How can we promote greater information sharing and networking?

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Taking a look at our current model of working, we would like you to consider the following question:

How can we restructure our community to create better networking opportunities among peers? How can we promote greater information sharing among villages to help them achieve results?

What would this look like?

stdClass Object ( [nid] => 303599 [vid] => 308124 [type] => task_discussion [status] => 1 [created] => 1294798163 [changed] => 1294798163 [comment] => 0 [promote] => 1 [sticky] => 0 [revision_timestamp] => 1294798163 [title] => Re: How can we promote greater information sharing and networking? [body] => I am not sure if I know what I am talking about but I will give it a try :-) I can think of 2 ways of doing it and we can employ both methods simultaneously: - based on keywords about activities in different villages (a feature which Nabuur already has) a tool can be added to the website that directs local representatives or volunteers to peers who have done or are doing a similar project. It can be something similar to online shops where a user gets advice like 'viewers/ buyers of this article also viewed/ bought...' Maybe for Nabuur local representatives or volunteers can be advised to consult or contact other people through such an automated system. (I hope this makes sense :-) - I have seen a lot of posts where volunteers ask local representatives if they are aware of a particular village that does something similar to what they are doing and advise them to get in touch. I think that this can be used as well but this time it can be more structured and can take place in one easy step e.g. if a volunteer knows of 2 villages that are doing a similar project but do not know of each other they can suggest that they connect in a fashion similar to what we do when we suggest friends for our friends on facebook (I hope that this also makes sense. I am really struggling to phrase it properly). Additionally, local representatives in the same geographic region can be encouraged to communicate with each other more and meet whenever possible. I know some LRs are already doing it but there is a lot of potential that remains untapped. If there is any LR reading this please jump in and help me with this one. I don't think that I explain this quite well either. -- 'If you are willing to change the world, let love be your energy.' Robbie Williams [teaser] => I am not sure if I know what I am talking about but I will give it a try :-) I can think of 2 ways of doing it and we can employ both methods simultaneously: [log] => [format] => 1 [uid] => 22591 [name] => Nonhlanhla Dube [picture] => [data] => a:11:{s:2:"op";s:18:"Create new account";s:6:"submit";s:18:"Create new account";s:7:"form_id";s:13:"user_register";s:16:"captcha_solution";b:1;s:13:"captcha_token";s:32:"f9715d7ebb6161d1cffc3a9ef91b97fe";s:14:"validationdata";a:4:{s:7:"form_id";s:13:"user_register";s:10:"preprocess";b:1;s:6:"module";s:9:"recaptcha";s:4:"type";s:9:"reCAPTCHA";}s:7:"contact";i:0;s:16:"privatemsg_allow";i:1;s:28:"privatemsg_setmessage_notify";i:0;s:16:"nodecomment_sort";s:1:"1";s:17:"messaging_default";s:4:"mail";} [path] => group/nabuur-governance-team/project/task/discussion/re-how-can-we-promote-greater-information-shari [field_embedded_video] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [embed] => [value] => [provider] => [data] => Array ( ) ) ) [field_external_link] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) [1] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) ) [comment_type] => task_discussion [og_groups] => Array ( [0] => 255367 ) [og_groups_both] => Array ( [255367] => NABUUR Governance team ) [og_public] => 1 [tags] => [nodewords] => Array ( ) [trid] => 0 [language] => en [i18n_status] => 0 [taxonomy] => Array ( ) [translation] => Array ( ) [cid] => 303599 [pid] => 0 [hostname] => 145.116.225.229 [thread] => 01/ [mail] => [homepage] => [comment_target_nid] => 303464 [depth] => 0 )

I am not sure if I know what I am talking about but I will give it a try :-)

I can think of 2 ways of doing it and we can employ both methods simultaneously:
- based on keywords about activities in different villages (a feature which Nabuur already has) a tool can be added to the website that directs local representatives or volunteers to peers who have done or are doing a similar project. It can be something similar to online shops where a user gets advice like 'viewers/ buyers of this article also viewed/ bought...' Maybe for Nabuur local representatives or volunteers can be advised to consult or contact other people through such an automated system. (I hope this makes sense :-)
- I have seen a lot of posts where volunteers ask local representatives if they are aware of a particular village that does something similar to what they are doing and advise them to get in touch. I think that this can be used as well but this time it can be more structured and can take place in one easy step e.g. if a volunteer knows of 2 villages that are doing a similar project but do not know of each other they can suggest that they connect in a fashion similar to what we do when we suggest friends for our friends on facebook (I hope that this also makes sense. I am really struggling to phrase it properly).

Additionally, local representatives in the same geographic region can be encouraged to communicate with each other more and meet whenever possible. I know some LRs are already doing it but there is a lot of potential that remains untapped. If there is any LR reading this please jump in and help me with this one. I don't think that I explain this quite well either.

--
'If you are willing to change the world, let love be your energy.' Robbie Williams

5
Average: 5 (1 vote)
stdClass Object ( [nid] => 304018 [vid] => 308549 [type] => task_discussion [status] => 1 [created] => 1295090039 [changed] => 1295091124 [comment] => 0 [promote] => 1 [sticky] => 0 [revision_timestamp] => 1295091124 [title] => Re: How can we promote greater information sharing and networking? [body] => With this task - there is a lot to consider. The LR/Facilitator Model - in my opinion, this model is not working for Nabuur at all. There are definitely many good examples of how this model CAN work, but for the greater majority of villages posted here - they have never had a facilitator. Right now there is no one actively recruiting volunteer facilitators. I do not foresee this changing in the near future. While this mode of working has worked for some in the past - if the site is simple enough, projects should not NEED a facilitator. From what I have seen, a sense that nothing can be accomplished without one has developed and it creates unnecessary dependency. One of the common threads in the previous feedback was a strong desire to have greater opportunity for networking among villages - more peer support. What I'd like to consider here is this - is there a way to restructure things (while still keeping the unique identity of each individual project) where peers may be able to take on some of the support role that facilitators were intended to play. I am not saying they will act as facilitators at all. I am talking specifically about support. I don't know the answer to that, but right now that's where my head is - maybe someone else can build off that idea and put it into words better than I can. Nonhlanhla - keywords, I'm honestly not sure this has been effective for us at all. What we found is that people did not understand "tagging" which is intended to help search. In theory, yes, this should be helpful. In the current set up - I'm not sure its working as intended. We also have GROUPS - this is still not an ideal way to share information. I know people get tired of sharing the same thing across multiple villages and honestly, it is often time consuming to find what you know you shared in one village to share with another. Is there a better way? I think there has to be, I just personally don't know what it is. That's it for now, I'm sure I'll think of more later. Jennifer [teaser] => With this task - there is a lot to consider. [log] => [format] => 1 [uid] => 15524 [name] => Jennifer Wells [picture] => [data] => a:8:{s:8:"og_email";s:1:"2";s:16:"privatemsg_allow";i:1;s:28:"privatemsg_setmessage_notify";i:1;s:17:"messaging_default";s:4:"mail";s:7:"contact";i:1;s:16:"nodecomment_sort";s:1:"2";s:8:"options1";s:1:"0";s:29:"taxonomy_image_disable_images";i:0;} [path] => group/nabuur-governance-team/project/task/discussion/re-how-can-we-promote-greater-information-shar-0 [field_embedded_video] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [embed] => [value] => [provider] => [data] => Array ( ) ) ) [field_external_link] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) [1] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) ) [comment_type] => task_discussion [og_groups] => Array ( [0] => 255367 ) [og_groups_both] => Array ( [255367] => NABUUR Governance team ) [og_public] => 1 [tags] => [nodewords] => Array ( ) [trid] => 0 [language] => en [i18n_status] => 0 [taxonomy] => Array ( ) [translation] => Array ( ) [cid] => 304018 [pid] => 303599 [hostname] => 24.165.222.125 [thread] => 01.00/ [mail] => [homepage] => [comment_target_nid] => 303464 [depth] => 1 )

With this task - there is a lot to consider.

