Strategic partners not only donate computers but they also help the organisation on a day-to-day basis by providing equipment, financial or in-kind donations and/or e-resource contributions or through project adoptions. Close the Gap collaborates with corporate and non-profit partners and network organisations.
Friends of Close the Gap are companies or organisations that help Close the Gap by donating their decommissioned ICT equipment. Today, Close the Gap receives computers from companies in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy. Through its refurbishment partner, Close the Gap is able to receive equipment from companies all over the world.
In some countries, Close the Gap works through local service partners who work as intermediaries between Close the Gap and the beneficiary organisations. They know and understand the local problems and challenges and have local project management expertise. Service partners are an important aspect of quality assurance as they are responsible for preparing the local infrastructure by making sure that donated PCs have a secure location with all the necessary utilities like electricity, the Internet if available, etc. They are also responsible for the distribution and transport of PCs to the beneficiaries, installation and maintenance of ICT equipment, training project managers/teachers/users and finally, taking back the ICT equipment when it reaches its end-of-life.
Supporting partners are usually North-based organisations that provide training, support, software and expertise to the beneficiaries in the South. They complement Close the Gap’s hardware donations with content, applications or specific know-how that adds value to the project. Examples are e-learning software for children, training programmes on the use of ICT, know-how on how to use PCs in entrepreneurial ventures, content/information on HIV prevention, and smart energy solutions to provide electricity in remote areas.