Africa Gathering – Talks 1

Notes from the talks of Africa Gathering taking place in London, England on 25 April.

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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

Lessons learned:

  • 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 use  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

wider application

  • 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?

Q&A:

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

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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

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Africa Gathering – Talks 1
was published on 25.04.2009 by Florian Sturm. It files under global
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4 Responses to “Africa Gathering – Talks 1”

  1. Putting people first » Africa Gathering in London Says:

    [...] Summaries 1 David Hollow – ICT4D Collective / RHUL * The $100 laptop in Ethiopia – A case study Nkeiru Joe – International Law department , Virije Universiteit Brussel * Staying connected to Africa: an ecosystem approach [...]

  2. Putting people first » Africa Gathering in London Says:

    [...] Summaries 1 David Hollow – ICT4D Collective / RHUL * The $100 laptop in Ethiopia – A case study Nkeiru Joe – International Law department , Virije Universiteit Brussel * Staying connected to Africa: an ecosystem approach [...]
    Ooops, should have mentioned great post! Waiting on the next post!

  3. tikido Says:

    Great informative post!

  4. domain Says:

    Excellent article. I will be experiencing many of these issues as well..

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