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MOBILE LEARNING FOR AFRICA


Thesis by Jennifer Parker Matricola // 735199 A.A. // 2010/2011 Tutor // Valentina Auricchio

POLITECNICO DI MILANO Faculty of Design Master in Product Service System Design

MOBILE LEARNING FOR AFRICA


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS // I would like to firstly thank my parents, whose support means everything to me and without whom I would never have had the confidence to follow my heart always. I would also like to thank my whole family, for their unconditional support and interest in everything that I do. Thank you to all of my friends who have been by my side, either physically or emotionally, throughout my thesis journey. To those who were there to help me when I needed it the most: Radim, Vivian, Bruno, Chao, Ciccio, Polly, and especially Marco for his constant support from the very beginning. Thanks to Valentina, for her guidance and encouragement at every stage. To Rebecca, for the interest taken in my work and for the match-making with the ITC-ILO. To Tom, for putting his faith in me and for always giving me both the freedom and support I needed throughout my time with the ITC-ILO. To all of the staff at the ITC-ILO, especially the DELTA team for making me feel so welcome right from the beginning. To Carlien at the ILO, for her support of integrating mobile learning within the my.coop training programme. To Laura, Paola, Dela, Mariateresa, Mark, Michele and the whole team at Experientia for welcoming me into the studio and for their precious advice and inputs. To Ellen, Remco and Anna from KIT for their enthusiasm for mobile learning and efforts to pilot my ideas on my behalf in Nigeria. To all of the PSSDs, past and present, for their talent and the inspiration they have given me in these 3 years. We are doing something that can make a difference, I really believe that! Last but not least, this thesis is dedicated to all of the Africans that I have consulted and in some cases gotten to know over the past months. Your enthusiasm and vitality brought me energy always and I learned so much from you. Thank you from the heart and I hope this work can have a meaning for you.


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ABSTRACT // ENGLISH Of the world’s total population of 6.5 billion, 90% have little or no access to most of the products and services many of us take for granted. There is a growing movement among designers to design low-cost solutions for this “other 90%”, and it was this concept that formed the starting point of the thesis. With the overall goal to “design for the other 90%”, different problems and opportunities were identified around the world. A recurring theme was found to be the mobile phone; a product that has become phenomenally widespread and has revolutionised life in developing countries. Nowhere has the effect been more dramatic than in Africa. While access to a fixed landline has remained static for a decade, access to a mobile phone has soared in the past few years. There are over 500 million mobile phone subscribers in Africa today, more than half of the continent’s population. Many of these mobile users do not have access to a computer or even electricity, and just 9.6% of the population has access to the internet. Of the 110 million Africans that do use the internet, more than half do so via their mobile phone. Moreover, the mobile phone has become a platform for a host of applications that offer new social and economic benefits to users. New services and systems are being built around this object to add value, and in just a few years, mobile applications have transformed the lives of many Africans. Therefore the decision was made to focus on the mobile revolution in Africa, with the goal of developing a new service that makes use of mobile phones to create a better quality of life. The result was a collaborative project with the United Nations, developed during a six-month internship with the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITC-ILO) in Turin, Italy. The project therefore took the direction of mobile learning (m-learning), an emerging field with great potential for contributing to social and economic development in Africa. The ITC-ILO is a vocational training institute that offers training on how the ILO’s values can be put into practice in a real world context. It is a leading global provider of training for the world of work, with 14,000 participants from 192 countries taking part in courses offered both at the Turin campus and on the field each year. The ITC-ILO is looking to offer more distance learning opportunities for participants in developing regions, and therefore the macro brief of the internship was to explore the potential for utilising mobile phones to achieve this goal. Within this brief an applied project was conducted in collaboration with the ILO in Geneva. The ILO is currently launching a worldwide training programme called my.coop (Managing Your Cooperative), which aims to teach contemporary principles of managing agricultural cooperatives to people in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The goal of this applied project was to identify mobile learning opportunities within the delivery of this training programme in the African context. The result is a mobile learning toolkit that contains an overview of mobile learning, 15 mobile learning methods and a selection of tools that can be used to facilitate these methods. Each method includes a general step-by-step guide plus a customisation to the my.coop training programme. The mobile learning toolkit is an open source resource that can be used in the delivery of all kinds of training in any developing context. It has been designed to be as inclusive as possible, with most of the methods requiring only low end devices (basic mobile phones with voice calling and SMS capability). In this way the toolkit can be used to deliver interactive distance learning experiences to participants even at the Base of the Pyramid (BoP).

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8


ABSTRACT // ITALIAN La popolazione mondiale è composta da 6,5 miliardi di individui, il 90% dei quali non dispone affatto o usufruisce di un accesso limitato ai beni e ai servizi che la maggior parte di noi da per scontati. Nel tentativo di colmare tale divario, si sta sviluppando un movimento tra i designer finalizzato alla progettazione di soluzioni a basso costo per gli “altri 90%”, partendo da questo concept ho deciso di sviluppare la mia tesi. Con l’idea generale di “design for the other 90%”, sono state individuate numerose problematiche e potenzialità nel mondo. Il telefono cellulare è emerso in questo senso come tema ricorrente, in quanto prodotto altamente diffuso che ha rivoluzionato la vita dei paesi in via di sviluppo. L’Africa è certamente il continente in cui questa tendenza si è manifestata più chiaramente: mentre le connessioni a rete fissa sono rimaste a bassi livelli per decenni, l’utilizzo di telefoni cellulari è incrementato esponenzialmente negli ultimi anni. Oggigiorno sono 500 milioni i contratti di telefonia mobile in Africa, che equivalgono alla metà della popolazione del continente. Molti utenti della rete mobile non possono usufruire di un computer e a volte neanche dell’elettricità, e solo il 9,6% ha accesso a internet. Un dato interessante è però costituito dal fatto che più della metà dei 110 milioni di Africani che utilizzano internet si connette tramite telefono cellulare. Inoltre il telefono cellulare si è evoluto in una piattaforma di raccordo per applicazioni che offrono agli utenti nuovi benefici sia dal punto di vista sociale che economico. In soli pochi anni, attraverso un ulteriore sviluppo di questo principio, tramite nuovi servizi e sistemi miranti alla creazione di ulteriore valore aggiunto, è stato possibile cambiare la vita di molti Africani. Alla luce di questi progressi si è deciso di concentrare la ricerca sulla rivoluzione dei cellulari in Africa, con lo scopo di sviluppare un servizio nuovo atto a migliorare la qualità della vita attraverso l’utilizzo del cellulare. Ne è risultato un progetto in collaborazione con le Nazioni Unite, ideato e realizzato durante un tirocinio della durata di sei mesi presso il Centro Internazionale di Formazione dipendente dall’Organizzazione Internazionale del Lavoro (International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization, ITC-ILO) a Torino. Il progetto si è quindi concentrato sull’apprendimento mobile (mobile learning, m-learning), un ambito emergente dal grande potenziale per quanto riguarda il contributo allo sviluppo sociale ed economico in Africa. L’ITC-ILO è un istituto di formazione professionale che offre corsi, riguardanti la problematica del tradurre i valori dell’ILO in pratica all’interno del contesto contemporaneo. Ogni anno 14.000 partecipanti provenienti da 192 nazioni diverse prendono parte a questo programma, che permette all’ITC-ILO di figurare tra i primi enti fornitori di corsi riguardanti il mondo del lavoro. L’ITC-ILO mira a incrementare le opportunità di insegnamento a distanza per i partecipanti provenienti da nazioni in via di sviluppo, a tal proposito la obiettivo generale di questo tirocinio è rappresentato dall’indagine sul potenziale di utilizzazione del telefono cellulare per il raggiungimento del suddetto scopo. In questa linea di principio è stato sviluppato un progetto condotto in collaborazione con l’ILO di Ginevra. Attualmente l’ILO sta promuovendo un programma di istruzione a livello mondiale chiamato my.coop (Managing Your Cooperative), mirato all’insegnamento dei principi moderni di gestione delle cooperative agricole alla popolazione in Africa, Asia e America Latina. L’obbiettivo del progetto consisteva nell’identificazione delle opportunità di apprendimento mobile, in seno all’implementazione di questo programma di istruzione, con un’attenzione particolare al contesto africano. Il frutto di questo lavoro è risultato essere un kit di strumenti per l’apprendimento (“mobile learning toolkit”), contenente un’introduzione all’apprendimento con cellulare, 15 metodi di apprendimento con cellulare e una serie di strumenti che possono essere impiegati al fine di facilitare tali metodi. Ogni metodo è inclusivo di una guida generale passo a passo, oltre che una versione specifica per il programma di apprendimento my.coop. Il “mobile learning toolkit” è una risorsa open source che può essere utilizzata per qualsiasi genere di istruzione in qualsiasi paese in via di sviluppo. È stato infatti progettato per essere il più inclusivo possibile, dato che la maggior parte dei metodi richiedono dispositivi a basso contenuto tecnologico (telefoni cellulari base con chiamata vocale e possibilità di ricezione e invio di messaggi di testo). In questo modo il “mobile learning toolkit” può essere impiegato per creare esperienze interattive di istruzione a distanza anche per i partecipanti alla base della piramide. 9


INDEX // explore

define

understand

10

introduction

13

methodology

14

1.0 EXPLORE 1.1 Design for the other 90% 1.2 The mobile revolution in Africa 1.2.1 Background 1.2.2 Mobile statistics 1.2.3 Mobile for Development case studies

21 23 25 30 33

2.0 DEFINE 2.1 Collaborative project with the United Nations 2.2 ITC-ILO 2.2.1 ITC-ILO training 2.2.2 ITC-ILO users 2.3 Defining the project 2.3.1 Introducing my.coop 2.3.2 my.coop content 2.3.3 my.coop delivery 2.3.4 my.coop training pyramid 2.3.5 Target users

45 47 49 51 53 55 57 59 60 63

3.0 UNDERSTAND 3.1 Research overview 3.2 Innovative face-to-face teaching and learning 3.3 Learning styles 3.4 Mobile learning 3.4.1 Mobile learning case studies 3.5 my.coop users 3.5.1 Desk research 3.5.2 Expert interviews 3.5.3 ITC-ILO user interviews 3.5.4 Potential user interviews

69 71 77 79 81 86 89 95 97 101


create

prototype

refine

4.0 CREATE 4.1 Developing research results into a design vision 4.1.1 Personas 4.1.2 Process map 4.1.3 Insights 4.2 Concept vision 4.3 Concept // Mobile learning toolkit 4.3.1 Mobile learning methods 4.3.1.1 Inspiration // microstorytelling 4.3.1.2 Idea generation 4.3.1.3 Idea selection 4.3.2 Mobile learning tools 4.3.2.1 Tool selection 4.3.2.2 Tool generation 4.3.2.3 Twitter benefits and limitations 4.4 Concept // my.coop community 4.4.1 my.coop community features

129 130 134 138 143 145 147 149 150 152 155 156 158 160 163 164

5.0 PROTOTYPE 5.1 my.coop pilot 5.1.1 my.coop pilot participants 5.1.2 Twitter testing 5.1.3 Twitter testing feedback 5.1.4 Mobile learning toolkit feedback

171 175 177 181 183

6.0 REFINE 6.1 my.coop visual identity 6.2 Mobile learning toolkit 6.2.1 Scenario of use 6.3 Next step // my.coop community

188 190 200 205

conclusion

207

bibliography

208

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INTRODUCTION // The starting point of this thesis was the desire to ‘Design for the Other 90%’; that is the 90% of the world’s population usually ignored by designers, and simultaneously the 90% who could really benefit from design. From this macro-theme a specific research focus was selected: the impact of the mobile phone in Africa, which is nothing less than a revolution. Discovering a wide range of new services and systems being created to add value to an object many consider to be obsolete - the low end mobile phone device, symbolised by the withstanding Nokia - the inspiration was taken to develop a real project to build on those already in motion. During an internship with the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (United Nations) this goal was fulfilled, and an applied project in mobile learning for Africa completed. This thesis tells the story of this project, from the initial research into the African mobile phone revolution to the development of a final design solution that aims to extend the opportunity for education and ultimately promote social and economic development in Africa.

13


METHODOLOGY //

14

explore

define

understand

exploring the context of the project in a divergent way, open to any and all info that can be interesting or inspiring and identifying trends

from all of the possibilities, converging to a specific point of intervention, defining the boundaries and goals

going deep into the chosen scenario to understand the what, why, who, where, when and how


create

generating and evaluating concepts iteratively and building them together to form a complete system

prototype

refine

prototyping concepts and testing them with real users to get their feedback and identify potential weaknesses in the system

reviewing the lessons learned from the testing phase and developing a final, optimised solution ready for implementation

15


expl


lore


“The majority of the focus all their efforts products and service richest 10% of the wo Nothing less than a r is needed to reach th

defi

Dr. Paul Polak, International Deve


world’s designers on developing es exclusively for the orld’s customers. revolution in design he other 90%.�

fine

elopment Enterprises


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DESIGN FOR THE

OTHER 90% The starting point of this thesis was the desire to ‘Design for the Other 90%’. Of the world’s total population of 6.5 billion, 5.8 billion people, or 90%, have little or no access to most of the products and services many of us take for granted; in fact, nearly half do not have regular access to food, clean water, or shelter. Design for the Other 90% explores a growing movement among designers to design low-cost solutions for this “other 90%.” Through partnerships both local and global, individuals and organisations are finding unique ways to address the basic challenges of survival and progress faced by the world’s poor and marginalised. Designers, engineers, students, professors, architects, and social entrepreneurs from all over the globe are devising cost-effective ways to increase access to food and water, energy, education, healthcare, revenue-generating activities, and affordable transportation for those who most need them. And an increasing number of initiatives are providing solutions for underserved populations in developed countries such as the United States. This movement has its roots in the 1960s and 1970s, when economists and designers looked to find simple, low-cost solutions to combat poverty. More recently, designers are working directly with end users of their products, emphasising co-creation to respond to their needs. Many of these projects employ market principles for income generation as a way out of poverty. Poor rural farmers become micro-entrepreneurs, while cottage industries emerge in more urban areas. Some designs are patented to control the quality of their important breakthroughs, while others are open source in nature to allow for easier dissemination and adaptation, locally and internationally. Encompassing a broad set of modern social and economic concerns, these design innovations often support responsible, sustainable economic policy. They help, rather than exploit, poorer economies; minimise environmental impact; increase social inclusion; improve healthcare at all levels; and advance the quality and accessibility of education. These designers’ voices are passionate, and their points of view range widely on how best to address these important issues. Design for the Other 90% demonstrates how design can be a dynamic force in saving and transforming lives, at home and around the world. 21


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THE MOBILE REVOLUTION

IN AFRICA With the overall goal to ‘Design for the other 90%’, different problems and opportunities were identified in developing countries around the world. However, these are extensive, and so it was necessary to choose a specific focus for the development of the thesis. A recurring theme was found to be the mobile phone; a product that has become phenomenally widespread and has revolutionised life in developing countries in recent years. In fact, it has been said that,

“The cell phone is the single most transformative technology for development” Jeffrey Sachs Columbia University economist and emerging markets expert Nowhere has the effect been more dramatic than in Africa, where mobile technology often represents the first modern infrastructure of any kind. Bone-rattling roads, inaccessible internet, unavailable banks, unaffordable teachers, unmet medical need – applications designed to bridge one or more of these gaps are beginning to transform the lives of millions of Africans, often in a way that, rather than relying on international aid, promotes small-scale entrepreneurship. Therefore the decision was made to focus on the mobile revolution in Africa, understanding the impact of this object and searching for new ways in which it could be used to create a better quality of life.

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BACKGROUND MOBILE ACCESS // While access to a fixed landline has remained static for a decade, access to a mobile phone in Africa has soared in the past few years. Despite being one of the poorest parts of the globe, almost everyone can make or receive a phone call. More than half of the population owns a mobile phone and far more can reach a “village phone”, an early and successful microfinance initiative supported by the Grameen Foundation. Village phones, mobile handsets that local entrepreneurs charge others to use, are often the first mobile communications to reach poor rural areas. They have become a profitable business for mobile service providers such as Kenya’s Safaricom (40% owned by Vodafone Group), which promotes a village phone brand called Simu ya Jamii, Swahili for “community phone.” For those who wish to purchase their own mobile phone, handsets are available for less than $15. Low end devices lead the way with Nokia being the most popular brand. African fishermen prefer the Nokia 1100 (shown on the left) because it floats, and can be taken apart and dried in the sun and still work. The Nokia 1100 is in fact the most popular phone in the world, with 250,000,000 users worldwide. This phone was meant to survive and to do; its only jobs are to call and to text and to create convenience for as long as possible, as cheaply as possible.

MOBILE USE // Although few Africans have feature-rich smartphones, they are savvy mobile phone users, making sophisticated use of the technology available. For instance, it is common for Africans (95% of whom are prepaid subscribers) to own multiple SIM cards and swap them in and out of their phones as necessary to take advantage of favorable in-network and off-peak pricing structures. “Beeping” (otherwise known as “flashing” or “missed calling”) is another cultural habit. Users call a number and hang up before the receiver can pick up the call. Most beeps are requests to call back immediately, but they can also send a prenegotiated instrumental message such as ‘‘pick me up now’’ or a relational sign, such as ‘‘I’m thinking of you.’’ The practice itself is old, with roots in landline behaviors, but it has grown tremendously, particularly in the developing world. An evolution of this practice is the “Please Call Me” (PCM) message, a special, free form of SMS widely used across the continent. In South Africa the extra characters in these messages are used for social marketing, encouraging recipients to get tested for HIV and obtain AIDS information. Many illiterate Africans have also been found to be proficient mobile phone users, developing the ability to make phone calls and send text messages by rote learning. 25


Lack of access to electricity has also been overcome by many Africans, who charge their phones using generators available in local shops as well as solar panels and car batteries.

ECONOMIC IMPACT // The basic mobile phone is seen as a tool that supports bottom-up economic development. Particularly in rural areas, a small investment in a mobile phone can first create a business opportunity, then maximise its reach by overcoming the possible limitations of real or technological illiteracy – because the phone operator can make sure the call gets through, and can cut off the

26

call at exactly the right moment to avoid wasting any part of a unit. And what a difference a phone call can make. Evidence of the positive impact mobiles have upon socio-economic development is unequivocal. At the macroeconomic level, mobiles increase gross domestic product (GDP) as well as the foreign direct investment that less developed countries often struggle to attract. Assessments of the impact of mobiles in India and Sudan found that, having achieved a critical penetration rate of 25%, every 10% increase in penetration resulted in a 1.2% increase in a state’s economic growth, due partly to the greater productivity

and efficiency of small businesses which benefitted from improved information flows. A fundamental principle of economics is that markets need information to function efficiently, and mobile phones are providing information to people who never had it before. Beyond the macroeconomic indicators, evidence suggests the enhanced communication and information flows that mobiles provide have significant impact on users’ livelihoods, especially those most vulnerable and traditionally hard-to-reach. A growing body of evidence suggests that access to communications boosts incomes and makes local economies far more efficient.


M-APPLICATIONS // Many of the benefits offered by mobile phones are a result of the provision of basic voice services, but there is a growing realisation that the mobile can be used for much more. Since the mobile phone became a commonplace item in Africa, this object has become a platform for a host of applications that offer new social and economic benefits to mobile phone users. As in the rest of the world, in Africa the mobile phone is no longer just a device for making and receiving calls. However, the additional uses of mobile phones are very different in this part of the world. Rather than luxury add-ons, “mobile applications” in Africa often meet essential human needs in cases where other infrastructure falls short. It is important to cast aside the connotation of “application” as a piece of software. Instead, in this thesis “application” is regarded in the more literal sense:

forecasts; young urban citizens can transfer money back to their home villages; health workers can give diagnoses and collect data in real-time; news can be spread and read in crisis situations; and citizens can build opinion and mobilise.

application = the special use or purpose to which something is put

These services and systems are clustered in a number of different sectors, although several span more than one sector.

Therefore, in the context of mobile phones, an “application” is regarded as “a way of using” the mobile phone:

The mobile applications that currently exist are mainly in the financial, health and agriculture sectors, with a few in education and governance.

mobile application = new services and systems built around the mobile phone to add value In just a few years, mobile applications have transformed the lives of many Africans. For example, through even the most basic entry-level mobile phones, farmers can subscribe to information services such as market prices and weather

Thus terms have begun to arise such as m-banking, m-health, m-agriculture and m-learning. Mobile operators have been first to seize the opportunities, using the mobile to supply a host of commercial services that can mainly be described as infotainment, a mix of entertainment and information

services. However, some operators are providing commercial services that have a direct impact on socio-economic development.

Banking for the unbanked Mobile banking services, for example, have provided millions of unbanked people with the opportunity to use financial services such as money transfers, bill payments and savings accounts.

