Notes from the talks of Africa Gathering taking place in London, England on 25 April.
David Hollow – ICT4D Collective / RHUL
The $100 laptop in Ethiopia – A case study
ICT for Education:
How to assess impact? How can ICTs make an impact in such extreme poverty?
Why impact assessment?
- How do we know if our interventions have any benefit?
- Variety of approaches
- Operate in partnerships with people there
- Engaging in ICT 4 Education projects, but then stepping back and evaluating what was happening
XO laptop in Ethiopia
- What’s the educational challenges? Far not all children go to school, lack of textbooks & learning materials
- 5000 XO laptops in use
- Impact of the textbook reader on the XO laptop – monitoring and evaluation
- content: educational content would be useful
- teacher training: students are more advanced then the teachers – more training necessary
- integration: laptop is not integrated in courses
- frustrations: it’s not used for studying – a tyo rather than a tool; teachers have problems too, they don’t know how to use the laptops
what to do?
- text book reader: options to provide a bridge, pupils can useÂ them & teachers see the benefits
- technical challenges: mesh network & translating all the documents from textbooks to virtual
- teacher training (pedagogical & technical)
- plan for integration
- more communication to parents & community
- adjusting focus on secondary students
- government shifted their approach from authoritatian to a more collaborative one
- partnership requires transparency, expectations, communication
- there are unanticipated outcomes
reflection on own projects
- bring in self reflection
- do we asses the impact of what we’re doing?
- are beneficiaries engaged in decision making processes?
- what methods are used?
- are we conscious of power & aspiration in our projects?
- do we see ICT as our tool and development our objective?
difference between children and teachers?
- children were more willing to learn
what did children actually learn?
- main thing: how to take photographs, how to play tunes
development of Akili? in Etheopia?
- was developed in Switzerland
was there anybody responsible for translating the textbooks?
- large team of people
why secondary education rather than teachers?
- because of the volume of students – the sums involved
trying to connect to academics – you chose to work for a top-down orgaization, what could we have done better to make you work with a bottom up organization?
- there are many projects I wanted like to work with, rationale was to engage with a large scale project to better assess impact
Nkeiru Joe – International Law department, Virije University Brussel
Staying connected to Africa: an ecosystem approach as a response to the “solutions temptation”
Law, Africa & development – international law can achieve linkage
There are myriad problems when looking at international law
Solutions temptations – always going for the simplest solutions
Connecting everybody to technology – is it really great?
Submarine cabels provide Africa with big amounts of information – the issues connecting the cabels (connecting Africa with other areas) cannot be addressed within the continent alone
Has to be addressed by international law – there need to be standards in place
Who is liable for damage of the cables? Who protects the cables? A system in international law has to be put in place
UN-convention is in place – there has to be influence influence to hold the parties accountable
Norms and law can create the framework to include everyone in ICT4D
Why solutions need law?
- There need to be capable agencies in place
- Solutions can only come from within – local people have to be incorporated
- International law = “watchful parents”
without addressing issues structurally = digging deep, sustainable solutions can’t be found
Q & A:
are landlocked states also addressed by the law of sea?
- yes, they are
landlocked – geographically disadvanteged states – is there any pressure on coast states to share infrastructure with these states?
- yes, e.g. Zimbabwe can lay a cable to the sea through any country as long as they are not causing any damage