CGI: Supporting Skills, Content and Context in Local Communities

by Akhtar Badshah
Sep 22, 2010 8:00 AM ET

A major focus of our global programs is about providing individuals around the world with access to information and communications technology (ICT) – what some still call digital inclusion or “closing the digital divide.” We aren’t a hardware infrastructure provider, so achieving the goal of increasing access requires deep partnerships. It goes beyond the nuts and bolts (or wires and airwaves) to skills, content and context. This becomes critically important in our work in communities around the world outside of the area of formal education - where we are also highlighting a large number of commitments at the Clinton Global Initiative this week.

For our community programs the objective of serving the “underserved” takes a multitude of forms, many of which I have witnessed firsthand in my travels and learned from talking to individuals who went from fearful to confident based on their participation in the programs we support through our community partners. ICT has opened doors for them in ways that are as diverse as the communities in which they live. There are two programs I would like to focus on that show different perspectives of the skills, content and context components, both of which will have a spotlight on them during this hectic week in New York.

For full details, visit Microsoft's Unlimited Potential blog.