M4D // Aside from the mobile operators, there has been an avid interest in the growing field of mobile applications in developing contexts from other organisations, such as NGOs, charities, design and innovation studios, universities and entrepreneurs. “Mobile for Development”, or M4D, has become one of the central areas of investment and focus in the technology and development communities. 27


The goal of such efforts is to use mobile technology and related services to directly or indirectly address the problem of poverty and to promote social progress. Thus the extent of mobile applications reaches much further than the more prominent fields such as m-banking and m-health, even helping to promote human rights such as democracy, freedom of speech and safety. Unlike radio it is hard for authorities to block mobile signal without severely disrupting a country’s infrastructure and economy. In times of unrest or authoritarian rule the SMS can function as the only source of news. For example the London-based SW Radio Africa regularly sends out a selection of headlines to 30,000 people in Zimbabwe via SMS. The Ushahidi (which means “testimony” in Swahili) open source platform was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. The platform allows users to report and map incidents witnessed via SMS, which are collected and visualised on an online map, and has since been used to monitor elections and map crisis information as well as curate local resources. In 2010 the ground-breaking ‘DRC Speaks’ project took place, giving a voice to tens of thousands of Congolese. Using innovative mobile GeoPoll technology powered by Mobile Accord, more than 4 million Congolese received an SMS asking them to take part in the largest mobile poll ever conducted. 1.2 million text responses were received and the results shared on the internet, allowing Congolese to tell the world their thoughts, opinions, and even their hopes for a better Congo. Refugees United is an NGO that uses secure web and mobile technology to enable refugees to find loved ones throughout the world. Users can interact with the system over simple SMS to search for people, and if they find someone they think might be family they can send a message as well.

BARRIERS TO M-APPLICATIONS // Aside from the successful examples, it is important to also consider the factors that hinder the take off of mobile applications for economic and social development in Africa. Firstly, the most significant barrier is the total cost of ownership and use, i.e. cost of device, airtime, charging, etc. The cost of communication must go down – SMS is very overpriced and so is voice and data traffic. Secondly, many applications and services never reach out to the masses due to poor marketing. Subscribers must know what solutions are available, why and how to use them. Thirdly, many interventions are not designed with scale in mind. Many of the existing SMS based applications that could benefit the poor the most are still in their infancy in the region.

A few successful cases, namely mobile money systems and various health related solutions are being used at scale, but the fact remains that the number of scaled-up mobile services are still few and/or limited geographically. Other barriers include lack of electricity, illiteracy, language, privacy issues, gender, and concerns about security (e.g. phone theft). 28


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MOBILE STATISTICS // MOBILE PENETRATION //

MOBILE USE //

NETWORK COVERAGE //

In order to understand the mobile revolution in Africa, the first step was to research the statistics of mobile phone penetration, contexualised in both a worldwide and a developing world context.

As for data traffic, the total number of SMS sent globally tripled between 2007 and 2010, from an estimated 1.8 trillion to a staggering 6.1 trillion.

MOBILE NETWORKS REACH OF THE WORLD

90% POPULATION

NUMBER OF THE NUMBER MOBILE PHONES ON THE PLANET

OF SMS SENT

EVERY DAY

5.3 BILLION EXCEEDS THE AND 80% OF OUT OF 6 PEOPLE 5 HAVE A PHONE

POPULATION

OF THE PLANET

ECONOMIC IMPACT // Mobile phones have a positive economic impact, for example improving access to and use of information, creating new jobs to address demand for mobilerelated services, and providing a platform for applications facilitating new services.

73% OF THESE ARE IN

DEVELOPING

COUNTRIES

THE POPULATION IN RURAL AREAS

6.1 TRILLION SMS SENT IN 2010 200,000

27%

73%

EVERY

SECOND

10% INCREASE

IN MOBILE PHONE

PENETRATION CREATES

1.2% INCREASE IN COUNTRY’S GDP

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MOBILE AFRICA // When the mobile phone arrived in Africa, it quickly superseded the landline in a so-called ‘leapfrogging’ effect. That is to say that the nation did not first use the telephone, then cordless models, then go through iterations of chunky mobile handsets to arrive at today’s mobile phone. In a short period of time, areas with virtually no phone infrastructure have been transformed into places where the mobile phone is nearly ubiquitous.

AFRICA HAS GONE

MOBILE AFTER EXPERIENCING A

TECHNOLOGY JUMP

IN THE YEAR 2000

THE NUMBER OF MOBILE PHONES FIRST EXCEEDED THE NUMBER OF

LANDLINES Africa has the fastest growing mobile phone market in the world, with more than 500 million mobile phone subscribers today.

THERE ARE 200 MILLION

MORE MOBILE PHONES

IN AFRICA THAN

IN THE USA The number of mobile phone subscribers in Africa has doubled since 2008 and multiplied tenfold since 2002. This means that,

AT THIS RATE

EVERY SINGLE PERSON

WILL OWN A MOBILE

BY THE YEAR 2020 In addition, it is important to note that right now there are even more mobile phone users than owners, as in the villages it is common for a whole family to share one mobile phone, or to pay for the use of community phones offered by local microentrepreneurs.

MOBILE VS INTERNET // While 71% of the population in developed countries are online, only 21% of the population in developing countries are online. At the end of 2010, internet user penetration in Africa reached 9.6%, far behind both the world average (30%) and the developing country average (21%).

OF THE 1

BILLION PEOPLE

IN AFRICA

MORE THAN HALF

ARE MOBILE PHONE

SUBSCRIBERS

9.6%

21%

AFRICA DEVELOPING WORLD

30%

WORLD

110 million people in Africa access the internet, which represents 11% of the continent’s population.

110 MILLION INTERNET

USERS 2,357% GROWTH

IN INTERNET USE

SINCE 2000

The top internet accessing country is Nigeria with 44 million users, followed by Egypt, Morocco, South Africa & Algeria.

MOROCCO 13.2M ALGERIA 4 .7 M

EGYPT 20.1M

NIGERIA 44.0M

SOUTH AFRICA 6.8M

There are 5 times more mobile phone subscribers than internet users in Africa.

LANDLINES 13,000,000 INTERNET USERS 110,000,000 MOBILE PHONE SUBSCRIBERS 500,000,000+ More than 50% of Africa’s internet users access the web via their mobile phone, which represents 10% of mobile phone subscribers.

MOBILE IS THE NO.1 WAY TO SURF THE WEB IN AFRICA

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SERVICE

+

SERVICE

+ +

SERVICE

SOFTWARE

SOFTWARE

HARDWARE

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MOBILE FOR

DEVELOPMENT

CASE STUDIES 3 LEVELS //

CASE STUDIES //

Analysing all of the innovative mobile applications found in Africa, it was found that these are offered to mobile phone users at 3 levels of intervention:

On the following pages, 2 case studies are shown for each level of intervention, for different fields such as m-health and m-banking, as follows:

// service only

service

// service + software

// Txteagle

// service + software + hardware

// Text to Change

It can be seen that it is possible to provide mobile phone users with additional services that do not require them to download any additional software to their mobile, for example SMS-based services.

service + software

The next level usually requires a custom software to be installed on the user’s mobile phone, thus an application in the most commonly perceived sense, or it can mean that the user must access software via another device (e.g. a computer) in order to benefit from the service.

// Cellscope

// M-PESA // Stop Stockouts service + software + hardware // NESTA

A third level is also emerging, with new innovative “add-on” technology being created to transform mobile phones into devices that can perform other product functions, usually with corresponding software.

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SERVICE

TXTEAGLE // m-employment Txteagle is a service that aims to help the millions of mobile phone users in developing countries make money with their mobile. The service distributes small jobs (outsourced by companies) via text messaging in return for small payments. Txteagle facilitates mobile “crowdsourcing�- breaking down jobs into small tasks and sending them to lots of individuals. These jobs often involve local knowledge and range from things like checking what street signs say in rural Sudan for a satellite-navigation service to translating words into a Kenyan dialect for companies trying to spread their marketing. For example, a woman living in rural Africa may have limited access to work, but she can still use her mobile phone to collect local price and product data or even complete market-research surveys. Payments are transferred to a user’s phone by a mobile money service, such as M-PESA, or by providing additional calling credit. Working with over 220 mobile operators, txteagle is able to reach 2 billion subscribers in 80 countries. It already has the largest contract-labour force in Kenya and new ways of using it are being found all the time. 34


TEXT TO CHANGE // m-health Text to Change (TTC) offers an interactive mobile SMS quiz with knowledge questions linked with a rewarding system (incentive). By means of this edutainment and this interactive way of communicating, the SMS quiz is designed to raise and help resolve key issues around local development programs. TTC is a non-profit organisation that uses mobile phone technology to collect and disseminate health information. TTC has been one of the pioneers in using mobile phones for health monitoring and advocacy in Uganda reaching out to the general public at a large scale. TTC work is demand driven and sets up complete programmes with local and international partners. The aim of TTC is to make life saving knowledge easily available to the general public and especially to community and family level caregivers. TTC is specialised in interactive and incentive based SMS programs addressing a wide range of health issues such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and reproductive health.

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M-PESA // m-banking M-PESA (M for mobile, pesa is Swahili for money) is a mobile money service launched by Vodafone in Kenya in 2007, and is so far the most successful and widespread service created for mobile phones in Africa. The M-PESA system allows customers to deposit and withdraw cash via local M-PESA agents; transfer money to other users and non users anywhere in the country; pay bills and save money to an account. Less than 2 years after its launch, M-PESA had given 6.5 million Kenyans access to financial services for the 1st time, and is now used in 70% of Kenyan households. 10,000 people register with M-PESA every single day and almost 11% of Kenya’s GDP goes through the M-PESA service.

SERVICE

The service is constantly being developed. The original idea was for micro-loans, then it became a money transfer tool (for example for young people working in the city to send money directly to their family in the village), and now it has become a savings tool as well (with the M-KESHO equity account launched in collaboration between Equity Bank and Safaricom).

+

Following the success of M-PESA, other operators such as MTN have replicated the concept and mobile banking is now spreading throughout the rest of Africa.

STOP STOCK-OUTS // m-health

SOFTWARE

The “Stop Stock-Outs” campaign is based around a little-known, but devastating, problem. Medicine stock-outs - where local clinics and pharmacies run out of high-demand, crucial medicines - are a potentially lethal problem in a number of African countries, yet governments insist they don’t occur. The team behind the Stop Stock-Outs project set out to find a solution and asked themselves, ”What could be more powerful than a map which contradicts these government claims?” In 2009, activists in Kenya, Uganda, Malawi and Zambia started surveying clinics, checking stock levels of essential medicines. After visiting clinics and pharmacies, activists report their results using their mobile phones through structured, coded text messages – “x,y,z” – where the first number represents their country code, the second their district or city, and the third the medicine which they found to be out of stock. The messages are then visually displayed on an online map, showing specific reports by location and building up “hot spots” of activity. Within the first week alone, the team collected reports of 250 stock-outs of essential medicines. Because incoming data automatically populates the map, it represents an almost real-time picture of stock-outs. After a successful launch and a week piloting the service, the “stock-out SMS number” has been distributed to medicine users throughout each country so that anyone with a mobile phone can send in a stock-out report. These messages are firstly checked by staff at Health Action International before being posted up on the map. The overall aim is to prevent the government from being able to deny what’s happening and build up public pressure.

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SERVICE

+ + SOFTWARE

NETRA // m-health

HARDWARE

A new area of m-health that is not yet well known and developed, but that is already being explored is add-on technology: devices that can be connected to a mobile phone to extend its capacities. One example is NETRA (Near-Eye Tool for Refractive Assessment) developed by the MIT Media Lab. It is a simple and affordable device (which can be produced for less than US$2) that can diagnose several eye conditions, replacing heavy and expensive equipment and making eye diagnostic technology accessible to people in developing countries. NETRA consists of a small plastic device clipped onto the phone’s screen. The patient looks into a tiny lens, presses the phone’s arrow keys to make a set of parallel green and red lines overlap, bringing view into sharp focus, and repeats this eight times for each eye as the lines appear at different angles. Software loaded onto the phone then provides the precise prescription data. The entire process takes under two minutes.

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CELLSCOPE // m-health Another invention is the CellScope, developed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, which only requires a mobile phone to be equipped with a simple camera for it to become a microscope that can detect diseases like malaria. CellScope turns a standard camera-enabled mobile phone into a clinical quality microscope, with magnification up to 50x. Health workers in developing countries, where expensive equipment, facilities and on-theground physicians are scarce, can use the mobile microscope to quickly and easily capture images of blood cells, lesions and infections and transmit them to remote experts for analysis and diagnosis. The CellScope has the potential to provide a low-cost, time-efficient – even time-critical - way of diagnosing and monitoring infectious diseases, such as malaria and TB, two of the biggest killers in the developing world, as well as providing early warning of outbreaks. 39


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COLLABORATIVE

PROJECT WITH THE UNITED NATIONS Following the ‘explore’ phase, it was decided that the goal of the project would be to create a new application for mobile phones in Africa that promotes social and economic development, which could exist at any of the 3 levels of intervention identified in the case studies (service only, service + software or service + software + hardware). During the original research it was noted that many of the innovative applications created for development in Africa were only concepts, with few actually put into practice, and even fewer put into practice effectively and at scale. Therefore it was felt important to search for potential collaborators in the continuation of the project, in order to develop something real, rather than develop a speculative concept that may never materialise. Contact was made with a number of professionals in the M4D field as well as institutions such as NGOs, charities, universities, mobile service providers and manufacturers, research institutions, and design studios.

The result was a collaborative project with the United Nations, developed during a six-month internship with the International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITC-ILO) in Turin, Italy. Therefore from the wider research into M4D, the project took the direction of m-learning, an emerging field less established than m-health and m-banking, however with great potential for contributing to social and economic development in Africa.

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ITC-ILO INTERNATIONAL TRAINING CENTRE OF THE

INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANIZATION

OVERVIEW //

ACTIVITIES //

THE CHALLENGE //

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the oldest UN agency, working towards the goal of decent work for all.

The centre’s learning, knowledge-sharing and institutional capacity-building activities and programmes for governments, workers’ and employers’ organisations and other development partners are based on the latest thinking, best practices and comparative experiences in the fields of:

The ITC-ILO is looking to offer more distance learning opportunities, for example for geographically isolated participants.

The unique tripartite structure of the ILO gives an equal voice to workers, employers and governments to ensure that the views of the social partners are closely reflected in labour standards and in shaping policies and programmes. In 1964 the ILO identified the need to train people on how to put its values into practice in a real world context, and so it created the International Training Centre (ITCILO) in Turin, Italy as its vocational training institute, the only one of its kind in the world. The centre’s mission is to be the leading global provider of learning and training for the world of work.

With 14,000 participants each year from 192 countries, around half of the centre’s work takes place at its large Turin campus in Italy, while the rest of its training activities take place on the field in developing regions.

// rights at work // enterprise, microfinance and local development // employment and skills development // social protection // social dialogue, labour law and labour administration // workers’ and employers’ organisations // gender and non-discrimination // sustainable development and governance

They currently offer e-learning courses in order to reach such participants at a distance, however they are aware that in the regions where they work (Africa, Asia and Latin America), not all of their target group has access to a computer, the internet or even electricity. On the other hand, the mobile phone is ubiquitous and readily accessible to all.

Therefore the macro challenge of the project was identify mobile opportunities across the ITC-ILO and within this, to identify and carry out an applied project.

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F2F TRAINING // T

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TRAINING AT TURIN CAMPUS T

TRAINING ON THE FIELD

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ITC-ILO TRAINING

BLENDED LEARNING //

ITC-ILO training is delivered in the following 3 ways: // Face-to-face (F2F) training

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F2F TRAINING + E-LEARNING T

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F2F training courses take place at the ITC-ILO campus in Turin, Italy or on the field in developing regions. In the latter case, the ITC-ILO staff go to developing countries and provide custommade courses based on demand, or they hire professionals to deliver the training on their behalf using ITC-ILO training materials. // Distance learning Currently distance learning courses are offered to participants via e-learning modules that are primarily completed online, although some courses allow participants to download exercises to complete offline and later upload to the e-learning platform. Mobile learning is anticipated for the future but is not currently part of the centre’s training offering. // Blended learning

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F2F TRAINING + MOBILE LEARNING

Blended courses combine a F2F training session with distance learning and includes 3 phases: before, during and after the F2F session. This format is becoming more widespread across centre. 49


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ITC-ILO

USERS Participants of the ITC-ILO training courses usually fall into 3 categories, the “three parties” that make up the voice of the ILO: // Government officials // Workers // Employers However lots of other people take part too, depending on the different courses offered. For example participants range from NGO workers, university professors, journalists, lawyers, judges, micro-entrepreneurs, cooperative representatives, researchers, and so on. An important point is that the ITC-ILO does not usually train “end users” but instead its participants are those in positions (within insitutions and organisations, however informal) where they will go on to further disseminate the knowledge they gain from their training experience with the ITC-ILO. Therefore many of the courses are ToT (training of trainers) focussed. That means that as well as teaching them content (knowledge and skills), the ITC-ILO also teaches its participants about innovative and interactive learning methods, so that they are better equipped to pass on what they learn. This is a very important part of the centre’s vision of diffusing knowledge as widely as possible through a “multiplication effect”. Their idea is that:

“we cannot teach the whole world, but we can teach some people, and we can teach those people how to teach others” This is also the added value that they offer to their participants, as organisations are able to send just one representative with the confidence that this person will be equiped to share their knowledge when they return.

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DEFINING

THE PROJECT METHODOLOGY //

SELECTED PROJECT //

BRIEF //

As previously mentioned, the macro challenge of the project was to identify mobile opportunities across the ITC-ILO and within this, to identify and carry out an applied project.

The project selected for exploring mobile learning is called my.coop, and is in fact a worldwide training programme currently in development, led by the ILO headquarters in Geneva.

The final step in defining the project was to create a specific brief for the applied project, which was defined as follows:

In order to define this applied project, an extensive initial research was carried out into the ITC-ILO’s current training activities, including a series of interviews with trainers from the different training units. From this initial research some key trends were identified in the ITC-ILO: // Move towards blended learning // Targeting users with connectivity problems // Sustainable solutions Therefore in the selection of an applied project, it was felt important to reflect these 3 trends. Following the analysis of the research phase, 3 options for an applied project were identified and compared advantages and disadvantages, from which one was selected for development.

This project was selected for a number of reasons: Freedom // As a new project, the delivery material is yet to be developed, so there are less constraints Cohesiveness // F2F and distance learning will be developed concurrently, so a cohesive training package can be created Timeliness // Project underway now and at a stage that is perfect to start developing the training material and delivery methods Support // As 2012 will be the UN’s International Year of Cooperatives, the my.coop programme will be supported by the entire United Nations system

Integrate mobile learning into the delivery of the my.coop training programme to provide an improved user experience throughout the whole customer journey. Stepping back from the applied project to the macro challenge of identifying mobile opportunities across the ITC-ILO, transferability to other ITC-ILO courses was of key importance. Therefore the final output of the project was also envisioned as follows:

From the applied my.coop project, create a mobile learning master that can be used across all other ITCILO courses.

Visibility // Opportunity for visibility for the ITC-ILO across the UN system

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INTRODUCING

MY.COOP my.coop stands for managing your cooperative and aims to teach contemporary principles of managing agricultural cooperatives to people in Africa, Asia and Latin America It is a new initiative from the ILO which is based on a previous project called MATCOM that was launched in the 1970s. MATCOM stands for Material and Techniques for Cooperative Management Training, and was an ILO programme that developed training manuals and training capacities in more than 60 countries from 1978 until 1991. Today, MATCOM consists of 40 trainers’ manuals and 60 learning elements. In many cooperative colleges and training centres, the MATCOM material is still being used. However, since 1991, there has not been another comprehensive, standardised learning programme on cooperative management.

Therefore a need was identified to create a new training package that reflects contemporary practices in the world of agricultural cooperative management. Furthermore, the idea is to modernise the delivery of this material too. The development of the package was initiated in 2009 by the Cooperative Facility for Africa (COOPAFRICA), a regional technical cooperation programme of the ILO. Development of the my.coop training content then went underway, resulting from a collaborative effort involving a wide range of partners such as cooperative development agencies, cooperative colleges, cooperative organisations, organisations of agricultural producers, universities and agencies of the United Nations. Now 4 draft modules have been produced for the my.coop training package, which attempt to make good use of MATCOM whilst reflecting changes in the cooperative and agricultural context, as well as integrating modern learning methods and techniques. These draft modules were submitted to reading committees involving a wide range of experts from partner organisations, future users and independent consultants. Testing of these extensively reviewed drafts began in June 2011 and will continue in the coming months, and the final package (including printed copies, PDFs and a website) is forecast for launch in late 2011.

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MY.COOP

CONTENT OVERVIEW // Within the diversity of cooperatives worldwide - one finds for instance cooperatives amongst news agencies, schools and green energy suppliers agriculture remains a sector where cooperatives are a prominent form of enterprise. Agriculture is a crucial sector for global development as “farmers feed the world”. Agriculture is also the second greatest source of employment worldwide. Historically speaking, agriculture has been key in the development paths of many countries.

The my.coop training package is motivated by the conviction that strong and representative agricultural organisations are indispensable for the promotion of democracy, for a better distribution of income and for a country’s economic development. Evidence shows that many countries with an important agricultural sector also have strong agricultural cooperatives. However, agricultural cooperatives face numerous

4 MODULES // external and internal challenges. External challenges may be linked to markets, regulations, infrastructure or climate change, while internal challenges usually have to do with governance and management issues. Cooperatives are enterprises for which the primary aim is not making profit but responding to members’ needs and aspirations. Cooperative members own their enterprise through cooperative shares, control their enterprise through democratic mechanisms, and, finally, are the principal users of the cooperative services. This makes the cooperative a resilient but also a complex and challenging business model. Cooperatives may find themselves stretched between (at times conflicting) members’ interests, business opportunities and social considerations.