The LR/Facilitator Model - in my opinion, this model is not working for Nabuur at all. There are definitely many good examples of how this model CAN work, but for the greater majority of villages posted here - they have never had a facilitator. Right now there is no one actively recruiting volunteer facilitators. I do not foresee this changing in the near future. While this mode of working has worked for some in the past - if the site is simple enough, projects should not NEED a facilitator. From what I have seen, a sense that nothing can be accomplished without one has developed and it creates unnecessary dependency.

One of the common threads in the previous feedback was a strong desire to have greater opportunity for networking among villages - more peer support. What I'd like to consider here is this - is there a way to restructure things (while still keeping the unique identity of each individual project) where peers may be able to take on some of the support role that facilitators were intended to play. I am not saying they will act as facilitators at all. I am talking specifically about support. I don't know the answer to that, but right now that's where my head is - maybe someone else can build off that idea and put it into words better than I can.

Nonhlanhla - keywords, I'm honestly not sure this has been effective for us at all. What we found is that people did not understand "tagging" which is intended to help search. In theory, yes, this should be helpful. In the current set up - I'm not sure its working as intended.

We also have GROUPS - this is still not an ideal way to share information. I know people get tired of sharing the same thing across multiple villages and honestly, it is often time consuming to find what you know you shared in one village to share with another. Is there a better way? I think there has to be, I just personally don't know what it is.

That's it for now, I'm sure I'll think of more later.

Jennifer

0
stdClass Object ( [nid] => 304033 [vid] => 308565 [type] => task_discussion [status] => 1 [created] => 1295104033 [changed] => 1295104033 [comment] => 0 [promote] => 1 [sticky] => 0 [revision_timestamp] => 1295104033 [title] => Re: How can we promote greater information sharing and networking? [body] => I agree with you Jennifer. I'm not with a lot of villages at the moment as I haven't been on here long but the few that actively seek my help seem to have very similar needs. I was researching for one village the other week and I decided to send the same information to another village who posted the same project not long after. I have been keeping a record of all the information I come across which helps but I often think this person I am helping should really connect with this other person I am helping and they can share ideas with one another. If the villages with the same needs could be linked together I think it would help them so much. [teaser] => I agree with you Jennifer. I'm not with a lot of villages at the moment as I haven't been on here long but the few that actively seek my help seem to have very similar needs. I was researching for one village the other week and I decided to send the same information to another village who posted the same project not long after. I have been keeping a record of all the information I come across which helps but I often think this person I am helping should really connect with this other person I am helping and they can share ideas with one another. [log] => [format] => 1 [uid] => 45465 [name] => Michelle BowdenGandy [picture] => [data] => a:12:{s:8:"options1";s:1:"0";s:2:"op";s:18:"Create new account";s:6:"submit";s:18:"Create new account";s:7:"form_id";s:13:"user_register";s:16:"captcha_solution";b:1;s:13:"captcha_token";s:32:"783436807b4cac5db97cdc4c4ba347d8";s:14:"validationdata";a:4:{s:7:"form_id";s:13:"user_register";s:10:"preprocess";b:1;s:6:"module";s:9:"recaptcha";s:4:"type";s:9:"reCAPTCHA";}s:7:"contact";i:0;s:16:"nodecomment_sort";s:1:"1";s:16:"privatemsg_allow";i:1;s:28:"privatemsg_setmessage_notify";i:0;s:17:"messaging_default";s:4:"mail";} [path] => group/nabuur-governance-team/project/task/discussion/re-how-can-we-promote-greater-information-shar-1 [field_embedded_video] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [embed] => [value] => [provider] => [data] => Array ( ) ) ) [field_external_link] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) [1] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) ) [comment_type] => task_discussion [og_groups] => Array ( [0] => 255367 ) [og_groups_both] => Array ( [255367] => NABUUR Governance team ) [og_public] => 1 [tags] => [nodewords] => Array ( ) [trid] => 0 [language] => en [i18n_status] => 0 [taxonomy] => Array ( ) [translation] => Array ( ) [cid] => 304033 [pid] => 304018 [hostname] => 92.16.219.140 [thread] => 01.00.00/ [mail] => [homepage] => [comment_target_nid] => 303464 [depth] => 2 )

I agree with you Jennifer. I'm not with a lot of villages at the moment as I haven't been on here long but the few that actively seek my help seem to have very similar needs. I was researching for one village the other week and I decided to send the same information to another village who posted the same project not long after. I have been keeping a record of all the information I come across which helps but I often think this person I am helping should really connect with this other person I am helping and they can share ideas with one another. If the villages with the same needs could be linked together I think it would help them so much.

