Unfortunately some of these programs are designed to fail. They end up becoming white elephants, there is no short cut to quality education, it can not be laptops, computers or mobile phones. Larry Cuban wrote a master piece tailored towards developed countries and the USA in particular, Over sold and under used - computers in the classroom http://www.hull.ac.uk/php/edskas/Cuban%20article%20-%20oversold.pdf
someone mentioned that initiatives like OLPC, make good schools better, and bad schools worse. Expecting the OLPC initiative, to become the silver bullet in a dysfunctional corruption ridden developing country, is wishful thinking.
I support the OLPC initiative, and i think Negroponte was ahead of his time, despite the several critics, but we should have humble expectations, of such initiatives, they will not improve education in poor countries. They are good for the entertainment aspect, playing computer games, stimulating the young children's mind, i dont see anything more they can do.
while i agree with you that its too early, i doubt that there is a specific time frame to follow, when should this program be evaluated, after 5 years, 10, 20 or 30.
by criticizing such projects, the aim is to make them better, i dont think anyone wants them to fail, incidentally IT projects have a high failure rate with some studies putting the failures at over 80%
when i first heard about the OLPC program, i was excited, and i thought this was a very good project, however over the years, i have seen trends that are very disappointing, OLPC is being tauted as a silver bullet to help education in poor countries, with some people saying laptops and mobiles can replace teachers. This is of course a far fetched idea.
The same excitement am seeing with laptops and mobiles in education, is the same that happened with distance learning and now electronic learning. Many colleges and universities in the United States that are heavily relying on e learning are fairing poorly, with students pass rates at 30% or less. The US congress, has started investigating these colleges, since they are giving students a raw deal.
These tools can only act as teaching aids, but can not solve the giant problem of education in poor countries.