The my.coop training package aims to strengthen the management of agricultural cooperatives so that they can offer high quality, efficient and effective services to their members.

The objective of the training programme is to expose (existing and potential) managers of agricultural cooperatives to major management issues that are specific to cooperative enterprises in the agricultural market. Examples include: the dual character of cooperatives (association and enterprise in one) and sound decision making on service provision, in particular for services that are common to many agricultural cooperatives, such as input supply and marketing. These issues are reflected in the my.coop training package, which consists of 4 modules: // the challenges for agricultural cooperatives // cooperative service provision // supply of farm inputs // cooperative marketing In addition, the package contains a trainer’s toolkit that acts as a guide for teaching the 4 content modules, including 18 interactive face-to-face training methods that cover the key content of the training package.

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MY.COOP DELIVERY DELIVERY MODES // The my.coop training is intended to be delivered in Africa, Asia and Latin America, beginning with Africa. Different modes of delivery are planned for the my.coop training programme, including: // The creation of a new blended learning course at the ITC-ILO in Turin // Face-to-face training activities on the field // An e-learning module // Distribution of the 4 content modules in a printed format // A dedicated website with free downloadable PDFs of the 4 modules

Mobile learning is also forecast, however rather than a standalone element, it is intended to compliment and add value to the above training delivery modes.

TRAINERS TOOLKIT // To facilitate face-to-face training, a trainer’s toolkit has been created by the ITC-ILO. This provides my.coop trainers with practical tools such as a sample training agenda and a series of learning activities that the trainer can use to set up participatory, learner-centered training workshops. Objectives of the trainer’s toolkit // To equip trainers with the knowledge and skills needed to design and facilitate interactive and experiential learning based workshops on the management of agricultural cooperatives. // To expose trainers to a range of different learning methodologies to transmit subject matter expertise. // To enable an enjoyable process of learning and knowledge sharing. What is in the toolkit? The toolkit contains a series of 18 face-to-face learning activities that have been formulated to help the learners to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes of the different modules and related learning topics. The trainer can choose the learning activities which are most appropriate for his/her target audience. The activities have been designed in such a way that they can be easily adapted to the local context. There is also an example of a model training, to give an idea on how the modules and learning topics can be structured in a standard training course. 59


MY.COOP TRAINING

PYRAMID As described previously, the ITC-ILO does a lot of “training of trainers� so that their teachings continue to spread as far as possible and benefit the maximum number of people. The my.coop training is no different, and the diagram on the right illustrates the strategy of delivering this training. It has a pyramid shape similar to that of the cooperative movement structure, with 4 levels. At the base, on the first level, there are primary agricultural cooperative societies and other farmers’ organisations that want to become cooperatives. Then on the second level there are secondary cooperative societies, otherwise known as unions. The third level includes national cooperative organisations such as federations; government bodies; cooperative colleges; universities that offer cooperative studies; and NGOs that work with agricultural cooperatives. The top level represents confederations, which operate at national and sometimes at international levels, and international NGOs serving the cooperative movement. The pyramid shape seems to indicate a hierarchical relationship between the different layers, but this is actually not the case. In reality, a higher organisational layer should be considered to be a service provider to the lower organisational layer. For instance, a cooperative union provides particular services, such as joint marketing, to its member primary cooperatives. The primary cooperatives together decide on the strategy and activities of the cooperative union.

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QUATERNARY LEVEL // Cooperative Confederations // International NGOs

TERTIARY LEVEL // Cooperative Federations // Government Bodies // Universities // Cooperative Colleges // NGOs

SECONDARY LEVEL // Cooperative Unions

PRIMARY LEVEL // Agricultural Cooperatives // Farmers’ Organisations

MY.COOP TRAINING FLOWS

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TARGET

USERS The my.coop training programme is intended for a wide range of stakeholders in the cooperative movement. This target audience can be divided into users and beneficiaries. The users are trainers (mainly from the secondary and tertiary levels of the my.coop training pyramid) and self learners (mainly from the primary and secondary levels of the pyramid). These include: // Leaders and managers of cooperative structures, such as unions, federations and confederations // Cooperative trainers working in cooperative colleges, NGOs and other (including private) training providers // Cooperative officers and extension staff of government departments and agencies The beneficiaries on the other hand are trainees (mainly from the primary level of the training pyramid), i.e. cooperative managers. These are existing and potential managers of agricultural cooperatives, who are likely to already possess some practical experience as active members in agricultural cooperatives and may have a farming activity as well as a managerial role.

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“The farmer who has fields thinks that his is the best.� African proverb


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RESEARCH OVERVIEW OVERVIEW //

DESK RESEARCH //

FIELD RESEARCH //

In the understand phase the goal was to go deep into the specific parameters of the project, in order to inform and inspire the concept generation phase.

innovative face-to-face teaching and learning

my.coop users

This phase consisted of two approaches: // Desk research // Field research This was to create a cohesive picture of the project context with a balance between quantitative and qualitative research results. The specific research tracks for both the desk and field research approaches are outlined on the right. It is important to note that these research tracks were carried out in parallel, not successively, in order to ensure the cohesive development of understanding and to stimulate cross pollination between ideas and concepts.

// The aim was to explore participatory and creative face-toface training methods. Particular goals of this part of the research were to consider the advantages and disadvantages of face-to-face training methods and how these methods might be recreated over a distance or integrated with mobile learning. learning styles // The aim was to explore the different ways in which people learn, as inspiration for the concept generation phase.

In this qualitative research phase, first-hand research was carried out in order to build a picture of the different my.coop users and their needs. As part of this phase the following activities were carried out: // Expert interviews // Interviews with ITC-ILO users // Interviews with potential my.coop users

mobile learning // The aim was to understand what mobile learning is (how it is currently defined) and the role of mobile learning in developing contexts. Moreover the goal of this part of the research was to identify what mobile learning could mean in terms of this specific project (i.e. to develop an adapted definition). mobile learning case studies // The aim was to identify successful cases of mobile learning projects for developing contexts, in particular analysing the methods and tools used. 69


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INNOVATIVE

FACE-TO-FACE

TEACHING AND LEARNING The ITC-ILO’s expertise lies not only in the content of its training courses but also in their delivery. The centre tries to move away from the traditional “PowerPoint presentation” mode of teaching and to instead offer participatory and creative face-to-face training methods. The goal of this approach is not only to deliver their own training more effectively but also to inspire their participants to go on to use these interactive teaching methods themselves, particularly in Training of Trainer (ToT) courses. The DELTA department of the ITC-ILO has a database of face-to-face methods that it uses in the development of any new course. This database was consulted and the methods analysed in order to ask how they might provide inspiration for mobile learning; for example being recreated over a distance or integrated with a mobile task.

The database contains a number of widespread methods adapted to a training context, such as brainstorming, role play, SWOT analysis, case study and De Bono’s thinking hats. Often methods are given a new twist to create a higher level of interaction between participants, for example a variation on the storytelling method is the ‘speed dating’ scenario (shown on the left) in which participants exchange stories about their professional experience of the session’s subject. There are also a number of methods focussed specifically on the teaching and learning, for example: // Fishbowl

// Round robin

// World café

// Top 100 list

// Sociometrics

// After action review

// Jigsaw

// Knowledge fair

// Peer assist

// Open space

A selection of these are outlined on the following pages. 71


FISHBOWL // The fishbowl method is designed to facilitate dialogue between experts in a way that exposes others to their knowledge while expanding the collective understanding of a subject. Knowledgeable people (the fish) sit in circle to discuss a series of directional questions. They are surrounded by a larger group of observers in an outer circle (the bowl). The centre circle is the stage for speaking and contributing. Those on the outer level must listen actively and move into the role of fish when they wish to participate in the conversation.

GROUP B OBSERVERS

GROUP A THE FISHBOWL

INDIVIDUALS

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WORLD CAFE // A world café activity aims to spread ideas and expand insights through sharing experience. Open and creative dialogue is encouraged by replicating the café environment. Each round allows participants to rotate tables, creating a web of collective knowledge around the subject matter. The method sssumes that people themselves are sources of wisdom, and that creating a constructive context around a table can draw valuable lessons to the surface. As people share insights between tables, the “magic in the middle” and a sense of the whole becomes more accessible.

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JIGSAW // Working groups are each assigned a particular part of a problem, or puzzle piece, and the tools to develop in-depth knowledge of that specific component. The pieces are then put together using visual materials and facilitation techniques. A cooperative learning strategy that encourages people to develop their own understanding and then share knowledge with the group as a whole. A powerful learning method that embeds lessons when participants teach peers in the report-back round.

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A

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PEER ASSIST // Peer assist is a participatory method of learning with and through peers by sharing experience, insight and knowledge. In this method, the ‘peer assistee’ (individual or team) presents a challenge or problem they are facing to a group of peers, who then invited to make suggestions based on their experiences of how the situation might be improved. A facilitator keeps track of the discussion and provides an environment conducive to sharing experiences. The peer assist method is designed help identify new approaches and lines of inquiry while developing strong networks amongst the people involved.

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VISUAL AUDITORY KINESTHETIC

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LEARNING

STYLES In developing any new training methodology, whether it be face-to-face or distance, and using whichever technology, one of the fundamental things to understand is the different ways in which people learn. There are different theories regarding learning styles, but perhaps the most common and widely-used is Fleming’s VAK model, which expands upon earlier neuro-linguistic programming (VARK) models. The VAK model identifies 3 key types of learner: // visual learners // auditory learners // kinesthetic learners Fleming claimed that visual learners have a preference for seeing (think in pictures; visual aids such as overhead slides, diagrams, handouts, etc). Auditory learners on the other hand best learn through listening (lectures, discussions, tapes, etc). Finally kinesthetic (or tactile) learners prefer to learn via experience - moving, touching, and doing (active exploration of the world; science projects; experiments, etc). Use of the VAK model in pedagogy allows teachers to prepare classes that address each of these areas. Students can also use the model to identify their preferred learning style and maximise their educational experience by focusing on what benefits them the most. In the development of mobile learning it can also be interesting to consider these 3 types of learner, and in particular how visual, auditory and kinesthetic elements might be achieved via mobile technology, in order to provide engaging learning experiences for all of the different participants.

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MOBILE

LEARNING There are various definitions of mobile learning (sometimes written as m-learning or mLearning), the most established being:

Any sort of learning that happens when the learner is not at a fixed, predetermined location, or learning that happens when the learner takes advantage of the learning opportunities offered by mobile technologies (O’Malley et al., 2003) Analysing this definition, it is felt that the integration of technology is not necessary. For example, if a task is given to a mobile learner via SMS, and they then go off to complete that task, they are not learning through their mobile phone but by their own experience. The phone is just a channel for communication between the learner and the teacher/ facilitator. The value of mobile learning is not in the devices themselves but the ability for people to access learning “on the go” as part of ever-more busy and geographically distributed lives. If someone takes a book to study on the bus while going to work, is this not also “mobile learning”? Traxler (2005) describes the key characteristics of mobile learning as:

// spontaneous // situated // lightweight // connected

// private // informal // personalised // interactive

// portable // bite-sized // context aware

Therefore taking a step back, this term was broken down into “mobile” and “learning”, defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as follows: mobile, adjective // able to move or be moved freely or easily learning, noun // the acquisition of knowledge or skills through study, experience, or being taught Considering the above, a new definition of mobile learning was created within the context of this project:

The ability to develop knowledge or skills through engaging with learning materials in any environment or location Therefore while mobile learning usually speaks about mobile phones, the technology should be viewed as a tool able to facilitate an enhanced learning experience and not the core element. 79


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MOBILE

LEARNING

CASE STUDIES MOMATHS // The Mobile Learning for Mathematics Project (MoMaths) is an innovative m-learning project funded and led by Nokia, who partnered with the South African government, MTN and MXit. Since the being piloted 2009 the project has reached 30 schools in South Africa to date, involving approximately 4,000 learners of Grade 10 mathematics. Through this project, teenagers are able to do their mathematics homework and revision on MXit, a mobile social networking platform used by millions of youth in South Africa. By having the service embedded in MXit, which they use to chat with their friends, the mathematics service is available in their social space; they do not have to go elsewhere to find their mathematics homework. Learners can work through short theory sections, or answer questions from a database of approximately 10,000 questions, which are categorised by topic and degree of difficulty. Learners reported that they use the service most commonly outside of school time, and especially in the early evenings. Learners continued using the service over weekends, during school holidays and on days affected by recurrent teacher strikes. One of the key success factors of MoMaths is that it awakens the competitive spirit. Learners are encouraged to compete, but with themselves. Without being able to use smart phones and the more sophisticated mobile applications, due to the learners using lower-end phones, the team had to think about what would be at the core of getting children excited about learning. They stripped it back to a sense of personal fulfillment and achievement. Thus, learners are encouraged to better their scores on quizzes, practice exercises and tests. There is also competition amongst their peers, as users can compare results with their classmates in their school, in other provinces, and nationally, however the self-improvement and self-actualisation that the project awakens in each learner brings them a sense of personal achievement.

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SMS FOR LITERACY // Pakistani mobile operator Mobilink has sought to demonstrate the power of mobile phones to improve literacy rates for adolescent girls in rural areas of Pakistan where reading materials are often scarce. In 2009 Mobilink partnered with UNESCO and local NGO Bunyad on a pilot project involving 250 girls aged 15-24 who had recently completed a basic literacy programme. Each of the girls was provided with a low-cost mobile phone and prepaid connection, and teachers were trained to teach students how to read and write using mobile phones. SMS messages were sent regularly in an effort to maintain and improve participants’ literacy, which often lapses because of inadequate access to interesting reading material. The girls received up to six messages a day on a variety of topics including religion, health and nutrition, and were expected to practise reading and writing down the messages and responding to their teachers via SMS. Monthly assessments of participants’ learning gains were conducted to assess impact. Programme organisers encountered considerable resistance on the part of parents and community leaders to the idea of allowing girls to have mobile phones, largely due to the conservative social norms of the area. This resistance began to soften, however, once people began to see the nature of the messages the girls were receiving and the benefits the programme conferred. Exams taken by the girls participating in the programme showed striking early gains in literacy, with the share of girls receiving the lowest scores dropping nearly 80%. Users can pay US$6 to buy their phones at the end of the programme and continue receiving text messages. In 2010 Mobilink announced the expansion of the programme to include an additional 1,000 female learners.

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BBC JANALA // In 2009, the BBC World Service Trust launched BBC Janala (‘Window’), a groundbreaking multi-platform project using mobile phones to provide English language teaching to millions of people in Bangladesh for the first time, where 84% of people surveyed by the BBC proclaimed learning English was a top priority for their future. In its first 9 months alone, Janala had already attracted three million calls with a high rate of repeat users. The service could not be simpler. All customers need to do is dial 3000 to access hundreds of three minute audio lessons, which range from ‘Essential English’ to ‘English for Work’. Learners can then assess their progress with interactive audio quizzes, or even record their own stories in English. To make the lessons affordable, BBC Janala has teamed up with all six of Bangladesh’s mobile operators who have agreed to cut the cost of calls to the service by up to 75%. Each lesson lasts three minutes and costs less than the price of a cup of tea from a Dhaka tea stall (3 Taka, which equals 3 pence), making it affordable to many of the 50 million plus mobile phone users in Bangladesh. The mobile service is also supported by other platforms. Substantial text-based lessons, as well as audio content and more than 100,000 audio lessons have been downloaded from the mobile internet site for high and lowhandset users. The country’s biggest newspaper Prothom Alo offers print lessons - linked to mobile and web content - three times a week. The BBC World Service Trust has attracted significant interest from outside of Bangladesh with many others in the mobile sector interested in setting up equivalent services in Asia and the Middle East. The development community is paying attention too in what could be one of the first economically viable models using mobile to help deliver education to some of the poorest and hard to reach in the developing world. 83


I-CALL // I-Call offers audio-based educational stories that can be offered with even the most basic GSM technology, for training and empowerment in developing countries, where there is often a rich tradition of knowledge acquisition through story-based learning. The stories are provided in a “edutainment” style to engage users, in form of interactive audio soap operas. The service is accessible by dialing a local or free-call phone number. In addition, the stories have a “decision maze” format, and so learners experience the consequences of their own decisions. They decide in place of the protagonist via keypad entry (“If X should do this, press 1,…”) in order to advance through the story. This service is based on GSM network connection and does not require data transmission. As well as audio stories, additional learning content is accessible via mobile browsers. Simple text-based content such as quizzes provide background knowledge to the interactive stories offered at the community level, as well as communication and exchange opportunities. I-Call offers access to learners across all levels of society; development of culturally sensitive content; cost-effective production by local authors and teams; and knowledge distribution in local and national languages.

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M4LIT // The m4Lit project began in 2009 as a pilot initiative to explore whether teens in South Africa would read stories on their mobile phones. The Shuttleworth Foundation initially published a 20-page story called Kontax on the popular MXit social networking platform and actively invited reader participation. Readers could leave comments on chapters, vote in opinion polls related to the story and enter a writing competition. In 2010 another Kontax story was published, and the uptake was tremendous. Since launch, the two stories have been read over 34,000 times on mobile phones. Over 4,000 entries have been received in the writing competitions and over 4,000 comments left by readers on individual chapters. Many of the readers asked for more stories and in different genres. Encouraged by the high uptake and reader requests, the Shuttleworth Foundation decided to launch the Yoza project. Since then Yoza m-novels have been read over 60,000 times with over 40,000 user comments. Yoza’s goal is to get young people reading and writing in the ‘book-poor’ but ‘mobile phone-rich’ context of South Africa. There is a growing awareness around the impact that a lack of books has on literacy levels in South Africa. Books are scarce and prohibitively expensive for most South Africans. Statistics show that 51%of households in South Africa do not own a single leisure book, while an elite 6% of households own 40 books or more. What South Africa’s teens do have access to are mobile phones, with statistics indicating that 90% of urban youth have access to a mobile. There is no charge for the actual stories, but users do pay their mobile network operator for mobile data traffic. Images have been kept to a minimum to keep the mobile data charges low. Ranging from 5c to 9c per chapter (USD0.01c), Yoza m-novels offer a very affordable option for teens to access great reading material.

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MY.COOP

USERS METHODOLOGY // As my.coop is a new training course, there are not yet any users, however there is a clear idea of the target audience.

POTENTI INTERVIE COOP ma COOP tra

In order to carry out comprehensive user research, the target user was broken down into different elements that together build up a complete profile of the my.coop user. On the widest level, it can be considered that target users of my.coop’s mobile learning are African mobile phone users. Several interesting insights were gained into African mobile phone use from the Desk Research, as documented in the ‘explore’ chapter. In addition, insights were gained on this level by the conduction of expert interviews.

MY.COOP USER

AGRICULTURE CO ONLINE SURVEY

Focussing more towards the target users of my.coop, research was carried out into the training needs of African professionals. Here insights were gained from first-hand research carried out on the campus with ITC-ILO staff and participants. Finally the most specific research activity was carried out with African professionals in the agricultural cooperative sector, by a series of in-depth telephone interviews with potential users of the my.coop training package.

QUALITATIVE 86

QUANTITATIVE


IAL USER EWS (TEL) anagers ainers

OOP SECTOR

EXPERT INTERVIEWS (F2F) Tom Wambeke Carlien Van Empel Coumba Diop

EXPERT INTERVIEWS (F2F) Tom Wambeke Carlien Van Empel Coumba Diop Experientia

PROFESSIONAL

ITC-ILO USER INTERVIEWS (F2F) Gender Course Participants

AFRICAN

DESK RESEARCH Reports Newspaper articles Case studies Blogs

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DESK RESEARCH As part of the COOPAFRICA projects previously carried out by the ILO, a database of photographs was created of African cooperatives and cooperative managers. In order to get a better “picture� of who cooperative managers are and the context in which they work, this database was consulted, and a selection of these photographs are presented on the following pages.

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URUKU DAIRY COOPERATIVE // KENYA

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MASII DAIRY COOPERATIVE // KENYA

91


DUNGA FISHERMEN COOPERATIVE // KENYA

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WAMANYU DAIRY COOPERATIVE // KENYA

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RESEARCH TYPE //

1st

PRIMARY QUALITATIVE

RESEARCH METHOD // FACE-TO-FACE INTERVIEWS PARTICIPANTS // ITC-ILO STAFF EXPERIENTIA DATES // JAN-MAY 2011 94


EXPERT INTERVIEWS BACKGROUND // A number of expert interviews were carried out throughout the project in order to gain insights into the target user group. These included staff of the ITCILO as well as Experientia, an international experience design consultancy based in Turin, Italy. At the ITC-ILO, participants were chosen for their specific expertise related to different aspects of the project. Tom Wambeke works in the DELTA department and leads the m-learning development project at the ITC-ILO. He also runs the Lifelong E-learning blended course and has a lot of experience working with African participants, as well as travelling regularly to Africa. Tom has been consulted at all stages of the project to give his insights particularly related to typical ITC-ILO participants and the relationship that they tend to have with ICT technologies. Carlien Van Empel is the head of the COOP unit of the Enterprise department at the ILO headquarters in Geneva, where she has led such projects as COOPAfrica, a technical cooperation programme for the promotion of cooperative development in Africa. A

RESULTS // meeting was held with Carlien in March 2011 in order to gain her perspective on the target my.coop users and to gain specific contacts for primary user research. Coumba Diop is Senegalese and the regional coordinator of activities for Africa at the ITCILO. She monitors activity in all of the African countries, identifying training needs and matching these with ITC-ILO courses or liaising with the technical units to offer tailor-made courses. An interview was held with Coumba in March 2011 with the goal of discovering insights into the African context and particularly mobile phone use. Experientia has previously carried out large research projects into emerging markets for Vodafone and Samsung, conducting ethnographic research into mobile phone use; profiling mobile phone users; and creating new mobile concepts targeted at the BoP. The Experientia team was therefore consulted in the research stages of the project and then directly collaborated in the development of the user research methodology, analysis of the findings and later concept generation and development.

