PCF5:LIVELIHOODS: Feedback from the Reporter

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Title of session=

... LIVELIHOODS: Feedback from the Reporter ...

Session details

  • Aim: To explore the contribution of ICT and open and distance learning (ODL) in promoting more effective and efficient learning and skills development in order to achieve improved livelihoods, and in turn contributing to development goals....
  • Assumption: Papers, presentations or discussion in any session would be presenting evidence based experience and/or elaborating a theoretical perspective to improve the aim of PCF5.
  • Chair (Name & email):: Ralph von Kaufmann

Session papers

Key Issues that arose in the session

  1. Importance of extension and reducing investment
  2. Seeking alternative through ICT
  3. Uniltlaeral knowledge flows in traditional extension/ focus on communication/ combination of multiple mediums
  4. It is necessary to aggregate available content/ develop content aggregation platform for agriculture to develop a successful model of ODL. Open source knowledge will need to drive necessary services including the new form of agriculture extension/ outreach/ Knowledge organization
  5. Developing nation technology institutes working in the domain of web 2.0
  6. Updation of skills and knowledge of various professionals (in-service)
  7. Not sufficient programmes for rural areas in ODL principles/ TechMODE capacities
  8. Pro-natue, pro-poor/ pro-women orientation
  9. Existing rural centres/ networking with national and international institutions
  10. TechMODE/ ODL demands capacity building at two levels, technology and expertise specific domain as well as in the process facilitation
  11. Experience in post graduate distance learning for professionals
  12. Existing network of London External system
  13. Strong emphasis on bottom up approach and research led, demand driven development focus
  14. TechMODE/ ODL breaks away from tradional system to allow single course entry/ no necessity of formal qualifications to be able to encompass diverse implications
  15. Developed global learning community/ online learning environment

Points for future action (Policy, recommendations, commitments etc.)

Outline of theoretical perspectives explored in the session that has the potential for achieving effective learning and improved livelihoods through ODL?

  1. Shift from computer to mobile based computing is essential as the learning based on mobile would not depend on power and connectivity issues. Mobile users have developed a natural intuition that’s demand driven (Africa could take a quantum leap from computer to mobile)
  2. Developing topic map rather than collection of web based information
  3. Reusable learning objects/ peer reviewable arrangements ofcontent generation and organization is most important to develop a system that upgrades itself and includes perspectives of a varied community. Such demands creates a serious conflict between traditional ways of learning that is based on examination and exclusivity. Only an open approach of generation and organization of content would build inclussivity and reach mass rather quickly
  4. Wiki based operations
  5. Combination of technologies/ small and big
  6. Progressive increase of tutor-learner and learner-learner interaction and development of self help/ support groups
  7. Increase in interaction forums
  8. Off line course material for increased access
  9. ODL and TechMODE demands more time and efforts from a facilitator than a traditional method. This needs motivations and commitments from the facilitator and a work culture that runs 24 hrs a day.

Summary of evidences (data) that are offered in the session for achieving effective learning for achieving improved livelihoods through ODL?

  1. Operational E-Krishi/ aAqua
  2. Involvement of extension workers and capacity building
  3. Two certificate based programmes, Literacy in IT and domain based certificate
  4. Utilization of multimedia for content generation and capacity building
  5. “Ecology creation” by addressing local need
  6. Rockafeller foundation funded Harare university programme
  7. Improved social responses/ increased confidence
    There were no hard evidence presented for rural development; though there are a lot of evidences for formal training through TechMODE and ODL success

What are the unresolved issues and challenges for achieving effective learning for improved livelihoods through ODL?

  1. Lack of appropriate scales of organized content organization
  2. Scattered information needs aggregation and linking and made open to public for livelihood improvement
  3. Varied format/ standard/ organizational compatibility lacking
  4. Expensive processes of digitization
  5. Lack of inter-institutional knowledge about ongoing and successful efforts
  6. Increased tutor commitment and time need/ human perspective of not responding to the need of increased effort needed
  7. Power supply/ connectivity

What are the potential solutions for these issues and challenges that can make ODL work better for improved livelihoods?

  1. Wiki based systems/ increased user participation for content creation/ peer review
  2. Decentralized learning environment using a centralized knowledge base
  3. No over-optimistic expectations of on line learner participation
  4. Multimedia approach/ blended approach
  5. Face to face contact necessary/ technology must not drive/ content driven/ access driven
  6. Learning, technology, access, content quality- getting the balance right
  7. Increase learner ownership/ be more needs driven
  8. Moving towards open sources and creative commons approach
  9. Pedagogy driven
  10. Scaling up of efforts brings opportunities
  11. Reorient partnership culture based on sharing and culture of sharing
  12. More importance to facilitation
  13. Not enough evaluation of impacts in terms of the lessons learnt as well as the applications in their work domain
  14. Community radio and similar tools to bye pass technology access failures and shortages

Suggest useful resources, people or institutions who could contribute to addressing these issues and challenges for achieving the sub theme topic and effective learning for live

  1. State agriculture institutes (India)
  2. Decentralized learning environment pivoted by intermediatories
  3. ODL/ TechMODE may seem expensive but the cost of not doing it is never counted

What role COL can play in strengthening the use of ICT and ODL and in adding value to achieving the sub theme topic towards effective learning for livelihoods?

  1. Technical support from COL
  2. Scaling up of efforts, nationally and internationally

Key agreements/actions/ recommendations
Traditional methods will not reach enough people quickly enough. There are not sufficient capital to continue with the traditional systems effectively. ODL and TechMODE would do the job but with higher initial investements and it needs technical, subject domain and facilitation capacity building. It also demands culture of sharing, skills of facilitation and south-south collaboration.