Proponents are asked to submit this form electronically, either as an attachment to an e-mail, or mailed in to the office on a diskette. Proponents should use MS Word or Word Perfect for the proposal. While no particular graphical form is required for an infoDev proposal, it should be structured as a response to the requests for information listed below.

Proposal for infoDev Activity


Activity ID number: (to be completed by infoDev)


1. Activity Title (one line only)

    Establishment of Global University System for Central America

2. Date of Proposal.
3. Name of participating organization serving as grantee.
4. Participating organizations, with contact information. Include e-mail addresses when available. (Note that letters of commitment may be required before award of a grant.)

    Prof. Jose Brenes Andre
    Escuela de Fisica
    Universidad de Costa Rica
    San Pedro
    Tel: +506-207-5019
    Fax: +506-225-5511

    P. Tapio Varis, Ph.D, Professor
    Acting President, Global University System
    Chairman, GLOSAS/Finland
    Professor and Chair
    Media Culture and Communication Education
    Hypermedia laboratory
    University of Tampere
    P.O.Box 607
    FIN-33101 Tampere
    Tel: +358-3-215 6110
    GSM: +358-50-567-9833
    Fax: +358-3-215 7503

    Dr. David A. Johnson, AICP
    Board member of GLOSAS/USA
    Professor of School of Planning
    College of Arts and Sciences
    University of Tennessee
    108-I Hoskins Library
    Knoxville, TN 37996-4051
    Tel: +1-423-974 5227
    Fax: +1-423-974 5229

    Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E.
    Chairman, GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A. (GLOSAS/USA)
    Founder of Consortium for Affordable and Accessible Distance Education (CAADE)
    President Emeritus and V.P. for Technology and Coordination of Global University System (GUS)
    43-23 Colden Street
    Flushing, NY 11355-3998
    Tel: 718-939-0928
    Fax: 718-939-0656 (day time only--prefer e-mail)

5.a. Activity summary: please limit this to Half A Page only.
1. problem or opportunity to be addressed

    The goals of the Global University for Central America (GUCA) are;

    (1) Set up the Global University/Central America to test some of the latest technologies available in order to provide affordable education to all of the population in the area.

      Such a university will provide nontraditional curricula and courses of interdisciplinary character, using the technical and scientific base installed in the area.

    (2) Set up the basis for the incoming INTERNET-2 systems, to be used both for educational (Distant Education) and medical (Telemedicine) purposes.

      It is hoped that this effort will complement other efforts carried out in programs targeted to diminish illiteracy, women education, health, and agriculture.

    (3) Establish a partnership with the Universities now forming the CSUCA (Consejo Superior de Universidades de Centro America) system, a consortium of all the public backed universities in the region.

2. proposed activities

    (1) With the possible collaboration of foundations such as Kellogg, primary school teachers will be reached to set up a program to teach hygiene as well as nutritional practices to improve their living standards. This action is the top of the list now since the area is being hit by hurricanes.

    (2) Regional health posts will be reached via satellite using small aperture antennas to upgraded the academic preparation of nurses and auxiliary people in the field, as well as of the local population.

    (3) With the coming of INTERNET-2, remote medical diagnostics will be included as one of the services provided by GUCA.

3. the anticipated outcome.

    (1) It is expected that, by improving local conditions, pressure to emigrate from rural areas to cities, as well as from one country to another will be diminished.

    (2) Medicine level in the area will be increased by making available to the medical personnel with the latest techniques for diagnostics.

    (3) It is also believed that the population can considerably reduced the needs of curative medicine, by learning simple health practices. Prevention is cheaper than cure.

b. Total Activity Cost (in $US):

c. Funding Requested from infoDev (in $US):  



6. infoDev Program Objective? (see guidelines for explanation):

    (Underlined is the chosen one.)

    1. Creating market-friendly environments.
    2. Reducing poverty and exclusion of low-income countries or social groups.
    3. Improving education and health.
    4. Promoting protection of the environment and natural resources.
    5. Increasing the efficiency, accountability and transparency of governments.

7. infoDev Strategic Activity? (see guidelines for explanation):

    (Underlined is the chosen one.)

    1.Consensus building and awareness raising.
    2. Telecommunications reform.
    3. Information infrastructure strategies.
    4. Pilot projects.

8. Sector of Proposed Activity?:

    (Underlined are the chosen ones.)

