Clayton Dewey wrote up a nice post on his blog introducing himself and his topic for the Africa Roundtable coming up on 13 May - see below, after a listing of the great Africa Roundtables we have planned for this summer. To help our event team gauge interest and make plans, please register for the events that interest you as soon as possible!
Trivia fact: did you know? the US-based nonprofit organization that governs and operates the Kabissa online networking platform is based on Bainbridge Island, a short ferry ride from Seattle in the northwest corner of the United States. Bainbridge is located in Kitsap County, named after Chief Kitsap of the Suquamish tribe. According to wikipedia, Kitsap County was originally called Slaughter County! Thankfully it was soon renamed.
More immediately relevant to Kabissa is the fact that we have been included in a distinguished group of 200 nonprofits to participate in Kitsap Great Give, a one-day giving event with the aim to raise $500,000 in total. Donations will be incentivized by a widely promoted campaign and exciting prizes contributed by local foundations.
Kabissa may be run by volunteers, but we depend on donations to cover our core costs. No matter where you are in the world, please join the campaign on 6 May and donate to Kabissa!
Update 4/11: There's a great post over on qz.com with an update on which sites were affected (with before/after lists) and what action should be taken. Key is to not bother updating passwords until the site has been fixed. Link: http://qz.com/197258/t/60189
I just finished changing alot of passwords. <phew>
Please take some time TODAY to read this brief post and change passwords for services that were affected by the Heartbleed Bug but have been fixed already.
Building a prosperous future at eLearning Africa 2014
More than ever before, Africans are turning to ICT-supported learning to grow their economies. In 2013, the eLearning Africa Report found that 40% of African technology-assisted learning professionals were using ICTs specifically for skills training, up from 18% the previous year.
The benefit of ICT-supported learning is that it allows employers to provide vocational training to a great number of workers for little cost. This year’s eLearning Africa, 28th – 30th May in Kampala, Uganda, will explore how technology is revolutionising learning and training across the continent, under the theme “Opening Frontiers to the Future”.
“Many African countries are seeking to diversify their economies and stimulate sectors such as tourism and finance, but skills shortages are preventing them from doing so”, says Rebecca Stromeyer, founder of eLearning Africa. “eLearning will allow more and more African countries to easily train the next generation of in-demand workers”.
Innovative people and organisations across the Continent are working to fill in this “skills-gap”. Leading this movement is LEAP Africa, which has equipped over 30,000 youth, business owners and professionals to lead positive change in their personal lives, business ventures and local communities. Iyadunni Olubode, Executive Director of LEAP, and keynote speaker at eLearning Africa 2014, emphasises the role that using technology to support learning can play: “eLearning tools, including audio and video, are critical in reaching the Continent’s teeming population”.
Dr Bitange Ndemo, former Permanent Secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communication and an eLearning Africa 2014 keynote speaker, believes that vocational skills often do not receive the recognition they deserve: “We have spent many years trying to focus on theory and hoping that it will translate to skills. This is a false belief. Countries that are successful have a strong skills development programme. In Kenya whilst there are many jobs, there is widespread unemployment because the youth lack the skills. This problem can be solved if on-line content in all trades, including soft skills, is widely accessible. Many youth are known to shun vocational training in favour of nonexistent white collar jobs. There is need to encourage the youth to take up blue collar skills that offer many opportunities for training”.
eLearning Africa 2014 will bring together policy experts, educational professionals and business leaders to tackle this and other topics. Hosted by the Republic of Uganda, the conference's wide-ranging plenaries, sessions and exhibitions will showcase the inspiring stories, innovations and research that make up today's complex picture of ICT for development, education and training in Africa.
Renowned for its vibrant, stimulating atmosphere, eLearning Africa is the place to discuss Africa's exciting future. This year's conference will bring together more than 1,500 technology and education professionals.
Notes for editors
- eLearning Africa, 9th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training
- May 28 - 30, 2014
- Speke Resort and Conference Centre Ltd, Munyonyo, Kampala, Uganda
- Organisers: ICWE GmbH, Government of Uganda
Managing Director: Rebecca Stromeyer Email: [email protected]
Tel.: +49 (0)30 310 18 18-0
ICWE GmbH, Andrea Ricciarelli
[email protected] Tel.: +49 (0)30 310 18 18-0, Fax: +49 (0)30 324 98 43
Twitter: @eLAconference, #eLA14
LinkedIn: eLearning Africa
Only a few years ago 'unconferences' where a new and different type of event, where people organized themselves online to meet somewhere to listen and exchange about crazy ideas. The web-based model of open innovation developed into face-to-face events. Years later, we are now witnessing how innovation hubs are popping up across the world. Spaces are being opened for anyone to exchange ideas and find help and solutions to seriously implement these. The Internet, as platform for open innovation, has been transforming the way we collaborate, which makes companies, for instance, experiment with incubators, accelerators oropen innovation challenges.