0
stdClass Object ( [nid] => 304045 [vid] => 308577 [type] => task_discussion [status] => 1 [created] => 1295105518 [changed] => 1295107287 [comment] => 0 [promote] => 1 [sticky] => 0 [revision_timestamp] => 1295107287 [title] => Re: How can we promote greater information sharing and networking? [body] => Thanks for your feedback Michelle- You reminded me of something I forgot to mention in my earlier post - one thing that Pelle and I had tossed around via email was putting some organizational structure around basic project themes. In the current format - groups encompass everyone joining together and sharing info on a particular topic such as education, agriculture, etc. Again, this is not effective. Information tends to inevitably get unorganized, difficult to find - links go bad, organizations come/go...obviously some of those things we don't have any control over, BUT building on the concept - what if there was a way to sort villages or organize villages according to project focus? Education, Agriculture, Health, Income-Generation are the examples that immediately come to mind for me. Some people like to find projects according to a particular country of interest. I am not saying that we should get rid of that, but maybe instead of at the top of the page where you see "groups" - you might see "Education" - you go there and you see projects sorted by country that are focused on education. If we can come up with maybe a basic breakdown of what types of volunteer-based activities can support these education projects - for example, one of the things that the local representatives noted was important was promotion of their projects - maybe we could look at having a group of bloggers focused on education that help get the word out about what kinds of things they are working on and what they need to be self-sustaining. I'm not sure if any of you have looked at or use Sparked.com at this point, but I think they do an excellent job of helping identify quick, easy ways for volunteers online to get involved with organizations that post different "challenges." It seems that they standardize some basic tasks which I also think may have a real benefit here. I think fairly often, local representatives struggle to find very specific things that can be done from anywhere online. They post their immediate needs and unfortunately, volunteers often read them and think - "well there's really nothing I can do about that from here." The task sits with no activity because no one knows how to respond. It's not that people don't want to help - they just aren't sure how. From what I can tell, Sparked.com hasn't solved the issue of having to repeat information across projects - maybe that's something we'll never truly get away from. I do think though wrapping better structure around the projects we have could ultimately find all of them a much greater level of support. Mary and I have also had some discussions around this idea - we started talking about what is really necessary in a "village" - maybe a village should be more the unique identity for each project, but the actual "common" work could take place under more standardized tasks that apply to everyone. If there were more specific things pertaining to that project that didn't apply to others - they could be placed/discussed within that individual village. I'm just typing out some of my thoughts on all this. I think we need to try and brainstorm a better way to get all the villages help instead of just a select few, to work smarter, and create better opportunities for networking and peer support. Hopefully, some of this will spark some thoughts in the rest of you about how this might work. Jennifer [teaser] => Thanks for your feedback Michelle- [log] => [format] => 1 [uid] => 15524 [name] => Jennifer Wells [picture] => [data] => a:8:{s:8:"og_email";s:1:"2";s:16:"privatemsg_allow";i:1;s:28:"privatemsg_setmessage_notify";i:1;s:17:"messaging_default";s:4:"mail";s:7:"contact";i:1;s:16:"nodecomment_sort";s:1:"2";s:8:"options1";s:1:"0";s:29:"taxonomy_image_disable_images";i:0;} [path] => group/nabuur-governance-team/project/task/discussion/re-how-can-we-promote-greater-information-shar-2 [field_embedded_video] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [embed] => [value] => [provider] => [data] => Array ( ) ) ) [field_external_link] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) [1] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) ) [comment_type] => task_discussion [og_groups] => Array ( [0] => 255367 ) [og_groups_both] => Array ( [255367] => NABUUR Governance team ) [og_public] => 1 [tags] => [nodewords] => Array ( ) [trid] => 0 [language] => en [i18n_status] => 0 [taxonomy] => Array ( ) [translation] => Array ( ) [cid] => 304045 [pid] => 304033 [hostname] => 24.165.222.125 [thread] => 01.00.00.00/ [mail] => [homepage] => [comment_target_nid] => 303464 [depth] => 3 )

Thanks for your feedback Michelle-

You reminded me of something I forgot to mention in my earlier post - one thing that Pelle and I had tossed around via email was putting some organizational structure around basic project themes. In the current format - groups encompass everyone joining together and sharing info on a particular topic such as education, agriculture, etc. Again, this is not effective. Information tends to inevitably get unorganized, difficult to find - links go bad, organizations come/go...obviously some of those things we don't have any control over, BUT building on the concept - what if there was a way to sort villages or organize villages according to project focus? Education, Agriculture, Health, Income-Generation are the examples that immediately come to mind for me.

Some people like to find projects according to a particular country of interest. I am not saying that we should get rid of that, but maybe instead of at the top of the page where you see "groups" - you might see "Education" - you go there and you see projects sorted by country that are focused on education. If we can come up with maybe a basic breakdown of what types of volunteer-based activities can support these education projects - for example, one of the things that the local representatives noted was important was promotion of their projects - maybe we could look at having a group of bloggers focused on education that help get the word out about what kinds of things they are working on and what they need to be self-sustaining.

I'm not sure if any of you have looked at or use Sparked.com at this point, but I think they do an excellent job of helping identify quick, easy ways for volunteers online to get involved with organizations that post different "challenges." It seems that they standardize some basic tasks which I also think may have a real benefit here. I think fairly often, local representatives struggle to find very specific things that can be done from anywhere online. They post their immediate needs and unfortunately, volunteers often read them and think - "well there's really nothing I can do about that from here." The task sits with no activity because no one knows how to respond. It's not that people don't want to help - they just aren't sure how.

From what I can tell, Sparked.com hasn't solved the issue of having to repeat information across projects - maybe that's something we'll never truly get away from. I do think though wrapping better structure around the projects we have could ultimately find all of them a much greater level of support. Mary and I have also had some discussions around this idea - we started talking about what is really necessary in a "village" - maybe a village should be more the unique identity for each project, but the actual "common" work could take place under more standardized tasks that apply to everyone. If there were more specific things pertaining to that project that didn't apply to others - they could be placed/discussed within that individual village.

I'm just typing out some of my thoughts on all this. I think we need to try and brainstorm a better way to get all the villages help instead of just a select few, to work smarter, and create better opportunities for networking and peer support. Hopefully, some of this will spark some thoughts in the rest of you about how this might work.

Jennifer

5
Average: 5 (1 vote)
stdClass Object ( [nid] => 304131 [vid] => 308666 [type] => task_discussion [status] => 1 [created] => 1295198532 [changed] => 1295198532 [comment] => 0 [promote] => 1 [sticky] => 0 [revision_timestamp] => 1295198532 [title] => Re: How can we promote greater information sharing and networking? [body] => That is a very good idea Jennifer. I personally find it difficult to know which villages to join as there are so many (usually villages have seen my posts and have requested me to join). It's good that villages are proactive but many times their projects are not in my skill set. I just do the best I can to help in any way possible. I know what my skills are, as every other volunteer does I'm sure, and I know the best ways I can help. Your suggestion "what if there was a way to sort villages or organize villages according to project focus?" is an excellent idea. Also what you were saying about volunteers not responding to projects because they don't know how to help has actually just happened to me. I saw a project last week I couldn't help with and the village representative actually emailed me and asked me to help. I had to tell them that I just didn't have the experience or the means to help although I wished I could. It would be perfect if volunteers could search for projects with their skill set and also for villagers to search for volunteers with the skill sets that could help them. It would save time and hopefully disappointment on both parts that a volunteer could not help with a particular project. [teaser] => That is a very good idea Jennifer. I personally find it difficult to know which villages to join as there are so many (usually villages have seen my posts and have requested me to join). It's good that villages are proactive but many times their projects are not in my skill set. I just do the best I can to help in any way possible. I know what my skills are, as every other volunteer does I'm sure, and I know the best ways I can help. Your suggestion "what if there was a way to sort villages or organize villages according to project focus?" is an excellent idea. [log] => [format] => 1 [uid] => 45465 [name] => Michelle BowdenGandy [picture] => [data] => a:12:{s:8:"options1";s:1:"0";s:2:"op";s:18:"Create new account";s:6:"submit";s:18:"Create new account";s:7:"form_id";s:13:"user_register";s:16:"captcha_solution";b:1;s:13:"captcha_token";s:32:"783436807b4cac5db97cdc4c4ba347d8";s:14:"validationdata";a:4:{s:7:"form_id";s:13:"user_register";s:10:"preprocess";b:1;s:6:"module";s:9:"recaptcha";s:4:"type";s:9:"reCAPTCHA";}s:7:"contact";i:0;s:16:"nodecomment_sort";s:1:"1";s:16:"privatemsg_allow";i:1;s:28:"privatemsg_setmessage_notify";i:0;s:17:"messaging_default";s:4:"mail";} [path] => group/nabuur-governance-team/project/task/discussion/re-how-can-we-promote-greater-information-shar-3 [field_embedded_video] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [embed] => [value] => [provider] => [data] => Array ( ) ) ) [field_external_link] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) [1] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) ) [comment_type] => task_discussion [og_groups] => Array ( [0] => 255367 ) [og_groups_both] => Array ( [255367] => NABUUR Governance team ) [og_public] => 1 [tags] => [nodewords] => Array ( ) [trid] => 0 [language] => en [i18n_status] => 0 [taxonomy] => Array ( ) [translation] => Array ( ) [cid] => 304131 [pid] => 304045 [hostname] => 92.16.219.140 [thread] => 01.00.00.00.00/ [mail] => [homepage] => [comment_target_nid] => 303464 [depth] => 4 )