The key insights were as follows: // my.coop users are likely to be in the higher socio-economic group of their country, with very busy lifestyles and travelling often for their work. // They are likely to have access to technology e.g. mobile phones and computer, however they may have limited connectivity to internet and electricity. // African cooperatives vary greatly. Some of them have very modern offices with IT equipment (e.g. in Kenya), while others are very informal with no real office. // A key benefit of mobile learning for ITC-ILO participants would be convenience, not only be attractive for those without a PC, but also for “high-level business people who are on the go”. // The “before” and “after” phases are very important in blended courses. Participants often comment that not enough information is provided before their course, and the ITC-ILO needs to follow up courses with evaluation activities in order to better understand user needs for the future.

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RESEARCH TYPE //

1st

PRIMARY QUALITATIVE

RESEARCH METHOD // FACE-TO-FACE INTERVIEWS OBSERVATION PARTICIPANTS //

22 6

DATES //

MARCH 2011 96


ITC-ILO USER

INTERVIEWS BACKGROUND // The my.coop users will also be ITC-ILO users, and whether their training takes place face-toface in Turin or on the field; at a distance; or as part of a blended training experience; they should experience “the Turin learning approach” that the ITC-ILO always strives for. Therefore research was carried out with current ITC-ILO users to understand their experience and needs. On 17th March 2011 an evaluation session was attended, of a blended course ran by the Gender unit. The course was called ‘Capacity Building of Women for Gender Mainstreaming in Economic Development of Policies’ and comprised a distance phase (e-learning from Dec 2010 – March 2011) followed by a face-to-face session (2 weeks in March). The course had 28 West African participants, from Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo. They are mainly managers and professionals from NGOs (some within the agricultural sector). As such it can be assumed that the participants are of a similar socio-

QUESTIONS // economic group to the target users of my.coop. As well as observing the formal evaluation session at the end of the course, an interview session was held with a group of five participants (3 male, 2 female) who volunteered to take part. This interview was focussed on distance learning needs and mobile learning.

The interview style was semistructured with an informal discussion of some key themes. Initially the participants were asked about their jobs and their reason for participating in the ITC-ILO course. This was intended more as an ice-breaker and to get an idea of their lifestyles. Secondly they were asked about their experience in the distance learning phase of the ITC-ILO course, specifically where/when/ how they accessed the course material (at work or at home; in their working day or during their free time; with their personal or work computer; etc). Then they were asked about their mobile phones (what kind of phone they have; why do they have it and what they mainly use it for; where/when they carry their phone; etc). Finally the possibility of integrating mobile phones into ITC-ILO distance learning was discussed. The participants were asked if this would be an attractive option for them and any features of this that they would like to be included.

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OBSERVATIONS // Some observations made during the evaluation session:

The ITC-ILO experience is special for the participants, which they are keen to remember, buying branded souvenirs and taking lots of photos.

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Participants feel comfortable at the ITC, with many expressing their culture through their national dress.

Participants are comfortable with technology and in particular almost all kept their camera with them at all times. A couple of participants were also seen using their personal netbook.


EVALUATION //

INTERVIEW RESULTS //

During the main group evaluation session with all 28 participants one of the questions asked was “Which factor was the most restrictive to your distance learning?”, the results of which are shown below.

Most participants carried out the distance learning modules at both work and home, due to their busy lifestyles.

WHICH FACTOR WAS THE

MOST RESTRICTIVE TO YOUR DISTANCE LEARNING?

14%

4%

Some preferred to work at home in their personal time: “At home my mind is free. At work I have too much to do and it’s not easy to take time for other things. At home you can take time to read quietly, calmly. I used to take 1 or 2 days to do the modules, to really focus on it.” On the other hand others saw learning in their personal time as a chore:

11%

“I don’t like to work at home, it’s only because I have no time.”

7% 64%

WORK OVERLOAD LACK OF INSTITUTIONAL INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT LACK OF ACCESS TO INTERNET / COMPUTER LIMITED COMPUTER SKILLS FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES

When asked what kind of mobile phone they had, the participants responded unanimously with the answer “Chinese phones”, while laughing and joking about this amongst themselves. They went on to explain that most people buy fake branded phones (a mixture of smartphones and feature phones) made in China. It was established that 4 of the participants had feature phones and 1 had a smartphone (a

“Chinese” Blackberry). When asked if they would show their phone, just one participant had their phone with them, a feature phone carried in their bag. However when asked about their phone usage, all of the participants commented that they keep their phone with them at all times, switching it off at night or when in a place of worship. When asked what they mainly use their phone for, the most popular features were calling, SMS, beeping (“you don’t send SMS, you beep people!”) and listening to the radio. One participant added that he likes to set reminders on his phone and store his personal codes such as banking details (“I usually forget them”). Another participant was seen to be using their feature phone to take photos. The participants added that there is no contract system, but a Pay as You Go system with top-up cards. “The service costs are high, even for SMS, although in Senegal it’s cheaper.” Multiple sims were also considered to be the norm: “Usually people have at least 2 sim cards, for calling within the country. You can tell what network someone is on by their phone number. But this is starting to get more difficult.” Regarding the integration of mobile phones within ITC distance learning, this was seen as a useful option particularly in rural areas. One participant works in the field of sustainable development for the agriculture sector, and commented that it is difficult to use the internet when working in rural areas.

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RESEARCH TYPE //

1st

PRIMARY QUALITATIVE

RESEARCH METHOD // TELEPHONE INTERVIEWS PARTICIPANTS //

DATES // APRIL-MAY 2011 100


POTENTIAL USER

INTERVIEWS BACKGROUND //

QUESTIONS //

From consultations with the ITC-ILO staff a basic profile of the target users was formed, which was used to identify participants for in-depth telephone interviews.

The interviews were conducted individually, some by telephone and some by Skype.

The participants come from Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Tanzania. They are all target users of my.coop and volunteered to take part in the research. Participants were selected from different levels of the my.coop training pyramid. However the emphasis was on users from tertiary organisations who are the main targets of the my.coop training, with the strategy that they will in turn disseminate the knowledge downwards through the pyramid in order to reach the beneficiaries (farmers themselves).

The interview style was semistructured with a prepared list of questions that were selected from and asked in different orders depending on the participant and the natural flow of conversation. Initially the participants were given a brief intro to the my.coop project and my role as a designer working with the ITC-ILO to develop the training delivery modes. Then three areas were addressed: their job, training needs and use of technology. As such they were firstly asked to describe their job: their role within their organisation, their working schedule and typical work activities, how often they travel in their job, and their time off.

mode of training (F2F, distance, printed materials, e-learning), when the best time for learning is for them. FInally they were asked about their use of ICT technologies and in particular their mobile phone: what kind of mobile phone they have, why they have that particular kind, what they use their mobile phone for, if they use the same mobile phone for work and personal needs. The possibility of integrating mobile phones into ITC-ILO distance learning was also introduced and the participants were asked if this would be an attractive option for them as well as any features that they would like to be included.

For the second topic they were asked about their training needs: what is the role of learning in their job, what they think about the training courses offered by the ILO, if they used the original MATCOM training package, their expectations from the new my.coop training, their preferred 101


USER 1 // BEKELE finish work at about 6pm. I teach to both regular degree programme students (who are young people, like any other university students) and primary cooperative members. The regular students I deal with faceto-face here at the university. I also have distance degree students. They are provided with materials and then we meet at a certain time to discuss their questions.

AGE GROUP // 60+

LOCATION // AMBO,

ETHIOPIA (RURAL SETTING)

JOB // DEAN

INSTITUTION // AMBO UNIVERSITY

LEVEL // TERTIARY Bekele is the Dean of the Institute of Cooperatives and Development Studies at Ambo University, the oldest agricultural college in Ethiopia. The college has over 25 departments divided into 7 faculties. The School of Cooperative Studies offers undergraduate courses in cooperation with two main streams: Cooperative Management and Cooperative Accounting, where approximately 120 students are admitted every year. The university is in Ambo, a town in central Ethiopia with a population of 50,000 people. 102

BEKELE ON HIS JOB // “I teach at Ambo University and I’m also the Dean of the Institute of Cooperatives and Development Studies. At university level formally we teach master degree programmes and we have 17 teaching staff who are engaged in formal classroom teaching as well as research and short term training for cooperative members. I’m always in the campus within the university. It’s only very rarely that I travel, probably just once in a month. I work not just Monday-Friday but Monday-Sunday. I work at the weekend too because we have classes for students enrolled in our Continuing Education Programme. This is for those who cannot register themselves in regular programmes, and are given the opportunity to participate in weekend classes on Saturdays and Sundays. I usually

With the cooperative members we give short term training sessions that can be 3 days, 1 week or sometimes we even go for 45-day trainings as well. We go out on the field to teach them, where they live and work. We disseminate cooperative principles and values and provide training in various areas, such as coop governance, coop entrepreneurship, accounting, bookkeeping, etc.”


I use my phone for both personal and official business. We have internet here at the university and we use Skype, but I doubt whether such technologies are available in other places where you want to do the training. It’s nice to make sure that the internet or Skype are available for other trainees. Unless those technologies are available then follow-up would be difficult.”

TRAINING NEEDS //

would be of great help to us to have newly modified materials.

“I have a very positive assumption about the training programmes offered by the ILO. I have already enjoyed short term training under ILO sponsorship, under the CoopAfrica project, where most African cooperative institutions were opportuned to meet each other in Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.

I expect the training to focus on how to design modules in short, simple, practical language. Something that helps me to prepare modules for teaching the material to others.

I was very happy with this training, it was very useful and it also gave us a good opportunity for us to share our experience among African institutions in cooperative sectors. This interaction with people in different organisations was a very important part of it. As a result of such a contact we have frequently communicated with Moshi University in Tanzania. We also have a joint project to be launched between the Moshi and Ambo universities. We are going to train some of their staff members at MA level, with a masters in cooperative management. I have had access to the MATCOM material previously; I know that material very well. I also have it on a CD. I am very interested in the new my.coop training. We need it! It

It would be more appropriate to have initially a face-to-face for a few days that is to be followed by some sort of distance training. This could be by mobile, Skype or internet, whatever technology is available, but first we have to have at least a short precise training on a face-to-face basis and then that has to be supported by other technologies. I think it is very important for the distance part to be interactive. I can make time for follow up activities and discussions, I see it as a part of my capacity building, not only learning but contributing as well.”

KEY FACTS // Phone model // Nokia Type of phone // Low-end phone 3 most used features // Voice calling, SMS, reminders Service subscriptions // None Internet access via // Work computer Electricity connectivity problems // Often Internet connectivity problems // Occasionally

TECHNOLOGY USE // “My mobile phone is as old as 10 years or so. It’s a Nokia brand. It’s not the latest! I don’t have an internet connection on my mobile. I don’t have other technologies with this mobile, its just receiving and sending calls and SMS. 103


USER 2 // NJAMBI

AGE GROUP // 30-39 LOCATION // NAIROBI,

KENYA (URBAN SETTING)

JOB // PROJECT

MANAGER

INSTITUTION // ACDI/VOCA

LEVEL // TERTIARY Njambi manages the Cooperative Development Program in Kenya, a USAID funded program being implemented by ACDI/VOCA.

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ACDI/VOCA (Agricultural Cooperative Development International/Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance) is a private, international development nonprofit organisation, with the mission to promote economic opportunities for cooperatives, enterprises and communities through the innovative application of sound business practice. Njambi works in a regional office of ACDI/VOCA working with several agricultural cooperatives within the area.

NJAMBI ON HER JOB // “For 4 months I have been working on a project called the Cooperative Development Program. The programme is to give technical assistance to cooperatives. In the case of Kenya not all the farmers are organised into cooperatives, some are just in farmers groups. So we work with them to identify what their value chain is; if it is profitable; identify where the weak areas are; do training; etc. We eventually


also hope to do something like e-learning at the end of the project.

8-5 in the field; you go with a schedule that the farmers have.

It’s just a small program and I’m working alone on it, based in Nairobi. I had to first of all get the groups, the cooperatives that I work with. I have various groups in various regions of the country.

Maybe one to two weeks every month I’m out of the office.

Right now I am working with 5 groups on Phase 1 of the program. In this phase I do a baseline with each group, to find out what they are doing; what challenges they are facing; what are the training gaps; where we can come in; what is their vision; where are they going; and so on.

Now I’m finished with the baselines and looking at going to the next phase, to identify the specific technical assistance that we can provide to each group. Of course we want each one to be different because each group is different. Some of them want to create cooperatives, but the situation in Kenya is different. We have some cooperatives, but some just call themselves “help groups”, which is basically a group of farmers. It’s more like a social group but they are actually farming and producing marketing together, ideally, but they don’t necessarily do all of that. A cooperative would be the optimal organisation but not all of them are headed there right now. In the office we work MondayFriday 8am-5pm, but if I have meetings or training courses to attend then I’ll travel out of the office.

If I have a group to visit then I go to the field. It’s not always

Sometimes I go out of the office for a day, a few days, or even a whole week, it depends on the task I’m going to do. If I’m going to do a training course then it’s probably going to be a whole week, because maybe there is one day for travel, then two or three days for the training, then one day for travelling back. If I just have a meeting it may be just one day depending on how far away the group is. If it is a bit far I may have an overnight, or if I am combining two groups I could go to one on Monday and then the other one on Tuesday.”

TRAINING NEEDS // “Training is very important for my job. ACDI/VOCA has a website where you can learn skills; right now I’m actually doing some online tutorials. The amount of time I dedicate to studying depends on how busy I am. If I’m very busy during a particular week perhaps I won’t manage to study at all; if I’m not too busy maybe I’ll study for 2 days. On average I do around half a day per week. If I have a training course to attend, maybe a week would be the maximum I would be available to get out from the programme. I prefer to complete training in the office because at home it’s really hard. In the office you have everything so it’s much better that way. I am interested in the my.coop training, although I haven’t seen it yet so I’m not sure what it offers. I would like to have a look at the

material and then see where I can borrow from it. I would teach this material to the cooperative members or to a core group of trainers that we can keep using in the future to train others.

I would be very interested in participating in the my.coop training because I’m looking for innovative ways to empower the cooperatives. To see how we can make them more profitable, sustainable, and so on. Either face-to-face or distance training would be fine, it depends on how the course is structured. If there are basic things that you can explain in a video then I can do it online. If it’s very hands-on then it would be better face-toface. But I am flexible; either would be fine with me.”

TECHNOLOGY USE // “I have a laptop that I use at work and at home. In the office we have a good internet connection. Sometimes the network has a problem but usually we have internet all of the time. I have a Nokia mobile phone. It has internet, but it’s not too hightech – for example I can’t use Skype. It’s not a smartphone. For me the main use of the phone is to call and to SMS. And once in a while social networking. I have a lot of work where I do phone calls and follow ups but I do not use my phone for email communication. If I’m travelling and I really need to connect to the internet then I have a modem that I connect to my laptop. The use of mobile phones in the my.coop training seems interesting, especially if you look 105


at the general public, most people have low end phones – the ones that don’t have internet. So maybe it could be mobile but using SMS function, not email function. That would be more appropriate to reach a bigger number of people. However as a country we are starting to get internet a lot on the mobile phone, but mainly for social networking. It would be something to explore, but I think it would be nice to do something based on SMS. I would be interested in receiving elements of the my.coop training to my mobile phone, and if it is practical and applicable, I can use the same to help in empowering the groups and cooperatives the project is working with.”

KEY FACTS // Phone model // Nokia 2730 Type of phone // Feature phone 3 most used features // Voice calling, SMS, reminders Service subscriptions // None Internet access via // Personal/work computer, mobile phone, internet cafes Electricity connectivity problems // Occasionally Internet connectivity problems // Occasionally

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USER 3 // SAMUEL AGE GROUP // 40-49 LOCATION // KIGUMBA,

UGANDA (RURAL SETTING)

JOB // PRINCIPAL

INSTITUTION // UGANDA COOPERATIVE COLLEGE

LEVEL // TERTIARY Samuel is the head of the Uganda Cooperative College Kigumba (UCCK), a tertiary institution owned and funded by the government of Uganda. The college houses 350 students, all pursuing cooperative related diplomas combining ideas on business, microfinance and cooperative management. This makes it one of the central providers of education on cooperatives, particularly for youth in Uganda. The college focuses on offering tertiary education in the form of diplomas to young people leaving school, with students generally being between the ages of 19-35 (although the average age is 2324 years old). The UCCK is in Kigumba, a rural setting about 60km from the nearest town of Masindi and 200km from the capital city Kampala. It is the only institution offering cooperative development and management related studies in the country.

SAMUEL ON HIS JOB // “I am the principal of the UCCK. I work from Monday-Friday, from 7am up until even beyond 5pm depending on what is on the desk. We also do some teaching on Saturdays. Sunday is my free day

that I spend at home. My normal working day includes supervising the college activities; doing some teaching myself; taking part in meetings with the various sections in the college; and writing reports.

I travel a lot in my job, even right now I’m not in the office, I’m in a neighbouring town for a meeting. We also go out in the field to train the cooperatives; the cooperative leaders and managers.”

TRAINING NEEDS // “As I teacher, If I am to perform well I must have some refresher courses in whatever field that is relevant to my teaching. We have 15 trainers in the college, and all of us attend training workshops at a national and international level. Last year alone I attended around 4 workshops outside the country.

I am very interested in participating in the my.coop training together with my training staff. I am aware of the original MATCOM training package, we use that material. I came to the ITC in Italy in 1999 and we went through those materials. Face-to-face training would be much better for me. One week is preferable; more than one week is not really good for me.

My expectations of participating in mobile my.coop training would be that we ourselves could then use this way of training to reach more cooperatives. The mobile phone is a major means of communication In Uganda. I would be very happy if we can also reach cooperatives through that medium; to use the mobile phone to also do our training.” 107


KEY FACTS // Phone model // Nokia 1200 Type of phone // Low-end phone 3 most used features // Voice calling, SMS, reminders Service subscriptions // Bible quotations, BBC news

TECHNOLOGY USE // “I have an ordinary phone; a simple one. It is not able to connect to internet. It doesn’t have a camera. I use it for the normal communications; calling and SMS. I use my mobile phone for everything: family, friends, the office. Here at the college we are located in a rural setting, away from the capital city, and so we don’t have a landline facility. We depend on mobile phones.”

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Internet access via // Personal/work computer Electricity connectivity problems // Most of the time Internet connectivity problems // Often


USER 4 // EMMANUEL and collaborates with several other like-minded national and international organisations. TFC is an apex organisation at the top of the coop pyramid.

EMMANUEL ON HIS JOB // “Generally what I’m doing is relationship establishment between my organisation and the other cooperative stakeholders. I promote the TFC, telling people what it can offer to the other cooperative organisations in the country. I make sure that all information for the cooperative movement is disseminated to the desired stakeholders. My job is also to build a good relationship between TFC and the other organisations in and outside of the country. I work closely with every internal department and external organisations that work with us. I normally work Monday-Friday 8am-4pm. On Sunday I cannot work as I go to church.

AGE GROUP // 30-39

& PR OFFICER

Cooperatives (TFC) Limited, a national cooperative umbrella organisation that promotes, serves and coordinates the development and prosperity of all cooperative societies in mainland Tanzania.

Emmanuel is working in communication and public relations in the department of cooperative development of Tanzania Federation of

TFC is an independent nongovernmental and non-partisan organisation that is memberowned and managed in the spirit of the internationally recognised cooperative principles and values. It is a member of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA)

LOCATION // DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA (URBAN SETTING)

JOB // COMMUNICATIONS

INSTITUTION // TFC LEVEL // TERTIARY

I also travel often in my job. I just got back to Tanzania from a trip to Ghana, and I’ll be away for the whole month of June.

With regards to agricultural development issues, we have realised for our farmers there is a lack of access to information. We want to establish a platform where information can flow from different sources to the end user, and from the end user to the source. It’s like a 2-way traffic, which now in managing agriculture should be addressed.

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goes down through the pyramid to reach the cooperatives themselves. At TFC we have 24 staff, 4 of whom are responsible for training. I am the one responsible for agricultural cooperative training.

I prefer to study with others in the office, to share experience and discuss doubts. Face-to-face with others you can understand faster. It’s more “live”.

