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Once you have identi fi ed and mapped out your costs, you should also de- termine what and how to charge for your services. This is a complicated and time-consuming process to do correctly. These key tips will assist when mak- ing pricing decisions: Calculate the prices you charge so that you cover all costs to provide the service, including all recurring expenses Examine the prices of your competitors Evaluate what your customers are willing and able to pay for your services, and make sure your prices correspond with these It is absolutely essential to make a fi nancial plan before you start. You need to list all of your initial and recurring costs and make some calculations to fi nd out if your project can be sustainable. Secure the Financing Once you have determined your initial and recurring costs and created your fi nancial plan, you know how much fi nancing you will need to run a success- ful wireless network. The next step is to research and secure the appropriate amount of money to start up and run your wireless network. The most traditional method of receiving funding for wireless networks in the developing world is through grants given by donors. A donor is an organiza- tion that contributes funding and other types of donations to an organization or consortium of organizations to help them manage projects or support causes. Because this funding is provided in the form of grants or other dona- tions, it is not expected to be repaid by the organizations implementing the wireless projects or by the project ± s bene fi ciaries. Such donors include large international organizations like the United Nations (UN) and various special- ized UN agencies like the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and United Nations Educational, Scienti fi c and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Government agencies that specialize in international development, such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Kingdom ± s Department for International Development (DFID), and the Cana- dian International Development Agency (CIDA), are also considered donors. Large foundations like the Gates Foundation and the Soros Foundation Net- work and private companies are other types of donors. Typically, receiving funding involves a competitive or a non-competitive proc- ess. The non-competitive process is more infrequent, so this chapter will fo- cus on the competitive process at a very high level. Most donors have com- plicated procedures surrounding the distribution of funding. The authors in this book are by no means trying to oversimplify this in depth system of rules Chapter 10: Economic Sustainability 291
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and regulations. The authors intend only to convey a general understanding of this process for communities attempting to establish wireless networks in the developing world. During the competitive bid process, the donor creates a request for proposal ( RFP ) or a request for application ( RFA ), which solicits various non-governmental organizations, private companies and their
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