Today I had a chance to attend the Vodafone Power Talks conference organized in Kampala. The conference had focus on ict innovations in the health and the impact they had in Africa. Noticing the many innovations shared I was pretty impressed as some could be taken on in other sectors. Among the most interesting things was how mhealth and mvaccine have reduced the time lag for patients to access information from doctors and viceverse. This indeed has enabled greater improvements in health in Uganda and Africa wide. Ict indeed is the future though faced with challenges especially issues of poor network/connectivity and moving to scale in the rural areas. Secondly ICT4Dev is still limited to mobile phones and limited use of other gadgets like computers and laptops. I feel ICT is the game changer even with the limitations, it’s still the way to go.
All posts in category Knowledge sharing and management
Posted by sekumapter on March 31, 2016
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.
Adapted from onlinecollegecourses.com
Posted by sekumapter on December 11, 2013
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.
Posted by sekumapter on June 5, 2013
In most of the books that i have come in touch with, the word learning literally means the acquisition of knowledge or skills through experience, practice, or study, or by being taught or measurable and relatively permanent change in behavior through experience, instruction, or study. Whereas individual learning is selective, group learning is essentially political its outcomes depend largely on power playing in the group. Learning itself cannot be measured, but its results can be. In the words of Harvard Business School psychologist Chris Argyris, learning is “detection and correction of error” where an error means “any mismatch between our intentions and what actually happens.” Human learning may occur as part of education, personal development, schooling, or training. It may be goal-oriented and may be aided by motivation.
In community structures a lot of learning takes whether in a small village meeting, sub county dialogues and even at districts. This kind of learning is in most cases not documented even though its aimed at creating a permanent positive change in a community. For example a village dialogue about eliminating defecation in water ponds will create a lasting impact in the community because one person has talked about. This kind of learning is called adaptation learning.
Darwin ‘s Adaptation theory, also known as survival theory or survival of the fittest, is an organism’s ability to adapt to changes in its environment and adjust accordingly over time. Adaptations occur over generations of a species with those traits that help an individual animal eat and mate most profusely being passed down from generation to generation until the whole species changes to be better suited to their environment.This theory explains man ‘s ability to adapt to any environment basing on what others are doing at a particular time.
The idea of Community Led total Sanitation (CLTs) which focuses on eliminating open defecation (OD) where Communities are facilitated to conduct their own appraisal and analysis of open defecation (OD) and take their own action to become ODF (open defecation free) uses the same concept of adaptation.CLTS focuses on the behavioural change needed to ensure real and sustainable improvements – investing in community mobilisation instead of hardware, and shifting the focus from toilet construction for individual households to the creation of open defecation-free villages. The big idea comes through when individuals shift from what everyone seems to used to and adapting to health sustainable ways.
Transfer of learning is the application of skill, knowledge or understanding to resolve a novel problem or situation. which happens when certain conditions are fulfilled. Research indicates that learning transfer is infrequent; most common when “… cued, primed, and guided…” and has sought to clarify what it is, and how it might be promoted through instruction. However whichever method that knowledge is transferred, adaptation is key in ensuring behaviour change at any level.
My imagination of how learning at institutional level occurs
Posted by sekumapter on May 8, 2013
For many people there is not a day that goes by without using water. We take a shower in the morning, make coffee during breakfast, clean our clothes in the washing machine and wash our hands after using the bathroom. Can you imagine a day without water? I sure can’t… In Uganda an average household uses 20 liters per person per day. What we don’t realize every time we open the tap is that water isn’t available in all parts of the country. The lack of clean water usage leads to a lot of hygiene related health problems.
A life changer
In Uganda millions of people have access to a mobile phone. For Ugandans mobile phones seem to be more than a device used to communicate, rather they are a way of life. One single text message can make a big difference. Why not use this knowledge to improve the hygiene and access to sanitation facilities?
In 2013 NETWAS Uganda partnered SMSONE to set up their first SMS campaign in Bombo through the DANIDA funded good governance project. Here water users are able to communicate with the service provider through a sms text. So the initiative has reached over a hundred people who are able to send an sms through the toll free numbers.
Posted by sekumapter on May 2, 2013
It is widely accepted that one the major challenges of the 21st century is to provide safe drinking water and basic sanitation for all. And yet governments continue investing a lot into research and implementation in the WASH sector and at both district and sub county level. The big question then arises ‘Why ain’t we making any progress?’ A Water Aid report reveals that countries like Uganda has achieved only 34 per cent access to basic sanitation compared to the required 72 per cent by 2015. This means that more than half of the Ugandan population lack access to basic sanitation facilities.
In many of the African countries like Uganda there is still big challenge to harmonize culture and the new ideas that keep cropping up each and every day. You realize that each of these new ideas is aiming at ensuring better and sustainable improved ways of living. For example the idea of mobile phones for WASH seems always manipulating, according to some communities and yet it looks at promoting effective communication, CLTs is the other initiative which has worked in many communities to eradicate ODF and still yet many feel it hasn’t been successful. Everything comes down to communication. When we communicate we use a lot more than just the verbal message that we want to get across. Often we don’t pay attention to the way we present ourselves, just as important as the verbal message is the non-verbal communication. Behavioural change is always the most important goal of our communication. Therefore before coming up with any community initiative, one has to design behaviour change strategy which should include:
- Research and proper planning
- Knowing the needs of the population
Different target groups will require different approaches. Therefore, when making decisions about which target groups and which factors to address, it is necessary to consider:
- which target groups are most vulnerable;
- which risk / vulnerability factors are most important;
- which factors may be related to the impact of conflict and displacement;
- which target groups and risk / vulnerability factors the community wants to address;
- what could be motivators for behavior change;
- what could be barriers to behavior change;
- what type of messages will be meaningful to each target group;
- which communication media would best reach the target group;
- which services/resources are accessible to the target group;
- which target groups and risk / vulnerability factors are feasible in terms of expertise, resources and time.
