ICT4D Conferences

eLearning Africa

International Conference on ICT4D

So weird they both take place same days!!!

Fundación Bip-Bip: Report about the use of ICTs in NGOs

The Fundación Bip-Bip has released the report “Estudio de diagnóstico sobre el nivel de utilización de las TIC en las entidades no lucrativas de acción social, que trabajan en pro de la inserción laboral en España” [Diagnosis Report on the degree of ICT use in social action nonprofits that work to promote job placements in Spain].

The report is 158 pages long and is really worth reading it.

Here comes a very illustrative highlight:

Only 14% of the analyzed organizations [370 in total] perform online training activities, and less than 19% uses teleworking as a possible option for its personnel [being most of them eventual online volunteers and not permanent staff]. Considering the hardware that most of the organizations do have, the deep degree of decentralization that most o them have (with headquarters in different cities and area of activity that only about a 10% just keep within the boundaries of their own city), the kind of work performed by most of their experts (that work directly in the terrain, increasing the mobility and geographic dispersion) and the particular characteristics of the composition of their staff (with a high percent of eventual and part time volunteers), we believe that this kind of organizations should lean on much more in the benefits that ICTs can bring to adopt models with a higher flexibility and adapted to the special needs of each organization.

It is, then, no nonsense what the Spanish National Volunteering Plan suggests about e-learning and online volunteering. For once in our lives, everyone agrees. Here’s to it!

Spanish National Volunteering Plan

The III Spanish National Volunteering Plan, for years 2005 to 2009, is born.

Everybody’s congratulating each other because the plan is the result of a huge consensus among the Administration and NGOs. My sincere kudos :)

But my personal bias focus on two other things (bolds are mine):

From Strategic Line #3 to strengthen volunteering in different communities:

Support and foster new kinds of volunteering in the heart of organizations, such as online volunteering.

From Strategic Line #4 to support technically and financially the organizational and functional modenization of the Third Sector:

Enlargement of online training supply addressed to NGO participants, spreading and normalizing the access to this educational methodology.

Yes, this is really really good news. From strategic plans arise yearly director plans that decide on real policies, budgets, projects :)

Sloan Semester

Free Online Courses offered to students from institutions impacted by Hurricane Katrina and students serving in the National Guard whose studies were interrupted by being called to active duty in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The Sloan Consortium, an international association of colleges and universities committed to quality online education, is offering students displaced by Hurricane Katrina an opportunity to continue their education at no cost. In collaboration with the Southern Regional Education Board and with a $1.1 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the special accelerated program will provide a wide range of courses to serve the learning needs of students at the community college, university and graduate level, regardless of academic discipline. These courses will be given by major universities and other Sloan Consortium members. Students interested in finding out more about the program and the free courses can do so at www.SloanSemester.org.

“We know that many colleges and universities in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi will not be able to resume their fall semesters and students are scrambling for alternatives,” said Dave Spence, President of the Southern Regional Education Board. “With the help of dozens of colleges and universities nationwide, we can now offer students key courses online to bridge them through this difficult time and eventually allow them to return to their home campuses.”

I just wonder how easy/difficult it would be to act alike in underdeveloped or developing countries, with no need to wait for Katrinas. Well, ain’t hunger, aids, etc. tougher Katrinas?

[via Online Learning Update]

Human Development Report 2005

UNDP‘s Human Development Report for year 2005 is out.

Progress on aid, trade and security must be linked: We know that the MDGs are attainable, but if we continue with business as usual, the promise of the Millennium Declaration will be broken. That would be a tragedy above all for the world’s poor—but rich countries would not be immune to the consequences of failure

Extreme inequality slows progress: Anybody questioning whether income distribution matters might reflect on the fact that the poorest 10 percent of Brazilians are poorer than their counterparts in Viet Nam, a country with a far lower average income