That is a very good idea Jennifer. I personally find it difficult to know which villages to join as there are so many (usually villages have seen my posts and have requested me to join). It's good that villages are proactive but many times their projects are not in my skill set. I just do the best I can to help in any way possible. I know what my skills are, as every other volunteer does I'm sure, and I know the best ways I can help. Your suggestion "what if there was a way to sort villages or organize villages according to project focus?" is an excellent idea. Also what you were saying about volunteers not responding to projects because they don't know how to help has actually just happened to me. I saw a project last week I couldn't help with and the village representative actually emailed me and asked me to help. I had to tell them that I just didn't have the experience or the means to help although I wished I could. It would be perfect if volunteers could search for projects with their skill set and also for villagers to search for volunteers with the skill sets that could help them. It would save time and hopefully disappointment on both parts that a volunteer could not help with a particular project.

0
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I think you have explained it perfectly Nonhlanhla and it is a perfect idea.

0
stdClass Object ( [nid] => 304138 [vid] => 308674 [type] => task_discussion [status] => 1 [created] => 1295207400 [changed] => 1295207544 [comment] => 0 [promote] => 1 [sticky] => 0 [revision_timestamp] => 1295207544 [title] => Re: How can we promote greater information sharing and networking? [body] => Many sites e.g. 1% Club, Betterplace, Sparked keep it fairly simple, although they are not really focused on sharing info, more on helping volunteers and donors to find things that they are interested in. So projects/organisations categorised by country and main focus area (can have more than one), and tasks categorised by what skills are required (again can have more than one). Nabuur does all this now, just not very well. I can see the logic of tagging, but wonder if we are better sticking to a pre-defined list of tags, same principle as the MDG and Expertise lists that you see when creating tasks (these may not be exactly the right categories, and need to be able to add new ones easily). And keep these tags at village/project/task level rather than on individual comments as this gets VERY confusing! These lists show up on Villages, Volunteer Opportunites and Search pages, but are not helpful because results are not shown in a sensible order e.g. you find villages/neighbours with last activity several years ago right at the top, and having been through four or five of those, you lose interest. Village pages already have a "Neighbours who could help" and "Similar villages and groups" list, but again these are not very effective because of what they show. If done right, could be very useful. I like Nonhlanhla's idea of people being able to easily connect villages with each other - I know there is already a way to invite people to join a village but its not very user-friendly. At the moment I tend to just post to their villages and suggest they talk to each other. Fixing all that would make it easier from the point of view of linking volunteers to suitable tasks and linking villages to each other (which should lead to better results), but does not really solve the constant 'reinventing of the wheel'. I do believe that Groups can help with that, but they need to have an active owner who ideally has knowledge of the subject, and need to be well structured. Yes, links get out of date, but may be useful to have them posted (otherwise you just have to tell people to use Google). And villages that have found useful information, ran a successful project etc need to be encouraged to share that (not sure how, again possibly via some sort of group structure). I very much support the idea of networking between villages. It happens now e.g. between several of the schools in Nairobi, but its very hit and miss. And only really works in those countries where there are a lot of them. Longer term, would be good to link up with e.g. country NGO/CBO networks, or at least provide links to this kind of information. Personally, I am not really convinced by the idea of most of the discussion taking place outside of the main village pages, although I would like to see village pages, task setup etc reorganised to make it simpler. I agree that its not practical for villages to have a Facilitator - I am one of the few active ones left! But I do think that, however easy you make the site, some village will want/need assistance with how to set things up, how to split their big e.g. 'we want to build a school' project into smaller tasks that neighbours can work on. How can we make things work well for LRs who only have limited computer experience and internet access? To some extent it depends on what Nabuur wants to be/do. I wasn't around right at the beginning, but when I joined, there was much more focus on sharing information, helping communities build their skills. While now there is much more focus on villages that are trying to raise money or find equipment/supplies. There is not necessarily a problem with that, but may affect the way we go with storing/sharing info. We need some LRs in this discussion, find out what they really want from Nabuur and what would make their lives easier. Mary [teaser] => Many sites e.g. 1% Club, Betterplace, Sparked keep it fairly simple, although they are not really focused on sharing info, more on helping volunteers and donors to find things that they are interested in. So projects/organisations categorised by country and main focus area (can have more than one), and tasks categorised by what skills are required (again can have more than one). Nabuur does all this now, just not very well. [log] => [format] => 1 [uid] => 2698 [name] => MaryS [picture] => [data] => a:8:{s:8:"og_email";s:1:"1";s:16:"privatemsg_allow";i:1;s:28:"privatemsg_setmessage_notify";i:1;s:17:"messaging_default";s:4:"mail";s:7:"contact";i:0;s:16:"nodecomment_sort";s:1:"2";s:29:"taxonomy_image_disable_images";i:0;s:8:"options1";s:1:"3";} [path] => group/nabuur-governance-team/project/task/discussion/re-how-can-we-promote-greater-information-shar-5 [field_embedded_video] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [embed] => [value] => [provider] => [data] => Array ( ) ) ) [field_external_link] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) [1] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) ) [comment_type] => task_discussion [og_groups] => Array ( [0] => 255367 ) [og_groups_both] => Array ( [255367] => NABUUR Governance team ) [og_public] => 1 [tags] => [nodewords] => Array ( ) [trid] => 0 [language] => en [i18n_status] => 0 [taxonomy] => Array ( ) [translation] => Array ( ) [cid] => 304138 [pid] => 304132 [hostname] => 86.166.30.104 [thread] => 01.01.00/ [mail] => [homepage] => [comment_target_nid] => 303464 [depth] => 2 )

Many sites e.g. 1% Club, Betterplace, Sparked keep it fairly simple, although they are not really focused on sharing info, more on helping volunteers and donors to find things that they are interested in.

So projects/organisations categorised by country and main focus area (can have more than one), and tasks categorised by what skills are required (again can have more than one).

Nabuur does all this now, just not very well.

I can see the logic of tagging, but wonder if we are better sticking to a pre-defined list of tags, same principle as the MDG and Expertise lists that you see when creating tasks (these may not be exactly the right categories, and need to be able to add new ones easily). And keep these tags at village/project/task level rather than on individual comments as this gets VERY confusing!

These lists show up on Villages, Volunteer Opportunites and Search pages, but are not helpful because results are not shown in a sensible order e.g. you find villages/neighbours with last activity several years ago right at the top, and having been through four or five of those, you lose interest.

Village pages already have a "Neighbours who could help" and "Similar villages and groups" list, but again these are not very effective because of what they show. If done right, could be very useful.

I like Nonhlanhla's idea of people being able to easily connect villages with each other - I know there is already a way to invite people to join a village but its not very user-friendly. At the moment I tend to just post to their villages and suggest they talk to each other.

