Aug 16, 2010
Just before the resuming of classes after 3 weeks of winter holidays, Educatic invited some of the more motivated and IT-literate teachers for a 2-day workshop on digital content production. The game digitalization process I described in my post about the last workshop is taking up a lot of time and resources with high-quality, greatly localized and personalized, but hardly efficient results. Teachers have started to enquire on how to develop their own games without having to rely on the technical support by Educatic. Therefore, as opposed to the complex game development approach which involved many people during the last workshop, this time, it was all about how teachers could create their own digital learning resources.
With 8 teachers participating, some of whom had to travel for hours from remote rural villages, almost all those invited attended and thus five different “unidades educativas” (educational units, schools or educational centers of a certain level) were represented.
The tools chosen for the workshop were Jclic and HotPotatoes – both are software written in Java and allow the creation of simple educational games such as multiple choice quizzes, puzzles, riddles or association games. One of the main reasons for the selection is that they are both localized into Spanish – a requirement which is essential as, although taught at school, English is not understood by many in Bolivia.
The first day was aimed at teaching the basics of Jclic. Teachers quickly learned how to create an empty project, fill the media gallery and soon started to create their first rompecabeza (“break your head” – a Puzzle) or association games using sound, (moving) images and text. With the teacher’s computer skills varying from being able to manage a variety of software applications until just learning to hit the right spot when clicking the mouse, the instructor, Ronald, did a good job in adapting its explanations accordingly.
On the following day, HotPotatoes was introduced in order to give the teachers the opportunity to select their favourite tool. Both applications are available across platforms, allow multimedia integration and have a functionality to combine exercises to a teaching module, thereby defining secuence of exercises and levels of difficulty.
|Licence||GNU Lesser General Public Licence||Freeware, support for paid licences ended August 2009|
|Types of exercises||16 tipos differentes:
Text exercises: displaying, fill the gap, identify/sort elements, Jumbled word exercise
Cross word puzzle
|Export||Saving is only possible in the .jclic.zip format.
HTML code can be created to embed the file in a website calling the jclic java applet
SCORM (Learning Management System standard)
After taking the seminar, the teachers came to the conclusion that they preferred using Jclic for usability reasons. HotPotatoes, they found, required many more steps to accomplish a certain function than does Jclic. They complained that HotPotatoes offered less exercise types and lacked behind Jclic both, usability-wise as well as graphic-wise. Integrating multimedia – something all teachers were very eager to learn about – seemed easier to accomplish in Jclic as well as it comes with a media library concept where all media resources are stored and can be reused across different projects. However, for creating crossword puzzles, HotPotatoes was by far easier to use.
Profesor Walter, a teacher from the municipy of Challapata, had already attended a seminar on Jclic and came for the HotPotatoe extension. He has succesfully integrated Jclic in his mathematics lessons and finds that students are having more fun learning with the computer and ironically remarks that they often listen better to the machine than to the teacher.
Meanwhile, the challenge remains: how can you succesfully and efficiently capacitate teachers with poor computer literacy in a content production software obtaining high-quality pedagogic results at the same time? How can a technology-driven result be avoided? Couldn’t the games produced be played just as well with paper and pencil?
The answer is probably complex: on the one hand, technology should never be applied as a goal in itself but rather as a means to an end. On the other, the goal of the Educatic project is to integrate ICT in the school curriculum and to enrich classroom activities. Therefore, the quality of the project outcome should probably not only be measured by the quality of the content produced, but also by the skills as well as the motivation to understand acquired by teachers and students alike. What is more, I believe that each student who has begun to understood and gained interest in the vast potentials that offer ICTs is worth the effort. Soon, this student will have understood the “secrets” behind much better than his teacher. And be it for having played a crossword puzzle in his maths class.
Anne Schanz studied International Information Management at the University of Hildesheim, Germany. In her master’s thesis “Web-based communication in an intercultural learning project – analysis and development potentials of the Global Teenager Project” she investigated the effectiveness of use of online communication software within the GTP and analysed data from 258 participants in 11 countries. http://anneschanz.de/blog/tag/ict4d.
Read more about the 'ICT in Primary and Secondary Education' project which Educatic executes and IICD supports.
Jul 12, 2010
Anne Schanz is currently supporting the IICD-funded educational projects EducaTic (ICT for educational processes) and CEPAC (Peasant Agricultural Promotion Centre) in Bolivia in the mapping of software used for digital content production. In this blog she reflects on digital educational content production within these projects.
Last weekend, I was able to be part of the first capacity building workshop held by Educatic during my stay in Oruro. It was the first of a round of 5 workshops during which local teachers will go through various phases of digital content production. At the end, this will result in a number of educational flash games invented and designed by the teachers themselves and implemented by the team of Educatic.
This time, a group of 10 teachers that were very new to ICTs came – a challenge in a way, as they will have to think about how to adapt their functional game design in a way that it will be feasible to digitalize it. Unfortunately, winter holidays had just started, so that the normal group size of around 30 wasn’t reached. During this first one-day workshop, the teachers – recruited through the local branch of the Ministry of Education – were presented with the main objectives of the project and got to know their fellow teachers who will likewise design their games in the same round of workshops.
The first challenge they were presented with was to think about an educational problem from their subject in a specific age group, e.g. sorting of natural numbers or spelling of specific words. They were then asked to think about an (offline) setting which is specific to their region or cultural group. This might be a game, or simply the natural surroundings of the villages they come from. As this region has always been a mining region, one setting was the entrance of a mine with the worker encountering various co-workers as the levels of the game increase. Another setting was taken from a children’s game which is played outside, where seeds are thrown towards an object. The closest seed wins. Thanks to this contextualized approach, the students will hopefully be more inclined to identify with the games and have more fun while playing and learning.
During a well-facilitated session, all teachers were able to come up with a first idea on paper. Initial drawings of the game design supported the imagination of the course of the game and identify potential difficulties. During lunch, the shy group started chatting over the traditional “charque”-dish (dried lama meat with a hard-boiled egg, potatoes and dried corn and a piece of goat cheese).
As it is not always easy to find an address here in the maze of small streets and shops, two teachers only managed to find us when the rest had almost finished. However, they were not sent home but welcomed just as warmly and received their private introduction which ended in them producing some very nice ideas.
During the coming sessions, teachers will define their ideas more finely, adapted their drawings and explanations and finally evaluate the prototypes produced by Educatic.
