WASHTech Uganda: Recommendations for sector strengthening

See on Scoop.itWASH Uganda

A presentation by Paul Kimera, 27-28 June 2013.

See on www.slideshare.net

Technology Assessment Framework – TAF

See on Scoop.itWASH Uganda

The national CSO forum in Uganda is organized by the national NGO network (NGO-Forum) and has representation from all sectors.

See on www.slideshare.net

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 480 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 8 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Hacked

Most people manage multiple online accounts for a variety of uses””from multiple email addresses to online shopping accounts or online banking, the average person accesses an account containing personal information at least once a day. Whether you manage large quantities of financial information via an online account, or you simply have personal information associated with your social media accounts, chances are you would hate for that information to fall into someone else’s hands.

However, sometimes keeping your private information private isn’t as easy as it should be. 75% of Americans have fallen or will fall victim to some sort of cyber crime due to having their accounts hacked. And among larger institutions, like corporations or even universities, when data for large amounts of people is stored all in one central location, the risk for being hacked is even higher. In fact, about 90% of corporations report suffering some sort of system breach over the course of the past 12 months. Being hacked can feel tough to avoid, especially after it’s happened to you, but handling your personal, online accounts responsibly and safely is more important than ever. If you want to keep your information safe, your line of defense starts with a solid, reliable password.

 

Hacked Infographic

Adapted from onlinecollegecourses.com

The ‘personal’ factor, beyond the human factor in KM

See on Scoop.itVillage water

“Perhaps the most useful (and seemingly counter-intuitive) measure to get KM right is not to develop a strategy or an information system – or even better: a portal!!! oh no, pleasenot another one - but first and foremost to hire the right person for the job. Someone who really ‘gets it’ and can influence the rest of the organisation, little by little. Ditto for the other champions that get a KM strategy to fly (even under the radar).”

See on km4meu.wordpress.com

Only people can let knowledge flow | Harold Jarche

See on Scoop.itVillage water

“The knowledge sharing paradox is that while sharing our knowledge is good for the organization, each individual has to see a personal benefit as well. The more the enterprise directs knowledge-sharing, the less likely it will happen. Conversely, the less structured the process, the more difficult it is for the organization to benefit. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, or so it seems.”

See on www.jarche.com

Modern strains put Lake Victoria in critical condition – SciDev.Net

See on Scoop.itWASH Uganda

Modern strains put Lake Victoria in critical condition SciDev.Net And researchers in the three countries bordering the world’s largest tropical lake — Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda — largely blame governments and national agencies for failing to…

See on www.scidev.net

What did Einstein know about Knowledge Management?

Originally posted on All of us are smarter than any of us...:

Quite a lot, it appears!

Here are my top ten favourite “Einstein on KM” quotes, which I have roughly curated into a journey from information to knowledge, through to learning and simplicity, experimentation, failure, curiosity and imagination…

  • Information is not knowledge.
  • The only source of knowledge is experience.
  • Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.
  • If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
  • We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.
  • The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.
  • Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.
  • Knowledge of what is does not open the door directly to what should be.
  • Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.
  • The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.

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The Immediate Climate Threat Is Water Scarcity, Not Rising Sea Levels

I have been having a couple of discussions on this topic especially due to the fact that many think that the immediate threat to climate change is rising water levels. I agree 100% that rising water levels are also a big threat but water scarcity is bigger than a threat since it affects human life in so many ways. I recently read an article which supported my argument and felt the need to share;

When it comes to explaining how climate change will harm future civilization, many media outlets (including this one) tend to focus on hurricanes or rising sea levels. These are natural topics to generate interest in the heating Earth – the mental image of a city overrun with briny water, like New Orleans after Katrina, is charged with worry and doom.

But what the media should be focusing on is not the ocean but the land, specifically how dried out vast regions are becoming and the major effects it’s having on societies. Intense droughts influenced by climate change are happening now, devastating farmers, causing mass migrations, and perhaps even contributing to the recent uprisings in the Middle East.

Arguing that the media should pound less on rising sea levels might not be appropriate when talking with somebody from the Pacific islands, or any other low-lying area that’s anticipating nasty flooding. But the most punishing impacts of sea-level rise – excluding, perhaps, its debilitating amplification of tidal surges as with Superstorm Sandy – isn’t expected to occur until later in the century. Meanwhile, many researchers say that climate change is actively worsening droughts and shriveling up access to water for hundreds of millions of people.

“When talking about what the greatest threats are that we face with climate change, I would put right at the top drought and water availability,” says meteorologist Jeff Masters, who I spoke with recently. Masters, who co-founded the Weather Underground, finds it understandable that reporters don’t rush to the site of droughts as much as they do for whirling cyclones: It’s not like descriptions of hardened mud and wheat slowly dying in the field makes an intrinsically great narrative. “It’s not as exciting; people don’t run away from giant droughts like they do with hurricanes.”

But droughts are “what will be causing the greatest trouble,” Masters says. “Throughout history, that’s what caused many civilizations to fail,” from the Mayan Empire to the ancient kingdom of Egypt.

There’s evidence the parching of the planet is already helping sow chaos across the Middle East. In the years prior to the Syrian conflict, for example, a historic drought that NOAA linked with climate change had decimated up to three-quarters of crops in the country’s growing regions. That forced an exodus of roughly 1.5 million farmers and herders into the cities, injecting more unrest among crowded urban populations.

“We can’t say climate change caused the civil war,” Francesco Femia of the D.C.-based Center for Climate and Security recently told the Washington Post. “But we can say that there were some very harsh climatic conditions that led to instability.”