It would be very difficult if a farmer cannot hear from the other side, for example about issues such as climate change, and also the other side should know what the farmers are doing. However this cannot be done if there is not a good channel; a link between one part and the other. That’s why I thought about establishing an information centre, but unfortunately the project couldn’t take off, we were lacking some funds and we are still lagging behind.

The most important thing is to make sure that the farmers know what’s happening on the other side of the world, and to let the other side of the ocean knows what’s happening here, for example in remote areas. An important part of this is also establishing infrastructures, especially communication and ICT infrastructure. In agribusiness this has to be addressed.”

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TRAINING NEEDS //

For distance learning I prefer to study from a book than e-learning. I’m not so good with technology, I understand faster face-to-face or reading printed materials.”

“It is important for TFC to take part in training such as my.coop.

TECHNOLOGY USE //

TFC is a national cooperative umbrella and so for us it’s important to firstly participate in the programme and then make sure that the information

“I have a Nokia phone that I use to connect to the internet and take photos. The phone has a memory card which I can put in to my computer to upload the photos. I agree with the idea to use mobile phones in the training. I think


many people do not realise the technology they have in their hands; for example that they can use it to access the internet. It’s important to train them how to be more close to information. Using the mobile phone to get information from somewhere also builds capacity. Using my mobile for training would mean that I could have training updates, tasks and alerts at hand. Computer access on the other hand needs sitting down and switching on and off many times. Mobile is a quick device for accessing quick information. The internet is not very much used here, but at least nowadays the mobile companies have introduced the internet system. You can surf using your mobile and it’s not very expensive, I know people can afford it. By using your computer it’s difficult but using your mobile phone it can be done; this really helps.”

KEY FACTS // Phone model // Nokia 2370 Type of phone // Feature phone 3 most used features // Internet, voice calling, SMS Service subscriptions // None Internet access via // Personal/work computer, mobile phone Electricity connectivity problems // Occassionally Internet connectivity problems // Occassionally 111


USER 5 // JANE

AGE GROUP // 40-49

promote economic opportunities for cooperatives, enterprises and communities through the innovative application of sound business practice.

Once they choose one, we take them through the whole value chain. We train them and empower them to carry out their agricultural practices.

DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST INSTITUTION // ACDI/VOCA

Jane works in a regional office of ACDI/VOCA working with several agricultural cooperatives within the area.

Jane is the Organisation Development Specialist tasked with empowering the cooperatives and producer organisations that ACDI/VOCA Kenya works with to serve their members more efficiently.

JANE ON HER JOB //

The training can take place in their home town, for example in a local church or school, or sometimes we bring them to a central point, for example a hotel.

LOCATION // ELDORET,

KENYA (RURAL SETTING)

JOB // ORGANISATION

LEVEL // TERTIARY

ACDI/VOCA (Agricultural Cooperative Development International/Volunteers in Overseas Cooperative Assistance) is a private, international development nonprofit organisation, with the mission to 112

“I work with farmer cooperatives and groups. Where they don’t exist we can help them to form them; and where they exist we work with them. Normally we try to find out what their agenda was when they formed; were they working around an agricultural enterprise; and if not we can introduce them to alternative agricultural enterprises that they could try.

We use simple materials such as flip-charts or blackboards if we are in a school. At the end of the training we don’t expect them to remember everything, so we give them hand-outs for reference.

I travel a lot in my job. A lot, a lot! I have a four-wheel drive that I use for that.


TRAINING NEEDS // “I take part in training very regularly as part of my job. The last 2 weeks I was going through a leadership training course and before that I took part in a course last September.

I hadn’t heard of the training offered by the ILO before but I am very interested in taking part in the my.coop training. That would be a very good course for me, for my job.

My schedule is not fixed, for example I can’t say that I spend 2 days in the office each week – it depends on the needs of the farmers and when is the best time to visit them. There are some farmers who have market days so you can never find them; then there are some groups or cooperatives that always have a specific day that they meet. Sometimes I am out of the office for the whole week, and it can happen another time that I’m in the office for a whole week. When I go out I carry the training myself

and then when I came back to the office I send a report to my boss in Nairobi.

In the office it’s supposed to be 8.30am-5pm. But sometimes I work out of these hours, for example if a group is only available to meet on Saturday. And if I go out it doesn’t meet that I’ll necessarily be back in the office by 5pm, I need the time to drive back.”

A face-to-face training would be best for me, where you interact directly with the trainer, with some hand-outs alongside it. The timeframe should be 2 weeks in a run or less. A distance part as a follow-up would be no problem as well. Printed study material would be best for me as we have issues with the internet and also my phone cannot carry so much material.

However I love interactive training sessions. I would have liked to do an e-learning course by computer if the internet would be good throughout which is not always the case.”

TECHNOLOGY USE // “I use the same phone for work and personal use. It’s a Samsung.

I’m able to get to the internet for accessing my email but I cannot upload or download attachments. The last email I sent you was through my mobile.

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I have discovered that as a Samsung it has a lot of problems with the network, maybe I would prefer a Nokia. Nokia is good with the network. Also my phone battery is also not very good it loses power quickly. Mobile phone is the easiest way right now to communicate in my job. Actually in our organisation we have people down on the ground who we call village based agricultural advisors. They lead the farmers in the village. If I need to find a group they communicate through this person to me. And when I go the person on the ground has already down the mobilisation and the people are already in the venue and I just meet them there. I communicate with this person by mobile phone, I call them or they call me. We rarely use letters any more.

We haven’t yet used mobile phones in our own training apart from communication. Not all of the farmers that we work with have mobile phones, and the ones that do have very basic phones just for calling and receiving messages. Not all of them are literate either so they just receive calls. We have internet in the office but we have connectivity problems. Here in the office we don’t have a landline. So I’m using this gadget for internet – the modem. This modem has to be recharged monthly. Sometimes it can happen that there is a delay in the payment, so then I have to use an internet cafe, the one where you have to pay.

Sometimes the internet is good and sometimes it’s bad, it depends if the server is down. But I would 114

say that many times it’s good. This is normal, we call it normal!”

KEY FACTS // Phone model // Samsung SGH-L700 Type of phone // Feature phone 3 most used features // Voice calling, SMS, internet Service subscriptions // None Internet access via // Personal/work computer, mobile phone, internet cafes Electricity connectivity problems // Occassionally Internet connectivity problems // Occassionally


USER 6 // ARIONG AGE GROUP // 40-49

development and also training our own staff.

UGANDA (URBAN SETTING)

Apart from training I also do a lot of customising. Even if you set up materials each situation in every country, and even in different areas within the same country, is slightly unique.

LOCATION // KAMPALA,

JOB // REGIONAL

BUSINESS AND COOP DEVELOPMENT ADVISOR

INSTITUTION // LAND O’LAKES INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

LEVEL // TERTIARY Ariong is the Regional Business and Cooperative Development Advisor for the whole of Africa. He is based in Uganda however travels regularly to the organisation’s other 14 offices around Africa. Land O’Lakes International Development is a non-profit body of Land O’Lakes. It has applied an integrated approach to international economic development that capitalises on the company’s 90 years as a leading farm-to-market agribusiness. The organisation uses its practical experience and in-depth knowledge to facilitate market-driven business solutions that generate economic growth, improve health and nutrition, and alleviate poverty.

The issue if adaptability of training and the issue of the “pitch” are very important. Each cooperative has a different level – some are more developed in terms of sophistication; others are already integrated; others are just beginning to grow; others have a very big portfolio in terms of the volume of their business; others are very small. So I do a lot of adjustments and so on. My job involves a lot of travelling to different countries. In a month I spend about half of the time travelling and the other half in the office here, sometimes slightly more than that.

I’d say about 60% of the time I’m travelling, and I spend a lot of time in rural areas.”

TRAINING NEEDS // “I would say that in my job there has been a huge opportunity to attend knowledge development courses. Sometimes I attend external training courses, and there are also internal training courses within the organisation.

I would be very anxious to participate in the my.coop training and to take a look at the package in more detail. One of the things I would be looking for would be methodology and approaches towards developing agricultural cooperatives.

ARIONG ON HIS JOB // “In my organisation we have a history of working with dairy and livestock cooperatives.

70-80% of my work is training people at different levels, right from the farmer level (cooperative leaders) to training private sector organisations that support cooperative 115


Another would be to build an international base, a critical number of cooperative development practitioners at 3 different levels; the international, national and grassroots level. A network, in short. I prefer face-to-face training. What I have learned from faceto-face training courses is that body language really matters a lot. When introducing the gist of a particular training it is nice to get that directly from a person. There’s a lot to do with interaction, exchanging ideas and understanding each other formally and informally. This should then be followed up later with a detailed e-learning. I would prefer being online than mobile learning but I am very flexible; I can also receive training elements to my mobile phone. If I were to have a self-managed part of the training I would allocate some hours for this every day, during the evening or night. Maybe I would also pick out a few hours on Saturday, maybe in the mid-morning, then on Sunday I take my rest.”

TECHNOLOGY USE // “I have two phones, a Blackberry and a Nokia. I use the Blackberry most of the time, it’s more versatile. The Nokia is much simpler; it’s a basic phone with a camera.

Sometimes it’s just for being secure. In this part of the world if people see you with a Blackberry you might become a target for thieves so you may have to leave it in the hotel and take a simpler phone out. 116

On my Blackberry I use most of the features. I use a lot of SMS; I also access the internet and a lot of other functionalities; and use it for calls of course. When I access the internet on my phone it’s mainly to check emails and visiting specific websites to catch up with the latest information – knowledge websites, publications, and so on. The kind of mobile phones that I see people using on the field are simpler mobile phones, maybe in the range of 60,000 Ugandan shillings, which is around $25. It’s really for basic functions but people are also quite versatile in terms of receiving texts. It is very important for me to access the internet when I’m travelling. I receive a lot of requests by email from colleagues when I’m travelling. These days we use a lot of these mobile internet modems. I take my netbook along with me all the time when I travel. I have another computer in the office. The netbook is just basically good for me when I’m travelling. It’s light, mobile, all I need to do is download what I need for that particular country and then off I go. In my office in Uganda we have a wireless internet connection, and then I have my internet modem that I can access in almost every part of the country, even in rural areas where I spend a lot of time. Most people use these mobile sticks from telecommunications companies; however an important issue is the cost. If you’re going to download material then your bandwidth runs out fast and you have to start paying, so it becomes expensive.”

KEY FACTS // Phone model // Blackberry Type of phone // Smartphone 3 most used features // Voice calling, SMS, internet Service subscriptions // None Internet access via // Personal netbook, work computer, mobile phone Electricity connectivity problems // Occassionally Internet connectivity problems // Occassionally


USER 7 // NEEMAK AGE GROUP // 50-59 LOCATION // DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA (URBAN SETTING)

JOB // CREDIT

MANAGER

INSTITUTION // DUNDULIZA

LEVEL // TERTIARY Neemak is Credit Manager at Dunduliza. Previously he was the Director for Training, Communication and Publicity, and continues to be a trainer of trainers within the organisation.

Dunduliza is an integrated network of 50 SACCO (Savings and Credit Cooperative) branches operating in 7 regions, with 65,000 members. Dunduliza is an apex organisation working with cooperatives throughout the country.

NEEMAK ON HIS JOB // “We work with SACCOs and agricultural marketing cooperative societies. We lend agricultural loans, house activities and provide training. I am based in Dar es Salaam but I travel often because the SACCOs and agricultural marketing cooperative societies that we work with are in rural areas. We go there to assess each organisation before we spend our loans, to make sure that the loans that we give are used in the proper way. We meet with the cooperative officers so that we work together for the betterment of our societies. Sometimes we are contracted

by other networks to provide training, especially if there is a group of people who have decided to form their organisation and they don’t know how to go about it. They contact us and we go to them, taking our training materials and systems and training them for anything from 1 day to a week.”

activities. In the late 1980s I was among the members of the MATCOM group in Tanzania. I helped deliver training using the MATCOM documents based on marketing of agricultural produce, transport, and also storage. There were several materials in the MATCOM package on these topics.

TRAINING NEEDS //

It’s very good that new materials will be available because currently we are always focussing on value addition within our organisation.

“Training is an important part of my job. I just got back to Tanzania from Nairobi, Kenya where I was attending a comprehensive training on agricultural lending. I’m going back to Nairobi again in June for 10 days for this ongoing training. I’m a capacity building expert, in the formation of cooperatives and in providing credit to agricultural

I would participate in the part about marketing, because first of all I graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) in Marketing and then I went to Germany and trained in cooperation economics, and currently I have switched from marketing to concentrate on financing agricultural activities. Therefore the areas of marketing and financing would be most interesting for me.

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If I can have direct access to the materials it would be best, at least to understand what is inside, what the contents are, and then internalise them, try to learn from them and synchronise them with our materials.”

TECHNOLOGY USE // “When my colleagues and I are travelling, we’re able to easily keep in touch, because we are always on the air. The handset is everywhere we go – I can talk with my office, I can talk with other colleagues, and in places where there are internet cafes I can send my reports at the point in time when it is needed. I normally use my phone for calling, but only when I’m away from my office. In actual fact

I’m usually using my laptop for communication rather than my mobile phone. I prefer to communicate by email rather than through my mobile phone for the my.coop training. I don’t access the internet on my mobile phone. I have a modem that I can just plug into my laptop and then communicate. I always travel with my laptop and modem. Sometimes I have problems to connect; in some areas it becomes too slow to respond.”

KEY FACTS // Phone model // Tecno Type of phone // Feature phone 3 most used features // Voice calling, SMS, camera Service subscriptions // None Internet access via // Work computer, internet cafes Electricity connectivity problems // Occassionally Internet connectivity problems // Occassionally

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USER 8 // FRANCIS LOCATION // NAIROBI,

in the technical committee of this large national outfit.

JOB // EXECUTIVE

There are four tiers in the cooperative movement in Kenya.

KENYA (URBAN SETTING)

DIRECTOR

INSTITUTION // CAK LEVEL // TERTIARY Francis is the Executive Director of the Co-operative Alliance of Kenya Limited (CAK). CAK is the national apex organisation for the cooperative movement of Kenya, which comprises over 12,000 cooperatives with membership of around 9 million people. CAK endeavors to promote cooperative development; to unite the cooperative movement; to represent the cooperative interests on all matters of policy and legal framework; and to be the spokesperson of the cooperative movement in Kenya.

FRANCIS ON HIS JOB // “My job is being overall in charge of the management of the organisation. I am the person who implements the board decisions. I also prepare board meetings and papers.

I undertake a coordinating role of national cooperative issues and events in the country. I also represent the cooperative movement in Kenya in the various other institutions, for example in the country we have agricultural sector coordinating units which bring together the ministries of agriculture, and therefore in I sit

At the base, on the first tier, there are primary cooperative societies. Then on the second tier there are secondary cooperative societies, sometimes called unions. The third tier is made up of national cooperative organisations, which are organised by sector, for example agriculture or finance. There are 11 national cooperative organisations in Kenya including the Cooperative Bank of Kenya and the Cooperative College of Kenya. At the top of this pyramid, at the fourth tier, is CAK, the national apex organisation which serves all of the tiers below.

We have different types of cooperatives such as agricultural, financial, housing, transport, horticultural, and soon we will see ICT cooperatives coming up.”

It would be good to have some ownership so that once we have it, as the national apex, we can take it out there in a roll out plan so that the movement will see and believe in it, and that it has value for the entire movement. At CAK there are 3 of us who are trainers. However when we have new training to do we normally outsource this to third tier of the pyramid; the national cooperative organisations such as the Cooperative College of Kenya, who have a national outreach. We contact them and work together with them. Therefore we would also like to participate in the my.coop training together with them. Shorter courses of 1-2 weeks are better face-to-face, with interaction. Longer term training of more than 1 month could be written. It depends on how the course is packaged.

It is interesting to take advantage of the new technologies for training through internet and mobile phone.”

TRAINING NEEDS // “The my.coop training is a welcome move; we would like to take part in it. We’ll be jumping on it in this country; for the cooperative movement. I believe that once we have it at this level it will be easier to roll it out and engage the entire coop movement in the country. 119


TECHNOLOGY USE // “I have a Nokia N851; it is basic.

The majority of us do not have touch screen phones. Not all people might have the kind of handsets that can accommodate mobile learning material. We are still a little behind. However the young people in this country are very adventurous, they have better phones than the one I have – as we are a bit aged we are not into these things very much!

SMS and voice technologies are more accessible for everyone, and even email can do.”

KEY FACTS // Phone model // Nokia N851 Type of phone // Feature phone 3 most used features // Voice calling, SMS, camera Service subscriptions // None Internet access via // Work/personal computer Electricity connectivity problems // Occassionally Internet connectivity problems // Occassionally

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USER 9 // GERALD LOCATION // MUKURWE-INI,

KENYA (RURAL SETTING)

JOB // GROUP COORDINATOR

INSTITUTION // MUKURWE-INI

DAIRY LTD LEVEL // PRIMARY Gerald is one of the founding members of Wakulima Dairy and is the Group Coordinator. Wakulima Dairy started as a self help group in 1990 when a group of farmers with the common interest of creating economic activity in Mukurwe-ini came together after the collapse of the coffee industry which was the backbone of the community. Now it is registered as a public limited company involving over 7000 small scale dairy farmers. Wakulima brings together small scale farmers of Mukurweini to support each other in combined efforts that promote efficient and effective productivity and marketing of agricultural products and with a special emphasis on dairy farming. The publicly run and owned initiative operates not only dairyrelated operations, but also aids its members financially through a SACCO credit union.

GERALD ON HIS JOB // “Wakulima Dairy has several businesses, and my main role is to coordinate these different businesses. The dairy is the core business however we also produce our own animal feed; provide veterinarian and clinical

services to farmers; provide agricultural inputs, hardware items, human food and provisions at our stores at competitive costs; and we have a transport business unit. This is a unique group as far as we are concerned; you cannot find other groups running all of these businesses. And it is purely 100% owned by the farmers.

We have a very strong management team which runs the day-to-day affairs of the dairy and the SACCO. We have 14 directors, then in each business unit we have a manager, and in total we have 146 staff. Once a fortnight we have a managers’ meeting where we do the reporting and brainstorm

whatever we need to discuss. There is also a board meeting where the reports from the managers are compiled by the General Manager. Apart from my coordinating role, I oversee the department which is in charge of member training programmes; I am the person in charge of business development partners; and I am the link between the shareholders and the directors.

My background is that I am a farmer and a leader in the community. The way I was recruited by the farmers is a unique thing. What happened is that after coming up with this idea with some other people of how we can assist ourselves, and creating the selfhelp group, they put me in the office as coordinator. 121


Now when we are recruiting for the management team we put an advert in the daily papers.

Now I am full time in the office although sometimes I go to the field. I go there especially when we have these big field days when we invite our business development partners to come and display their products, like a big show.”

TRAINING NEEDS // “Sometimes we do in-house training and sometimes our development partners provide training. We work with some NGOs who assisted us to transform these businesses into economically viable businesses. For example we work with ACDI/VOCA. We also work with consultants but we pay them. When we have a need we look for consultants but we cannot afford to do that much.

But that is not enough; we are still in need of training at the management, board and farm level.

We do all these trainings from board level to farm level because we want to empower the farmers with knowledge. We are looking for NGOs who can partner with us and deliver these trainings because we really need them; today, tomorrow and in years to come. We would also like to take part in an exchange programme, where people can visit one another in different countries.

I’m talking about networking, and learning what is happening on the other end of the world. The my.coop training sounds interesting and we would like to receive this kind of training. As the saying goes, I hope this is

the first step of 1000 kilometres, and that we can do something for these decent farmers.”

TECHNOLOGY USE // “In terms of technology we have tried to catch up in a very small way. We have tried to computerise all of our systems here. All our accounts are computerised. We are networked with our bank and with the stores – all the businesses are networked. But there is still a big room for improvement. Almost every manager has a laptop and some have desktops. We have access to the internet here in the head office. We don’t experience any problem as far as the internet is concerned. We also have a landline in the office. I have a Nokia mobile phone which I use for both personal and work use. The company provides airtime for some of us. It has a camera and the internet. I use my work laptop to check my emails but when I am out of the office I use my mobile phone to connect to the internet, just to send and receive emails. The majority of the farmers also have mobiles, and most of them are Nokias. They are using M-PESA for milk payments. Here at Wakulima we can see that people are embracing technology in a big way. It’s only that they don’t always have the capacity. But if you come up with a training package that uses new technologies, people would be interested. That way you can reach many people, more people than you are currently doing.

You can reach the farmers through these new technologies, wherever he or she is. That can be very good for us.” 122


KEY FACTS // Phone model // Nokia Type of phone // Feature phone 3 most used features // Voice calling, SMS, internet Internet access via // Work computer, mobile phone Electricity connectivity problems // Occassionally Internet connectivity problems // Occassionally

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DEVELOPING RESEARCH

RESULTS INTO A

DESIGN VISION PERSONAS //

PROCESS MAP //

INSIGHTS //

Following the analysis of the user research results 4 personas have been developed to represent different target users of the my.coop training:

In parallel with the user research, research was conducted at the ITC-ILO to understand all of the different paths that exist for those who take part in the my.coop training.

Following the completion of the research and analysis, a summary of the key insights produced, divided into:

// the coop manager // the field worker // the professor // the director Each persona profile includes their job profile, technology access and training needs, which were subsequently used to inform and inspire the concept generation process.