I admit that this way of digital educational content production is a long process. Teachers will have to travel several times and spend their weekends working. They will have to make a great effort to get involved in a new medium they might have no experience in. However, from what I have seen and heard, I do believe that in the end, the results are very valuable. Teachers will have developed a pride in their own achievements, feel the effort they have spent and are thus more likely to adopt the games in their teaching routine. Last but not least, they will leave with the feeling that they have been listened to and were able to apply their didactic and professional knowledge.
Anne Schanz studied International Information Management at the University of Hildesheim, Germany. In her master’s thesis “Web-based communication in an intercultural learning project – analysis and development potentials of the Global Teenager Project” she investigated the effectiveness of use of online communication software within the GTP and analysed data from 258 participants in 11 countries. http://anneschanz.de/blog/tag/ict4d.
Read more about the 'ICT in Primary and Secondary Education' project which Educatic executes and IICD supports.
Apr 29, 2010
The e-Agriculture community gathered some of the top minds in using ICT for rural development at a lively panel discu...
The e-Agriculture community gathered some of the top minds in using ICT for rural development at a lively panel discussion during the 13th IAALD World Congress going on now in Montpellier, France. IAALD is an international association which connects agricultural information specialists worldwide.
The panel, composed of Peter Ballantyne, ILRI, Anriette Esterhuysen, APC, Ibrahim Khadar, CTA, Francois Laureys, IICD, and Michael Riggs, e-Agriculture facilitator, presented some key insight from a new initiative to expand our understanding of the impact ICT have in rural development, and how this understanding can improve the design and positive impact of ICT interventions.
Many contributions were made from the audience on points to clarify, emphasize and reinforce in this ongoing, dynamic work. Below you can see the slides from the presentation: e-Agriculture Perspectives A Conceptual Framework to Enhance the Impact of ICT in Rural Development.
For more on what is happening at the IAALD World Congress, follow the tag #aginfo10 and the IAALD blog at iaald.blogspot.com.
(photo credit: Denise Senmartin, IICD)
Mar 25, 2010
We were located 2 hours from Capetown in the small town of Kleinmond. We stayed in a holiday home in small bungalows in a be...
We were located 2 hours from Capetown in the small town of Kleinmond. We stayed in a holiday home in small bungalows in a beautiful, inspiring landscape with mountains in front of us and the Atlantic Ocean behind us. What better place could you have to start a writing collective. The idea was not to write just another guidebook, but to bring in the vast experiences of the participating NGO’s to bring theory and practice together in combination with an action research next year in 20 Southern NGO’s to bring the guide as a tool for transforming organizations and Social change into practice.
To develop this we needed to know each other much better, but also to develop our own writing voice. One of the exercises we used for this is the technique of freewriting. In freewriting your pen, rather than your mind decides what to write; the hand leads and the mind follows. As simple as it sounds, it’s no easy exercise and takes real discipline to stick to this simple premise. We did several exercises with a start sentence and 4 minutes of writing. Afterward you had to underline the key sentences and share this with a small group to make a poem out of it. That sounds a bit weird, but actually the poems were quit powerful.
Another method that we used was it always powerful storytelling. With the freewriting exercises we also had described two of our key learning moments. You could share the stories with one of the others, pick one and shared that story with the whole group. During the whole week we told these stories and distilled the general lessons out of these stories to use that to describe inside-out how we have gone through our own learning journeys. These general insights were stored on colored papers on the whole: a big collection of thoughts at the end of the week.
To look outside-in to organisational learning the core group of the writers collective on organisational learning, which we discussed to see what was most inspirational, fascinating but also to define areas for deeper research, missing parts and remaining questions.
On day three we were on a quest for our vision. At 07.00 sharp we climbed in silence the mountain in front of were we stayed. At the top (a 30 minutes climb, through a beautiful landscape, one of the most diverse worldwide in terms of number of plans) we wrote our how we thought the Barefootguide would be used in the world in 5 years time as a free writing exercise. After a lovely walk down through a different path we brought all these stories together in small groups to design the leading image through a very creative drawing process. These three leading images were than shared and brought together into one picture with symbols, metaphors and key words.
The last day was the process that will lead to the development if the barefootguide. The next write workshop will be in May in Egmond (the Netherlands).
Before that time a needs assessment with some of the partners that will participate in the action research will take place (not at IICD partners) and a similar assessment about current learning practices should also be carried out under the organisations of the writers collective. In the next two weeks it will be more clear what that will mean for IICD. The action research for next year was also designed, but the key question for the next two year were the research areas which needed more deeper research. Also adding the voice of the south more. All of us will contribute more case studies like our thematic learning briefs, our Learn-Work trajectory and country learning reports. We concluded with a mood image of the whole week which was again an creative exercise to trigger your right brain. All in all a very inspirational, intensive and challenging workshop. Looking forward to continue this process in May.
Mar 01, 2010
On February 23 last, I took part in the symposium Genderjustice.nu , organised by WO=MEN (pronounced women equals men). ...
On February 23 last, I took part in the symposium Genderjustice.nu, organised by WO=MEN (pronounced women equals men). This Dutch Gender Platform is a network association of almost 70 organisations and individuals who have committed themselves to working towards equal participation of women and men worldwide; to global gender justice.
Goal of the day was to discus if progress has been made towards gender equality (fifteen years into the Beijing Platform for Action) and to present information, experiences, questions, dilemma’s and practices from the field to inspire. It further discussed what development organisations are doing to promote gender equality.
Next the opening panel, themed: The gender matters on the table, was on. Facilitated by Evelijne Bruning ((The Hunger Project) panel members Sylvia Borren (World Connectors), Özden Yalim (WO=MEN), Jeanette Kloosterman(Oxfam Novib) and I answered questions like: What progress has been achieved with regard to reaching gender equality up to date? How far have the agreements made in Beijing been implemented? What gender issues do you run into in your own work practice? What is happening in our ‘gender kitchens’, which good practices can we share? Where do we encounter problems, but especially: where lie the opportunities?
The rest of the morning the audience could choose from 4 parallel workshops, all of course dealing with gender in one way or another.
Lunch break was optimally used for either watching the movie ‘Password Women’ (on how ICT can be put to work to advance the position of women) or for networking.
In the afternoon I was part of the workshop “reporting, connecting & documenting gender / innovative practices.” The other presenters in this workshop were Mina Saadadi (Shahrzad News), Doris Alfafara (Stichting Damayan) and Lin McDevitt-Pugh (NetSheila).
In my presentation I focussed on how the use of ICT can strengthen gender related activities, show cased by examples from IICD projects.
