6 minute read

Come by for a lively discussion on TCO (that I get to start out!)

From the world bank:

A World Bank ICT and Education Community of Interest Discussion, in coordination
the e-Development Thematic Group, infoDev and the DC-based Technology Salon

How much does it really cost to introduce and sustain computers in schools?
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): A Study of Models of Affordable Computing for
Schools in Developing Countries

The event will be webcast live via https://www.worldbank.org/edevelopment/live and archived for later viewing online.

Speakers: Karen Coppock, PhD., VP of Consulting Services, and Brendan Smith, Senior Consultant, Vital Wave Consulting
Discussant: Jon Camfield, Director of ICT, Youth Service America

11am - 12:30pm EST (GMT- 5 hours)
6 November 2008
Location: The World Bank "J" Building, 701 18th Street, NW, room J-B1-075

"Total cost of ownership" (TCO) is often underestimated, sometimes grossly, when calculating costs of ICT in education initiatives in developing countries. Estimates of initial costs to purchase equipment to overall costs over time vary widely; typically they lie between 10-25% of total cost. That said, there is a dearth of reliable data, and useful tools, to help guide education decisionmakers in their assessments of the true costs of educational technology initiatives.

A recent whitepaper from Vital Wave Consulting, "Affordable Computing for Schools in Developing Countries: A Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Model for Education Officials", and accompanying case study of ICT in education initiatives in India, provide further insight and perspective on this important and often controversial issue. The white paper discusses key issues related to technology use in education and presents several major findings, including:

  • Academic research and private-sector investment decisions indicate that computers in schools contribute to improved academic outcomes, boost a nation's economic competitiveness, and attract job-creating economic investments.Governments need to consider the entire cost of school computing solutions, rather than merely the initial expenses. A total cost of ownership model takes into account recurrent and hidden costs such as teacher training, support and maintenance, and the cost of replacing
    hardware over a five-year period.
  • Support and training are recurrent costs that constitute two of the three largest costs in the total cost of ownership model. They are greater than hardware costs and much higher than software fees.
  • Ultra-low cost computers and Linux-based solutions are relatively equal in cost to traditional hardware and proprietary software solutions because they require higher labor and replacement costs over a five-year period., The total cost of ownership for different computer types and software platforms is relatively consistent.

Please note that this independent study was commissioned by Microsoft.

Come join what we hope to be a lively presentation and discussion of the findings of this study, their potential implications, and the underlying methodologies and assumptions underpinning the models explored in this work.

We will kick off the discussion with comments from Jon Camfield, Director of Information and Communication Technologies at YSA (Youth Service America), who has co-authored an update to the TCO Tool for schools developed by the Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative (GeSCI). This tool, "Deploying 1:1 educational models in large scale: a practical budgeting tool based on TCO", is
available for free use under a Creative Commons License and is currently being utilized as part of planning processes in Rwanda, drawing on lessons learned from its earlier use elsewhere in Africa, most notably in Namibia.

For more information:

Affordable Computing for Schools in Developing Countries: A Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Model for Education Officials
Affordable Computing for Schools in India: A Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
Case Study

infoDev Knowledge Map: ICTs in Education: Costs


Logistics for participation in Washington DC:
Registration is required for outside participants / non-World Bank staff.
Please leave sufficient time (~ 15 minutes) to be processed through World Bank security.
The J building is located 1/2 block off Pennsylvania Ave., entrance on 18th Street, NW..

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