A tool for transparency and accountability:
The STAND centres were established to become community platforms that drive discussion on transparency and accountability in the Niger Delta.
The STAND centres are unique, interactive arenas where an exchange of ideas among different sections of the community can take place and where technical issues of accessing information are part of a deeper discussion on the nature of governance.
The STAND centres provide communities with a number of tools including: access to the web; IT education and vocational training; a forum for community discussion on a wide range of issues; and a better understanding of budget allocations as part of rights based advocacy workshops. These tools help empower rural communities in the Niger Delta and give them the knowledge and voice to demand their rights.
The six internet STAND centres – two for each of the core Niger Delta states – were established throughout 2007 and 2008 by STAND state partners: CEHRD in Rivers, PNI in Bayelsa and NIDRODEV in Delta state and coordinated by IDASA (Institute for Democracy in Africa).
Knowledgeable, focused, unified and responsive communities
The centres are managed by a committee drawn from community members, supported by partners and SDN.
Strong management is key to the success and sustainability of the centres. Management and resource teams participate in training workshops and ancillary activities to help build their capacity, gain experience and engage with ideas that will allow them to achieve their vision for the centres.
Over the past two years the management committees have been increasingly innovative in ensuring that the centres function at optimal capacity, generate revenue, are sustainable and drive community participation in governance. There has been substantial progress in this regard, but a real challenge remains generating enough revenue to sustain VSAT connections.
Community responses to the STAND project