SEEKING: financial resources, media and marketing assistance. CDI's biggest challenge in implementing this CGI commitment is making sure that the organization has the sufficient funding. Although most CDI schools are self-sufficient, the organization needs funds to run their headquarters and 32 regional offices that administer and monitor these schools.
OFFERING: implementing partners, best practice information.