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San Ramon and San Francisco, Honduras Solar Villages

San Ramon and San Francisco

As pilot experiences, developed in Honduras between 1999 and 2000, with the support of UNESCO and the Organization of American States (OEA), the Solar Village and Solar.Net Village Projects were successfully implemented in two rural communities of Honduras: San Ramón, Choluteca, and San Francisco, Lempira, hit by hurricane Mitch. These pilot programs were carried out by the Honduran Council of Science and Technology (COHCIT), together with the Departmental and Municipal Governments, as well as with a very active participation of the communities themselves.

Thanks to the use of solar panels, the supply of electricity was guaranteed. A connection to 108 mb / sec, a real record for the time, for more than 30,000 people enabled the creation of the first e-learning and telemedicine services, allowing the population to use these new technologies advantageously and to connect to the rest of the world through e-commerce and e-government initiatives.

The success of the Honduran pilot experience led to the inclusion of the Honduran model as a presentation, in December 2000, to the “Village Power 2000” Conference, at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington D.C., organized also by the United Nations and important agencies of the government of the United States, as well as private foundations and corporations dedicated to search innovative energetic solutions. The Honduran experience was considered as a promising model of “rural transformation and fight against poverty”, within the scope of solutions to “bridge the digital divide”.

Following the momentum won in Washington D.C., a historic meeting was held in January 2001 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, gathering important international institutions, private foreign corporations, universities, as well as associations and world charity and welfare foundations. Several governmental and non-governmental institutions from Honduras also participated. In that event, it was agreed to transform the actions, so far led by COHCIT, into an important national integrated initiative. The initiative was taken by the “Picacho Christ Foundation”, led by Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez, in order to effectively initiate a nation-wide initiative, which began to be known as “Communities with Integrated Technology” (COMUNITEC).

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Southern Lebanon, UN Peacekeeping Village

​Southern Lebanon

Lebanon is a country that, in the last decades has undergone major changes, because of a long and bloody civil war and of the longstanding international instability of the area. Villages of Southern Lebanon had to shelter an enormous number of Palestinian refugees coming from neighbouring countries and forced to live in terrible social and economic conditions.

Upon the suggestion of Staffan de Mistura, Personal Representative of the UN Secretary-General to Southern Lebanon, OCCAM promoted a feasibility project for the realization of Digital Villages in the area, in order to improve, through the use of new communication technologies, the conditions of the communities living there.


Navajo Nation, Community Net Villages

Navajo Nation

The Navajo Nation is a sovereign territory with a territorial extension of approximately 27,000 square miles, located in the United States, within the States of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.The Navajo Nation is spotlighted as a success model for the world, having implemented Internet communication and wireless technology that has been placed at every chapter (local community) throughout Navajo Nation, in addition to its capital, located in Window Rock, Arizona. The Navajo Nation has therefore created one the largest wireless communication networks in the world.  Navajo Nation, together with internet provider OnSat, installed and operates a broadband satellite service to connect its 110 chapters to the Internet. 

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This gives free public Internet access and e-mail to every Navajo across the Navajo Nation. Navajos are also using this connectivity to become more self-sustainable through distance education, health care, e-government, security and e-commerce. 

In this framework, OCCAM and the Navajo Nation signed, on the occasion of the WSIS 2005, an agreement with the International Telecommunications Union, a specialised agency of the United Nations, in order to extend the successful model set in the Navajo Nation to other indigenous communities and the youth.

Borj Touil, Tunisia WSIS Village

Borj Touil, Tunisia

The project carried out in Tunisia created a set of infrastructures able to provide broadband satellite communication, Wi-Fi, and mobile phones, as in the most advanced countries of the world.

The project is a concrete example of how a remote village can benefit from ICTs and of how ICTs if well-designed and used, can foster and accelerate development.

This particular project, different from remote villages, was on the outskirts of Tunis and with good connectivity. The project was prepared in partnership with the National Solidarity Fund and involved many institutions within Tunisia. 

Once the Feasibility study was completed, the Government of Tunisia took charge of its implementation, intending this initiative as the first step in replicability within Tunisia, and a new approach towards fighting poverty in the country using ICTs. 

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One of the lessons learned was that, due to the vertical and hierarchical structure of the administrative entities, introducing ICTs in a village requires a real convergence and close interoperability between the ministerial bodies involved in the projects (Ministries of Health, Education, Solidarity, Information Technologies). This feasibility study, prepared for the occasion, was on the basis of the ICT Village Model that was presented by the Tunisian Government at the WSIS 2005, and that incorporated the lessons learned in the past.

Sambaina, Madagascar UN Millennium Village

Sambaina, Madagascar

Madagascar, the world's fourth largest island, is about 1,000 miles long and 350 miles wide at its widest and lies 250 miles off the East African coast. Economically considered a Least Developed Country, its population numbers about 17 million. Madagascar is well-known for its many unique plant and animal species and their specific habitats. 

An ICT-Model Village was established in Sambaina, Madagascar to: 

- Promote the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals through the use of ICT

- Provide broadband connectivity and innovative services to a community and equip 3 main sites (community centre, primary school and health praesidium) where to implement the project

- Set a model for the UNPPA, replicable in disadvantaged communities scattered throughout the world

- Promote sustainable development and job creation.

In 2007, Sambaina was proclaimed Millennium Village by Jeffrey Sachs, director of the UN Millennium Project

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