Femia also believes that droughts were partial motivators behind the government-toppling Arab Spring revolts. She explains:

We looked at a number of different dynamics. Troy Sternberg, Sarah Johnstone and Jeffrey Mazo looked at the impacts of climate change in Ukraine and Russia and how droughts in those parts of the world in 2010 may have contributed to a wheat shortage. That, in turn, led China to purchase a lot of wheat on the global food market [which led to spikes in the price of food worldwide].

Again, they don’t claim that the price spikes caused the revolution in Egypt or Tunisia. But they do look at how those prices spikes led to parallel bread protests in Egypt in particular. The point here is that the proximate cause of the protests that led to [Egyptian President Hosni] Mubarak’s downfall may have been the response to the earlier Tunisian revolt. But the broader appeal of that movement in rural areas may have been partly due to the fact that bread prices were high. The Egyptian government tried to use subsidies to keep the price of bread down, but that didn’t affect rural areas.

All this is a lead-up to point out that new research on Monday predicts that even in an optimistic warming scenario, up to 500 million people will be subject to water scarcity by the end of the century. In a more-dire scenario it could mean 1 billion lives experiencing water deprivation, mainly in North Africa, parts of Asia, the Mediterranean and (great news!) the Middle East. As one of the researchers at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research put it, “Our findings support the assertion that we are fundamentally destabilizing our natural systems – we are leaving the world as we know it.”

Innovative communication

During one of the board meetings at my organization, i was tasked to come up with communication strategies that would push our organization to the “world map” and improve its image both in the country and the world at large.  From experience this would be easy to do  since the organization has a website and information is frequently shared,  however this doesn’t do the trick.  I started thinking of innovative ways that would push  for  increased the web view statistics and also  learning within and outside the organization which led me to a simple innovative guide that helped me plan effectively .

In an article published in the guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk ) a panel of experts gave fifteen ways on the need for communication  in aid work and how to get it right.  These include:

People engage best with people, not abstract issues: Single case-study stories done properly can illustrate wider issue in a real, accessible and relevant way. But most information gathering is NOT geared to this. Most programmes gather information to populate their log frame KPIs in a very static and lifeless way.

Communicate the difference people can make: As a fundraiser, what motivates supporters is communicating the difference people can make to a problem. That means showing the need with the opportunity for improvement. The spirit and dignity of people is part of that.

Be honest about your own agenda: Charities choose who to show solidarity towards depending on their own agenda, and fund according to their priorities. When a campaign is focused on complicated policy outcomes without adequate attention to how they are relevant to people, people can’t see how they can engage.

Celebrities can help capitalise on news coverage: Very few issues, countries or organisations stay on top of the news agenda for long, but the use of celebrities is one way of tapping into it. The responsibility of each group is to do their jobs and make sure they don’t make anything worse than it already is, but I’d see celebrity involvement for what it is: helpful, high impact and potentially catalytic, but not a substitute for many other aspects of an organisation’s or individual’s goals.

Agencies should adapt to aid’s increasing insignificance: While still being significant to people, aid is less so for economies with the emergence of other means of development such as remittances. Unless agencies adapt they will find themselves tumbling down the hierarchy. One of my colleagues Andrew Rogerson even said they face an ‘existential threat‘.

Find a private sector partner: Recruit one company as your champion, so it can push your cause among peers. It can be useful to give them a platform to make the announcement that they’re changing their policies or donating funds, for example.

Strategic communications can change policy: For example, the Global Monitoring Report released new figures on the state of education in Pakistan in October last year and used the figures to campaign in the press in the aftermath of the tragic shooting of Malala. The statistics were picked up by Pakistani politicians and by Gordon Brown in his role as UN special envoy. This media work contributed to the country making the positive decisions it did to find more funds for education and passing the free education bill.

Monitor everything: Integrating communications and continually monitoring progress and impact can be really useful. You can start to pull out what worked and what didn’t and adjust your approach accordingly. It’s also a great opportunity to look back at what could have been done to increase impact.

Know your audience: Research is key to clearly identify target audience, where they get their information from and how they communicate. It’s then possible to tailor your message and test it, but don’t assume people will get it.

Be led by people in relevant countries: International campaigning can support this and can help to tackle the international issues of the role of outside governments and corporations, but is never enough on its own.

Shift from compassion to solidarity campaigning: Corporate tax dodging is wrong because failure of multinationals to pay their taxes in Zambia means that the country is deprived of the money needed for schools, health and support to farmers. But the same tax dodging also hurts people in the west. So the campaign against tax dodging isn’t a north-south let’s help them thing – it’s a together-we-are-powerful 99% thing.

Select the relevant data: One cannot reasonably paint the whole picture and hope to be targeting the right audience. The hard balance to find is between saying what pays off and sticking with the whole story you are supposed to tell. Our utmost concern as communicators should be to ensure the integrity of our message and that it is in sync with our mission. We owe that transparency to our audiences and donors.

Do more with less by being inventive: Particularly for small NGOs, a lack of resources can be a big obstacle effective communications. Overcome this by drawing on freelancers, opening competitions among students, daring to ask for pro bono, being efficient in your use of social media to relay your messages and finding synergies with strategically-chosen partners. That will be the best way to convince a disapproving majority.

Face the critics: It is fair to raise concerns about the way that aid can be misused or misguided, or ask whether it’s right to ring-fence development aid. More aid organizations should openly explain their case and stand up for what they believe in.

Listen to people on the ground: I think it’s important to talk with the people you have working on the ground and hear from them what the real problems are/what’s needed, before you get round the table in HQ and devise the comms tools to suit. Don’t assume you already know the answer, because things are rarely as simple as they seem.

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