Fixing all that would make it easier from the point of view of linking volunteers to suitable tasks and linking villages to each other (which should lead to better results), but does not really solve the constant 'reinventing of the wheel'.

I do believe that Groups can help with that, but they need to have an active owner who ideally has knowledge of the subject, and need to be well structured. Yes, links get out of date, but may be useful to have them posted (otherwise you just have to tell people to use Google). And villages that have found useful information, ran a successful project etc need to be encouraged to share that (not sure how, again possibly via some sort of group structure).

I very much support the idea of networking between villages. It happens now e.g. between several of the schools in Nairobi, but its very hit and miss. And only really works in those countries where there are a lot of them. Longer term, would be good to link up with e.g. country NGO/CBO networks, or at least provide links to this kind of information.

Personally, I am not really convinced by the idea of most of the discussion taking place outside of the main village pages, although I would like to see village pages, task setup etc reorganised to make it simpler.

I agree that its not practical for villages to have a Facilitator - I am one of the few active ones left! But I do think that, however easy you make the site, some village will want/need assistance with how to set things up, how to split their big e.g. 'we want to build a school' project into smaller tasks that neighbours can work on. How can we make things work well for LRs who only have limited computer experience and internet access?

To some extent it depends on what Nabuur wants to be/do. I wasn't around right at the beginning, but when I joined, there was much more focus on sharing information, helping communities build their skills. While now there is much more focus on villages that are trying to raise money or find equipment/supplies. There is not necessarily a problem with that, but may affect the way we go with storing/sharing info.

We need some LRs in this discussion, find out what they really want from Nabuur and what would make their lives easier.

Mary

5
Average: 5 (1 vote)
stdClass Object ( [nid] => 304566 [vid] => 309107 [type] => task_discussion [status] => 1 [created] => 1295602155 [changed] => 1295602155 [comment] => 0 [promote] => 1 [sticky] => 0 [revision_timestamp] => 1295602155 [title] => Re: How can we promote greater information sharing and networking? [body] => Hullo Mary, Thank you for the above observations which are critical in networking between villages. As a Local Representative of Bukoggolwa Village, in our village, our focus now is more on raising money,finding equipments,supplies and finding volunteers willing to join the projects that are being proposed by the Bukoggolwa Community. So, we are trying all ways of creating synergies for future partnerships. Sulaiman Gumila Mbuga Tel:+256-751-434743. E-mail:bukoggolwa@gmail.com [teaser] => Hullo Mary, Thank you for the above observations which are critical in networking between villages. As a Local Representative of Bukoggolwa Village, in our village, our focus now is more on raising money,finding equipments,supplies and finding volunteers willing to join the projects that are being proposed by the Bukoggolwa Community. So, we are trying all ways of creating synergies for future partnerships. Sulaiman Gumila Mbuga Tel:+256-751-434743. E-mail:bukoggolwa@gmail.com [log] => [format] => 1 [uid] => 10017 [name] => MBUGA [picture] => [data] => a:9:{s:17:"messaging_default";s:4:"mail";s:8:"options1";s:1:"3";s:4:"mod1";i:1;s:29:"taxonomy_image_disable_images";i:0;s:16:"nodecomment_sort";s:1:"1";s:16:"privatemsg_allow";i:1;s:28:"privatemsg_setmessage_notify";i:0;s:8:"og_email";s:1:"2";s:7:"contact";i:0;} [path] => group/nabuur-governance-team/project/task/discussion/re-how-can-we-promote-greater-information-shar-6 [field_embedded_video] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [embed] => [value] => [provider] => [data] => Array ( ) ) ) [field_external_link] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) [1] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) ) [comment_type] => task_discussion [og_groups] => Array ( [0] => 255367 ) [og_groups_both] => Array ( [255367] => NABUUR Governance team ) [og_public] => 1 [tags] => [nodewords] => Array ( ) [trid] => 0 [language] => en [i18n_status] => 0 [taxonomy] => Array ( ) [translation] => Array ( ) [cid] => 304566 [pid] => 304138 [hostname] => 41.222.6.239 [thread] => 01.01.00.00/ [mail] => [homepage] => [comment_target_nid] => 303464 [depth] => 3 )

Hullo Mary,

Thank you for the above observations which are critical in networking between villages.
As a Local Representative of Bukoggolwa Village, in our village, our focus now is more on raising
money,finding equipments,supplies and finding volunteers willing to join the projects that
are being proposed by the Bukoggolwa Community.
So, we are trying all ways of creating synergies for future partnerships.

Sulaiman Gumila Mbuga
Tel:+256-751-434743.
E-mail:bukoggolwa@gmail.com

0
stdClass Object ( [nid] => 304577 [vid] => 309118 [type] => task_discussion [status] => 1 [created] => 1295622556 [changed] => 1295622556 [comment] => 0 [promote] => 1 [sticky] => 0 [revision_timestamp] => 1295622556 [title] => Re: How can we promote greater information sharing and networking? [body] => In line with the above, i would like to take this opportunity to apologize for not reporting back the tusk i had been given of linking with the SIFE president so as to schedule a training workshop. I got to meet Bernard, the SIFE president at African Nazarene University in December. At that time the college was on Christmas break so we couldn't discuss much and so we scheduled a meeting for January. Am happy to report report that today i was able to meet the officials of SIFE at AFRICAN NAZARENE UNIVERSITY and we had a very fruitful meeting where we discussed possibilities of Nairobi/Kenya local reps meeting to plan for the workshop. We agreed to schedule the meeting mid February. My fellow Local reps, you having shown interest in the above by registering for the training, Kindly air your opinions regarding our meeting mid February, say 19th /2/2011 Thanks John Keya -- Lele [teaser] => In line with the above, i would like to take this opportunity to apologize for not reporting back the tusk i had been given of linking with the SIFE president so as to schedule a training workshop. I got to meet Bernard, the SIFE president at African Nazarene University in December. At that time the college was on Christmas break so we couldn't discuss much and so we scheduled a meeting for January. [log] => [format] => 1 [uid] => 27020 [name] => JOHN KEYA [picture] => [data] => a:14:{s:2:"op";s:18:"Create new account";s:6:"submit";s:18:"Create new account";s:7:"form_id";s:13:"user_register";s:16:"captcha_solution";b:1;s:13:"captcha_token";s:32:"342450e746d1d8de15b38c1723516bd3";s:14:"validationdata";a:4:{s:7:"form_id";s:13:"user_register";s:10:"preprocess";b:1;s:6:"module";s:9:"recaptcha";s:4:"type";s:9:"reCAPTCHA";}s:7:"contact";i:1;s:16:"privatemsg_allow";i:1;s:28:"privatemsg_setmessage_notify";i:0;s:16:"nodecomment_sort";s:1:"1";s:17:"messaging_default";s:4:"mail";s:29:"taxonomy_image_disable_images";i:0;s:8:"og_email";s:1:"2";s:8:"sms_user";a:1:{i:0;N;}} [path] => group/nabuur-governance-team/project/task/discussion/re-how-can-we-promote-greater-information-shar-7 [field_embedded_video] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [embed] => [value] => [provider] => [data] => Array ( ) ) ) [field_external_link] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) [1] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) ) [comment_type] => task_discussion [og_groups] => Array ( [0] => 255367 ) [og_groups_both] => Array ( [255367] => NABUUR Governance team ) [og_public] => 1 [tags] => [nodewords] => Array ( ) [trid] => 0 [language] => en [i18n_status] => 0 [taxonomy] => Array ( ) [translation] => Array ( ) [cid] => 304577 [pid] => 304138 [hostname] => 41.215.93.230 [thread] => 01.01.00.01/ [mail] => [homepage] => [comment_target_nid] => 303464 [depth] => 3 )

In line with the above, i would like to take this opportunity to apologize for not reporting back the tusk i had been given of linking with the SIFE president so as to schedule a training workshop.

