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In response to a request made to WorldSpace Foundation (WSF) from African programmatic partners to provide multimedia training, WSF designed and developed a training program to address the specific interests of these groups. This training program, funded in part the World Bank's infoDev program, came to fruition as the "WorldSpace Foundation Workshop for African Information Communication Technology Professionals." The workshop centered on technical training in digital satellite multimedia technology, resulting in the development of a more community-friendly user manual, and a strategy to diversify the content being offered on the WSF Multi-Media Service.

The workshop was hosted by WSF at the Panafric Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya from July 16-19, 2002. Thirty-four participants from five countries represented a variety of sectors including local non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international NGOs, national governments, local governments, universities and the private sector. The organizations included groups that have a long history of working with WorldSpace technology and others that had had no previous experience at all.

The workshop began with a reception dinner that included speeches by honored guests Wycliffe Asiema of World Bank, Kenya and the Honorable Musalia Mudavadi, Kenyan Minister for Transport and Communications. The workshop program shows the schedule of activities over the four days. Click here to view slides with more pictures from the workshop.

The general topics covered included:

- Basic introduction to satellite technology and the operations of the system.

- Application of the technology for social development and educational purposes.

- Interactive, hands-on training on the system, including signal reception, location of relevant channels, use of the receiver and peripherals in conjunction with a computer to access multimedia programming, and installation of the multi-media software.

- Technical development of text-based material for transmission via multi-media capacity.

- Effective tools and techniques for training peers in the use of the technology with a focus on adult-learning techniques and methods for organizing small groups and one-on-one training sessions.

These topics were all covered by three local trainers from Arid Lands Information Network-East Africa based in Nairobi, Kenya, as well as two trainers from Washington, DC representing the United States Government's RANET Project and WorldSpace Foundation.

clearThe four objectives that the training set out to achieve were to:

(1) Establish models for the cost-effective deployment of the technology by institutions throughout the developing world.

(2) Develop a user-friendly training manual to facilitate use and maintenance of the system.

(3) Train a core group of proponent-trainers positioned to implement the technology within their host institutions and who will serve as trainers of additional operators within their organization and locality.

(4) Develop a framework for the selection and evaluation of content, with particular emphasis on African information providers.

These objectives were all successfully accomplished during the three-day workshop, as summarized in the full report.

Available soon: results of the workshop evaluation.

 


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