    1. Agriculture/Industry
    2. Commerce/Trade
    3. Education
    4. Environment
    5. Forum
    6. Government
    7. Health
    8. Infrastructure
    9. Internet Connectivity
    10. Telecom/Policy

9. Grantee Organization Type?:

    (Underlined are the chosen ones.)

    1. Academic/Research
    2. Non Governmental Organization
    3. Private Sector
    4. Government
    5. Regional and Bilateral Organizations
    6. United Nations
    7. World Bank Group

10. Geographic Location of Activity? (Specific country, or region if a regional project)

    Central America, i.e., Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama



11. What is the problem or opportunity that this activity addresses?

    Electronic means of communication have been taking an ever greater role in our societies. Internet business, for instance, is expected to move money in the order of billions of dollars. Scientific progress at universities have been enhanced via access to data bases via Internet. Medical equipment, now more than ever, is based on digital equipment, a fact that makes it quite immediate to send the acquired data via Internet, or process it by a PC. In a word, anyone not wired in a way or another will be in a great disadvantage with respect to their peers.

    The Central American region, because of historical and political reasons, is composed of quite different countries, some more advance than others. This disparity is becoming a source of friction, causing a heavy rate of labor force to move from one area to another, overloading in some cases the labor, educational, and medical infrastructure.

    Due to all this, the Global University for Central America seeks to address several of this points, and try to diminish their negative impact on society.

    Countries like Honduras and Nicaragua, both heavily hit by Hurricane Mitch may profit by having access to educational resources now available at Costa Rica and Guatemala, which can be put at their disposition by means of satellite interaction. By increasing educational level in some of this rural populations, standard of living may increase as diminishing the pressure to migrate.

    Making available to this populations new ways for medical diagnostics, be it better trained physicians or else hard to get equipment, jointly with dissemination of hygiene practices that can be easily be put to practice, may lower significantly the impact of diseases some of which may long be eradicated in other countries.

    This way of action will not only avoid the spreading of such diseases, but reduce the economical burden the recipient country has to face to vaccinate, and cure the illegal immigrants.

    Such joint actions eventually will change the perception that some populations have with respect to others, lowering tensions, and paving the way to a better understanding among them.

12. What is the anticipated outcome of the activity? (who will benefit, what type and magnitude of benefits)

    It is expected that the following segments of the Central American population will profit from the activities proposed above:

    (1) Universities, on account of upgrading of professors' knowledge, and putting students in touch with latest technologies.

    (2) Hospitals and local medical posts, for nurses and doctors will not only have access to better diagnostic techniques, but because nurse training will be improved.

    (3) Scientists and engineers will also profit from partnerships developed by Internet access, as well as by tailor made courses provided by local experts.

    (4) Adoption of telemedicine practices at hospitals will improved the services they provede to the surrounding populations.

13. What specific activities will the activity undertake? (That is, what will the activity produce, such as training, databases created, policy dialogue, etc. These are the actions that will have the impact described in question 11.)

    (1) Establishment of Global University for Central America:

    Some possible forms this activity may take are:

    • Teleconferences, based on text
    • Videoconferences
    • Web-based instructions
    • Local experts assistance to medium size enterprises
    • Multimedia development

    (2) Establishment of two-way interactions between several local medical posts and regular hospitals:

    Some of the forms this two-way interaction can take are:

    • Access to medical data bases
    • Medical training
    • Remote diagnostics
    • Emergency support, like in situations created by hurricanes
    • Prevention care

    (3) Development of conditions leading to INTERNET-2 systems that will make practices such as telemedicine feasible and affordable to large segments of the population.

    (4) Local medical personnel will improve their knowledge via interactive courses, delivered by highly specialized doctors and nurses.

    (5) Establishment of electronic cottages in several communities, so as to start democratizing Internet access.

    GUCA will then act as a resonance box which can make personal efforts reach a much bigger population, making the more efficient and have a higher impact with the same input.

14. What type of inputs, such as human and financial resources, facilities, etc. will be required for these activities?

    (1) For infrastructure:

    1. VSAT earth stations,
    2. wireless broadband units to set up star-like networks,
    3. availability of service engineers to help set them up.

    (2) For contents:

    1. Programmers,
    2. Teacher trainers,
    3. Social sciences professionals for impact evaluation,
    4. Librarians.

    (3) For administrative activities:

    1. Accountants,
    2. Fund seekers.
15. Why is this set of activities a cost effective method of achieving the outcome described in question 12? Is there a lower cost method?