I explained what type of activities our organisation is involved in and presented 4 gender & ICT projects (CIDOB, Online consulting service from Casa de la Mujer, WIDNet, AMJUPRE) and briefly spoke about Coprokazan (showing the Bamanan – local language - presentation), the GINKS training for seamstresses and the Pag La Yiri radio station.
Everything I brought forward came directly from what our partner organisations have shared at the Cross Country Learning Event (CCLE) on Gender and ICT s of last December. During this meeting IICD partners discussed how ICT can contribute to addressing gender equity and women empowerment in development. I figure our partners know best what ICT has brought them, so better let them do the talking (via me).
Although time was too short to give a full overview of the activities our partners are undertaking, I did receive nice reactions from people who were enthused by the possibilities that ICTs offer – or better maybe: the opportunities that these women create for themselves by choosing and applying ICT tools in such a way that it benefits them and their cause.
Overall: met with many very interesting people and enjoyed a very stimulating, inspiring and energising day!
Jan 28, 2010
As the Managing Director of IICD, I participated in the end of January in the World Bank’s “ ICT Sector Week: Enabling Develo...
As the Managing Director of IICD, I participated in the end of January in the World Bank’s “ICT Sector Week: Enabling Development” in Washington. This event was organised by the World Bank’s Global Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Department for the Bank’s staff and the staff of the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group.
The purpose of the week was to engage IFC and WB staff, senior industry executives, and sector experts in discussion how to leverage ICT to scale up the development impact of the ICF and WB operations.
Strategy sessions were held on increasing the reach and impact of services in public sector management, education, health, agriculture and rural development.
IICD was involved as speaker in the ICT for Health session and contributed to the panel discussion of the agriculture and rural development session. I also presented IICD in the ICT for Education session.
Find below my personal findings on the Health and Education sessions.
Working towards innovative health services delivery
The workshop on health was very interesting and included participants with lots of experience and key positions. After a well-received presentation the participants discussed: What is e-health? What long term commitment do we need from the bank? What is the role of, amongst others, health insurance and privacy of data?
A much respected female senior advisor of the World Bank suggested that the World Bank thinks about new ways to deliver health services in developing countries. She pointed out that the WB should not be willing to finance projects that are just replicating what was done in the past in the ‘North’. From this point of view she considered that there was a bright future for telemedicine and distance learning education.
“ICT is giving the opportunity to review what is done and to explore what should be possible and what should be adapted to the context of the developing countries.”
My view and experience on this is that ICT create opportunities for institutions in developing countries to do health service delivery in an innovative way: not matching Northern traditions but to be answering institutions’ own specific challenges. IICD is working much in line with this. What IICD is doing in the health sector attracted positive attention in particular because of our integrated approach (guiding principles or what I call ‘true capacity building’). Examples of our work within health services delivery are the Teleradiology project in Mali and the Telemedicine project in Tanzania.
Moving towards smart use of ICT in Education
As is already the case in the area of health services delivery, ICT is creating opportunities for developing countries to do education delivery in an innovative way: not according to Northern approaches but responding to its own specific challenges. The World Bank staff has an advisory role to governments in developing countries and should be prepared for these opportunities.
For IICD, it is worth to think about: do we want to mainstream ICT in education (using ICT to help teachers in their traditional education approach to make their work more attractive for the students) or do we want to stand in a new education paradigm (providing opportunities for innovative approaches) and look at how ICTs can play a role for this purpose? At the moment we are involved in both ways of developing education.
The current education system is a product of the industrial revolution, from 200 years ago. How will today’s digital revolution shape the future’s education? Education should be designed to help students to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.
Jan 14, 2010
Bringing life to presentations with interactive whiteboards has been out of reach for our partners because of the high costs ...
Bringing life to presentations with interactive whiteboards has been out of reach for our partners because of the high costs involved. Since Johnny Lee hacked the Wii remote control in 2007 an alternative market for low cost interactive boards has developed. When i saw the video in YouTube I feel I had to try it and I did it!
Johnny Lee (YouTube 2007, at TED) discovered that the remote control of the Wii is in fact a very sensitive infra-red camera. And if we have a infrared pen, the camera will register the movements of this. Based on this simple concept he develop a software to track the movements of the infrared pen and voila, a low cost interactive whiteboard was born.
Reading literature, I got convinced that it was something doable for low-tech people like me. All you need is:
- a Wii remote control (known as Wiimote)
- an infrared pen
- a Bluetooth connection between your PC and the Wii
- the software to track the infrared pen movements
There were many stories on how to transform a felt-marker into a infrared pen using an old TV remote control but i was looking for a shortcut. Something very annoying from infrared light is that it is not visible to the naked eye. The risk that things won't work because the improvised pen was not emitting light at all was too much risk.
I started Googling to know if somebody had already post a product in the market and with great delight I found that indeed there was a market dedicated to Wiimote based whiteboards, they sell not only the pen (some are even pressure sensitive) but sophisticated software and grips for the Wii remote. Of course all for a price, but it is still low costs.
Wiimote are not made for pairing with PCs and that was my nightmare yesterday night. Somewhere i found that Wiimote works better with Microsoft BlueTooth and therefore by replacing the proprietary HP driver the problem was solved.
Being a PS3 fan, i was very ignorant of how a Wiimote works (like, how do I know when is on?). But after a short while things became clear. Because i didn't want to wait until the next day i starting testing with my laptop screen acting as a whiteboard, I pointed the Wii to my screen and and calibrating the "screen", it worked!
Today, i teated with a real beamer and it works great. The infrared pen act as a mouse for pointing and clicking or can be used as a marker (red, blue or white) or as a highlighting marker, etc.
This interactive whiteboard can be used in schools and training facilities and it can improve the quality of presentations for a little investment and easy appropriation.
Nov 24, 2008
November 5 th 2008, Bamako, Mali, 7 in the morning. A special day had started. The first day of the long awaited Cr...
November 5th 2008, Bamako, Mali, 7 in the morning. A special day had started.
The first day of the long awaited Cross-Country Learning Event (CCLE) on Livelihood Opportunities, the event that IICD organises for project partners by theme once every few years and that in this occasion has fallen under my ‘livelihoods’ range of responsibilities. The bus to Sikasso was waiting in front of the hotel, already loaded with four translators and their technician with his equipment, two ladies introduced to me as ‘hostesses,’ Mady, the cheerful local co-organiser representative, bananas, peanuts and bottles of water and flavoured sodas, a shy boy that never revealed his role but that would smile to our greetings in poor French, and of course, the driver. The bus is to take us to Sikasso, capital city of the southern region with the same name, where many of IICD’s supported livelihoods projects in the country are located. It is my first time in Mali, as well as for 21 other participants coming from 7 different countries. They are expectant. I am expectant. We have invited them to a tri-lingual workshop in rural Mali to exchange experiences about rural content for rural lives, how farmers in the most disadvantaged areas are working with information and communication technologies (ICTs) to create and disseminate local content in ways that are meaningful for them. And in this context we are all first timers.
