The technology and the access to the Internet have evolved considerably since the early days of the Belgian CHM partnership. Web-based tools are different, as well as the use of the Internet by society. Focal points around the world need to adapt to these changes in order to take the best possible advantage of the emerging technologies for their work on the CHM.
Since 2006, the training for the CHM makes use of the ‘European Community CHM Portal Toolkit’ (PTK). This toolkit has several advantages that make it especially useful. First, it is open source and available free of charge. Second, it enables the setting up of websites without having expertise in programming. Finally, various users can contribute to the contents of the website through a web interface (the only requirement is to possess a login and password).
Many countries have started the transfer from static html websites to PTK-based websites. However, due to time or connection constraints, they have not been able make a complete PTK based website. At this moment there is a situation for some countries that none of the two sites are up to date or coherent.
The ‘Brainstorming Workshop on the Identification of a Strategy for the CHM Partnership for the Period 2008-2012’ held in Brussels on 2 & 3 May 2007 identified several constraints for the maintenance of the national websites. This includes insufficient time for managing the websites, as well as irregular and problematic Internet connections and a lack of computer expertise of some of the actors supposed to be contributing to the websites.
The Belgian CHM partnership regularly launches calls for proposals in order to help partner countries boost their contribution to the CHM websites. The objective of the initiative is to obtain websites that are:
- officially endorsed by the national authorities
- operational both in terms of format and content
- updated with the relevant data
- contain comprehensive information and national documents
- make links with other relevant websites at national and international level