Using a recycled container to setup a community learning centre in rural Cambodia - A case study

Kenneth W.K. Lo, Stephen C.F. Chan, Grace Ngai

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in K-12 education has been gaining attention in recent years. With using appropriate technology, not only can it allow people to have equal opportunity in education, but also improve the quality of teaching and learning. However, this is difficult in developing countries due to the lack of resources, infrastructure, support from the local community, skills, culture and policy. In 2014, according to World DataBank indicators, over half of the population in East Asia & Pacific region were not able to access the Internet. In Cambodia, this figure drops to less than one-tenth. This paper investigates complementing education in developing countries through appropriate technology and a sustainable model that maximizes short-term efforts from foreign teams. We present a case study in Cambodia whereby a zero-carbon community learning centre was designed and installed for a rural community. The first phase deployment involved a recycled twenty-foot container, furnished with solar panels, computer devices, Internet hotspot, books and toys. A sustainable model was developed through engaging local community leaders and empowering resident university students. Follow-up evaluations suggest that community ownership and buy-in are critical for success. We present design principles, implementation methods, evaluations from the experience, feedback from stakeholders, and lessons learnt.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGHTC 2016 - IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference
Subtitle of host publicationTechnology for the Benefit of Humanity, Conference Proceedings
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781509024322
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Event6th Annual IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2016 - Seattle, United States
Duration: 13 Oct 201616 Oct 2016


Conference6th Annual IEEE Global Humanitarian Technology Conference, GHTC 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Education
  • ICT4D
  • Service-Learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Health(social science)
  • Communication
  • Political Science and International Relations


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