Luckily, these innovation hubs are not reserved to capitals from the Northern hemisphere; in contrary, the most vibrant communities are located in the Southern hemisphere.
What an inspiring, educational, and motivating roundtable this was!
Were you one of the 62 registered participants who ended up not tuning in? If you are reading this it means you either represent an organization, you strive for change and are an agent for change, or you a are looking for ways to make a difference. What ever your reasons, this report is relevant to you. And, for those who turned up, representing Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana and the Kabissa team, I think this was one of the most relevant discussions I have ever participated on.
The gist of the roundtable was looking at ‘story telling as a medium for enticing change’. We all either know how to tell stories or enjoy reading and hearing stories. As you listen to a story, do you find yourself looking for something you can identify with? Most of us do.
Now imagine story telling in the world of development aid and fundraising.
The Roundtable’s guest speaker and key presenter was Sonja Lehner from Global Giving in Washington DC. She told us, the 10 participants who were able to attend this invigorating webinar, how to succeed at raising funds for your organization and help it achieve its mission. I will share links relevant to GlobalGiving as well as the full recording of the event at the end of this report.
We started promptly, all participants eager to listen to how Sonja was going to tell us the story on successful fundraising. We stopped the recording after one hour and opened up the floor to open networking and discussion for nearly another hour.
Sonja highlighted several main points to telling ‘your’ story connected to fundraising:
- Identify yourself: Who are you? What is your organization? How can you tell your organization’s story? Talk about yourself and your organization to the donors in a structured way. Think about your relevance to the changes you want to spur and achieve.
- Share your mission: Why is your topic relevant? Why are you so passionate about your topic? Make sure here that you make the cause relevant and not you or your organization.
- Bring out your personality: Talk about something linked to your topic that the donor can relate to. Ask yourself if you are coming across as warm or cold. Is there any aspect of your mission that the donor can relate to? Look for the human aspect that connects you to the donor and make it real. You want to go beyond being seen as just words on a piece of paper.
- Prove your worth: Why are you different? Show how you or your organization will make an impact and above all be transparent. This is where you can ask people from the community to add their voices to the cause and show the donor how they will benefit from your organization.
- Explain what your need is and why: Have a plan ready for you to show on how you will get to where you want to be. Show the donor how with their help, big or small, you will get to where you want and you will be able to meet the challenges your organization is facing.
- Involve donors by asking them to help you spread the word: You can encourage donors in your story telling to please share what you and your organization stand for with other; post on your behalf on Facebook for example. And, above all, make sure the donors know how grateful you are that they are helping you spread your mission. You should also involve the donor by asking for feed back on your approach, maybe they can recommend how you can make your request better, what you should include, what type of information would make your ‘authentic’ story more compelling.
- Make your story a true story: Real stories interest donors. Authenticity makes you transparent and through truth, a donor might be able to relate to a part of your story. By telling the truth, the cause becomes more visible, your audience will be able to show emotion, relate to that emotion with yours, and empathy. Include stories from the field to back up your authenticity, let the beneficiaries voices be heard.
- Use powerful imagery: Through imagery such as photographs you will be able to show what has been happening, where an impact has been made, and what is taking place on the ground if is is still an ongoing project. Imagery will also help the donors see that their money is working and achieving what you set out in your mission statement. Make the imagery positive and this will probably have the effect of a donor continuing to give towards your cause and possibly even recommend you to others. Avoid shocking, depressing imagery that does not show that your mission is succeeding. Positive images show the solution.
- Thank your donors: In any culture, especially all our Africa, ‘thanking’ someone for helping and listening to you, goes without saying. So, do not forget to thank the donor you have just approached. This will help build relationships, get you new ‘friends’ and keep the old ones. Where success has been achieved, make sure to write to the donors and tell them about the impacts made and that it is only with their help that you and your organization could have come as far as you did. With the imagery you enclose to support this, you will win the trust of the donor, show that every contribution counts and that the community it serves is on its way to manage and own itself. Sonya also talked about the most helpful and important point of all - let the beneficiaries write to donors themselves to tell them how the organization and their involvement has helped them.
The above recommendations on how to tell your story for successful fundraising work not only for ongoing causes, but also for telling stories about new initiatives which can also follow similar guidelines to raise initial awareness and interest.
Paramount is that you must be ready to support what you say your mission needs with examples. Sonja herself gave several compelling examples to support her above presentation and that it works. She talked about an adoption initiative in India where funds were needed to help women cover the costs for adoption. The cause was successful and the beneficiaries in turn all wrote to donors telling them how much they benefited from the organizations help that facilitated adoptions and sent pictures of them with their new family additions, showing happy smiling faces. The donors were moved, they were able to relate to the image of a happy family, because that is what we all want, and the project continued in its success.