These include face-to-face and distance training options with various levels of interaction with the ITC-ILO itself. A process map was subsequently created to show every possible training path and the interconnections between these different paths.

// process insights // user insights These insights were the inspiration for the concept vision that follows, providing a direct link between the ‘understand’ and ‘create’ phases of the project.

This process map was then analysed and “pain points” were identified, to be improved upon during the design phase, as well as ideas and opportunities to integrate mobile technology into the process to add value to the user experience.

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PERSONA 1 // THE COOP MANAGER

Hussein, 41 Tanzania

JOB PROFILE //

TECHNOLOGY USE //

TRAINING NEEDS //

// Hussein is a member of the management team of an agricultural cooperative

// Hussein has a low end phone that he mainly uses for voice calling and SMS

// His job is to run the day-today affairs of the coop and he regularly attends meetings with the other managers

// He has access to a computer at work but limited access to the internet

// Hussein is always looking for up-to-date training on cooperative management practices so that he can improve the performance of his coop

// He was previously a farmer and still does some farmer activities // He usually works in the coop’s central office in a small rural town but sometimes visits the field

// He looks for opportunities for collaboration with NGOs who can provide him and his colleagues with first-hand support and training // He is also willing to study by himself however he needs to be provided with access to the materials // He wants to share the knowledge he gains with the members of his coop to empower them

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PERSONA 2 // THE FIELD WORKER

Gloria, 35 Kenya

JOB PROFILE //

TECHNOLOGY USE //

TRAINING NEEDS //

// Gloria works for an NGO and is based in a rural setting

// Gloria has a feature phone that she mainly uses for voice calling and SMS

// Due to her irregular working schedule, Gloria finds it difficult to allocate time in the office for a fixed e-learning course

// Her job is promote the values of cooperatives on the field and to provide first hand training and technical assistance to cooperatives/farmers’ groups // She has a flexible working schedule depending on needs of groups // She travels a lot within the district, spending 50% of her time out of the office, with each trip lasting from one day to a week

// She has the internet in her office but often experiences connectivity problems // When she is on the field, she accesses her email on her mobile phone and uses internet cafes

// Mobile learning would be highly useful for her to train on the go // This could be combined with e-learning as she is able to connect to internet at least once per week to upload materials // A flexible pace of training would be desirable, however mobile learning would help her to follow a fixed training schedule in line with other participants // She would love to be trained in mobile learning tools that she can to use to provide ongoing training to the coop members she works worth in between her field visits 131


PERSONA 3 // THE PROFESSOR

Abey, 58 Ethiopia

JOB PROFILE //

TECHNOLOGY USE //

TRAINING NEEDS //

// Abey works for a cooperative college and is based in a rural setting

// Abey has a feature phone that he mainly uses for voice calling and SMS

// A combination of F2F training and e-learning suits Abey best

// His job is teach the values of cooperatives and the principles of cooperative management to students within the college

// While on the campus, he has a good connection to the internet, only occasionally experiencing connectivity problems

// He has a fixed working schedule and is usually in his office or teaching in the classroom

// When travelling he takes his laptop and modem to connect to the internet

// He occasionally travels to villages to directly train cooperatives in the field upon request

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// Due to his regular working schedule, Abey is able to allocate time in the office for participation in a follow-up e-learning course // For Abey mobile learning has the most potential for added value in the provision of mobile updates when he is out of the office and/ or when he is experiencing connectivity problems // He would also be interested in training on how mobile learning could be used to teach cooperative management principles, so that he could include this in his teaching at the college or his training activities with coop members in the field


PERSONA 4 // THE DIRECTOR

Julius, 54 Uganda

JOB PROFILE //

TECHNOLOGY USE //

TRAINING NEEDS //

// Julius works for a national federation of cooperatives and is based in an urban setting

// Julius has a feature phone that he uses for voice calling, SMS and connecting to the internet

// His job is to represent and serve the cooperative movement in his country, making sure that the latest information is disseminated down through the coop pyramid to reach the coop members themselves

// In the office he has a wireless internet connection

// Julius’ goal is to take part in the training with his colleagues in the federation and other tertiary organisations in order to then roll it out in their country together

// He has a coordinating role, connecting different coop stakeholders nationally and internationally // He often travels within the country and abroad, and is out of his office around 60% of the time

// When travelling he takes his laptop and modem to stay connected to the internet

// He is keen to develop a strategy for adapting the training material to the Ugandan context and then disseminating the training material throughout the entire coop movement in the country, overseeing the movement of the information down through the pyramid to the beneficiaries (the coop members) // He is also interested in training on how mobile learning could be used to teach coop management principles, to help him to ensure that the training material reaches the base of the pyramid 133


PROCESS MAP // Choose mode of participation

Discover My.COOP

Complete admin process

Apply online for blended course at ITC Turin campus Actively look for training

Access my.coop or ITC website

Contact ITC about tailor made course

Apply online for distance e-learning course

Hear about training & become interested

Download my.coop modules in PDF format Enrolled in training course by institution

KEY Direct ITC link Indirect ITC link

134

Arrange a tailor made course at ITC Turin campus Arrange a tailor made course in the field

Email institutional letter to ITC to confirm course

Receive ITC email re admin process (payment, flights, visa, insurance)

Receive logistics support from local assistant (travel, hotel, etc)

Make course payment by foreign bank transfer (from institution)


Pre-course learning

Send email to ITC with copy of visa, flight tickets, insurance

Receive ITC email with info on transport from airport

Receive ITC email with course info (agenda, study materials, learning needs analysis, participant list)

Travel

Travel to Turin

Travel to agreed course location (e.g. office, college, hotel)

Learning phase

Participate in one week F2F training with ITC staff

Travel

Travel home

Learning follow-up

Course evaluation

Start distance follow-up phase

Participate in one week F2F training with ITC staff or specialist Participate in 2-3 month long e-learning course

Receive course evaluation survey by email

Selfguided study with own timeframe

Participate in F2F training with an ITCtrained trainer

135


PROCESS MAP // Choose mode of participation

Discover My.COOP

Complete admin process

Apply online for blended course at ITC Turin campus Actively look for training

Access my.coop or ITC website

Mobile marketing by SMS/bluetooth

Hear about training & become interested

Contact ITC about tailor made course

Enrolled in training course by institution

KEY Direct ITC link Indirect ITC link

136

Pain point

Idea

Arrange a tailor made course in the field

Apply online for distance e-learning course

Download my.coop modules in PDF format

!

Arrange a tailor made course at ITC Turin campus

Mobile opportunity

Capture contact details when download file to keep track of users

Email institutional letter to ITC to confirm course

Receive ITC email re admin process (payment, flights, visa, insurance)

Receive logistics support from local assistant (travel, hotel, etc)

!

Lots of potential participants lost at this stage as they miss the deadlines

Deadline reminders by sms

Make course payment by foreign bank transfer (from institution)


Pre-course learning

Send email to ITC with copy of visa, flight tickets, insurance

Receive ITC email with info on transport from airport Details by SMS to keep to hand for arrival

Learning phase

Travel

SMS alerts of last minute course changes Receive ITC email with course info (agenda, study materials, learning needs analysis, participant list) Interactive preparatory tasks by SMS

Travel to Turin

!

The journey takes several days for many participants & they don’t have access to email Travel to agreed course location (e.g. office, college, hotel)

Travel

Participate in one week F2F training with ITC staff

Travel home

Participate in one week F2F training with ITC staff or specialist Participate in 2-3 month long e-learning course

Learning follow-up

Start distance follow-up phase

Course evaluation

Mobile learning & interaction with other my.coop participants

Feedback by SMS/voicemail Receive course evaluation survey by email

!

Participants with connectivity problems don’t access email SMS alerts of every day online updates & deadlines Selfguided study with own timeframe

Ongoing SMS reminders of course material

Welcome SMS & gather info on material use Participate in F2F training with an ITCtrained trainer

Provide trainers with mobile learning toolkit they can use in their teaching

Invite indirectly trained participants into the global my.coop community

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PROCESS INSIGHTS THE BEFORE DURING AND

AFTER OF M-LEARNING It was found that for participants of the blended course, the learning phase consists of 3 stages: “before”, “during” and “after”. The “before” phase includes a Learning Needs Analysis, currently an online questionnaire hosted by the SurveyMonkey website, which is intended to assess each participant’s level of prior knowledge and expectations from the course. It can also include preparatory reading materials or activities assigned by the relevant ITC trainer. The “during” phase consists of one week of face-to-face training and thus mobile learning is less relevant. However opportunities can still be explored for the use of mobile phones to enhance the face-to-face learning experience. The “after” phase follows on from this week of face-to-face training and includes a longer period of distance learning based on an e-learning platform. Thus these three phases of “before”, “during” and “after” should all be considered in the concept generation phase, 138

with the potential to create mobile learning elements that take place in one phase only or that even span more than one phase creating links across the customer journey.

MOBILE

In addition, those who manage to complete the procedures in time to participate in an ITC course often need to travel for several days in order to arrive to Turin, during which they are unlikely to be able to connect to the internet. Thus if any last-minute course changes are communicated to them by email these will not be seen. Therefore it is important to consider these additional non-learning phases in the development of mobile touchpoints that can be integrated throughout the whole customer journey to create an improved user experience.

OPPORTUNITY

TOUCHPOINT TO CONNECT OPPORTUNITIES WITH INDIRECT ASIDE FROM M-LEARNING TRAINING When analysing the whole customer journey of my.coop participants, it was found that there are several stages they must complete that are unconnected to learning but that still contribute to their overall experience as an ITC user. In particular, there is a lengthy bureaucratic phase for those who decide to participate in a blended my.coop course, which takes place before their learning experience begins. In fact it was found that many potential ITC participants fail to complete the required admin procedures during this phase (making the course payment, applying for the visa for Italy, arranging insurance, etc) within the required deadlines, and thus are not able to go ahead and actually participate in the course.

PARTICIPANTS

Apart from taking part in the ITCdelivered training courses (faceto-face and e-learning), people also have the chance to access the my.coop training material by simply downloading the modules in pdf format (from the ITC or dedicated my.coop website) and learning by self-study. Furthermore, there will be a “second phase” of face-to-face training in which the former participants of the my.coop training become the trainers, delivering the material to those at lower levels of the training pyramid. People who access the my.coop training material in these two situations have no direct link to the ITC, however there is an opportunity to design the system in such a way that establishes a


CAPTURING

USER INSIGHTS

STORIES

PHONES AND

connection. In this way the ITC can keep track of all my.coop participants (whether direct or indirect); capture their stories; bring them into a wider my.coop community; and create new opportunities for interaction and bottom-up innovation.

LACK OF A

SYSTEM FOR PARTICIPANTS’ It was identified that the ITC participants each have their own stories to share, about their work and their experience with the ITC. For example if a participant completes a training course at the ITC then goes back to their organisation and puts their new knowledge and skills into practice to great success, the ITC would of course like to know about this and to share it as an example to other participants. Therefore there is an opportunity with mobile learning to create user generated content (for example case studies, photos, stories, etc) that can be shared with the my.coop community and re-used in future iterations of the training.

FEATURE LOW TECH

FUNCTIONS “My mobile phone is as old as 10 years or so. It’s a Nokia brand. It’s not the latest!” “I have a Nokia mobile phone. It has internet, but it’s not too high-tech.” “I have an ordinary phone; a simple one… I use it for the normal communications; calling and SMS.” “I have a Nokia phone that I use to connect to the internet and take photos.” “On my mobile phone I’m able to access my email but I cannot upload or download attachments.” The majority of participants were found to have feature phones, with the most popular brand being Nokia. The most popular functions

were voice calling and SMS, with a few participants also checking their emails. Reminders and the camera were also mentioned as frequently used features. Although some users may have smartphones, it was also found in the research that “Chinese phones” are common, i.e. illegal copies of models such as the Blackberry. Thus it cannot be assumed that any tailor-made application developed would actually work on such phones, as they may not run on the official platforms. Therefore it seems appropriate to focus on low tech functions in the delivery of mobile elements within the my.coop training, in order to reach the highest number of people possible, and to avoid technical problems.

NEED FOR MOBILE LEARNING

DEPENDS ON NATURE OF JOB “I travel a lot in my job. A lot, a lot!” “I’d say about 60% of the time I’m travelling...a lot of time in rural areas.” 139


“I’m always in the campus within the university. It’s only very rarely that I travel.” Some participants are always on the go, spending a lot of time travelling in rural areas, and so have a need for mobile learning. Others spend almost all of their time in the office with a good internet connection, with a preference for e-learning. It is important to differentiate these different types of user and ensure mobile learning is offered where and when it can add value.

NEED FOR CUSTOMISATION

OF TRAINING MATERIAL TO

SPECIFIC CONTEXTS “to identify the specific technical assistance that we can provide to each group… we want each one to be different because each group is different.” “each situation in every country, and even in different areas within the same country, is slightly unique” The my.coop training modules are standardised so that they can be used across the regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America, and for all kinds of agricultural cooperatives. However there is a desire from participants to have customised material related to the specific context of their country and agricultural sector, e.g. dairy cooperatives in Kenya. 140

The mobile learning element can provide an additional “layer” of information that acts to customise the standard modules without influencing the standard nature of the modules themselves (which has the benefit of making the material applicable in different contexts).

NEED FOR AN M-LEARNING

TOOLKIT “I’m looking for innovative ways to empower the cooperatives” “if it is practical and applicable, I can use the same to help in empowering the groups and cooperatives the project is working with” “My expectations of participating in a mobile my.coop training would be that we ourselves could then use this way of training to reach more cooperatives.” “I would be very happy if we can also reach cooperatives through that medium; to use the mobile phone to also do our training.” “You can reach the farmers through these new technologies, wherever he or she is. That can be very good for us.” Almost all of the participants in the my.coop training will go on to train others in the course

material, thus the training of trainers (ToT) element is very important. It was found that the participants were not only interested in having their own mobile learning experience but that they would like to use mobile learning techniques in their delivery of my.coop material too. In fact, this would be even more useful in the second wave of my.coop training, which will be delivered directly to people at the base of the training pyramid who are more likely to be geographically isolated and have limited access to computers and the internet.

WILLINGNESS

TO CONTRIBUTE

TO TRAINING

MATERIAL

DEVELOPMENT “I can make time for follow up activities and discussions, I see it as a part of my capacity building, not only learning but contributing as well.” One of the key lessons learned from MATCOM was that once this kind of training material is released into the public domain, participants take ownership of the material and actively adapt it to their needs. For example, unofficial grassroots translations of MATCOM were later found in the field, including a Swahili version. Now we are in the 21st century and a connected society, so we can use this knowledge to offer participants new tools


for adapting and sharing the material. Participants were found to be enthusiastic and willing to contribute to the ongoing development of the training material for the greater good of the cooperative movement as a whole. This willingness to collaborate should be supported and promoted, to facilitate crowdsourcing.

NEED FOR

SOCIAL

INTERACTION DURING TRAINING “I prefer to study with others…to share experience and discuss doubts. Face-to-face with others you can understand faster. It’s more ‘live’.” “interaction, exchanging ideas and understanding each other formally and informally.” Most participants stated face-toface training as their preferred mode of learning, mainly due to the social element. One of the key factors in the development of mobile learning elements should therefore be to facilitate socialising at a local level and/or at a distance.

NEED FOR PROFESSIONAL

NETWORKING

OPPORTUNITIES

“opportunity for us to share our experience among African institutions in cooperative sectors” “interaction with people in different organisations is a very important part of it” From the user research it was established that one of the aspects that participants appreciate most about face-toface training is not only social interaction but also the chance for professional networking. One participant of several CoopAfrica training events explained that these provided an excellent opportunity for likeminded institutions to get to know each other and that as a result, his institution (Ambo University in Ethiopia) is launching a joint project together with another institution (Moshi University in Tanzania).

NEED FOR COMMUNICATION

WITH OTHER COOP STAKEHOLDERS

AROUND THE

WORLD “a platform where information can flow from different sources to the end user, and from the end user to the source…like a 2-way traffic”

“make sure that the farmers know what’s happening on the other side of the world, and to let the other side of the ocean knows what’s happening here” “to build an international base, a critical number of cooperative development practitioners at 3 different levels; the international, national and grassroots level. A network, in short.” “networking, and learning what is happening on the other end of the world” Several of the participants (right from the base of the pyramid to the top level) expressed a strong desire emerged for connecting with the global cooperative community. There was a strong interest in communicating and sharing experiences with other stakeholders in the cooperative movement around the world and the lack of any current platform for facilitating this. This insight could have a greater relevance for the my.coop training, not only utilising the mobile channels but also the functionality of the my.coop website for example.

“I thought about establishing an information centre”

141


142


CONCEPT

VISION Based on all of the research conducted throughout the project, the concept vision is to transcend the different levels of the my.coop training pyramid; to create opportunities for communication and interaction between cooperative stakeholders at all levels, both from the top to the bottom and from the bottom to the top. And not only to create connections between cooperative stakeholders with a country, but also at an international level, where cooperative managers, trainers and representatives can share their voice and hear what the other side of the world has to say for the first time. To achieve this vision, two concepts have been developed in order to meet the needs expressed by the users themselves during their interviews.

The main concept is for a mobile learning toolkit that can be used on a top-down basis while at the same time stimulating opportunities for bottom-up innovation. This concept comes from the desire expressed by potential my.coop participants to not only experience mobile learning during the training programme, but to understand how they can themselves use this concept to reach their own trainees at the base of the pyramid.

A secondary concept is for a global my.coop community that users can connect with via online and offline channels, in order to create an inclusive system for participants at all levels of the my.coop training pyramid. Again this concept was born from the user research, which revealed the unexpected yet unanimous desire from participants to connect and share experiences with other cooperative stakeholders around the world.

143


MY.COOP = 4 MODULES + TRAINERS TOOLKIT + M-LEARNING TOOLKIT

144


CONCEPT// M-LEARNING

TOOLKIT PROPOSAL //

CONTENTS //

VALUE //

As seen from the user research, potential my.coop participants are looking not only for an interactive learning experience themselves but also new methods that they can in turn use in their own training activities.

The toolkit contains 3 parts:

The toolkit offers my.coop participants the chance to experience the benefits of mobile learning themselves while also empowering them to use mobile learning methods to reach their own trainees, thus multiplying the impact throughout the entire my.coop training pyramid.

This also reflects the training strategy of the ITC-ILO; to empower trainers with innovative training methods so that they can effectively multiple the training effect following their ITC-ILO training experience.

Therefore the proposed concept is a mobile learning toolkit, which can be used in the delivery of the my.coop training and that participants can take away with them to later use in the delivery of their own training.

// Overview of mobile learning In the first section of the toolkit an introduction to mobile learning is given, explaining what this concept means and how it can be used in developing contexts. // Mobile learning methods The second section of the toolkit presents a series of mobile learning methods. A general overview of each method is given, plus a step-by-step guide to implementing the method, and a suggestion of how the method can be used specifically in the delivery of the my.coop training. // Mobile learning tools The final section of the toolkit contains a selection of practical tools that can be used to facilitate the mobile learning methods.

Moreover, the mobile learning toolkit has been created in such a way that it can be easily customised and used in the delivery of all ITC-ILO courses, not only within the my.coop training programme. Finally, the toolkit is intended as an open source resource that can be used in the delivery of all kinds of training in any developing context, thus extending its potential value even beyond the ITC-ILO. It has been designed to be as inclusive as possible, with most of the methods requiring only low end devices (basic mobile phones with voice calling and SMS capability). In this way the toolkit can be used to deliver interactive distance learning experiences to participants even at the Base of the Pyramid (BoP).

145


146


M-LEARNING

METHODS INSPIRATION //

IDEA GENERATION //

IDEA SELECTION //

In the development of the mobile learning toolkit, a key challenge was to create value through mobile phone technology. A question that is often asked in mobile learning projects is:

In order to generate ideas for mobile learning methods, a number of approaches were taken, including:

In order to select the final methods for inclusion in the toolkit, ideas were evaluated according to their feasibility, cost and the level of value that they could offer to participants.

How can a valuable learning experience be created via the small screen of a mobile phone?

The 4 my.coop modules were analysed, asking for every chapter, “How could mobile learning add value to participants’ understanding of this concept?”

This question becomes even more pertinent when smartphones are left out of the equation and value must be created within the constraints of low end devices.

// Transference of innovative face-to-face training methods

In response to this challenge, technology was left aside for a moment and inspiration sought from other sources. From this the concept of microstorytelling was born, and it is shared here with the goal of providing inspiration to those who go on to use the mobile learning toolkit.

// Analysis of the my.coop training modules

The ITC-ILO’s database of face-to-face methods was consulted and for each method it was considered, “How could the essence of the method be recreated in the context of mobile learning?” // Available technologies Finally, ideas were born from analysing the technology available, for example asking the question, “What are all the possibilities of a simple SMS?” All of the resulting ideas were then mapped and evaluated before the final selection was made for inclusion in the toolkit.