Fortunately, most of the participants had arrived on time to Bamako the night before, and the two Zambians that missed their flight (for those mysterious excuses given by airlines) would be arriving later in the day. With the help and mobile phone of my colleague Bénédicte Marcilly, the connoisseur of the local logistics and my partner for the event, we were getting a transport for the two we were leaving behind to catch up with us in Sikasso. We were promised they would be picked up upon arrival. Yes of course we would pay all the extra expenses. So we departed, Sikasso there we go.
But the day had not started here. From early hours many participants, myself, and about half of the world had been watching the results of the 2008 United States Presidential Elections. “Yes we can” had replaced the greeting “Good morning” that day. The Mirabeau Hotel TVs seemed to be all connected, tuned in the same channel that showed a large picture of Barak Obama in the background, with French journalists discussing the implications of this election for us all. We had had breakfast smiling, watching the screen. Excitement was in the air, and for me, a white Latin-American woman, receiving this news surrounded by African colleagues made those mixed feelings for history, race, humanity and development come together in a very moving awakening. This was a historical moment, and we were living in it.
The 5 hour road trip on the air conditioned bus went so smoothly that left us pleasantly surprised. No incidents, neither caws nor goats blockades, they would just run away from the loud bus horn. In Sikasso, the Hotel Kaaki Palace’s receptionist was ready for us, with all the room keys spread on the counter: Pick your room! Great. Someone handed me key 306, a room which I later discovered had no working TV, no mosquito net, and was too far from internet reach (afterwards we learned only 4 rooms in the ground floor could get signal). That was ok, I somehow had the feeling that would not have time either to watch tv or worry about mosquitoes. And for the internet, that was to be solved by quietly camping outside those four ‘connected’ rooms around midnight.
Despite all the bananas and peanuts provided during the trip by the hostesses, we were hungry. So all on to the bus again through the Sikasso market to arrive to the facilities of IER (National Institute for Agricultural Research), where the 3-day workshop was to be held. The group of ‘transformatices’, women that work in the transformation of products like mangos, coconuts and potatoes, received us with music and dancing, playing drums with such a skill that even surprised local Malian men participants. This would only be a first introduction to what we would later experience of Sikasso’s music richness. We were then kindly served salad, chicken, couscous, fruit. Welcoming remarks by our hosts filled the atmosphere, which together with those women that were cooking, dancing and chanting for us, made us quickly leave behind all the trip exhaustion, doubts and challenges since deciding to plan this event in Sikasso months ago.
And the activities began, only two hours later than planned, that afternoon. Introductory remarks, ice breakers, story telling. Everybody participated actively, and people had this extra energy that we organisers recognised as reflection of the excitement and power of coming together.
We finished that day with a visit to the IICD supported Sene Kulafoni Bulon project. We toured the facilities, the computers, looked at the produce display window and got introduced to this concrete example of close collaboration between three large farmers' organizations in Sikasso (the Union of Mango producers, the Federation of Potato producers and the Federation of Women Mango Transformers) and the regional branch of Mali’s IER that focuses on the transformation chain of products.
What particularly struck me was the lecture of a poem in Bambara, written by a member of the project, and using the IICD acronym as inspiration. See the bigger and readable version of the poem.
We soon had become part of the Sene Kulafoni Bulon’s fans club, wearing their t-shirt and taking pictures with each of their team members. And as if it could not get any better, the left behind Zambian participants arrived right on time to get to sit at the dinner table.
“As you can see here, computers are not longer a taboo for farmers” were the words of Dede Togola Konde, a very charismatic and energetic women and one of the project directors, when thanking us for the visit. As everybody clapped and smiled, and started digging into their chicken plates, I wondered how many things were not longer taboos, starting today, for all of us sitting at that table and for the world. That was a very special day, from dawn to dusk. I am sure will certainly stay with many of us for years to come.
Oct 16, 2008
What determines the success of an IICD Projectnode meeting? Is it the number of participants? Is it the location? Is it the t...
What determines the success of an IICD Projectnode meeting? Is it the number of participants? Is it the location? Is it the topics on the agenda? Or the vibrant discussions on practical subjects? What was clear on the 18th and 19th September 2008 at the Gemistar Lodge in Lusaka Zambia, is that it was a big success, because everyone went home with a feeling of satisfaction and belonging.
The project node meeting started almost on time with all IICD project partners in Zambia. With the new health project partners on board: Zambian Union of Nurses (ZUNO), Zambian National Blood Transfusion Services (ZNBTS) and Caritas Catholic Diocese of Mongu (DOM-HBC) who attended for the first time, a lot of time was spent on introductions. This was done in a special way. All projects were asked to make a short presentation, based on a template. These presentations were stuck on the walls. During the breaks people could walk around and read each others' presentations. Later in the day there was time to ask questions about eachother's projects.
From the presentations all challenges were clustered around four themes: Technical issues, Management issues, Logistical issues and Culture/Motivational issues. In three groups (Logistical and Cultural together) each theme was extensively discussed and potential solutions were presented to each other. Challenges were sometimes similar, but slightly different, and solutions for one challenge were generating more ideas for other challenges as well.
The challenges that came out was the difficulties to use Open Source software without proper training. This was an issue many of the projects had fased. The project teams had just received two CD’s called NGO-in-a-box (the base CD and Open Publishing) so the solution was easy. Some project teams had more experience than others. E-Brain, the national ICT4D network, has established a Technical Support group with techies from within the IICD supported projects (and other interested techies as well). On the D-group everyone can ask each other questions on Open Source Software or other technical issues. E-Brain will also organise some very practical Open Source Software training to project partners as well. Jennifer from ZUNO:
“I thought that we were the only one with Open Source Software issues, but now I understand that there were more projects with similar challenges who have now already more experience than we.”
Our Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) partner Kelvin Luputa presented the M&E system again especially for the new project partners, but also as a refresher for the others. A Question & Answer session started with a lively discussion. More partners are now enthusiastic about the M&E system and will go back to collect the necessary questionnaires for an End-user Focus group meeting at project level so that more can be learned about the impact of their projects.