Discussants raised another very significant point. In telling your story, and aiming for it to be relatable, remember that the person reading your ‘story’ might be sitting in a high rise building in New York while you might be sitting in a remote village outside an African capital city. There will be hardly any similarities between you at that point. But, if in your story telling you can find a human aspect that connects you, then your chances of succeeding are higher. Sonja gave the example of a women’s right group in Malaysia that needed to raise funds for different issues in support of raising awareness to gender rights. They included in their letter a story about how men in Malaysia accusing women of being bad drivers and thus making it difficult for women to have an equal presence on the road. Sonja said, as a woman sitting in New York, she was able to relate to this given that in the West you also hear men complaining how ‘bad’ female drivers are. Right there she as a donor, was able to relate to Malaysian female drivers thousands of miles away.
GlobalGiving is a crowd funding platform that works entirely online. It helps partner donors with organizations and it also conducts online trainings for partners like this one. If you want to know more about joining GlobalGiving please follow this link: https://www.globalgiving.org/non-profits/join-globalgiving/
To listen to the full one-hour recording of the Africa Roundtable: ‘How to get noticed in a sea of thousands’ - go to https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/recording/5183300480659065601
Tobias Eigen wrote a blog post entitled "10 Tips for Succeeding in the Global Open Challenge" that is worth a read: http://www.kabissa.org/blog/ten-tips-succeeding-global-open-challenge
A wealth of content shared on Kabissa by and about Global Giving over the years can be browsed at http://www.kabissa.org/tags/global-giving
Little more than two months left before the eLearning Africa 2014 Conference hosts online learning enthusiasts in Kampala.
Here are just some of the speakers of Featured Speakers confirmed so far: http://bit.ly/1mcc8dK
By Leesi Ebenezer Mitee
Like most developing countries, Nigeria lacks adequate public access to every aspect of legal information. That was the indisputable finding of my Master of Laws (LLM) dissertation at the University of Huddersfield (United Kingdom) titled, “Public Access to Legislation and Its Inherent Human Rights: A Comparative Study of the United Kingdom and Nigeria.”
The cost of access to legislation is prohibitive in Nigeria. Beyond the few pieces of legislation on the National Assembly website, there is no official online legislation database in the country and no public depository library programme where members of the public may access legislation free of charge. The result is that Nigerians must buy statute books and every copy of the Official Gazette containing legislation in order to know the laws in existence.
My dissertation (and personal experience as a lecturer and lawyer in Nigeria) revealed that most Nigerian lawyers cannot afford the high cost of buying statute books (the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria or those of the different thirty-six States)! If it is so with lawyers, one does not need Solomonic wisdom to know the utter plight of Nigerian citizens with regard to acquiring access to enacted laws.
In my dissertation, I identified and proposed public access to legislation as a category of human rights in accordance with Articles 6(c) and 7 of the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1999. The doctrine that ignorance of the law is no excuse (because everybody is presumed to know the law) places a parallel duty on every Government to provide adequate public access (timely, comprehensive, and free of charge) to all legal rules and regulations in its jurisdiction. This is necessary because access to legislation is a major determinant of access to justice.
The three-point Montreal Declaration on Free Access to Law 2002 (amended in 2003) made by Legal Information Institutes (participants in the Free Access to Law Movement) is a major expression of this philosophy. It states:
- Public legal information from all countries and international institutions is part of the common heritage of humanity. Maximising access to this information promotes justice and the rule of law;
- Public legal information is digital common property and should be accessible to all on a non-profit basis and free of charge;
- Independent non-profit organisations have the right to publish public legal information and the government bodies that create or control that information should provide access to it so that it can be published.
In order to solve the perennial problem of lack of public access to legislation in Nigeria, there are two indispensable requirements that must be fulfilled:
- the enactment of the Freedom of Information Act (federal legislation for the whole country);
- and the complete abrogation of government copyright in legislation (necessitating repeal of the offending provisions of the Nigerian Copyright Act 1988).
The right of access to public information is the parent right of public access to legislation, because legislation is an integral component of public information. Regrettably, it took an unbelievably long time for the Nigerian Freedom of Information Bill, whichwas introduced to the House of Representatives of the National Assembly in 1999, to be enacted into law. The unenviable story behind the Bill is akin to the story of a series of aborted pregnancies. There was no political will to enact it, and it never saw the light of day, despite spirited campaigns by numerous non-governmental organisations, pro-democracy groups, and media associations within and outside Nigeria. Finally, the Nigerian National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives) passed the Bill, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan assented to it, whereupon it became the Nigerian Freedom of Information Act 2011. Oh, what a day of rejoicing that was!
The enactment of the Nigerian Freedom of Information Act 2011 should, naturally, pave the way for abrogation of government copyright in government publications, including legislation. But that can only happen if there is the political will to embrace the philosophy behind freedom of information. It is hereby recommended that government copyright in legislation at all the three levels of law-making (Federal, State, and Local Government) be abrogated forthwith to usher in the necessary mechanics for public access to legislation in Nigeria.
Copyright © Leesi Ebenezer Mitee