    Internet has proved to be a method by which, at a very low cost for the end user, (s)he may be in touch with very high quality material, at a low cost. Material developed for small audiences can, with low cost changes, be distributed to much bigger audiences multiplying its effectiveness n-fold. Programs now available make it possible for any individual to prepare web-base pages that can be of benefit to a much broader population.

    Broad-band Internet will enable local universities to develop course content more in line with local demands, by making the appropriate changes to the raw material. Economic costs to do so will be much lower than what it would cost to set up tailor made committees to tackle every one of such demands, with the actual risks of repeating a good part of the job done by others.

16. Why would this activity be important for the rest of society? Does it represent a general solution to the problem discussed in question 11? Are its activities replicable? How will other groups be able to utilize the experience of this activity?

    This activity is a community development approach, firstly with nonprofit organizations and secondly with for-profit organizations. This activity is to be a model replicable to other localities and regions, as leading the use of advanced Internet in various sectors of society. The higher educational institution selected in the locality will have the broadband Internet satellite earth-station, and will become the major Internet Service Provider (ISP) to the local community of nonprofit organizations. The higher education institution will then provide teacher training to secondary and elementary schools.



17. What are the specific deliverables to infoDev from this activity?

    (1) Formation of project teams,

    (2) Strategy of joint fund raising for the projects,

    (3) Direction for collaboratively furthering global electronic distance education,

    (4) Conference report for public dissemination,

    (5) Final report to infoDev.

18. How will the activity be sustained following the end of infoDev grant funding, both institutionally and financially?

    (1) It is expected that higher education institutions in the region will join the project supplying human and financial resources.

    (2) For-profit organizations will be invited to join efforts in such a way that they will undertake a major portion of the financial burden.

19. What are the major risks to the success of this activity, and how will they be mitigated?

    (1) Government regulations on the establishment of broadband Internet infrastructure:

      We plan to mitigate this risk as focusing and emphasizing on humanitarian purposes of distance learning and telemedicine, with implementation of the broadband Internet in nonprofit organizations in the first phase, e.g., higher, secondary and elementary educational institutions, hospitals, libraries, local government agencies, etc.

    (2) Disintegration of local coalition:

      We plan to mitigate this risk as providing the members of the coalition with flexible, open, and equal information, collaboration, and standing.

20. How will activities and outcomes be measured, and evaluated? Include plans and schedule for measuring and evaluating impact.

    (1) Measurements of activities:

      Internet usage rates, growth rates of web sites, course wares, outreach students, number of occurrences of telemedicine events, etc.

    (2) Evaluation of outcomes:

      Acceptance of this venture by local community members, increase of outreach students with distance learning methodology, acceptance of telemedicine by local community, etc.

21. How will ownership and control of physical or intellectual assets of the activity be determined? Please certify that infoDev will have title to all intellectual property produced using grant funds.

    This subject will be determined on a case-by-case basis along with the formation of local coalition members.

22. What is the activity schedule? Include beginning and end date, as well as major milestones.
23. Resources required for activity. Provide separate columns for expenses funded by infoDev and other sources. This budget should be compatible with the inputs listed in question 14. Where possible, disaggregate the budget by activities listed in question 13. For example:

Item Units Amount infoDev funding Other Funding Total Cost
24. Sources of Financing? Include all sources of financing, including contributions other than infoDev and in-kind contributions by proponent organizations. (Written commitments for non-infoDev funding will be required prior to grant award. In the absence of written commitments, infoDev may award a grant contingent upon the securing of co-financing).


25. Proponent Capability Statements
26. Resumes of proposed staff

Costa Rica

    Prof. Jose Brenes Andre
    Escuela de Fisica
    Universidad de Costa Rica
    San Pedro, COSTA RICA

    He has been a Physics professor at Universidad de Costa Rica, after receiving his M.S. in Physics from Cornell University. He is one of the Founders of Costa Rican Fulbright Association, and now its President. He initiated a high school Olympics in Physics in 1997, and the Middle High Math in 1997. He has published several papers in international journals in Physics. In the area of distance education he traveled to Argentina with a fund from the Organization of American States (OAS), to set up an International Communication of Negotiation with Simulation (ICONS) conference on drugs in 1996. Since then he has set up several ICONS exercises in the Department of Political Sciences in an effort to introduce teleconferences as a regular part of their curricula. He is now participating in the On Line Seminar on Kosovo crisis, based on Beaver College in Pennsylvania, USA. He has written several short books to help high school science teaching in his country, and presented papers in education in several Latin American meetings. He was a site coordinator of a “Global Lecture Hall (GLH)” videoconferencing in 1996.

