Just a brief word to introduce myself. My wife Julia is from Ecuador and I am from Canada. We have four children, all grown up and either studying or working. For the past 30 years we have lived in Peru, Panama and Ecuador. Currently we are living in Antigonish, Nova Scotia where I work at the Coady International Institute, part of St. Francis Xavier University. (www.coady.stfx.ca)
I share the vision and mission of Wikieducator in order to create free eLearning content to support learning for development. At Coady I teach in the 'Livelihoods & Markets' area with a special interest in examining approaches and strategies being used by smallholders and rural producer associations to access markets, whether they be local, regional or global. Coady has more than 4500 graduates living in Africa, South Asia and Latin America. Many of these graduates would be potential participants, sharing their experiences to create collaborative open learning content. Rural producer associations, even in the most remote areas, are quickly obtaining Internet access, creating an enormous opportunity to expand development learning.
Income generating projects by community groups is an effective action helping to reduce poverty. The creation of these groups facilitates the possibility of implementing relevant skills training and awareness building eLearning courses in rural areas. There are many business tools for improving access to markets and adding value to what is produced. I would like to see online course material developed for: - Doing Community Economic Analysis - Doing market studies - Doing Subsector Analysis - Doing Value Chain Analysis - Doing Business Plans.
To finish this introductory piece I want to congratulate those people who have created Wikieducator and those institutions who are financially supporting its development. Tom Walsh