United Nations Information Technology Service (UNITeS):
UNITeS in Partnership with Universities
In support of the United Nations Information Technology Service (UNITeS), the UNV programme built a global network of universities
for ICT4D (Information an Communication Technologies for Development) activities that involve volunteers. The “University
Volunteer Network under UNITeS” provided human resources and knowledge resources, through qualified and experienced volunteers from partner universities. These volunteers served for six months in developing countries..
UNITeS received a Global Junior Challenge 2002 award in recognition for the University Volunteer Network. In addition, in its Action Plan, the UN ICT Task Force encouraged partnerships between leading training institutions, universities
and community-level ICT4D programs, and recommended UNITeS as an avenue for such partnerships.
The common thread among all UNITeS collaborating universities was their interest in taking action to narrow the digital divide. The UNV programme partnered with universities in the North and the South, and helped them to get involved in ICT4D activities in their own countries.
Partnering with a university involved:
- Credit-bearing courses for students active in UNITeS ICT4D initiatives.
- A sabbatical programme for professors, staff and researchers to undertake
assignments in developing countries related to thematic applications of ICT.
- The generation and identification of volunteering opportunities
by UN Volunteers Programme Officers, as well as other partners
in the field that could involve students, professors, researchers and faculties from partnering universities.
- Development and contribution of course material in ICT4D, and postgraduate degrees and seminars in International Cooperation that include information on ICT4D as a tool to benefit users in the communities.
Students, faculties and staff at partnering universities were also encouraged to engage in online volunteering activities to support organizations working in and for developing countries, as part of the Online Volunteering service managed by the .
University volunteers through UNITeS:
- Were engaged in the last year of undergraduate degree, or were engaged
in post graduate and/or PhD in any field of study, or had completed such;
- Had strong ICT-related skills, particularly in applying these skills to project management, capacity building, health,
education, agriculture, community support, HIV/AIDS, or another area of human development;
- Had a strong commitment to see tasks completed and documented,
and to report regularly on progress and activities;
- Had an excellent written and spoken command of English, as well as Spanish and/or French;
- Had working experience in a multi-cultural environment, and have excellent interpersonal communication and
presentation skills, with cultural sensitivity and tact;
- Had volunteer experience at any level, and a strong belief in volunteer ideals and volunteerism as a fundamental element of community projects;
- Possessed the necessary maturity to face sometimes difficult situations during field assignments in developing countries.
UNITeS Partner Universities:
- Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain (coordinates
national network with 13 Spanish universities, members of the Spanish
Network of Universities in support of UNITeS: Universidad de Valencia,
U. de Valladolid, U. de Salamanca, U. de Murcia, U. Pompeu Fabra, U. Politécnica
de Catalunya, U. Rey Juan Carlos, U. de Granada, U. de Alcalá,
U. País Vasco, U. de Córdoba, U. Politécnica
de Valencia, U. de Cádiz)
- University of Benin of Nigeria (UNIBEN)
- L’Institut Supérieur d’Informatique
et de Gestion of Burkina Faso
- Makerere University of Uganda
- Kwansei Gakuin University of Japan
- The Hanoi University of Science of Viet Nam
- The Ateneo De Manila University
- Universidad de Colima of Mexico (coordinates
regional network with 10 universities in Latin America:
Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru)
To see the complete, original UNITeS web site and its resources, including its extensive knowledge base, look up unites.org at archive.org
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This archived version of the UNITeS web site is hosted by Jayne Cravens