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Collaboration, Education, Livelihoods and Development in a Changing World

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Community radios for Ebola control

Filed under : Africa

The need for community radio licences

In response to the Ebola virus disease, the WHO emergency committee is considering whether the unfolding threat amounts to an international public health emergency. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention EOC has moved its activation to the highest level, an action it last took during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, while the Nigerian Government has also declared a red alert. With this unfolding scenario, we need to consider all measures to contain the disease. Nigeria should no longer delay the approval of licences for community radios.

The importance of local information

Recently, the absence of effective public communication allowed a rumour to spread about the curative powers of salt water and bitter kola. This type of misinformation can be quickly checked through appropriate messages on community radios – a very localized medium under the control of its people using their language. The widening distrust between the public and healthcare professionals is a major obstacle in the containment of this disease. In Uganda during a similar health care crisis, a simple but highly effective approach was employed to gain the trust of people through intensive communication using community radio. The role of local community and traditional leaders was recognized and they worked closely with health care staff to convey appropriate information.

A glimpse of Teresa’s day in Fantsuam

Filed under : Africa

 

The start of the day

My average day starts at 5.00 to 6.00 am with some exercise and house chores, ready to report for work between 7.30 and 8.00 am. First I sort out work priorities for staff and volunteers, monitor reports and program registers to ensure compliance and struggle to complete the evaluation of an on-going programme. John calls me for two unscheduled meetings including a job interview. My colleague needs my advice about a difficult client. Oh it’s already 10 am and I have yet to be fully prepared for my phone interview with Athina from University of Southampton where I am seeking admission for an MSc in Geriatrics and Gerontology. Will she understand when I tell her that I need to start planning the purchase of Christmas and Eid wrappers for our hundred and twelve grandmothers? I still have some documentation to do on each of them……..

Then I remember that I need to follow up the case of a surgical emergency of one of my clients: she needed referral to a bigger hospital in the city. My next worry is how to raise the fees for her next major surgery. John, can you help?

The power in my office has been off and I have to move to another office and shuttle between the two for internet access to study some documents and complete more reports.

Organisational issues of 21st-century systems and #RSA

This was first published (August 27, 2010) as an open letter on posterous. I'm reposting a (slighly shortened) version here as posterous no longer exists and I need to refer to it.

Hi Kellie.

(snip)

A year or two back, I was involved in a workshop relevant to your interest in 21st century organisations. It was organised by a group connected to the RSA, and the day involved exploring issues related to the formal, long-established, RSA and a complementary informal network.

It was definitely not a typical talking shop. I think it would have appealed to you. We were divided into three or four groups and started in a fairly normal warm-up way of telling our neighbour what we knew about the RSA. In theory we had all brought with us an object that was in some way was representative of the RSA, so those objects were included in the discussion. Then we had to express what we had described using Lego and plasticine - and our brought objects.

During the course of the day we developed our ideas about the RSA and about the network, their similarities and differences, their present relationship with each other, areas of difficulty, and how these difficulties might be overcome. At various points in the day the groups got up to visit the models forming on the other tables, and to have them explained. (There were photos and video recordings – perhaps they still exist somewhere.)

In appreciation of "The Evolution of Trust"

"The Evolution of Trust" by David Brooks is a helpful and clear explanation of how things are changing regarding trust. He writes

I’m one of those people who thought Airbnb would never work. I thought people would never rent out space in their homes to near strangers. But I was clearly wrong. Eleven million travelers have stayed in Airbnb destinations, according to data shared by the company. (snip).

And Airbnb is only a piece of the peer-to-peer economy. People are renting out their cars to people they don’t know, dropping off their pets with people they don’t know, renting power tools to people they don’t know... (more - "The Evolution of Trust").

First Thursday Meeting Updates

Updated monthly

August meeting update - possible problem

Usually we meet using an etherpad (this month it should be http://etherpad.openstewardship.net/p/August-2014-First-Thursday ) - but there is a problem with the server. You are welcome to try the link but it may not be fixed in time. Here is what I am thinking:

1 - I won't send any reminders

I know it is difficult for some people to join the group at the best of times. I don't want anyone to waste time trying to join the group when the server is not working. For this reason I will not send any reminders out this month. I will just let the day come and go.