As the toolkit is intended for use in developing contexts, the methods were aimed to be as inclusive as possible. Therefore in the end the selection of methods was mainly based on those which can be replicated by trainers at every level of the pyramid right to those at the BoP. 15 methods were therefore selected, for which no custom applications have to be created. Everything can be realised with existing tools and at a very low cost. Most of the methods can be used with users of low end devices (basic mobile phone models with voice calling and SMS capability) and in some cases feature phones (mid-level mobile phone models with features such as an in-built camera, bluetooth and an mp3 player). Following the idea selection, the chosen 15 methods were then developed in detail for inclusion in the final toolkit.

147


148


M-LEARNING METHODS

INSPIRATION // MICROSTORYTELLING A recurring theme that provided much inspiration during the create phase was storytelling. Storytelling is something that is being talked about a lot in the design world lately; to the extent that it is in danger of becoming a generic buzzword. But the concept of storytelling is not generic, it can have many different meanings and purposes depending on the context. In the realm of learning, storytelling contextualises theory, helping us to understand principles and subsequently put them into practice. This element of contextualisation is particularly pertinent in the context of the my.coop project as there is an element of standardisation in the written training material, which is intended for eventual use in Africa, Asia and Latin America, across all the different kinds of agricultural cooperatives. The use of mobile phones during the training offers the possibility for tailored interaction with each and every my.coop participant, and in the context of storytelling, could mean the delivery of stories that help frame the material within each individual’s context. Storytelling is also a very important concept in the African context. In Africa stories are an important part of the culture, and have a strong influence in the

instillment of values and beliefs. Aside from contextualisation and value instillment, perhaps the most important factor of all is that as human beings we are drawn to stories, we enjoy them, and for this reason they capture our attention and imagination.

But how can storytelling have value via the medium of mobile phones? In particular, using the most low end technologies of voice calling and SMS? These questions led me to the concept of microstorytelling. Rather than a concept born from the character contraints of Twitter or SMS, this is based on the simple notion that you can say a lot with a few words. The forebear is assumed to be Ernest Hemingway who once wrote a miniature masterpiece:

“For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” This inspired the six-word movement. Back in 2006, Smith Magazine built a bestselling six-word memoir series out of reader’s submissions. That same year, Wired Magazine published six-word science fiction stories. Now people all over the world are creating their own miniature

masterpieces and sharing them on Twitter, tagged #sixwords. Inspiration can also be found in micropoetry, made famous by the traditional Japanese haiku, which in recent years has insipired Twitter poetry or “twaiku” (see #twaiku, #haiku, #micropoetry, #micropoem, #poetweet). However maybe the best known micropoem of all is that of Muhammad Ali. Following a lecture at Harvard University to speak to a class of recent graduates in 1975, a young man shouted, “Muhammad Ali, could you please recite a poem?” The old champion hesitated a moment and then said,

“Me, we”: the shortest poem in the history of literature. Finally, going back to the African context, there is a strong tradition of proverbs and sayings that encapsulate profound principles in a few words. Metaphors and similes feature heavily in these proverbs, which can be a powerful medium of communicating the underlying values of cooperatives and even of education itself:

“Knowledge is like a garden; if it is not cultivated, it cannot be harvested.” 149


M-LEARNING METHODS

IDEA GENERATION // BEFORE F2F

150

BEFORE/DURING F2F

Seeds of inspiration

Learning needs assessment

Mobile jigsaw

Mobile world café

Quotations, proverbs and trivia from around the world that capture the essence of the training to inspire the participants

Short survey to establish what participants already know and to ask about their expectations of the course

Mobile jigsaw task where participants have to research a given topic (sent by sms in advance of a F2F training session) & present it to the others on the first day of the F2F session to create a complete “jigsaw”

Participants are asked to submit a “hot topic” they would like to debate and the trainer selects the best suggestions to use as the discussion topics of a world café event during the F2F training session

Audio decision maze

Mobile SWOT analysis

Mobile system mapping

Audio stories in an “edutainment” style that participants can call to listen to, making decisions at key points in the story (by selecting a number) to create their own path and final outcome

Each participant is asked to send a strength, weakness, opportunity and threat for a given topic by sms. The suggestions are then put together by the trainer to make a full SWOT analysis for discussion by the group

Participants asked to identify & take photos of the actors in the system in which they work. During the F2F session they will create a system map from these actors by adding the connections between them

SMS helpdesk

Mobile reporter

Opportunity for participants to send questions to trainers and receive answers by sms

Participants asked to carry out a task on the field in which they become a “reporter” investigating a given issue, carrying out interviews on the field and documenting their results with photos, audio & video

Mobile brainstorming

Photo storytelling

A day of distributed brainstorming on a given topic by sms, with the topic sent to participants in the morning and everyone having the chance to contribute ideas (received by the whole group) by sms

Participants asked to take a sequence of photos on the field that tell a story, for use in a storytelling exercise during the F2F training session


DURING F2F

AFTER F2F

SMS word cloud

Refresher messages

Newsflash

Seeds of inspiration

At the end of each day, participants are asked to reflect on the mood of the day and send one word by sms that captures this. The trainer creates a word cloud from these to present to the group the next day

Sms messages reminding participants of core elements of the training in bite-sized chunks, to refresh their memory & remember their training experience

Sms messages with relevent news updates (e.g. new legislation, events, etc) and inviting participants to interact by asking “What do you think?”, “Will you attend?”, etc and sharing feedback with the group

Quotations, proverbs and trivia from around the world that capture the essence of the training to inspire the participants

Live sms poll

Sms search engine

Profcasts

Audio decision maze

In order to share opinions and stimulate open discussions, questions are posed to the group and participants asked to respond by sms, with results shared live by the trainer

Database of training material broken down into bite-sized chunks, that participants can search via sms to automatically receive “chunks” that match their search criteria

Recorded podcasts in an “edutainment” style that participants can listen to via the mp3 player on their mobile phone

Audio stories in an “edutainment” style that participants can call to listen to, making decisions at key points in the story (by selecting a number) to create their own path and final outcome

Audio storymapping

Mobile pop quiz

Audio storymapping

SMS helpdesk

Participants’ stories are recorded during the F2F session, to be shared online via an interactive map that can be shared (and added to) in future generations of the training

Sms quiz asking participants questions about the training material to test their understanding of (or to test if they remember) key concepts, with grades/feedback offered afterwards

Participants’ stories are recorded during the F2F session, to be shared online via an interactive map that can be shared (and added to) in future generations of the training

Opportunity for participants to send questions to trainers and receive answers by sms

Photo storytelling

Mobile brainstorming

Participants asked to take a sequence of photos on the field that tell a story, for use in a storytelling exercise during the F2F training session

A day of distributed brainstorming on a given topic by sms, with the topic sent to participants in the morning and everyone having the chance to contribute ideas (received by the whole group) by sms

151


M-LEARNING METHODS

IDEA SELECTION // BEFORE F2F

Seeds of inspiration

Learning needs assessment

Mobile jigsaw

Mobile world café

Quotations, proverbs and trivia from around the world that capture the essence of the training to inspire the participants

Short survey to establish what participants already know and to ask about their expectations of the course

Mobile jigsaw task where participants have to research a given topic (sent by sms in advance of a F2F training session) & present it to the others on the first day of the F2F session to create a complete “jigsaw”

Participants are asked to submit a “hot topic” they would like to debate and the trainer selects the best suggestions to use as the discussion topics of a world café event during the F2F training session

Audio decision maze

Mobile SWOT analysis

Mobile system mapping

Audio stories in an “edutainment” style that participants can call to listen to, making decisions at key points in the story (by selecting a number) to create their own path and final outcome

Each participant is asked to send a strength, weakness, opportunity and threat for a given topic by sms. The suggestions are then put together by the trainer to make a full SWOT analysis for discussion by the group

Participants asked to identify & take photos of the actors in the system in which they work. During the F2F session they will create a system map from these actors by adding the connections between them

SMS helpdesk

Mobile reporter

Opportunity for participants to send questions to trainers and receive answers by sms

Participants asked to carry out a task on the field in which they become a “reporter” investigating a given issue, carrying out interviews on the field and documenting their results with photos, audio & video

Mobile brainstorming

Photo storytelling

A day of distributed brainstorming on a given topic by sms, with the topic sent to participants in the morning and everyone having the chance to contribute ideas (received by the whole group) by sm

Participants asked to take a sequence of photos on the field that tell a story, for use in a storytelling exercise during the F2F training session

s

152

BEFORE/DURING F2F


DURING F2F

AFTER F2F

SMS word cloud

Refresher messages

Newsflash

Seeds of inspiration

At the end of each day, participants are asked to reflect on the mood of the day and send one word by sms that captures this. The trainer creates a word cloud from these to present to the group the next day

Sms messages reminding participants of core elements of the training in bite-sized chunks, to refresh their memory & remember their training experience

Sms messages with relevent news updates (e.g. new legislation, events, etc) and inviting participants to interact by asking “What do you think?”, “Will you attend?”, etc and sharing feedback with the group

Quotations, proverbs and trivia from around the world that capture the essence of the training to inspire the participants

Live sms poll

Sms search engine

Profcasts

Audio decision maze

In order to share opinions and stimulate open discussions, questions are posed to the group and participants asked to respond by sms, with results shared live by the trainer

Database of training material broken down into bite-sized chunks, that participants can search via sms to automatically receive “chunks” that match their search criteria

Recorded podcasts in an “edutainment” style that participants can listen to via the mp3 player on their mobile phone

Audio stories in an “edutainment” style that participants can call to listen to, making decisions at key points in the story (by selecting a number) to create their own path and final outcome

Audio storymapping

Mobile pop quiz

Audio storymapping

SMS helpdesk

Participants’ stories are recorded during the F2F session, to be shared online via an interactive map that can be shared (and added to) in future generations of the training

Sms quiz asking participants questions about the training material to test their understanding of (or to test if they remember) key concepts, with grades/feedback offered afterwards

Participants’ stories are recorded during the F2F session, to be shared online via an interactive map that can be shared (and added to) in future generations of the training

Opportunity for participants to send questions to trainers and receive answers by sms

Photo storytelling

Mobile brainstorming

Participants asked to take a sequence of photos on the field that tell a story, for use in a storytelling exercise during the F2F training session

A day of distributed brainstorming on a given topic by sms, with the topic sent to participants in the morning and everyone having the chance to contribute ideas (received by the whole group) by sm

s

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154


M-LEARNING

TOOLS REQUIREMENTS //

TOOL SELECTION //

TOOL GENERATION //

The 15 chosen methods were selected for use with existing mobile phone features so that no custom applications are required.

The first step was to carry out research into the existing tools that are available for use and can achieve the goals of the 15 mobile learning methods created.

While FrontlineSMS was found to overcome the problem of sending messages to multiple participants, some limitations were identified.

3 tools were selected that match the requirements of the methods, as follows:

Therefore an alternative solution was sought and the idea generated to use Twitter as an SMS infrastructure, as outlined in the following pages.

Most of the methods rely on SMS alone, however even this requires some thought on a technical and financial level. It is possible for a trainer to send every SMS individually to their participants and receive replies using just their mobile phone, and if they have just a few participants perhaps this solution is sufficient.

// Audacity

However even on a small scale it would be more convenient and useful for trainers to have a system for sending messages in bulk and collecting responses in one place that can be easily accessed a later date.

This tool allows users to conduct a “Live SMS Poll” and display the results in real time.

In addition, sending individual SMS messages can be costly, especially if the trainer has to pay for each message they send (e.g. if they have 20 participants they pay for 20 messages each time they wish to contact the whole group).

This is an open source tool for audio recording and editing that can be used to create “Profcasts”. // Poll Everywhere

This concept offers a number of benefits over FrontlineSMS however it cannot be used in every country, thus both are included in the mobile learning toolkit to give trainers the opportunity to select the SMS system that best suits their context and needs.

// FrontlineSMS This open source tool was developed for sending bulk SMS messages in developing contexts where connectivity problems are experienced, and has been used in a wide number of non-profit activities to date.

These were key issues considered in the selection and development of tools that can facilitate the mobile learning methods created for the toolkit. 155


M-LEARNING TOOLS TOOL SELECTION // AUDACITY // AUDIO RECORDING & EDITING Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It is easy to use and can be used to record live audio; convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs; edit sound files; and cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together. Therefore it is a useful and easily accessible tool for trainers who wish to record their own podcasts as suggested in the “Profcasts” method.

POLL EVERYWHERE // LIVE POLL SYSTEM Poll Everywhere gives the possibility of conducting live interactive polls using mobile phones. It replaces expensive proprietary audience response hardware with standard web technology and can be used to gather live responses in any venue: conferences, presentations, classrooms anywhere. The tool is free to use for audiences of up to 30 people and paid plans are available for larger groups. It works internationally with texting, web, or Twitter (including Twitter SMS). Participants who send a normal SMS response may have to pay for an international SMS, while Twitterregistered participants can respond to the poll by sending a “tweet” at the cost of a local SMS.

FRONTLINESMS // SMS SYSTEM FrontlineSMS is award-winning free, open source software that turns a laptop and a mobile phone (or alternatively a GSM modem) into a central communications hub. Once installed, the program enables users to send and receive text messages with groups of people. It does not require an internet connection, therefore it is a very useful tool for use on the field, where connectivity issues are commonly experienced. In order to use FrontlineSMS, the trainer should attach a mobile phone (with a SIM card inside) to their laptop and the SMS messages will be sent from the number of the mobile phone. Every SMS sent with the software will be charged at the standard rate of the service provider. An added benefit of FrontlineSMS is that it stores all phone numbers and records all incoming and outgoing messages. All of this data lives on the user’s own computer, not on servers controlled by someone else. 156


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M-LEARNING TOOLS TOOL GENERATION // TWITTER AS AN SMS SYSTEM // While FrontlineSMS was found to overcome the problem of sending messages to multiple participants, some limitations were identified. Although an internet connection is not needed to send messages, the system requires a laptop, which is less “mobile” than a phone. It also fails to overcome the issue of cost, as every SMS sent is charged at local rate. Therefore an alternative was sought and the idea generated to use Twitter as a low-cost SMS infrastructure. This solution makes use of the existing features of Twitter to facilitate interaction between a trainer and participants (thus, mobile learning) in developing contexts. Twitter is a free social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and receive messages of up to 140 characters called “tweets”. This service can be accessed via the internet or SMS. The people who subscribe to a user’s tweets are called their “followers”, and the user can also “follow” others to receive their messages. Twitter currently has approximately 200 million users around the world, although it is not currently used to a wide extent in developing contexts. However, as it is possible to access the service using SMS alone, it has the potential to provide a number of benefits to mobile phone subscribers even at the BoP. A key feature of Twitter is that if User A “follows” User B, they can subscribe to receive all of their tweets by SMS, which is completely free. This feature can be used in the context of mobile learning, in order to set up a low-cost SMS system that facilitates two-way communication between a trainer and learners. In order to set up this system trainers need to firstly create an account on Twitter, which they can do for free online if they have internet access, or by SMS (it takes 3-5 messages to set up an account). Then they need to ask their participants to also register with the service (most likely by SMS) and to follow them (possible by texting the word FOLLOW + the trainer’s username). Now the trainer can tweet (either by SMS or by accessing the Twitter website on their laptop or mobile phone) and all of the participants will receive their message as an SMS message each time they do so, thus they are essentially sending SMS messages in bulk. In addition, the trainer can follow all of the participants in order to give them the possibility to reply to their tweets by SMS. Therefore a two-way system of communication is created at a very low cost. 158


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TWITTER PHONE

REQUIRES

BENEFITS LOW COST SOLUTION Once the Twitter system is in place, with one tweet the trainer can reach many participants by SMS.

For example a trainer with 20 participants can essentially pay for one SMS and 20 people will receive it. Therefore the trainer only pays for each SMS message they send, not the number of times it is received. To put this into perspective, sending just one message with FrontlineSMS to 20 people costs the price of 20 SMS messages.

The cost saving is exponential, for example if the same trainer sends 20 SMS messages to their 20 participants over the course of their training, they pay for only 20 SMS messages while 400 messages are actually received. With FrontlineSMS on the other hand, the trainer would have to pay for all of the 400 SMS messages delivered. The system becomes even cheaper if the trainer sends their tweets online via the Twitter website rather than by SMS. In this case it is completely free for the trainer to send as many SMS messages as they want to their followers, paying only the cost to connect to the internet.

Therefore any trainer who is able to access the internet can send unlimited SMS messages to their participants for free in the form of tweets.

Comparison of FrontlineSMS and Twitter cost to send 20 SMS to 20 participants:

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FRONTLINESMS =

The cost of 400 SMS

TWITTER =

The cost of 20 SMS or FREE if trainer uses Twitter online

ONLY A MOBILE Both the trainer and the participants need only a mobile phone with SMS capability in order to set up and make use of Twitter as an SMS system. Furthermore, if the trainer wishes to use the Twitter website in order to send their tweets (therefore using the system for free) they are not obliged to use a computer to do so – they can also access the Twitter website via any mobile phone that is able to connect to the internet.

MESSAGES STORED IN ONE

PLACE THAT CAN

ACCESSED AT A LATER DATE For trainers that access Twitter using the internet, it will be very easy to browse or find earlier messages via the participants’ online Twitter feeds.


COMMUNICATION

TWITTER

The trainer can create a private Twitter account that only approved participants can follow or a public account viewable by all.

TWITTER SMS TRAINER MUST

PRIVATE OR PUBLIC

The trainer also has the option to send private messages to individual participants as well as public tweets that will be received by the whole group of participants. Provided that the trainer is also following the participants on Twitter, the participants can also send a private message to the trainer, for example to ask a question.

LIMITATIONS NOT AVAILABLE

FOLLOW ALL

IN EVERY PARTICIPANTS COUNTRY TO ENABLE Twitter SMS is currently supported in 80 countries worldwide (including Kenya, Nigeria and other African countries ) but it is not available in all countries. In addition, Twitter SMS is only supported by certain service providers. These service providers have different numbers (“short codes”) that users should text in order to use the service. A list of supported service providers by country and their associated short codes can be found on the Twitter website.

However it is important to note that Twitter has been expanding the number of countries and service providers that support Twitter SMS, therefore the service could become more accessible in the future.

REPLIES If the trainer uses only Twitter SMS without internet access, it is more difficult for them to “follow” the participants. This step is necessary in order for the trainer to receive an SMS every time one of the participants tweets and also allows the participants to send replies directly to the trainer. The participants only have to send one SMS to follow the trainer, but for example if the trainer has 20 participants, he or she would need to send 20 SMS messages in order to follow each of them. However, the cost of this is outweighed by the savings they will experience later.

LIMITED

FUNCTIONALITY

OF TWITTER SMS For trainers that use only Twitter SMS without internet access, the added features of the web interface will not be available (such as browsing participants’ Twitter feeds) however the basic two-way communication channel is feasible even in this case. 161


MY.COOP COMMUNITY

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CONCEPT//

MY.COOP COMMUNITY The idea is to build a global my.coop community where participants and stakeholders can interact with each other as well as the my.coop training material. The centre of the community is an online platform, which will be hosted at http://my.coop. However, the platform is intended to be as inclusive as possible, and so it will be created with the possibility of both online and offline interaction, in order to bridge the digital divide. It has been seen that when a new training programme is launched by the ILO, users quickly take ownership of the training material and make it their own. Since the launch of the MATCOM training in the 1970s, translated versions of the material have been found at grassroots level, for example an unofficial version in Swahili was found to be used in East Africa. This movement to make the training material their own shows that participants were - and still are - active users, and for this reason it is believed that now they will actively participate in a new web 2.0 offering. Finally, as the very essence of a cooperative is that together we are stronger, the vision of the my.coop community is that each and every my.coop participant can become stronger again as part of a global cooperative community. With this vision in mind, the potential features of the community are outlined in the following pages.

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MY.COOP COMMUNITY

FEATURES LIVE GLOBAL

their Gmail account, and offline users can take part by SMS.

A key part of a global my.coop community could be a Twitter feed streaming all tweets tagged #mycoop.

Gmail SMS allows anyone worldwide to communicate with fellow Gtalk chat users even when they’re not connected to the internet. Gmail users in Africa can send and receive SMS messages for free using the service while non-Gmail users can SMS for regular text charges. This service is currently available in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana and Zambia.

CONVERSATIONS

Offline users can contribute to this using Twitter SMS; both following the conversation and adding their voice; thus giving a voice to those at the BoP on an international level. These conversations could be stimulated by ITC-ILO staff and key members of the agricultural cooperative community, taking it upon themselves to populate the Twitter feed with key news items; hot issues for debate; upcoming events, etc, as well as more entertaining content such as proverbs, quotations and trivia related to the cooperative sector, in line with the “Seeds of Inspiration” method from the mobile learning toolkit.

There could also be a chat function powered by Gtalk, where users can participate in live discussions. Online users just need to sign in with 164

BOTTOM-UP INNOVATION One of the key lessons learned from MATCOM was that once the training material is released into the public domain, participants take ownership of the material and actively adapt it to their needs (for example, unofficial grassroots translations of MATCOM were found including a Swahili version).

Now we are in the 21st century and this knowledge can be used to offer participants new tools for adapting and sharing the training material.

This time, if someone translates the my.coop modules into Swahili, for example, they could share this with the ILO and with the wider my.coop community via the my.coop website. There could simply be a ‘Documents’ section where users can upload PDF documents, which could be then available for others to download.