I got to meet Bernard, the SIFE president at African Nazarene University in December.

At that time the college was on Christmas break so we couldn't discuss much and so we scheduled a meeting for January.

Am happy to report report that today i was able to meet the officials of SIFE at AFRICAN NAZARENE UNIVERSITY and we had a very fruitful meeting where we discussed possibilities of Nairobi/Kenya local reps meeting to plan for the workshop.

We agreed to schedule the meeting mid February.

My fellow Local reps, you having shown interest in the above by registering for the training, Kindly air your opinions regarding our meeting mid February, say 19th /2/2011

Thanks
John Keya

--
Lele

0
stdClass Object ( [nid] => 304599 [vid] => 309140 [type] => task_discussion [status] => 1 [created] => 1295634654 [changed] => 1295634654 [comment] => 0 [promote] => 1 [sticky] => 0 [revision_timestamp] => 1295634654 [title] => Re: How can we promote greater information sharing and networking? [body] => Hi John Good to see you making progress on this! As most of the discussion on SIFE has been in the Nairobi Meetup group, I have posted your message there too so that those who replied to the original task are more likely to see it. See http://www.nabuur.com/en/group/nabuur-nairobi-meet-group/project/task/sign-business-training-offered-sife-nairobi Mary [teaser] => Hi John Good to see you making progress on this! As most of the discussion on SIFE has been in the Nairobi Meetup group, I have posted your message there too so that those who replied to the original task are more likely to see it. See http://www.nabuur.com/en/group/nabuur-nairobi-meet-group/project/task/sign-business-training-offered-sife-nairobi Mary [log] => [format] => 1 [uid] => 2698 [name] => MaryS [picture] => [data] => a:8:{s:8:"og_email";s:1:"1";s:16:"privatemsg_allow";i:1;s:28:"privatemsg_setmessage_notify";i:1;s:17:"messaging_default";s:4:"mail";s:7:"contact";i:0;s:16:"nodecomment_sort";s:1:"2";s:29:"taxonomy_image_disable_images";i:0;s:8:"options1";s:1:"3";} [path] => group/nabuur-governance-team/project/task/discussion/re-how-can-we-promote-greater-information-shar-8 [field_embedded_video] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [embed] => [value] => [provider] => [data] => Array ( ) ) ) [field_external_link] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) [1] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) ) [comment_type] => task_discussion [og_groups] => Array ( [0] => 255367 ) [og_groups_both] => Array ( [255367] => NABUUR Governance team ) [og_public] => 1 [tags] => [nodewords] => Array ( ) [trid] => 0 [language] => en [i18n_status] => 0 [taxonomy] => Array ( ) [translation] => Array ( ) [cid] => 304599 [pid] => 304577 [hostname] => 109.156.43.60 [thread] => 01.01.00.01.00/ [mail] => [homepage] => [comment_target_nid] => 303464 [depth] => 4 )

Hi John

Good to see you making progress on this! As most of the discussion on SIFE has been in the Nairobi Meetup group, I have posted your message there too so that those who replied to the original task are more likely to see it. See http://www.nabuur.com/en/group/nabuur-nairobi-meet-group/project/task/si...

Mary

0
stdClass Object ( [nid] => 304660 [vid] => 309202 [type] => task_discussion [status] => 1 [created] => 1295698236 [changed] => 1295698236 [comment] => 0 [promote] => 1 [sticky] => 0 [revision_timestamp] => 1295698236 [title] => Re: How can we promote greater information sharing and networking? [body] => Hi Mary, everyone :-) From what I hear (or rather read :-) it seems that we already have most of what we are looking for in some form or another and we need to make improvements to the system so that things work the way they should. I'll use the example given by Mary of using pre-defined tags rather than the current way of doing it. Is that right or have I misunderstood? A question for the LR's and volunteers who have been around for a long time is whether categorising projects according to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)would sufficiently cover all the types of projects that Nabuur gets involved in. The MDGs are: * Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger * Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education * Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women * Goal 4: Reduce child mortality * Goal 5: Improve maternal health * Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases * Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability * Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development One problem I foresee though with such a broad categorisation is that it may not be immediately clear what sort of skills a particular project is looking for. Additionally, this may not get rid of the problem of projects that fit in more than one category e.g. goals 6 and 7 can easily be covered in a single project. I may have wandered a little from the discussion, and if that is that case, say it is so and ignore this part. Concerning fund raising my personal conviction is that Nabuur's core activity should not be fund raising- there is a lot of value in the information sharing approach and I think that in a way it is exactly because of this information sharing that villages eventually develop plans and projects that others may feel are worth funding. My opinion is that rather than say that we do not do it, we can say that we try to link villages with fund raisers or funding organisations. We may also say that volunteers who want to provide financial assistance to villages are free to do so but the question is will Nabuur ask for village verification prior to/ during registration or will Nabuur continue to leave it to the well-wisher to investigate authenticity of a village by themselves? Nabuur may ask for some basic evidence to verify village authenticity and make it clear what they ask for but still warn volunteers and other parties to to additional checks for themselves (for example especially where large sums of money are involved). I cannot think of a way around the facilitator/LR model but I am keen to know how it has been for villages without facilitators and what we can learn from them. Wishing you all a great weekend! Nonhlanhla -- 'If you are willing to change the world, let love be your energy.' Robbie Williams [teaser] => Hi Mary, everyone :-) From what I hear (or rather read :-) it seems that we already have most of what we are looking for in some form or another and we need to make improvements to the system so that things work the way they should. I'll use the example given by Mary of using pre-defined tags rather than the current way of doing it. Is that right or have I misunderstood? [log] => [format] => 1 [uid] => 22591 [name] => Nonhlanhla Dube [picture] => [data] => a:11:{s:2:"op";s:18:"Create new account";s:6:"submit";s:18:"Create new account";s:7:"form_id";s:13:"user_register";s:16:"captcha_solution";b:1;s:13:"captcha_token";s:32:"f9715d7ebb6161d1cffc3a9ef91b97fe";s:14:"validationdata";a:4:{s:7:"form_id";s:13:"user_register";s:10:"preprocess";b:1;s:6:"module";s:9:"recaptcha";s:4:"type";s:9:"reCAPTCHA";}s:7:"contact";i:0;s:16:"privatemsg_allow";i:1;s:28:"privatemsg_setmessage_notify";i:0;s:16:"nodecomment_sort";s:1:"1";s:17:"messaging_default";s:4:"mail";} [path] => group/nabuur-governance-team/project/task/discussion/re-how-can-we-promote-greater-information-shar-9 [field_embedded_video] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [embed] => [value] => [provider] => [data] => Array ( ) ) ) [field_external_link] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) [1] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) ) [comment_type] => task_discussion [og_groups] => Array ( [0] => 255367 ) [og_groups_both] => Array ( [255367] => NABUUR Governance team ) [og_public] => 1 [tags] => [nodewords] => Array ( ) [trid] => 0 [language] => en [i18n_status] => 0 [taxonomy] => Array ( ) [translation] => Array ( ) [cid] => 304660 [pid] => 304599 [hostname] => 145.116.225.229 [thread] => 01.01.00.01.00.00/ [mail] => [homepage] => [comment_target_nid] => 303464 [depth] => 5 )

Hi Mary, everyone :-)

From what I hear (or rather read :-) it seems that we already have most of what we are looking for in some form or another and we need to make improvements to the system so that things work the way they should. I'll use the example given by Mary of using pre-defined tags rather than the current way of doing it. Is that right or have I misunderstood?