Posted by sekumapter on April 12, 2013
People often say “you can’t value knowledge”
In a strict sense, that is probably true, but there is a proxy for the value of knowledge, and that is how much a knowledge worker earns. The chart to the right is drawn from here, and shows how average UK salaries increase with years of experience. Each year of experience seems to equate roughly to an added £1000 in salary. This “value of experience” is a proxy for the value of knowledge, because experience is where knowledge comes from.
The chart shows average salaries, covering all types of job; not necessarily knowledge workers. The value per year of experience depends on the job, and on the knowledge.
Posted by sekumapter on March 28, 2013
In Uganda due to the very many phones springing up every year, voice calls and SMS texts are the most common means of communication. This is evidenced by the different telecommunications companies like MTN, UTL, WARID and others which have penetrated the market. In Uganda, approximately half of the country‘s districts are still below the national coverage of 64% which implies that very many people still don’t have access to improved water and sanitation.(SPR,2012). Surprisingly, these vulnerable people are more likely to have a mobile phone instead of access to a clean toilet.
Year after year, the government struggles to provide growing populations with basic water and sanitation needs while mobile phones have become ambiguous in the developing world. Global statistics also indicate that most of the water problems today are as a result of poor governance in WASH. The low levels of accountability and transparency in the WASH sector have led to increase in number of broken pumps, contaminated water sources, unsafe water chains and so on.
Coordination of users with the service provider is vital to the success of ensuring sustainable service delivery. This document presents SMS as an effective channel of communication for water users and providers and how it can help in ensuring long term planning, monitoring, policy-making, and governance.
Getting high quality and useful information and knowledge to the community members has also been a problem. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of access to sources and channels of knowledge and information. But with the availability of mobile phones, radio spot messages within and availed to the communities, this process will allow increased dissemination of knowledge and information on WASH accountability.
3.0 Purpose of this Channel
The purpose of using this SMS channels is to introduce the rapidly growing use of mobile technology into activities that promote enhanced accountability in WASH services provision, in particular by providing service users (e.g. citizens in general) a greater voice in providing feedback on quality and quantity of services and support provided.
The issues to be addressed include among others: increased and facilitated communication, involve citizens that cannot afford expensive travel to offices to complain or ask for support, increased efficiency and effectiveness of services rendered, enhanced customer satisfaction among others.
Why an SMS?
During a household listing exercise and baseline survey, it was realized that most water users have access to mobile phones at their disposal than toilets.
The impact of SMS can be seen in almost every aspect of life, from teenagers’ fragmented attention spans, to presidential campaigns, to the ways victims of natural disasters seek relief.
SMS and mobile phones in general, get that one-to-one contact and engage rural, remote communities. Though it doesn’t have the best reach compared to the radio, thus there is need to combine the two, if we can reach out to the community and figure out what they’re thinking, what they’re saying, and put that on the radio so that it’s communities talking to communities in a localized manner to start more discussion, then it sparks more feedback through mobile phones. By using real voices and reports from communities, the service provider is able to address the concerns and wants of the community and advocate for beneficiaries with a clearer idea of goals and need. SMS are effective and open channel of communication.
- Enhanced efficiency and effectiveness of WASH services provided under governance of local government
- Enhanced Town council level capacity to manage citizen’s involvement through mobile channels.
- A rapidly increase in citizens involvement in providing feedback and monitoring of WASH services
Posted by sekumapter on December 11, 2012
Being able to communicate effectively is essential in every career. As recruiters will tell you, it’s a skill coveted by employers. However, the ability to communicate well goes beyond being able to express yourself. It’s more than giving a compelling presentation or writing a solid report. It’s part of the talent for developing interpersonal relationships.
Communication plays a part whether you’re trying to generate sales, participate successfully on a team, or simply get along with your office-mates. It’s particularly important when it comes to cultivating relationships with significant people like your boss. The repercussions of poor communication can range from continual team conflicts to poor performance reviews.
One of the reasons we run into problems is because we like to communicate differently. As you may already know our communication style depends a lot on our personality preferences which is explored using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Not surprisingly there’s a big difference between Extroverts and Introverts. Generally, Introverts prefer to communicate via email so they have time to digest the information they’ve received and gather their thoughts before responding to others. On the other hand, Extroverts who often “think out loud” would rather pick up the phone.
Somewhat surprisingly, communication styles are not that different between generations according to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder. The company surveyed two groups of managers and workers – one group aged 25 to 34 the other group aged 55 and over. The majority of respondents from both groups said they preferred face-to-face communication, while a relatively small percentage said they preferred the phone. Although ranking a distant second to in-person conversations, respondents ranked digital communication, email or text, the next-best option. Unfortunately, the survey did not distinguish between a preference for text as opposed to email.
Of course, when it comes to communication there are gender differences as well. Men tend to focus more on what’s being said. Women frequently pay attention to more subtle messages like body language which is something to think about when you’re sitting in all those meetings. Be sure to listen to what’s being said and how people are saying it.
The bottom line is that when it comes to communicating effectively you need to think about the other person’s preferred style. If your favorite client always emails questions you might want to email your response even if you’d rather pick up the phone. If your boss generally sends texts you may want to adopt that as well. On the other hand, if your boss leaves you a voice mail you may not want to reply with a text.
One of the keys to successful communication is to use the other person’s preferred style. What if you’re not sure? It’s simple. Just ask.
Posted by sekumapter on October 12, 2012