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The Digital Transformation Centres (DTC) Initiative was launched in September 2019 by ITU in partnership with Cisco with the objective of supporting countries to strengthen digital capacities of citizens, particularly in the underserved communities. The selected DTCs become part of a global network of institutions to accelerate the uptake of digital technologies among citizens and boost the capacity of young entrepreneurs and SMEs to succeed in the digital economy.

Primary function

The primary function of DTCs is to:

  • Deliver basic digital skills training to enhance digital literacy and foster uptake of digital tools among those at the bottom of the social pyramid.
  • Deliver intermediate digital skills training to provide users with job-ready skills, improve workplace efficiency and enhance chances of employability.
  • Improve the capacity of policymakers to design and implement digital skills programmes.
  • Conduct train-the-trainer programmes on digital skills to ensure scalability and self-sustainability in digital skills capacity development.
  • Train SMEs in the field of digital technologies, innovation and entrepreneurship. DTCs are selected based on their capacity to deliver training in the specified areas.

First phase

9 DTCs have been selected for the first phase which ran from January 2020 to end of August 2021. The 9 DTCs have been selected from Africa (4), Americas (2), and Asia Pacific (3) regions. Towards the end of the first phase, an open call was made for more potential DTCs to join the network.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Phase 1 DTC trainers were provided with tools and skills on how to conduct remote teaching. The train-the-trainers online courses were offered in collaboration with Cisco and they were free of charge.

Second phase

Building on the success, and the lessons learnt, of the first phase of the Initiative, the second phase aims to increase the number of DTCs and further strengthen and scale the impact of the network.

Preparations for the second phase started on 22 July 2021 with the opening of applications for new institutions wishing to join the network. The closure date for applications had been extended to September 19, 2021 and the selection process took place in the month of October 2021. In the period October to December 2021, DTCs will sign the necessary agreements with ITU and submit their DTC implementation plans in preparation for operations starting in January 2022.

Institutions that become part of the DTC network will receive free access to training materials developed by ITU, Cisco, HP, and other partners at the global, regional and national levels; access to train-the-trainer programmes under the DTC Initiative; networking opportunities through DTCs worldwide; use of ITU and Cisco branding for promotion and marketing of DTC courses; authorization to award internationally recognized certifications to local citizens; and the chance to get access to resources that will allow them to scale their national activities.

A limited number of DTCs will be selected during the initial process of the Phase 2 launch but more applications will be considered from July 2022 and the process will remain open thereafter.

For more information on whether your institution is eligible to become a DTC, and for accessing the online application form, click here.

Call for partners

The DTC Initiative can only achieve scale through the participation of many partners. Any organization from the private and public sectors, UN agencies, governments, and the international/donor community interested in partnering with ITU and Cisco is welcome to contact the ITU Capacity and Digital Skills Development Division at

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