The last presentation was a joint presentation from Lyson Chikunduzi from the Copperbelt College of Education and Gonzalo Portal from the Mpelembe Secondary School (ENEDCO project) on Local Content Development. Their presentation covered some challenges that both project were fasing, for example how to motivate the teachers. However, the highlight of their presentation was a demonstration of lessons that were developed with the help of Powerpoint and Scratch (animation software). Everyone wanted to do more hands-on training in order to work with it in their own projects.
Most participants went back to their projects with a lot of new ideas that hopefully will find their way to more project staff and end-users to continue the sharing of knowledge and experiences. To get an impression of the project node meeting watch the video 'Project node meeting with all IICD partners in Zambia - Sept 2008'.
Aug 26, 2008
Time to visit Jamaica. It seems a long time since I was Manager of the Jamaica Country Programme, back in 2004. I got to know...
Time to visit Jamaica. It seems a long time since I was Manager of the Jamaica Country Programme, back in 2004. I got to know Jamaica as a beautiful island, with spicy food and spicy people. I cycled around the island, walked the Blue Mountain, famous for its coffee, and drank cocktails once stirred by Tom Cruise at the Blue Lagoon, and gained a price in moving to the groove of Dance Hall. Off course in all assisted by my colleague Denise Clarke. I learned that indeed all Jamaicans are creative and full of ideas. I also learned that implementation of ideas in Jamaica is a complete other ball game: less practised. This resulted in many project ideas, with few implemented.
Now back in 2008, some good surprises were waiting. First, yes o yes, the Agriculture Business Information System (ABIS) project by the Rural Agriculture Development Agency (RADA), an executive agency of the Ministry of Agriculture, providing farmers with production and market information through, is in full swing. Since I left, over 100,000 - or 40% of the total - farmers have been registered in the database, and increasingly production details are updated www.abisjamaica.com.jm. Recently, extension officers are equipped with Blackberries to collect data in the field. The database will serve to inform extension officers and farmers on better production methods, what fertilizers to use where, and so on. Also, as the number of participating farmers has grown so fast, it can provide insights in production and assist in better forecasting of national production and movements in the markets. This is really nice, particularly now also the Jamaican agriculture sector needs to boost local production to counteract the sharp price rise in imported food products.
Second surprise is that the old project team of an ambitious education project started in 2000 is now spear heading a national million programme that introduces ICT in all secondary schools in Jamaica, under auspices of the Ministry of Telecommunication and the Ministry of Education. The initial pilot project, the Instructional Technology Institute , was started to develop interactive learning materials by three leading educational institutions in Jamaica. At that time, the project could not fully flourish lacking experience in this complex area, and with insufficient awareness yet in the Ministry of Education. This has changed now, in a meeting with Minister of Education and the national network ICT4D Jamaica, it became clear that the government is now fully into ICT for education. Nice to find out that the pilot project did generate a group of experts in the field, now leading this national programme. Director Avrill Crawford, former director of ITI. tells us: “Currently in Jamaica, while voice telephony has achieved practical universal access, there is relatively low demand for access to data and data-related services due to the relatively low level of education. This is a major hurdle to the creation of a knowledge-based society, critical to global competitiveness. The Ministry of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce (MITEC) is collaborating with the Ministry of Education and Youth to implementing the e-Learning Project in grades 7-11 in all approx. 165 high schools in Jamaica and utilizing information and communication technologies (ICT) to enhance the teaching and learning processes and improve the level of passes in the school-leaving examinations”.
As for the IICD support, we work with national ICT4D Jamaica network, focusing on knowledge sharing and policy influencing. They have become a vibrant and recognised network in Jamaica, and have been able to find co-sponsors of the network, one being the Heart Trust/NTA , the national teacher training organisation in Jamaica. Heart Trust/NTA supports with office space and partial time of the network coordinator. Apart from a very professional website, the network published a connectivity study and case study booklet .(They also achieved funding for an ICT-supported community centre project focused on literacy training of drop outs with highly interactive teaching materials. Another interesting activity is the ICT policy course developed for practitioners.
Well, as you can see, much is achieved by the partners in their own Jamaican way. Good thing of this is that it provides some time to enjoy the other good ol'Jmacian live. I could not visit the Blue Lagoon, but in order not to forget my good local experiences, I did find time to spend an evening at Strawberry Hill, owned by Blackwell, famous producer of Bob and Bono…
Jul 28, 2008
What I actually expected on forehand I do not recall, but to act as one of the main presenters and main resource person at a w...
What I actually expected on forehand I do not recall, but to act as one of the main presenters and main resource person at a workshop and present in French on how to write for the web was not as hard as I expected it to be. Maybe it was the people who participated; maybe it was the heat that makes you automatically slow down and become more relaxed. We simply kicked off and the workshop immediately took its own course.
The workshop ‘Ecrire pour le site web’ was organised to meet the demand of the members of the thematic network group on ICT and agriculture. The members, all project partners of IICD in Mali who had started to use ICT to improve and strengthen the activities of their own organisation, wanted to improve their writing skills to better document and share their experiences with others. Some of the participants had some experience with writing, others not: but all were eager to learn more.
Though I had proposed to hold this workshop, it was not completely without self-interest. As a member of the communications team my constant concern is how to get interesting stories about IICD’s work on the ground. Stories that give our stakeholders a better idea of how ICT can help to overcome the shortfalls of basic public services like health care, education, but also the lack of good governance and the obstacles that prevent small entrepreneurs from earning a decent income. Not an easy job if you are miles away from the place where everything happens. It is even more difficult as we do not know all the people who work on these projects in person. Hopefully, giving the project partners and members of the thematic network group some experience with writing would result in a growing number of interesting stories published on their organisation’s website or on www.mali-ntic.com, which could feed into IICD’s website.
Full of good spirit I had started my preparations, but the closer I came to the date of departure to Mali and Burkina Faso, the more nervous I got. It was years ago since I had spoken French and how much experience did I have anyway with workshops? And what about cultural differences: would they respond to what I was saying and ask if something was not clear? And if they attacked me with questions, would it be possible for me to answer them all? Or would there be no interaction at all: me being the only one talking, trying to encourage people to come forward with their ideas? My colleague Bénédicte Marcilly reassured me: yes, the participants were used to people who were not at ease in speaking French, and no, I did not need to be afraid of silent intervals. Still, I had my doubts whether I would withstand or fall.
What discouraged me a little was the fact that there was unfortunately no opportunity to discuss the programme of the workshop with the other resource person of the workshop, Filifing Diakité, in advance. His role was quite essential: not only would he explain about the sort of content on ICT and agriculture he was focussing, he also had to keep the fire burning directly after the workshop by following up on the articles participants of the workshop were supposed to finalise for the website. But Filifing Diakité was not able to arrive before 10 am on the day of the workshop itself due to other pressing matters.