STORIES CAPTURING

AND SHARING The online platform could also be the ideal place for my.coop participants to share their stories, instead of asking people to complete a private Evaluation survey following their training, which is used only within the ITC-ILO.

There could be a public gallery of stories where participants can share how they put their training into practice, and read the stories of the other participants around the world, learning from each other and with the possibility to get in touch with each other.

NETWORKING From the user research it was established that one of the aspects that participants appreciate most about face-toface training is not only social interaction but also the chance for professional networking. One participant of COOPAFRICA training events explained that these provided an excellent opportunity for like-minded institutions to get to know each other and that as a result, his institution (Ambo University in Ethiopia) is launching a joint


project together with another institution (Moshi University in Tanzania).

Therefore another feature of the website could be the ability for participants to register as an individual or as an institution, and build a short profile outlining the scope of their work, the collaborations they are looking for, and their contact details. This database of profiles could also be a useful database and point of reference for the ILO to keep in touch with the different coop stakeholders around the world.

CROWD-

SOURCING

QUESTIONS AND

ANSWERS Another feature could be a Q&A facility whereby my.coop users can send their questions about the my.coop training material to the ITC-ILO (by email or SMS) and rather than receiving only a direct, private reply, their Q&A is posted online for others to view.

In this way a database of questions and answers can be built which can benefit other participants who have doubts and reduces the workload for ITC-ILO staff in responding to queries. Another option could be an online forum whereby users can post their questions publicly and receive answers not only from ITC-ILO staff but also other my.coop community members.

The MATCOM material is being updated after 40 years, however, it doesn’t have to be another 40 years before the my.coop material is updated again.

Instead, the material can be constantly revised through community involvement and contributions. For example new stories and case studies could be included in the modules, as they are gathered through the my.coop community. Or discussions can be posed to the my.coop community, for example, “What changes would you like to see in the my.coop training material?” Experts within the community can even be called upon to make direct contributions to revised versions of the training modules in years to come, as coop practices and technologies evolve. 165


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MY.COOP

PILOT

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RESEARCH TYPE //

1st

PRIMARY QUALITATIVE

RESEARCH METHOD // FACE-TO-FACE INTERVIEWS OBSERVATION PARTICIPANTS //

25 DATES // JUNE 2011

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MY.COOP

PILOT BACKGROUND //

PILOT //

In February 2011 a meeting was held at the ITC-ILO with two officials from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture of Nigeria, who were looking for up-to-date training for the agricultural cooperative sector in Nigeria.

However, it was noted that mobile phone is very diffused and there is great potential to create new systems around this object that deliver training directly to the users as well as linking them up with other actors in the system.

They reported that the original MATCOM training was very popular in Nigeria, but that it has become very dated, and the users are looking forward to new material. The possibility of integrating mobile learning into the new my.coop training programme was discussed and this idea was very positively received.

As a large country Nigeria also presents its own specific technical challenges and this makes it a useful target for concept testing. As one of the delegates said, “if you can make it work for Nigeria, you can make it work for any African country.�

In Nigeria there is a lack of infrastructure that makes connectivity difficult. On one hand, internet connectivity is a problem, coupled with access to computers and electricity. But another issue is travelling from A to B - when there is a lack of digital connectivity then it often becomes necessary for inhabitants to make long journeys between towns and villages in order to communicate and interact. Especially in rural contexts, this means that people lose a lot of time and money, because in Nigeria villages are often spread very far apart.

Therefore it was agreed that the first pilot of the my.coop training would take place in Nigeria, including testing of mobile learning.

From the 20th to the 24th of June 2011 the training pilot was held in Nigeria, in order to test both the draft version of the training material and the methods developed for delivering the material (both face-to-face and mobile learning methods). This training pilot was held with 25 participants from all over Nigeria and was delivered by two trainers from the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in the Netherlands, who contributed to the development of the my.coop training material. The training took place at the national Cooperative Development Centre in Nigeria. This centre is in a rural location around 2 hours from the capital Abuja. Internet access was not available for most of the training session, with the trainers only able to access the internet in the middle of the training week.

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MY.COOP

PILOT PARTICIPANTS The group of participants represented different levels of the cooperative pyramid. There were 9 cooperative trainers; 3 from cooperative colleges and 6 from cooperative departments of the Nigerian government (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) at a provincial level. The rest of the group was made up of managers of a range of cooperatives, such as input supply, produce marketing and food processing cooperatives. Some of these managers represented primary cooperative societies while others represented secondary cooperative societies (unions).

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TWITTER TESTING TESTING //

RESULTS //

This pilot proved to be a good opportunity to test the concept of using Twitter as an SMS system, especially given the lack of internet available during the training session.

During the training session the concept of Twitter was introduced to the participants and 9 of them were able to set up a Twitter account and follow the @mycooppilot account by SMS.

Therefore in advance of the session a Twitter account was created, @mycooppilot, and the trainers were provided with detailed instructions on how to set up the Twitter system using this account.

The trainers sent two tweets during the week. The first was a thank you message to motivate the participants:

Twitter SMS is available in Nigeria however it is only supported by 2 networks: Zain and Globacom. Despite this limitation a number of participants were able to register as Twitter users and follow the @mycooppilot account. The results of this experiment are described on the right. In addition, the trainers were provided with a draft version of the mobile learning toolkit in order to gain feedback on this from the participants. Several copies of the draft toolkit were printed and a selection of participants asked to read over it and give their feedback. The feedback from this activity is also outlined in the pages that follow.

// 22nd June: “Dear participants. Thanks for the great day! Good night, Remco & Ellen” The second tweet was used to introduce the day’s training topic: // 23rd June: “Dear cooperative managers, know your customer and competitors!” The participants were very active in replying to these messages, with a selection of their replies included below: // “Hello mycoop I wish the best” // “The lecture of the day was interesting” // “Remco I wish you a safe journey” // “Modules use super & most current techniques of human development. I am indeed very lucky!”

// “Thanks; it’s really vital!” // “Sustainable development of the Cooperative system the world over & Nigeria specifically.” // “Today’s lecture was great & satisfaction” // “The workshop is impressive” // “Today was excellent. Good night” // “Today’s training program is excellent, I like Remco’s training method.” // “I’m happy being on Twitter, thanks” // “It was a great session. Have a great night’s rest Remco & Ellen. Thanks a lot.” Futhermore, the day after the training session had finished, one participant sent an additional tweet for the trainers: // “mycooppilot: I hope you had a safe journey back to your station? Thanks for coming.” Therefore it was seen that participants were able to quickly understand and take ownership of the Twitter SMS system as a means of two-way communication.

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TWITTER TESTING FOLLOW-UP // Following the face-to-face training session the Twitter SMS system was further tested in order to gauge participant engagement levels. The first tweet was sent almost one week after the training: // 30th June: “Dear coop managers, thanks for your participation in the my.coop training pilot, we hope you enjoyed it! Let’s keep in touch, have a good day” 4 of the 9 registered participants replied to this message with 24 hours, with their replies as follows:

by the cost of sending SMS replies. Following this initial message, two further tweets were sent, a “seed of inspiration” (a Nigerian proverb related to cooperation) and an evaluation question, based on a task that was given to the participants during the training session (to complete a SWOT analysis as part of an ongoing action plan building activity): // 2nd July: “Coop managers, don’t forget: It is by the strength of their number that the ants in the field are able to carry their prey to the nest”

// “Yes, I did enjoy every second of the training. Thanks”

// 9th July: “Dear my.coop participants, how is your action plan going? Did you already carry out a SWOT analysis? Good luck & feel free to ask questions!”

// “It’s really an enjoyable educative and motivative program looking forward for the success of the program My regards to Ellen”

It was found that more replies were received when a direct question was asked, with the results as follows:

// “Thanks a lot. The experience was very rewarding. I hope u met ur loved ones well. We are looking forward to ur next visit.”

// “My action plan is on course”

// “With the study of MYCOOP the rebirth of coop is assured”

Therefore it can be seen that participants were active in their response and seemed undeterred

// “YES. I conducted mine on wednesday for THS and aired on TV/Radio stations” // “My SWOT THS sensitization is attracting public awareness”

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TWITTER TESTING FEEDBACK After the training session was completed an interview was held with the trainers in order to gain their feedback on setting up and using Twitter as an SMS system. The key feedback was as follows:

// The trainer commented that “it was the first time I have used mobile phones in a training session and I found it to be very interesting. I really do believe it is the future.” // Participants were in general very much in favour of interactive learning methods and when instructed well, Twitter could be really a nice ‘add’ to training. The participants were very proud to receive tweets. // However, setting up the system costs a lot of time. The trainers spent an evening registering only 9 people and trying to understand Twitter themselves. // The registration steps, although detailed in the draft toolkit, should be even more detailed. Participants got confused when having to send the word ‘signup’. // The registration took away the attention of the training. It is recommended to do the registration prior to the training. // It is most useful in a trajectory with different trainings. Explanation and registration can be completed in the first training, followed by assignments in the field, for example the Mobile System Mapping activity could be integrated with the network analysis activity that was carried out with participants during the pilot (the created system maps are shown on the left). After carrying out interactive tasks in the field the participants should reflect on their results with follow up in the next training session. // With regards to Nigeria, most participants had MTN instead of ZAIN or Globacom as their service provider, thus reducing the number of participants who could participate.

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M-LEARNING

TOOLKIT FEEDBACK A selection of the pilot participants were also asked to read the mobile learning toolkit draft and were then asked for their feedback, specifically if they would like to use the methods in their own training. The overall feedback was positive, with participants evaluating the toolkit as useful however noting that it is difficult for them to evaluate without putting the steps into practice. In a video interview about the toolkit documented by the trainers, one participant commented: // I read the mobile learning toolkit and I find it very interesting. // I think that it can be a good way of exchanging ideas and information about my cooperative and learning more about the training modules. // I think this would be very useful in Nigeria, if we can use this method among cooperatives and among managers. // I think it will do a lot to enhance our knowledge about cooperative societies; I think it is good and I hope to see more of it in the future.

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MY.COOP

VISUAL

The base of the logo is the Adinkra symbol Ananse Ntontan; the “spider’s web”

IDENTITY INSPIRATION // The inspiration for the logo is the Adinkra symbol Ananse Ntontan, which means “spider’s web”. Adinkra are visual symbols, originally created by the Akan of Ghana and the Gyaman of Cote d’Ivoire in West Africa, which represent concepts. The chosen symbol, Ananse Ntontan, represents the creativity of the weaver, Ananse.

COLOURS //

Dots were added around the symbol to add the notion of all the different coop stakeholders around the world connected in an international community

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Ananse, the spider, is one of the most important characters of West African folklore. Ananse himself is synonymous with skill and wisdom, and the symbol of his web represents wisdom, creativity and the complexities of life.

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Ananse is also said to have taught mankind the techniques of agriculture, and so for these reasons the Ananse Ntontan symbol was felt to perfectly capture the essence of what the my.coop training programme represents.

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In addition, aside from the traditional meanings, the symbol of the “web” also brings strong connections with the internet, and adds to the idea of a contemporary training package 188

that harnesses new technologies in order to give the possibility for coop stakeholders around the world to become connected in an international community for the first time.

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FONT // The logo font is DIN Alternate Medium.

Finally the name my.coop was added and the slogan “cultivating unity” to capture the key concepts of agriculture and cooperation


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The final mobile learning toolkit is a book of 97 pages that firstly introduces the subject of mobile learning (what it is and why it is important) and why the toolkit was created. It explains that the toolkit is intended as a “trainer’s toolkit� that can be used by any trainer in any developing context to provide an interactive learning experience to their participants. It also explains that as well as presenting a general guide to mobile learning, the toolkit was developed specifically for the my.coop training course of the ILO and an introduction to my.coop is given.

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The toolkit then presents the selected 15 mobile learning methods developed in detail. These methods are clustered into 4 categories: // Deliver content // Assign tasks // Gather feedback // Provide support Each method is categorised with a selection of keywords that help trainers to understand the benefits of the method (for example, social interaction, visual learning, etc); the stages in which the method should be used (before, during and/or after face-to-face training); and the technical requirements of the method (for example, SMS). An overview of the method is then given, introducing the key themes and giving more detail on the benefits of the method. A detailed step by step guide follows, explaining exactly what needs to be done by the trainer in order to prepare and implement the method. Finally, for each method a section is included suggesting how it can be customised to the my.coop training, linking the methods with specific elements of the training material and explaining how to apply the mobile learning methods in the delivery of the my.coop training. 195


196


Finally the toolkit includes a section on tools that can be used to facilitate the 15 mobile learning methods. For each tool a list of the methods it can be used for is given and a link to the related website. Firstly it is explained how Twitter can be used as an SMS system for mobile learning and detailed instructions are given for setting up the system with participants. Then a short overview is given of the 3 existing tools that were selected to match up with the other requirements of the methods (FrontlineSMS, Audacity and Poll Everywhere).

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The book has been designed in such a way that makes it both visually appealing and usable for the target audience. The context of use and target users were carefully considered in the design decisions made. The format of the book is A5 portrait, which means that it can easily be printed by users on the field on A4 paper. It is intended that the PDF of the toolkit will be made publicly available in both an A5 format and A4 spreads ready for printing. The graphic identity of the book aims to be clear and simple, with the goal that it will look good and be easily readable even after being printed in black and white and photocopied several times.

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The toolkit is illustrated with both graphic elements and photographs of the context of use, to help clarify and contextualise the information given. In addition to being clear and easily understandable, the graphic illustrations provided in the toolkit are intended to be culturally neutral. Finally, the visual identity was developed independently from that of my.coop in order to convey the fact that the mobile learning toolkit is not only for use within the my.coop course but that it can be applied to any training context. The my.coop logo is however included on the cover of the toolkit in white with a colour version inside in order to add visibility to the my.coop brand and help it to become more recognisable. In addition, this design helps to ensure the transferability of the toolkit within the ITC-ILO, who can use the toolkit for any of their training courses by simply changing the logo on the front of the toolkit and updating the ‘What is my.coop?’ section with an overview of the chosen course, as well as the ‘Customisation to my.coop’ suggestions that follow each method.

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Trainer reads mobile learning toolkit and decides to try it out

Trainer registers as a Twitter user

Trainer consults mobile learning toolkit and decides to try the SMS Word Cloud method

Trainer launches the SMS Word Cloud method during an evaluation session at the end of the day


SCENARIO

OF USE Trainer introduces Twitter during training & asks participants to join

That evening, the participants each send a tweet by SMS with a word that they feel summarises the day’s training

Participants create Twitter accounts and follow trainer by SMS

Trainer logs into Twitter to view the responses sent by the participants

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Trainer creates a word cloud from the responses and launches the next day’s training with a discussion of the results

While listening to the Profcast, one of the participants receives the trainer’s tweet as an SMS message, with a “seed of inspiration” and an evaluation question 202

On the last day of the training, the trainer gives the participants some homework: prepare an action plan. He also offers them an extra Profcast that he has recorded in advance of the session

Meanwhile the others receive the same SMS message at the same time in different villages


SCENARIO

OF USE The trainer passes around the Profcast mp3 file using Bluetooth to the participants with feature phones

After the training session has finished, the trainer follows up with a tweet

One participant has a problem and decides to share this with the trainer

The trainer reassures him and adds his issue to the agenda for the next training session

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enter

my.coop

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NEXT STEP //

MY.COOP COMMUNITY The mobile learning toolkit was taken from a concept into a final product: a complete toolkit of methods and tools that is ready for immediate implementation. Beyond the scope of the mobile learning project, the vision for a global my.coop community was also born from real user needs uncovered during the user research (expressed by those at both the top and the base of the cooperative pyramid); a concept believed to be of great value to the future participants of the my.coop training. At present this idea remains a concept, although it is recommended that the next step in the development of the my.coop training programme is to develop this concept into a real website, based on the features outlined in the ‘create’ chapter. In this way the website can offer the potential of a range of social and professional development opportunities for my.coop participants as well as access to the training material itself.

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CONCLUSION // In this project a wide range of material has been generated: from the initial research a synthesis of the mobile revolution in Africa was produced; and then from the collaboration with the ITC-ILO the opportunity for mobile learning was explored in depth; and finally an applied project was developed that has a value not only across the entire ITC-ILO but within the larger context of the delivery of training in Africa (and other developing contexts) right to the BoP. A user-centred approach was taken in the development of the design solutions. The concept of the mobile learning toolkit emerged directly from interviews with real trainers working in the cooperative sector in Africa, thus it has an inherent value for those who expressed their need for empowerment in the delivery of new and innovative training methods. The mobile learning toolkit was taken from a concept into a final product: a complete toolkit of methods and tools that is ready for immediate implementation. At the level of the ITC-ILO, the mobile learning toolkit will continue to be prototyped and developed both for use in the delivery of the my.coop training and across the whole centre. On a wider level, it is planned to promote the toolkit within the community of actors working in the mobile learning sector in order to maximise its value beyond the ITC-ILO.

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BIBLIOGRAPHY // ARTICLES AND PAPERS // Aker, J.C. and Mbiti, I.M. (2010) Mobile Phones and Economic Development in Africa, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 24(3): 207–32. Bhan, N. (2008) Top to Bottom, NewDesign Magazine, UK, DWB Associates Ltd. Ewing, J. (2007) Upwardly Mobile in Africa, Business Week, USA [online] Available from: http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/ sep2007/gb20070913_705733.htm (Accessed 7th October 2010) Mas, I. and Morawczynski, O. (2009) Designing Mobile Money Services: Lessons from M-PESA. Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization 4(2): 77-91. O’Malley, C. et al (2003) Guidelines for learning in a mobile environment. UK, MOBIlearn/UoN,UoB,OU/D4.1/1.0. Perkins, A. (2010) Are mobile phones Africa’s silver bullet?, The Guardian, UK [online] Available from: http://www.guardian.co.uk/katine/katinechronicles-blog/2010/jan/14/mobile-phones-africa (Accessed 10th November 2010) Traxler, J. (2005) Defining Mobile Learning. IADIS International Conference Mobile Learning.

BOOKS // Cambi, F. and Contini, M. (1999) Investire in creatività: la formazione professionale nel presente e nel futuro, Italy, Carocci editore Papanek, V. (1985) Design for the Real World: Human Ecology and Social Change, 2nd edition, UK, Thames and Hudson Pilloton, E. (2009) Design Revolution: 100 Products that are Changing People’s Lives, UK, Thames and Hudson Quaglino, G.P. (2005) Fare Formazione, Italy, Raffaello Cortina Editore Sinclear C. and Stohr K. (2006) Design like you Give a Damn: Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises, UK, Thames & Hudson Smith, C. (2007) Design for The Other 90%, USA, Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Institution

COURSES // Participation in MobiMOOC online course, 2nd April - 14th May 2011 http://groups.google.com/group/mobimooc http://twitter.com/mobiMOOC

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OFFICIAL DOCUMENTS AND REPORTS // Boakye, K. et al (2010) Mobiles for Development, UNICEF GSMA (2010) mLearning: A Platform for Educational Opportunities at the Base of the Pyramid, UK, GSMA Development Fund Hellstrรถm, J. (2010) The Innovative Use of Mobile Applications in East Africa, Sweden, Sida Review 2010:12. ITU (2010) The World in 2010: ICT Facts and Figures, Switzerland, International Telecommunication Union Rao, M. (2011) Mobile Africa Report 2011, MobileMonday Vodafone (2005) Africa: The Impact of Mobile Phones, The Vodafone Policy Paper Series, Number 3

TOOLKITS // IDEO (2009) Human Centred Design Toolkit [online] Available from: http:// www.ideo.com/work/human-centered-design-toolkit/ (Accessed 22nd March 2011)

VIDEOS // Praekelt Foundation (2011) Did You Know - Praekelt edition 2011 [online] Available from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kamlf-uAHU (Accessed 31st May 2011)

WEB // http://audacity.sourceforge.net/ http://cellscope.berkeley.edu/ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anansi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learning_styles http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MHealth http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M-Pesa http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Word_Memoirs http://haitotheku.com/ http://mobilemandate.frogdesign.com/ http://mobithinking.com/mobile-marketing-tools/latest-mobile-stats http://other90.cooperhewitt.org/ http://stopstockouts.org/

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http://twitter.com/ http://txteagle.com/ http://ushahidi.com/ http://yozaproject.com/ http://www.afriprov.org/ http://www.bbcjanala.com/ http://www.cellular-news.com/ http://www.common-sense.at/i-call/ http://www.experientia.com/ http://www.experientia.com/blog/ http://www.frontlineSMS.com/ http://www.ilo.org/coop http://www.ilo.org/coopafrica http://www.internetworldstats.com/ http://www.itcilo.org/ http://www.kit.nl/ http://www.kiwanja.net/ http://www.lehigh.edu/~tqr0/ghanaweb/folktales.html http://www.media.mit.edu/press/netra/ http://www.mobileactive.org/ http://www.mobileafrica.net/ http://www.motherlandnigeria.com/proverbs.html http://www.mxitlifestyle.com/ http://www.odwirafo.com/Anansentontanpage.html http://www.polleverywhere.com/ http://www.praekelt.com/ http://www.rapidSMS.org/ http://www.refunite.org/ http://www.sixwordstories.net/ http://www.tagxedo.com/ http://www.texttochange.org/ http://www.textually.org/ http://twyric.com/

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Thesis - Mobile Learning for Africa