2 - I will try repeatedly

I know it is possible some of the regulars will find the link and try to use it. Perhaps the server will be working by then. I don't want them to find no-one there. I will try the link repeatedly during the usual time slot.

A strategy for the largest elderly population in Africa

Filed under : Africa

Senior Citizens Commission for Nigeria

The Senior Citizens Care Foundation, SCCF, is one of the few organisations in Nigeria whose primary focus is the care of the elderly. SCCF hosted a national workshop in Abeokuta, on Wednesday 9th July 2014. In attendance were the State Governors of Osun, Ekiti and Edo, several senior citizens and also members of the Nigerian Society for Geriatrics and Gerontology. Alongside his Excellency Prince Bola Ajibola, Dr Fayemi of Ekiti State and Bishop Matthew Kukah of the Sokoto Catholic Diocese, John Dada from Fantsuam was on the panel of speakers. The workshop observed that for the past thirty-two years, Nigeria has been making efforts, locally and internationally to develop a comprehensive policy for the care of its senior citizens but there has not been much appreciable progress.

Open letter to Matthew Partovi #ResponsiveOrg

The Responsive Organization is a movement of people who want to help their organizations become more responsive to a world that is very different to that of the Industrial Age. Together, we can support and influence each other to make this change happen faster.

Hi Matthew

As you know I appreciated attending the #ResponsiveOrg - London unconference (and I appreciated your encouragement to attend in the first place because I don't belong in a 'normal organisation' so I wasn't confident that I should be there).

This post is rather long for an email (or even for a blog) so I've inserted numbered headings:

After AD3 with AFFORD

I was at AFFORD's Annual event AD3 (Africa Diaspora and Development Day) which took the theme "Africa's Population Growth and Youth Unemployment" (AFFORD is the African Foundation for Development). During a conversation afterwards I was asked for more information about Dadamac and our related interests, which I share below:

Dadamac connects people to each other and helps them to communicate and collaborate. It started with some friendships. Thanks to the Internet it's possible for friendships, and practical collaborations, to be sustained at a distance. Dadamac emerged through a combination of UK-Africa connections - personal connections and Internet-enabled ones.

My personal involvement with Nigeria came about through the late Peter Adetunji Oyawale. Then I met John Dada (a Nigerian who, like Peter, lived in the UK for several years, but John moved back to Nigeria.) John Dada is director of Fantsuam Foundation and he helped David Mutua and me as we tried to continue aspects of Peter's work. In 2004 I was able to help John (by doing Teachers Talking for him) and Dadamac began to emerge. It continues to develop, grow and change shape.

Examples of online collaboration for Dave Pollard

On the Deep Time Walk we learned some impressive lessons about fungi and co-operative relationships going on under the ground. Fellow "Deep Time Walker" Dave Pollard tells me we were learning about mycorrhizae and mycelia. (More about the Deep Time Walk in Returning from Schumacher College and Dark Mountain)

Online collaborative experiences

As part of our ongoing email conversation Dave has asked me to write up one or two of my best online collaborative experiences. It's hard to choose because all of my involvement with people and projects in Africa has had a strong online element. How else could I have stayed in touch with my contacts over the years in between my working holidays?

To begin at the beginning

It may help to give a little history. Back in the early days of helping Peter Oyawale there was only one person in Peter's entire network in Nigeria who had a phone, and that was Mr (now Chief) Adetola who lived in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State. Peter's networking from London to "back home" in Oke-Ogun, a large rural area of Oyo State, was done largely by phone, through Chief Adetola's amazingly effective, on-the-ground, person-to-person networks, which stretched right out into the rural areas where Peter had spent his childhood.

Dave Pollard - Through the Dark Mountain: A Harvest of Myths

Dave Pollard, like me, was at Dark Mountain last week. He's written about it - Through the Dark Mountain: A Harvest of Myths":

I spent last week at a Dark Mountain retreat at Schumacher College in Dartington just outside Totnes, UK..... (we) explored our shared worldview of the coming collapse of civilization, the myths of our culture and the possibility of creating new stories that might be of better service to us in the challenging decades ahead.....

A myth is a story that many people believe to be true. It may or may not be true.

The danger with myths is that if people live their lives as if a myth is true, when it is not, they can destroy their lives, the happiness of everyone they know and care about, the world, everything. For a photo and the full text see Through the Dark Mountain: A Harvest of Myths"