But then on the day itself: all my worries and foreseen problems disappeared one by one. The people showed up, and on time. Filifing Diakité arrived during my own presentation. He showed his flexibility by changing his presentation on the spot; he presented some very interesting showcases of how to write articles. My French was of course lacking, but somehow with the help of Bénédicte Marcilly and the participants themselves, we were able to understand each other. The attaque of difficulties turned out to be nothing more than an introduction to an article, my downfall - the chute - was nothing more than a round-up of the whole article. It was a good learning experience: not only for our partners, who participated in the workshop, but also for myself. Never be afraid of something what you do not know.
Feb 25, 2008
During my business trip to Tanzania, I planned to visit Magu for a Focus Group meeting with farmers. However, getting to Magu...
During my business trip to Tanzania, I planned to visit Magu for a Focus Group meeting with farmers. However, getting to Magu was a slight challenge...
Part of the reason was the visit of “the esteemed president of the United States” to Tanzania. Days before the visit, from all road corners in Dar es Salaam, his grin would look at you from billboards with backdrops of the Kilimanjaro or the Tanzanian flag.
When he finally arrived, his visit turned into a practical problem: three out of probably five major roads in the city closed down, which made it hard to get around, and more specifically, to get to the airport. A day before my flight to Mwanza (in the Northwest of Tanzania, about 1,5 hour drive from Magu) we received word that the flight was moved two hours back because of this. Add to this: five more delayed and two cancelled flights at the airport, no luggage allowed on the plane because of fuel problems, boarding and then having to go back because of engine troubles, 300 waiting Tanzanians, 35 degrees centigrade, sticky airport food, incomprehensible messages over the airport intercom, wailing children, and 20 people hanging out of the airport bus taking pictures of Air force One. We waited for 5 hours, but - to my surprise - in the end the plane did leave. My biggest challenge was not to show my slight frustration, as the Tanzanians surrounding me remained their happy self, thanking God for finding the engine trouble before we left.
The value of the Cromabu information centre
The following morning we left early from Mwanza for Magu. Together with Dr. Ngaiza, one of the Tanzanian partners for Monitoring and Evaluation, to be part of the end user Focus Group meeting. Our intention was to reflect with a group of end users from Cromabu, a price information project for farmers, on the data that the project collected over 2007. From the data we already knew that there were very little complaints from their side: the information that Cromabu disseminates was highly valued, both for its quality and for the service given in the information centre and the different farmer groups felt very much connected to all aspects of the centre. Apart from farmers, there were other people using the (paid) services of the centre. A local representative of the Salvation Army explained how he used the Internet service of the centre to stay in contact with his organisation’s headquarters in Dar es Salaam.
Several groups of farmers had prepared a role play, explaining the daily process of getting the price information together, and disseminating it to the various communities in the Magu area. Impersonations of Cromabu’s manager and the mime of how bicycles are used to visit the communities were received with laughter and loud applause by the other participants. As was a sung poem on IICD’s assistance to the centre. Afterwards, we asked them to discuss some additional aspects found in the data analysis. Why did some people for instance not – or no longer - visit the centre and what could be done to remedy this? Or: would women also like to be involved in the use of the electronic media de project offers and if so: what impedes them to do this right now? Nobody seemed to feel shy getting into the discussion; everybody contributed and gave suggestions and ideas.
The meeting started, ended and was paused with a great number of speeches: we were welcomed, thanked for being there and for our assistance and many farmers took the opportunity to tell in detail about the impact the project had had on their life.
One of the things I learned working for IICD (apart from, for instance, eating a complete guinea fowl with just my right hand) is to come up with opening and closing speeches on the spot, a skill that came in handy during this visit.
The impact of Cromabu on farmers' daily lives
As usual, I did feel somewhat uncomfortable with the speeches of gratitude. I feel I have a wonderful job working together with dedicated and professional local partners. Not something that I should particularly receive praise for, the way I see it. That said, it was amazing to hear from first hand all those stories that we confirm by means of formal questionnaires on a yearly basis: the impact Cromabu has on the daily lives of the farmers. In the open answers in the questionnaires collected by Cromabu and during the meeting users described that with the extra income they’ve earned from the information received, they send their children to school, buy cows, repair their roof or buy a bed. Statements that make it very clear that information for development is far from a luxury!
Looking back on the day, one of the participants indicated that he was happy and proud that no issues were left out of the discussion. According to him, this showed that “it was both possible and necessary to have farmers be part of a process like this”. In my opinion a great compliment for our evaluation process and for the involvement of Cromabu with their user group. It’s very much worth coming to Magu for, despite all roadblocks and delays. Before we left, the users sang one more song. It was based on a well-know song for the emancipation of women, but with a spontaneous and small adaptation of the lyrics, they all sang: “Don’t go to sleep yet, Cromabu, there is still so much to do!”
Officer Monitoring and Evaluation Tanzania, Ghana and Ecuador
Feb 08, 2008
It is not easy to give a training on Web 2.0 tools for development, when the internet connection is slower than Sylvestre’s ...
It is not easy to give a training on Web 2.0 tools for development, when the internet connection is slower than Sylvestre’s 2CV and power cuts paralyse the whole network. It is a daily reality in Ouagadougou nowadays. Whereas the internet connection in most countries is getting faster, the connection in Burkina is getting even slower.
Still, Mohamed Ag Acharom of Afriklinks managed to inspire more than thirty members of Burkina NTIC, the IICD supported national ICT4D network in Burkina Faso. He was invited by IICD to follow a web 2.0 course at the international conference Web2forDev in Rome in September. Since the national ICT4D networks in Mali and Burkina Faso had Web 2.0 training high on their priority list, IICD asked Mohamed to train both networks in Bamako and Ouagadougou.
Burkina NTIC made a film on Burkina blogs, which served as a perfect kick-off for the training. Participant Ibaranté Momo, manager of the Telecentre ADEN in Gaoua, commented: ‘I have always wanted to publish on the web, but I did not know how. Now I have seen the film on Burkina blogs, I want to know how to start my own blog.’
Apart from creating a blog, participants discovered how to use free, online tools to share bookmarks, documents, photos and videos, and to make free, online phone calls. Mohamed: ‘This is how you can create a wiki, for example titled ‘The Slow Connection’.’
