PEOPLE AND THE WEB: Web 2.0 Technologies must be Development Oriented.

As I sat in the room at Baraka Agricultural College to attend the Web 2.0 learning Opportunity in Molo-Kenya, I didn’t know what to expect from the sessions which were yet to start on the morning of 27th Sept 2010. When Mr. Nicholas Kimolo, the key trainer requested us to introduce ourselves and briefly talk about the organizations we work for and what our expectations for the training were? I was second in the queue and stressed the fact that I was from Uganda, I also mentioned that my main expectation is to build on what I already knew about web 2.0 tools. At the end of the introductions, I noticed that I was the only Ugandan in a room of 24 trainees, meaning that 23 were all Kenyans.
Being the only Ugandan trainee didn’t just happen, right from the call for applications, one of the key requirements was to be Kenyan. I was the only lucky non Kenyan shortlisted and eventually invited to attend the one week training. Mr. Nicholas mentioned that over 700 applications had been received but we were the Lucky few to be shortlisted.

The training began with a welcome message from the principle of the hosting college Br. David Muchemi who warmly welcomed the participants to the college. He then gave us a brief background of the college. Read more about Baraka.
Mr. Nicholas Kimolo then introduced his co-facilitator Mr. Morris and gave a brief background of the Web 2.0 learning opportunity. He mentioned that the learning opportunity forms part of CTA initiatives that support development partners in networking, accessing and disseminating information more effectively. He then said that we were being trained as Trainers in the use and application of web 2.0 tools.
The General Principles of Web 2.0 tools
Mr. Kimolo said that the training would entail accessing information using web 2.0, Learn what web 2.0 tools are, what other people have dome with web 2.0,  Breaking it down according to functionality, how web 2.0 have been used to successful disseminate information, remote Collaboration, Voice over Internet protocol (VOIP), Mapping(Information in a Geo form), Blogging, using  Social Networks for Professional Social Networking  and finally introducing the use of iMARK module “web 2.0 and social Media for Development”.
What the participatory web for development is all about.
‘When the web started, we needed a web Master to guide and help end users but today, everything has changed. Web 2.0 tools are 2nd generation tool that empower users on the web to read and write to it. With Web 2.0 tools, you can publish your content without having to rely on others. It is user centered and enables inter-operability and Information sharing.
Web 2.0 tools alone are not relevant unless they are linked to development. They must be Participatory in a sense that people must be involved and sharing/access to information must be voluntary. We need to be ‘people centered’ and understand their needs. We must also understand that access might not only be connection but Language. Web 2.0 tools are of four categories (Aggregation, Collaborative /Filtering, Rating / tagging and Widget/Component).They can either be web based or Non-web-based)
Web 2.0 technologies were made possible because of the falling price of Hardware & Software, the technological Advances (Easy for a non Techie person to communicate and use technology) and the increasing use of Mobile devices especially in Africa.
For the first day of the training, we were introduced to web 2.0 and we looked at the opportunities and threats, we also looked at advanced searches, Alerts and RSS. Today [Day 2], we concentrated on Wikis, GoogleDocs and Skype. 
For the two days that I have so far spent, I must say that a lot of value has been added to what I already knew about web 2.0. I feel that by the end of day 5, I will be a real expert in Web 2.0 applications. Also, the choice of venue for the training was perfect, far from town with no shopping malls to distract participants, therefore the levels of concentration and participation are high.
Thanks to The Technical centre for Agriculture and rural cooperation ACP EU (CTA) for making this possible. I hope that a similar training will be conducted in Uganda in the near future.
At the end of the training, together with three Kenyan colleagues will have an entire write-up about the sessions and I promise to share the link with all you awesome people!!
  • Your work is very encouraging and I am sure it will be an inspiration to many young people in Uganda, and EA. Look up and keep going! S
    Mureithi

  • Thank you Mureithi. I would like to see what the "Dry streams" is saying on their blog post. I will definitely Look up and keep going. Cheers!!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Maureen

    I really appreciate your blog. Just one suggestion, it is quite difficult to read, black letters on dark grey background. Content-wise though – great!

    Best regards,
    Julie F. (Amsterdam)

  • Hello Julie,
    Thanks for the observation. I promise to make the necessary changes.
    warm Regards