I remember, like on the first meeting of Telecentres in Europe during the workshop "eSkills for Employability" in 2007 in Barcelona, one of the most important issues which came up among people was benchmarking all projects.

We feel under our skin that among us there is a plenty of knowledge, ideas, experience but we didn't now even the right questions to gather that. "Good question is the half of answer" - how they say in Poland.

Benchmarking could open our organizations to new methods, ideas and tools to improve our effectiveness.

Maria Garrido together with team from The Center for Information and Society at the University of Washington develop a special Evaluation Toolkit (sponsor by Microsoft) to utilize the growing body of knowledge around monitoring and evaluation telecentre programs and advance data consistency and evaluation fundamentals around a number of core aspects of of telecentre activities.

I think that it will be very useful if in our programs we start to use that tool, and then we will compare data between each other on European level. There are only benefits from that. We learn more about our projects, we learn more about projects of our partners (at least then we know where our staff should go for exchange to learn more), our donors have consistence data and we do the advocacy of our every day activities.

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Comment by Pawel Makowiecki on September 17, 2008 at 16:13
Hey Maria! Thank you one more time for your comment... Like always you are the never ending source of amazing energy, kindness and help. I will be really interested to somehow push "benchmarking process" forward among telecentre-europe. Toolkit for self evaluation, that you and your colleagues prepared can be very useful with that.

Another very good idea, give our new Project Manager for telecentre-europe - Laurentiu Bunescu. He figure out that if so many people from europe prepare aplication to eInslusion Awards, it will be very easy to start benchmarking just by publishing those aplications.

Idea is geniouse by simplicity, but the problem is that someone must to publish his aplication first and then we will see if the rest of people will follow?

Probably there is no other good posibility to know if it will work, than just try... And no other way to ask other people to do so, like lead by example.
Comment by Maria Garrido on September 11, 2008 at 19:21
Thanks Pawel, for sharing this resource! There are some useful modules in the Toolkit for assessing programmatic aspects of telecenters. The only area that it doesn't cover is the impact of the programs in the beneficiaries.

If anybody is interested in using Toolkit, I am more than happy to help with some useful ways of using it.

I hope you all had a wonderful summer
Maria

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