Blogs captured the attention of the participants. Burkinabe bloggers in the film receive up to 2000 visitors per month. The blog provides ‘an exit door’ according to one blogger. They get reactions from all over the world, especially from the Burkinabe Diaspora. For them, blogs are a way to stay up to date and get unorthodox views on the developments in their home country. If the internet connection allows for it, the blogosphere will soon be besieged by Burkinabe blogs.
Participant Herman Ouedraogo, here with his grandmother in front of her house.
He now knows how to share this picture with the world using flickr.
Jan 22, 2008
At first glance Apac town looks like a roundabout surrounded by a few blocks of houses and some dusty tracks, though ther...
At first glance Apac town looks like a
roundabout surrounded by a few blocks of houses and some dusty tracks, though
there is more to it then that.
Over 26 CSOs (Civil Society Organisations) and the district headquarter are established in the village. They tended to have contrary interests, however in the E-Society project they work side by side to promote civil services for the Apac society. After a handover of a day, my colleague left me with the partners to do some hands-on work. The first steps to link CSOs and the district government in a structural way were achieved in the in the first stage of the project. This visit more clearly ironed out the shared roles of the different entities. Through meetings with a couple of CSOs a pool was created, which could provide content for civil services, as for example Child Health Information for women, Market Price Information for farmers or Information on grant possibilities for youth. While at the same time the district would facilitate the process of digitisation of their accounting system and operational processes, so that the civil society will have better access to the district expenditures. It was good to see that despite the differences between the district government and the CSOs there is willingness to create openness and work more closely together.
Web2ForDev 2007 is the first conference devoted to exploring the ways in which international development stakeholders can t...
Web2ForDev 2007 is the first conference devoted to exploring the ways in which international development stakeholders can take advantage of the technical and organizational opportunities provided by Web 2.0 methods, approaches and applications.
I sat in the green room this morning, thinking back to November 2006, our first steering committee meeting organized at and by CTA. Giacomo Rambaldi from CTA had contacted me. He didn’t know that I had sat next to him during the CTA ICT Observatory meeting in 2005 on RSS feeds, being highly impressed about what he knew about the web.
During our first meeting, CTA had prepared a lot, but there was also a lot of brainstorming going on, sharing of ideas, and a growing common interest for this event. We all left that meeting, with the promise to try and mobilize our organizations and fellow staff members to work on this together. It’s pretty amazing how some enthusiasts can get so much done.
Jon Corbett (from the University of British Columbia) joined us during that meeting via skype for a short while, due to the time difference. After almost a year of online remote collaboration, now we’re in Rome and we finally met and had a cup of coffee together.
Via the conference website (www.web2fordev.net) you can find:
- Streaming video of the plenary sessions
- Content being generated on the conference wiki
- Conference blogging
- Pictures on flickr
Feel free to respond to content, topics, posts, the plenary sessions on the conference blog or wiki.
Dec 06, 2007
I recently returned from the Web4Dev conference where Christian Kreutz from GTZ, and I held a workshop titled “ Potentials ...
I recently returned from the Web4Dev conference where Christian Kreutz from GTZ, and I held a workshop titled “Potentials of Web 2.0 for Development”. The conference was hosted by UN-Habitat in Nairobi, Kenya.
I didn’t see “the big five” as I traveled only for the duration of the conference, but here are my personal “big three” encounters of the conference:
Hellene Karamagi: At the web2fordev conference in Rome, the Brosdi project became renown as one of the most exemplary examples of how Web 2.0 can help rural development. When I invited myself to Hellene’s table for lunch, I had no idea that she was Edna’s sister! What a wonderful surprise! And we went on to discuss how you could use web 2.0 tools to increase knowledge of and insight into rural development issues. Imagine this: A portal on supply chain market information tools, with only a tag cloud on the homepage… inspirational Hellene!
Unicef: Only a couple of sentences exchanged with Christopher Fabian and it becomes clear that here is a champion, in any version of the Web or communication for that matter. The recently launched Innovation Unit at Unicef is doing some exciting things like the global voices, see http://x.mepemepe.com . A space to watch!
WaterWiki: Although I missed Juerg Staudenmann’s presentation, I was excited to hear during the summary in the final plenary that the influence of an enthusiastic intern can go so far as to trigger an institution such as the UNDP to create a thematic wiki.
Modeled on the similar lines to Wikipedia, WaterWiki was conceived as a means of collecting information and systematically documenting the situation on Water Governance in Europe and the CIS. It is a knowledge platform and on-line collaboration tool for water practitioners and experts in Europe and the CIS revolving around a community of Practice (CoP).
Of course each conference has it’s own dynamic, but I couldn’t help being reminded of the enormously high level of energy and enthusiasm that was present at the Web2ForDev conference.
I was asked why the web2fordev conference had been held separate from the web4dev conference… the nature of the topic I think merits a separate event, at least initially. But maybe next year, the two can benefit more closely from each other. In any case, Christian Kreutz and I tried to represent the web2fordev spirit and movement, and bridge the two events. Our presentation (with comments) will be available soon.
Nov 19, 2007
On the 27th of October I started my first day on the job as Officer Knowledge Sharing for Zambia and Ghana. Not in the office...
On the 27th of October I started my first day on the job as Officer Knowledge Sharing for Zambia and Ghana. Not in the office in The Hague, but in Lusaka Zambia. Which was a perfect start, because it was not only an introduction to IICD in Zambia, but a return for me as well. I lived for three years in Zambia, until December 2006.
Olaf introduced me at almost all the Lusaka based projects and in the 4 days in Lusaka we had a busy schedule. We visited in a short time 2 of the 4 Health projects, 3 of the education projects and 5 of the livelihood projects. Especially the trips to Chawama Youth project (in one of the Lusaka compounds) and ZARI (Zambian Agriculture Research Institute, just outside Lusaka).
I also was introduced to the Zambian Project node core team, where we discussed on the plans of 2008. But a main focus for my introduction was with e-brain the Zambian ICT network. I met the board and the office manager of the network, who could introduce me to the way they work, there 3rd quarter report and the plans for 2008.
During this week, there was also a Dutch consultant (John) in Lusaka (from one of the IICD partners, Altran). He worked with one of the partners in Zambia, OPPAZ (Organic Producers & Processors Association Zambia) to define the requirements for the design of an Internal Control System (ICS). The internal inspectors of OPPAZ could use the ICS system to assess the farmers, who are in the Organic certification process. They can do this in the field, together with the farmer, using a handheld computer and send this to a central database with GPRS. This system would be vital in the certification process of small scale organic farmer and will be piloted in 3 districts (Chongwe, Mpongwe and Mongu).
So all in all an interesting, busy first week where I could see what IICD is doing on the ground and where I could met most of the people in Zambia with who I will work.
