Selection Criteria for Local

Dr. Fred Mednick
Founder, Teachers Without Borders
p. +1-206-356-4731 e.

(See also our survey on forming a Community Teaching & Learning Center)

Is the partner one with which we would be proud to be
publicly associated?

Does the proposed partner share our mission and values?

Can we stand behind the product, services and positions
taken by the partner?

Are the proposed partner’s ethical and scientific
standards consistent with ours?


Why does the partner want to work with us?

Does the proposed partner expect that a relationship
with us will help secure our support or our silence on
activities or issues on which we do not disagree?

Is the proposed partner related to, or does it have a
history of representing or advancing the interests of, an
entity with which we do not partner directly?


What role will the proposed partner play in the

If it is a funding relationship, what “strings” or
constraints are attached? Are those constraints justified

as a matter of responsible philanthropy- for example,
reporting and budget requirements?

Is the partner attempting to move our organization in a
particular direction in terms of the work we do? Is this
consistent with our mission?

Will the partner participate in the design, execution,
evaluation of a project?

Will the partner approve materials prior to publication?

Is TWB’s independence, objectivity and credibility and
credibility fully protected, in fact and in public

Does our proposed partner have other unwritten
expectations about its role in the relationship? If so,
these should be identified and put in writing before the
relationship is initiated.


Are negative consequences foreseeable from this

Is the proposed partner the subject of a boycott or other
campaign by environmental, human rights, public health,
consumer or other groups? Would our partnership
Harman organized effort to sanction or change the
behavior of our proposed partner?

How will this relationship affect other relationships of
value to us? Will it affect our image, reputation,
credibility, ability to raise funds or other important

Would we be comfortable if the details of this
relationship appeared on the front page of a major


How does our organization ensure that new relationships
are fairly evaluated before we make commitments?

How often are existing relationships reviewed to ensure
that they remain consistent to forming a new

What roles do staff play in evaluating relationships?

At what point should our Board be involved in reviewing
and approving relationships?

Survey for Community Teaching & Learning Centers

How many people do you have in this town/community? What
percentage of those people are students between 13 – 20 years of age?
How many teachers are there?

How is the community organized? Who are the key decision makers for
the community? Are there youth leaders? How are decisions made for
the community? For the youth?

What is the level of communication between this community and other
communities in your country? Around the world? What is the level of
communication with the government? Would the community like to see
the quality and/or quantity of that communication enhanced?

How have the demographics of the community changed over the past
10 years? What do you think will happen over the next decade?

What have been the most important changes in the community over the
past 10 years? What were the community’s greatest successes overt
that time? It’s greatest challenges?

What have been the most important successes witnessed by the
community over the past 10 years? What was the basis of those

What were the most significant concerns of the community over the
past 10 years? What are the most significant concerns today? If those
changed, what happened? If not, why not?

What are the greatest challenges facing the community over the next 5
to 10 years? How do those challenges apply to the youth?

What are the community’s greatest hopes for the future? How do those
hopes apply to the community’s youth?

Are there any initiatives the community supports to provide additional
skills to youth? What are they? Have they been successful? Why or why
not? Are there any facilities where young people can gather? Please
describe them.

How does the community think technology can help the community
address its concerns, face its challenges, and move toward its vision of
the future? How does the community think we could best assist with
those changes?

Based on what you know about us and our objectives, what do you
think would be most helpful to this community? In the best of all
worlds, what would you like to see us do in this community?


Please describe the education system in this community. What/who are
the body making curriculum decisions for the community? What are the
class levels and graduation levels? How are administrative functions
within the schools handled?

What is the official language of education? Are other languages taught
in the schools? Which ones? At what age/class level does that
secondary language education begin? What is the level of student
proficiency in additional languages when they graduate?

What are the strengths of the education system in this community?
Why do you consider those attributes as strengths?

Are there places for continued teacher training?

What are the greatest challenges facing the education system in this
community? What are current plans to overcome those challenges? Do
you need external assistance to tackle these problems? What type of
assistance would be most valuable? What recourse currently exists
within the system when difficulties arise?

What are the key subjects taught in the education system? Are there
subjects that you would like to see strengthened? If so, what are they?
What could help you strengthen those courses?

Are there any courses that focus on your country’s history, culture, or
beliefs? If so, are these courses mandatory?

How do the students fare within the education system? Are they
engaged by the process? Is non- attendance or high dropout rates a
problem? If so, what are the key causes?

