Close the Gap International VZW

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Close the Gap is an international non-profit organisation that aims to bridge the digital divide by offering high-quality, pre-owned computers donated by large and medium-sized corporations or public organisations to educational, medical, entrepreneurial and social projects in developing and emerging countries. All the projects are demand-driven and share the common denominator of being non-profit-oriented initiatives.

Activity[edit]

Close the Gap collects computers from its donors, has the hard disks cleaned, the hardware checked and subsequently configured according to the requirements of its end-users. The computers are then shipped to the destination country by air or sea transport. Locally they are incorporated in a support and maintenance programme to ensure good usage and sustainability.

Close the Gap does not only provide computers to developing countries, it also builds up various partnerships with other organisations worldwide in order to deliver all-embracing soft- and hardware solutions[clarification needed] to its recipients.

By doing so Close the Gap participates in the United Nations’ “Millennium Development Goals[1]”. The eight targets, outlined by former UN Secretary Kofi Annan, include access to IT technology and the transfer of knowledge.

Logistic Premises

Close the Gap's refurbishment partner has premises in Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany.

Recycling Policy

If equipment has failed test and/or is not suitable for re-use, the product will be disassembled and materials and waste disposals are handed over to European approved down-stream recyclers.

Project management[edit]

In essence, Close the Gap does not offer direct aid to any project, but rather provides tools which can be put to good use and which can enhance the further growth of a community and country. ICT should thus trigger social and economic development as it embraces enormous potential to accelerate growth in efficiency and accessibility.

A project should produce a social added value focused on the needs and requirements of the beneficiaries. Close the Gap wants to ensure that edge conditions concerning reliability, security and computer infrastructure are met before recognizing a project application, this to assure maintenance and sustainability of a project:

Projects must be non-commercial, i.e. budget limited organisations Basic infrastructure needs to be in place, i.e. security, furniture, power, etc. Minimum of local IT knowledge and proficiency

Advisory board[edit]

Complementing the Board of Directors, Close the Gap’s Advisory Board consists of a number of international personalities. Members of this board act as international ambassadors and also play a strong role in strategic decisions to be taken by giving advice to the Managing Director on existing approaches and proposed directions.

Viscount Etienne Davignon Vice Chairman Suez-Tractebel Former Vice-President of the EU-Commission

Prof. Dr. Marc Despontin Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Free University Brussels)

Mr. François-Xavier de Donnea Minister of State, Belgium

Mr. Dieter Frisch Former Director General for Development at the EU-Commission

Mrs. Monique Heijn Ambassador STOP AIDS NOW!

Prof. em. Dr. Silvain Loccufier Honorary Rector of Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Free University Brussels)

Dr. Peter Piot UNAIDS Executive Director (until 31 December 2008) Chairman of the King Baudouin Foundation, Brussels

Prof. Dr. Jan Pronk Former Minister for Development Former Deputy Secretary General United Nations and former special UN-envoy for Sudan

Count Jacques Rogge President International Olympic Committee (IOC)

Archbishop Desmond Tutu Nobel Peace Prize 1984

Prof. Dr. Frank Vandenbroucke Minister of Education in Flanders, Belgium

Prof. Dr. Benjamin Van Camp Pro-Rector Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Free University Brussels)

Mr. Tony Vandeputte Honorary Delegate Administrator at the Federation of Belgian Companies

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ United Nations Millennium Development Goals http://unstats.un.org/unsd/mi/pdf/mdglist.pdf

External links[edit]