It had been a memorable evening for Sarvodaya. In front of Global ICT4D audience, Sarvodaya proudly launched its next phase of ICT4D program – named as Fusion. Stunning images of Fusion Logo slowly appeared on the screen in the midst of Drum Fusion, the cultural pageant of Sri Lankan artists.
The launch was conducted at the end of the first day of the Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) Annual Members’ Meeting, held at the Sarvodaya Headquarters Moratuwa on 10th May, 2006. Dr. Harsha Liyanage, Deputy Executive Director of Sarvodaya Social Empowerment Division, coordinated the launch in which Mr. Walter Fust Director General of SDC and also the Chairman of GKP, Prof. V.K.Samaranayake, the chairman of the ICTA, Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, the Executive Director of Sarvodaya, joined the launch.
Fusion – is a new venture to blend together Sarvodaya’s multiple Information Communications Technology initiatives, together with local and global developments in the ICT4D sector. Aimed at e-empowerment of marginalized communities to become e-citizens, the enterprise will fuse together Sarvodaya’s Telecentre network, the Village Information Center (VIC) scheme, the Learning Resource Centers (LRCs), the Kid-Smart program, the Virtual Villages project, the Distance Learning Centers (DLC), and the Hazard Information Hub (HIH). The program will focus on five pillars of technology, knowledge, leadership, entrepreneurship, and research and towards this a new coordinating site, the Fusion Theme Center, will be set up to look after coordination, capacity-building, research, and education. This will act as the coordinating base, but will also be a “learning organization” with facilities for capacity-building of grassroots leaders and an educational exhibition center for raising awareness of ICT4D.
The Fusion will host six units that will implement the overall program. The Telecentre Unit will coordinate the island-wide Telecentre network while working to improve its quality and supporting capacity-building of its personnel to upgrade the network through participatory, community-oriented development. Meanwhile the Knowledge Empowerment Unit will develop and manage content, work with communication and information distribution, and coordinate with national, regional, and global media and communication structures. The Business Promotion Unit will design, develop, and implement suitable business models and also design and develop viable service products and market linkages while the Research and Development Unit will collaborate with national and international research institutions to select, test, and package the technology and knowledge development tools required to update and develop the overall program. All of these units will be observed and tracked by the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit. The final component, the Alliance-Building Unit, will act as the governance arm of Networking Grassroots and liaise with the program’s partners in the ICT4D sector.