A question for the LR's and volunteers who have been around for a long time is whether categorising projects according to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)would sufficiently cover all the types of projects that Nabuur gets involved in. The MDGs are:
* Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
* Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education
* Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women
* Goal 4: Reduce child mortality
* Goal 5: Improve maternal health
* Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
* Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability
* Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development
One problem I foresee though with such a broad categorisation is that it may not be immediately clear what sort of skills a particular project is looking for. Additionally, this may not get rid of the problem of projects that fit in more than one category e.g. goals 6 and 7 can easily be covered in a single project. I may have wandered a little from the discussion, and if that is that case, say it is so and ignore this part.

Concerning fund raising my personal conviction is that Nabuur's core activity should not be fund raising- there is a lot of value in the information sharing approach and I think that in a way it is exactly because of this information sharing that villages eventually develop plans and projects that others may feel are worth funding. My opinion is that rather than say that we do not do it, we can say that we try to link villages with fund raisers or funding organisations. We may also say that volunteers who want to provide financial assistance to villages are free to do so but the question is will Nabuur ask for village verification prior to/ during registration or will Nabuur continue to leave it to the well-wisher to investigate authenticity of a village by themselves? Nabuur may ask for some basic evidence to verify village authenticity and make it clear what they ask for but still warn volunteers and other parties to to additional checks for themselves (for example especially where large sums of money are involved).

I cannot think of a way around the facilitator/LR model but I am keen to know how it has been for villages without facilitators and what we can learn from them.

Wishing you all a great weekend!

Nonhlanhla

--
'If you are willing to change the world, let love be your energy.' Robbie Williams

0
stdClass Object ( [nid] => 304685 [vid] => 309228 [type] => task_discussion [status] => 1 [created] => 1295704681 [changed] => 1295706410 [comment] => 0 [promote] => 1 [sticky] => 0 [revision_timestamp] => 1295706410 [title] => The LR/Facilitator Model - other thoughts [body] => I woke up this morning thinking about this issue in particular with some questions in mind: 1. How are results achieved on Nabuur? 2. What kind of results are achieved on Nabuur? 3. What villages are able to show tangible results that can be tied back to their involvement with Nabuur volunteers? How did this come about? The simple facts remain - we have more villages than facilitators. We have no paid staff. We have no one to actively recruit and train facilitators. In my opinion, this model does not work more often than it does. Over the past year, I have watched as village after village has asked for the help of a facilitator, people then inevitably offer to fill the role which they may or may not understand - oftentimes, they do not know how to use the Nabuur site because it is too complicated and no one benefits from the partnership. I believe there are better ways to work together. This is not a slight to anyone who actively facilitates a village - we definitely have a few facilitators who have remained very committed to the projects they work with, but again, in the scheme of the entire community - those projects are very few compared to those without. My biggest concern about this is that there is an expectation due to our current descriptions that when a village is registered - they will be paired with a facilitator. We need to remove that. I've said before, this seems to set the tone for dependency - a general feeling that nothing can be accomplished here without a facilitator. That is simply not true. Maybe we need to consider how results are achieved and what kinds of results are achieved here. From that we can better understand how the work is getting done. Going forward, we need to show how our work here brings results - that this online means of collaboration is helping facilitate change. If we can't do that, why would anyone ever be interested in partnering with Nabuur? With respect the the MDG's - I think this is too complicated. I think broader categories suit the work we do much better in terms of information sharing - agriculture, income-generation, education, health (malaria eradication, HIV/AIDS awareness, clean water, etc). Ultimately this work still fits with the MDG's, but in terms of the site itself - we need to be much more concrete to make things easier to find. Mary - I think you made some good points too. One thing I know that came to mind was - I wonder if instead of pointing projects to volunteers, if we shouldn't focus more on pointing volunteers to projects that can use their skills and expertise. Maybe we have it backwards on the current site? Jennifer [teaser] => I woke up this morning thinking about this issue in particular with some questions in mind: 1. How are results achieved on Nabuur? 2. What kind of results are achieved on Nabuur? 3. What villages are able to show tangible results that can be tied back to their involvement with Nabuur volunteers? How did this come about? [log] => [format] => 1 [uid] => 15524 [name] => Jennifer Wells [picture] => [data] => a:8:{s:8:"og_email";s:1:"2";s:16:"privatemsg_allow";i:1;s:28:"privatemsg_setmessage_notify";i:1;s:17:"messaging_default";s:4:"mail";s:7:"contact";i:1;s:16:"nodecomment_sort";s:1:"2";s:8:"options1";s:1:"0";s:29:"taxonomy_image_disable_images";i:0;} [path] => group/nabuur-governance-team/project/task/discussion/lrfacilitator-model-other-thoughts [field_embedded_video] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [embed] => [value] => [provider] => [data] => Array ( ) ) ) [field_external_link] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) [1] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) ) [comment_type] => task_discussion [og_groups] => Array ( [0] => 255367 ) [og_groups_both] => Array ( [255367] => NABUUR Governance team ) [og_public] => 1 [tags] => [nodewords] => Array ( ) [trid] => 0 [language] => en [i18n_status] => 0 [taxonomy] => Array ( ) [translation] => Array ( ) [cid] => 304685 [pid] => 0 [hostname] => 24.165.222.125 [thread] => 02/ [mail] => [homepage] => [comment_target_nid] => 303464 [depth] => 0 )

I woke up this morning thinking about this issue in particular with some questions in mind:

1. How are results achieved on Nabuur?
2. What kind of results are achieved on Nabuur?
3. What villages are able to show tangible results that can be tied back to their involvement with Nabuur volunteers? How did this come about?

The simple facts remain - we have more villages than facilitators. We have no paid staff. We have no one to actively recruit and train facilitators. In my opinion, this model does not work more often than it does. Over the past year, I have watched as village after village has asked for the help of a facilitator, people then inevitably offer to fill the role which they may or may not understand - oftentimes, they do not know how to use the Nabuur site because it is too complicated and no one benefits from the partnership. I believe there are better ways to work together. This is not a slight to anyone who actively facilitates a village - we definitely have a few facilitators who have remained very committed to the projects they work with, but again, in the scheme of the entire community - those projects are very few compared to those without.

