Under a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA), which appeared June 23, 1998 in the Commerce Business Daily, NTIA solicited proposals for research and evaluation relating to the diffusion of telecommunications and information technology applications in the public and non-profit sectors.
Specifically, NTIA sought proposals that pertained to (1)
interoperability and scalability of telecommunications and
information technology systems and networks; (2) community
involvement in the development and implementation of technology
mediated projects; (3) reducing disparities and providing access
to information infrastructure technologies; (4) telecommunications
and information technology induced organization change, including
emerging forms of partnerships and collaborations; (5) innovative
techniques and methodologies for evaluating applications of
telecommunications and information technology projects in the
public and nonprofit sectors; and (6) assessments of future
information infrastructure needs in these sectors.
NTIA received 26 proposals in response to this solicitation. Results and findings from the five funded research proposals are widely disseminated.
This first report under the Broad Agency Announcement, was completed by the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO). The report's findings were encouraging, and gave the Department a benchmark with which to measure the degree HBCUs were keeping pace with technological change in early 2000. This $90,027 study was the first of five research projects contracted under NTIA's Broad Agency Announcement.
TOP's second BAA award went to the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute for a report that contains case studies and evaluations of four information technology programs designed to serve Hispanics and other underserved populations.
The third BAA award went to Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI) in Blacksburg, Virginia, to survey 100 Community Technology Centers (CTCs). The $100,000 study focused on CTCs' information technology resources and how they can help economically disadvantaged areas access the Internet. Released in July, 2002, the report, examines how CTCs use community partnerships and collaborative networks to achieve greater sustainability.
The companion report by VPI, Developing Sustainable Resource Streams in Community Technology Centers Through Partnerships: Best Practices for Building Partnerships — Interviews with Center Directors, provides personal insights from CTC directors regarding resource streams and strategic approaches for partnering. Findings from the interviews underscore the relationship between collaboration and sustainability.
TOP's fourth BAA award was made on June 14, 2000, to Blacksburg Electronic Village, Inc. (BEV) in Blacksburg, Virginia, to evaluate the impact of information technology on public and non-profit organizations served by community networks. The $100,000 project surveyed 50 public and non-profit institutions involved in community networking, and will conduct a detailed study on four of the institutions. The five sections included:
5. Sustainability of Community Networks
The Center for Civic Networking (CCN) was awarded BAA funding to study the sustainability of community networks — public sites offering access to computer networks providing local information and resources. The $100,000 contract provided information on how to keep community networks viable.