Officer Knowledge Sharing Zambia and Ghana
Nov 12, 2007
As I am usually mostly working from the hotel or inner-city project headquarters when in Ecuador, paying a visit to a local s...
As I am usually mostly working from the hotel or inner-city project headquarters when in Ecuador, paying a visit to a local site of one of our project partners is both interesting and a pleasure… even if it means that you’d have to get up at 4:15 in the morning to be picked op by our partners who runs the IICD supported CAMARI project.
The original plan was a two-day up-country visit to two communities that the project partner is active in. Unfortunately, one of the sites turned out not to have any connection, as they apparently forgot to pay for their electricity and had to go and fix this on the day of our visit. At least it was good to hear that connectivity problems are not only related to thunderstorms, bad equipment or political turmoil…
The adjusted plan therefore included one site about 4,5 hours from Quito. One of the persons responsible for the project and I talked about pets, favourite music and sports and of course the project itself in order to keep awake. In the meantime, scenes familiar from many Ecuador coffee table books unfolded: a sunrise over huge snow-capped volcanoes, indigenous women dressed in bright purple ponchos and black skirts and lazily grazing alpacas on the side of the road.
We passed a village with a large statue covered in different colours of bathroom tiles. “Do you know what that is?”, the partner asked. As I did not want to insult anyone, I did not dare say that the thing looked like a huge popsicle to me. “It’s a popsicle!” he said, “people here really love their ice cream.”
We arrived at the partner organisation’s office in the late morning (the project partner we work with again works with local partners in different communities). This local partner is responsible for getting certain amounts of produce, all carefully planned out on large hand-written boards, from the communities’ farmers and handicraft (wo)men to the selling point in Quito. Additionally, the information centre gives information on prices for the local produce. All tested ways to increase income of local producers and improve their decision-making on where, when and what to sell.
This was the theory. Walking around the community and talking to users of the projects I not only found out that the theory seemed to work (also proved by the encouraging evaluation data that had been coming in from the projects’ users for the last two years now), but that there was much more to it. In the first place: I probably had never before seen such an industrious village in my life! In a 2,5 hour walk I met cheese makers, sausage makers, mushroom dryers, furniture builders, football producers, nougat makers, chocolate makers, workers from the thread-factory and a group of women that knit sweaters from the thread produced in the factory. All of these micro businesses use the same communications network originally installed for the info centre for a nominal fee, which in turn helps coving a part of the info centre’s cost. The cheese factory communicates with surrounding communities that produce part of the cheese that they distribute all over the country. The chocolate factory sends e-mails back and forth about orders and packaging with Italian buyers.
The sheer existence of the info centre has over time sparked many of these initiatives. They are currently preparing to set up a VOIP-telephone, to compete with commercial (expensive and low quality) telephone provider Porta. And a Virtual Aula has been set up to provide all community members with internet access in an internet café setting. Contrary to international trends, the activity and communication possibilities have actually resulted in people moving into the community, rather than out of it, towards the city.
Talking to one of the “community economy”-founders, an Italian priest who has been in the village for over 35 years, it became clear that the effect of the network goes much further even. When asked about the most substantial changes for the community, he became really enthusiastic. Instead of elaborating on economic success or export, he talked about how the project opened up surrounding communities, till recent almost completely shut from the outside world. How young people there were seeing new possibilities, talking online with their friends in other communities. That, claimed the priest, was what was amazing about the new technology.
Every day, behind my desk in The Hague, I’m busy with the impact of our programmes: the statistics, the percentages, the lessons learned. The real life impact as seen in the community will probably always be impossible to capture….
Mr. Paul is running a telecentre in Katesh, in the north-east of Tanzania. His telecentre provides computer training, the onl...
Mr. Paul is running a telecentre in Katesh, in the north-east of Tanzania. His telecentre provides computer training, the only one in the region. His customers need information from the internet, like market price information. But the internet has not yet reached Katesh. Mr. Paul is planning to have an internet connection and an email address soon, but he needs information on how to go about it.
I met Mr. Paul last week in Mwanza. He was one of the participants of the first Tanzanian Telecentre Network workshop. Together with many others, I have been planning this workshop for months. Meeting Mr. Paul made again clear to me why a telecentre network is needed. All participants came with questions and all came with answers on: How to improve their services to the community?. Where to get ICT support? Telecentre puzzles were solved in the workshop and its grapevines. Still many need to be solved. By sharing and by joining forces.
In a speed geek session, every telecentre presented its approach to provide services to the community in a sustainable way. Some provide market price information to farmers; others provide computer courses to students, women, elderly, disabled, helping them to get a job. Some provide a community radio to inform the villages on burning issues like HIV-AIDS prevention, others provide library services. Some are entirely financed by the community; others share their internet connection with nearby schools. Some use VSAT connections; others have switched to recently available broadband. The telecentre leaders advised Mr Paul on all the available options.
Through a mapping exercise, the telecentres present were indicated on a Google Earth map. Mr. Paul found out that other telecentres actually were not that far away from him! He now knows who he can contact for support.
Then, after two days of workshopping, it is 4pm. It has been an exhausting day; participants discussed a vision, mission, objectives and organisational structure of their network, and made extensive use of the left part of their brains.
Would there still be anything wise to do, apart from calling it a day? Yes. Let’s use the right part of the brain and create a logo for the network! I was amazed by the sudden energy and creativity burst and tried to grasp it in a picture: the designers, including Mr. Paul standing in the middle, present the winning logo.
Mr. Paul went back to Katesh, connected to a whole new network of colleagues through his mobile. With confidence he told me that the internet connection will soon follow.
Oct 31, 2007
This week is my first visit to the IICD country programme in Uganda . Within IICD, I am changing position and will be taking...
This week is my first visit to the IICD country programme in Uganda. Within IICD, I am changing position and will be taking over the responsibility for project management in Uganda. In this trip a colleague is introducing me to the programme. So far the projects are really exciting. It is impressive to see how committed people are towards the projects. This weekend we visited the Health Child project, a new project which we are implementing together with Cordaid. Last week the project coordinator identified two rural communities to start Information Centers where women can be trained on Health prevention. The coordinator was a young woman, like myself. She quit her job in Kampala to live in the rural area to set up the centres. During the visit she and the rest of the implementing staff took us to one of the communities. The people were really keen on meeting us. They raised interesting questions, like how we would make sure that the elderly women of the community wouldn’t be excluded from this ‘innovative’ project. This shows that, fortunately, our end-users dare to be critical towards IICD.