My biggest concern about this is that there is an expectation due to our current descriptions that when a village is registered - they will be paired with a facilitator. We need to remove that. I've said before, this seems to set the tone for dependency - a general feeling that nothing can be accomplished here without a facilitator. That is simply not true.

Maybe we need to consider how results are achieved and what kinds of results are achieved here. From that we can better understand how the work is getting done. Going forward, we need to show how our work here brings results - that this online means of collaboration is helping facilitate change. If we can't do that, why would anyone ever be interested in partnering with Nabuur?

With respect the the MDG's - I think this is too complicated. I think broader categories suit the work we do much better in terms of information sharing - agriculture, income-generation, education, health (malaria eradication, HIV/AIDS awareness, clean water, etc). Ultimately this work still fits with the MDG's, but in terms of the site itself - we need to be much more concrete to make things easier to find.

Mary - I think you made some good points too. One thing I know that came to mind was - I wonder if instead of pointing projects to volunteers, if we shouldn't focus more on pointing volunteers to projects that can use their skills and expertise. Maybe we have it backwards on the current site?

Jennifer

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stdClass Object ( [nid] => 304701 [vid] => 309244 [type] => task_discussion [status] => 1 [created] => 1295719551 [changed] => 1295719551 [comment] => 0 [promote] => 1 [sticky] => 0 [revision_timestamp] => 1295719551 [title] => Re: The LR/Facilitator Model - other thoughts [body] => Hi Jennifer, When you say 'My biggest concern about this is that there is an expectation due to our current descriptions that when a village is registered - they will be paired with a facilitator. We need to remove that. I've said before, this seems to set the tone for dependency - a general feeling that nothing can be accomplished here without a facilitator. That is simply not true.' I could not agree with you more! I hope we hear back from people who have made it without the help of a facilitator. The questions you raise are relevant and the biggest challenge in answering them would be deciding how we measure results and the extent to which we can tie them to things being a certain way. I hope this makes sense. I also think the classification you propose is way better. My only suggestion is to find an alternative term for income-generation as I think that all the other groups will need to generate income somehow. For example we could use 'local business' instead. Any suggestions from anyone? About pointing projects to volunteers versus pointing volunteers to projects, would it be possible to have it both ways. Sometimes projects actively look for volunteers and sometimes it's the opposite. I think that because both parties are possibly limited in their search for people to engage it might help if both groups have the option to actively search and be searched for at the same time. I wonder if this might complicate the process though. Good day/ evening to you all :-) Nonhlanhla -- 'If you are willing to change the world, let love be your energy.' Robbie Williams [teaser] => Hi Jennifer, When you say 'My biggest concern about this is that there is an expectation due to our current descriptions that when a village is registered - they will be paired with a facilitator. We need to remove that. I've said before, this seems to set the tone for dependency - a general feeling that nothing can be accomplished here without a facilitator. That is simply not true.' I could not agree with you more! I hope we hear back from people who have made it without the help of a facilitator. [log] => [format] => 1 [uid] => 22591 [name] => Nonhlanhla Dube [picture] => [data] => a:11:{s:2:"op";s:18:"Create new account";s:6:"submit";s:18:"Create new account";s:7:"form_id";s:13:"user_register";s:16:"captcha_solution";b:1;s:13:"captcha_token";s:32:"f9715d7ebb6161d1cffc3a9ef91b97fe";s:14:"validationdata";a:4:{s:7:"form_id";s:13:"user_register";s:10:"preprocess";b:1;s:6:"module";s:9:"recaptcha";s:4:"type";s:9:"reCAPTCHA";}s:7:"contact";i:0;s:16:"privatemsg_allow";i:1;s:28:"privatemsg_setmessage_notify";i:0;s:16:"nodecomment_sort";s:1:"1";s:17:"messaging_default";s:4:"mail";} [path] => group/nabuur-governance-team/project/task/discussion/re-lrfacilitator-model-other-thoughts [field_embedded_video] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [embed] => [value] => [provider] => [data] => Array ( ) ) ) [field_external_link] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) [1] => Array ( [url] => [title] => [attributes] => N; ) ) [comment_type] => task_discussion [og_groups] => Array ( [0] => 255367 ) [og_groups_both] => Array ( [255367] => NABUUR Governance team ) [og_public] => 1 [tags] => [nodewords] => Array ( ) [trid] => 0 [language] => en [i18n_status] => 0 [taxonomy] => Array ( ) [translation] => Array ( ) [cid] => 304701 [pid] => 304685 [hostname] => 145.116.225.229 [thread] => 02.00/ [mail] => [homepage] => [comment_target_nid] => 303464 [depth] => 1 )

Hi Jennifer,

When you say 'My biggest concern about this is that there is an expectation due to our current descriptions that when a village is registered - they will be paired with a facilitator. We need to remove that. I've said before, this seems to set the tone for dependency - a general feeling that nothing can be accomplished here without a facilitator. That is simply not true.' I could not agree with you more! I hope we hear back from people who have made it without the help of a facilitator.

The questions you raise are relevant and the biggest challenge in answering them would be deciding how we measure results and the extent to which we can tie them to things being a certain way. I hope this makes sense.

I also think the classification you propose is way better. My only suggestion is to find an alternative term for income-generation as I think that all the other groups will need to generate income somehow. For example we could use 'local business' instead. Any suggestions from anyone?

About pointing projects to volunteers versus pointing volunteers to projects, would it be possible to have it both ways. Sometimes projects actively look for volunteers and sometimes it's the opposite. I think that because both parties are possibly limited in their search for people to engage it might help if both groups have the option to actively search and be searched for at the same time. I wonder if this might complicate the process though.

Good day/ evening to you all :-)

Nonhlanhla

--
'If you are willing to change the world, let love be your energy.' Robbie Williams

0
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My first text so need information to make comments, but reading the previous comments it appears to me that you all seem to be saying that a form of data bank of past projects would be useful, with included in it, a reference to each village which used the information, for good or bad.

Your answers so far appear to imply that the core is the village, but is it really 'the problem'? So do you address the needs of the village and their emotional rational, or do you offer them multiple options for their problem either historical or new.

My experience is that a group often has a problem which when viewed is like an onion, as you peel off a skin you can find a new problem or revision of the existing problem. This can make people then go off in another direction.

A data bank can be accused of creating a mono society, or that what worked for one village is not automatically going to work elsewhere.
--
John C

0
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Dear John,

Thank you for your post.

What we are trying to work on is a better way to connect villages involved in similar projects so that if there is anything that can be duplicated e.g. contacts then this is done swiftly without the next village having to go through the same painful steps as the one that is ahead of it. So we are not just concerned about past projects but also on-going projects. I don't expect that the contexts will be identical but most people with experience on Nabuur concur that information sharing and networking could significantly enhance efficiency and we are trying to think of ways in which this can be done easily or somehow automated. The aim is not to develop rigid models that everyone has to work with because we all know that it doesn't work for such diverse group in diverse contexts.

Do you see ways in which a data bank may help us achieve this? I am completely hopeless when it comes to these things and I am keen to know more about how it works. Do you have any other suggestions from what you have read and experienced so far?

Thank you again for taking the time to give your input here.

Wishing you a good day/ evening.

Nonhlanhla

--
'If you are willing to change the world, let love be your energy.' Robbie Williams

0