Printer-friendly version

Internet Access and Training Program (IATP)

The Internet Access and Training Program (IATP) promoted internet usage and information access in 11 Eurasian countries.

IATP introduced the internet to communities in many locations, and represents the first major effort in the region to bring citizens online and create relevant content in local languages. IATP opened internet centers at local organizations and government institutions in over 250 localities. IATP was a program of the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs from 1995 to 2007. USAID funded the program from 2007 to 2009.

With additional funding from USAID, IATP is currently being extended in Moldova in the country’s two breakaway regions of Transnistria and Gagauzia. The IATP centers in Tiraspol and Comrat are developing comprehensive sustainability plans as they continue to provide ICT skills training, internet access, and innovative programming for community members.

This project is now completed.

Goals

• Empower citizens by utilizing open information access to promote democratic reform

• Connect civil society representatives with local, regional, and international partners and resources

• Support targeted development projects by training community members to use vanguard technologies and solutions

Background

During the 1990s, information access and technological literacy became increasingly important. Across Eurasia, levels of internet penetration varied. Many individual citizens, or groups among citizens, either did not have regular internet access or did not understand information technology’s potential personal and professional value. As a result, many people in these countries, and civil society groups representing their interests, were disadvantaged relative to citizens of countries with stronger ICT knowledge and infrastructure.

Project Activities

Internet access: Free computer and internet access available at IATP centers helped bridge the digital divide and provided new sources of information and knowledge.

Technical training: IATP staff created over a dozen training modules, covering basic computer literacy, Web design, internet research, blogging, and wiki creation. Center offerings were tailored to meet the needs of local organizations and citizens.

Web content development: Community service organizations (CSOs) and individual visitors created websites and resources through IATP courses. Their efforts increased local-language content and made the internet more accessible and useful to local users.

Online forums: Stakeholders, experts, and decision-makers met online to exchange ideas, bridging the technology gap between regions and capital cities and granting often isolated professionals and leaders firsthand access to relevant experts.

Community events: Citizens used IATP centers as open, supportive meeting places to organize community initiatives and employ IATP technology and expertise to strengthen their projects.

Project Facts

From June 2007 – December 2009:

# of Visits to IATP Centers: 672,349
# of Unique IATP Users: 84,411
# of New IATP Users: 38,292
# of Training Sessions Held: 9,159
# of IATP Users Trained: 44,127