European Union

    Tapio Varis
    University of Tampere
    Tampere, Finland

    Tapio Varis is currently Professor and Chair of Media Culture and Communication Education at the University of Tampere Finland (Journalism and Mass Communication and Department of Teacher Education), consultant on new learning technologies for the Finnish Ministry of Education and advisor to several international organizations. In 1996-97, he was UNESCO Chair of Communication Studies at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain. He has also been a faculty member of the European Peace University, the University of Art and Design in Helsinki and Communication and Media Scholar at the University of Helsinki.

    Tapio Varis is a former Rector of the University for Peace in Costa Rica and Professor of Media Studies in the University of Lapland, Finland. He has published approximately 200 scientific contributions, the latest being Media of the Knowledge Age, published by Helsinki University Press 1995 (in Finnish). He is listed in Who's Who in the World (1984 & 1995) and Men of Achievement (1986 & 1995).


    David A. Johnson
    University of Tennessee
    Knoxville, TN

    Dr. Johnson, AICP, is Professor of Planning at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and has been at UTK for 16 years. He is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Previously he taught in and directed planning departments at Syracuse University and Ball State University. Prof. Johnson received bachelors and masters degrees in architecture and city planning from Yale University and a Ph.D. in regional planning from Cornell University. He has been a Fulbright Scholar in India, Thailand, and the Soviet Union, and is a past President of the Fulbright Association of the United States. He has directed educational projects in Amazonas, Brazil and Coimbra, Portugal.

    Professor Johnson also has served as a professional planner on the staffs of the Washington National Capital Planning Commission and the Regional Plan Association of New York. His published writings have focused on planning theory and history and most recently have examined planning activities of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the development of the New York Metropolitan Region. He has served on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Planning Association and is the author of Planning the Great Metropolis, Chapman & Hall, 1996. Dr. Johnson is active in international distance education and is an advisor to the Global University. He was a member of the planning design team for Tennessee's Bicentennial Mall at the State Capitol in Nashville, dedicated in June 1996.

    Takeshi Utsumi
    GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association, U.S.A.
    Global University System (GUS)

    Takeshi Utsumi, Ph.D., P.E., is Chairman of the GLObal Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the USA (GLOSAS/USA) and President of the Global electronic) University (GU/USA) System (a divisional activity of GLOSAS/USA). He is the 1994 Laureate of Lord Perry Award for the Excellence in Distance Education. His public service has included political work for the deregulation of global telecommunications and the use of e-mail through ARPANET, Telenet and the Internet; working to extend American university courses to the Third World; the conduct of innovative distance teaching trials with "Global Lecture Hall (GLH)" multipoint-to-multipoint multimedia interactive videoconferences using hybrid technologies; and lectures, consultation and research in process control, management science, systems science and engineering at the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania, M.I.T. and many universities, governmental agencies and large firms in Japan and other countries.

    Highlights among his more than 150 related scientific papers and books are presentations at the Summer Computer Simulation Conferences (which he created and named) and the Society for Computer Simulation International. He is a member of various scientific and professional groups, including the Chemists Club (New York, NY); Columbia University Seminar on Computers, Man and Society New York, NY); Fulbright Association (Washington, D.C.); International Center for Integrative Studies (ICIS) (New York, NY); and the Society of Satellite Professionals International (Washington, D.C.).

    He received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Polytechnic University in New York and his M.S. in Ch.E. from Montana State University, after studying at the University of Nebraska under a Fulbright scholarship. His professional experience in simulation and optimization of petrochemical and refinery processes was gained at Mitsubishi Research Institute, Tokyo; Stone & Webster Engineering Corp., Boston; Mobil Oil Corporation and Shell Chemical Company, New York; and Asahi Chemical Industry, Inc., Tokyo.

By submitting an activity proposal to infoDev, proponents authorize the infoDev Program to make public the information in fields 1- 10, for the purpose of promoting contacts between proponents and other interested parties.

infoDev Work Program Administrator
c/o Energy Mining and Telecoms Department
The World Bank
1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20433

Phone: (202) 458-5153
Fax: (202) 522-3186

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