How many schools, and at what levels, are there in this community?
What is the average size of the student body? What is an average class

Do schools have adequate, secure facilities to operate? Are there
enough books and basic materials to support the schools? How far
apart are the schools? Do they share resources? Expertise?

Are there any initiatives underway at either the local, regional, or
national level that will impact the schools in the next 5 years?

Is there anything of significance you would like to mention about the
schools in this community, the students, or education in general that
we have not discussed?

Do any of the schools currently have computers? If so, how many
overall? Per school? How are the computers used? How long have they
been in place? What has been the level of success with these
computers? What were the greatest obstacles?

How many people in the community leave to attain advanced training in
other parts of your country? In other parts of the world? What happens
to them when they complete that training?

What percentage of the youth pursues studies within math, science and

Based on what you know about us and our objectives, what do you
think would be most helpful to the education system here? In the best
of all worlds, what would you like to see us do in this community?


For students between the ages of 13 – 21:

What are your hopes for the future? What type of job or career would
you like to have when you graduate? Are you interested in getting an
advanced degree? In what subject? Do you think you will be able to
realize your dream? If not, why not?

What do your parents think about your goals for the future? What do
your peers think?

In ten years, do you believe that you will still be living in this
community? In another part of your country? In another part of the
world? Why do you believe that? How do you feel about that aspect of
your future? Are you excited or disappointed? What about in 20 years?
30 years?

What do you believe to be the biggest challenges for you as you think
about the future? Do you think you will have the skills you will need to
achieve your goals?

Are there any places in the community that you can go to assemble
with other young people? Where? What do you do there? Would you like
to see more activities available there? What would those activities be?

Are there places in the community that you can go to learn additional
skills? Anything from health care to agriculture to music? Which ones
can you think of? Which ones do you attend?

Have you ever had any experience with computers or other technology?
If so, where did you learn? How proficient would you say you are with
the technology? Do you like it? What is the most interesting aspect of
what you learned?

What do you think about computers in general? Do you think they
would be valuable to you? If so, how? If not, why not?

Based on what you know about us and our objectives, what do you
think would be most helpful to you and your friends? In the best of all
worlds, what would you like to see us do in this community?


For community and business leaders:

How many people in this community have telephones? Are they landline or cellular? How much does telephone service cost? How long does
it take to get a phone? Are the phones reliable? What are the biggest
challenges with telephony? What are the leading telephone companies?

How pervasive and reliable is the electricity infrastructure in this
community? What are the biggest challenges with electricity? Who are
the leading electricity providers?

How many people in the community have computers? Email access?
Internet access? How many does this access cost? ISP charges? Phone

Are there computer centers in the community? Who developed these
centers? How are they currently used? How are they managed? Have
the centers been successful? Are they growing in size and capacity?

What about Internet facilities, such as an Internet café? How successful
is it? Who are the primary users? What are they charged?

Are they any individuals in the community that have prior, and/or
extensive, computer experience?

Are you familiar with any other initiatives to roll out computer
technology to other communities in your country?


After interviews point to a potential outcome, the following questions
are addressed to community leaders:

What would be the most appropriate location for a Community Teaching
& Learning Center? Why would you suggest this location? Is this facility
secure? Does it have locks? Does it have stable electricity? A

climatically stable environment? Phone lines to carry data? Will it be
easily accessible to a wide range of the community?

Who should own the Community Teaching and Learning Center? Why do
you believe this would be the best solution?

What do you believe would be the most appropriate management
structure for this center? Who should be involved in the management
of the center? Why? Is there anyone in the community that would be
appropriate to manage computer training?

Would the community be willing to work with us to seek a sustainable
solution for the center, i.e. a strategy to have the center generate at
least even revenue over time to pay for its recurring costs?

What people within the community would need to participate in the
center to ensure its success?

Would this center need to be under the jurisdiction of the national
government in any way? What types of permits/permissions would be
required to get the equipment into the community? Would there be any
issues getting wireless connectivity?

Is there any political sensitivity related to the introduction of a
Community Teaching and Learning Center facility and/or wireless
connectivity into this community?

How could we best minimize any legal and bureaucratic interference
with this project? What types of activities are heavily regulated? Are
they any activities related to computers that would not be permitted in
this community?

Is there anything that we have not discussed that would be critical to
the success of a computer center targeted at providing the skills
necessary to help young people find more meaning job opportunities?

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