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Support for the National roll out of LPI trainings

Dear all,

We have now completed the first LPI ToT in Nairobi last year in November where we had about 12 new certified LPI trainers in East Africa. Several others managed to pass one exam and they will resit the exam again so that they can become fully certified.

The next ToT is scheduled for later February in Johannesburg, with the next after that one in Dar es Salaam later about mid year. At the end of these trainings, we hope that our graduates will go on and offer LPI training in their institutions or businesses. We are now collecting information and researching about the best way that we can support our trainers so that they can be as effective as possible. The support that we are thinking of providing must be sustainable to ensure the success of their training as an ongoing business even after the end of the ict@innovation programme.

I am therefore starting this debate so that we can exchange ideas and we also get to hear what our trainers think and what kind of support they would be looking for. This will help us to come up with the right support strategy.

Evans

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Many thanks for the platform Evans.I will add my 2 cents soon.

Evans, and the Certification community This is a great step in the right direction. I believe sustainability is indeed a litmus test for the success of any project. I am very excited about the future. My experience with FBT was one that led me to ponder on the question of support to individuals versus support to institutions. Both have pros and cons. With FBT, once individuals went back to their home countries and immersed back into their schedules, the Roll outs started to 'compete' with where their daily bread was earned. As a result, we "lost" a few converts. Do we have anything in place to counter this, regarding Certification Roll Outs? It would be comparatively easier and faster for a FOSS institution to 'instead' take on these Certified pros and immerse them into a program, such as a Certification BootCamp Also, with Individuals - if you have not been previously recognized as a FOSS person in your country, it takes a bit of a while to get the local support and recognition you need for people to buy into whatever message you have brought onto the table. An already established FOSS institution in the same country would have overcome that already. But also, lets remember that what we really want is continuity. Sustainability. If Brian and a few of his cohorts successfully maneuver their schedules to hold a Roll Out, the FOSS Community will be happy. Brian and his friends would have to repeat this every so often, (of course implementing lessons from FBT to make it self sustainable). This may be progressively more difficult, as compared to an established institution taking on Brian and a few colleagues for a Jan Bootcamp, and faces change for a March Bootcamp, and yet again a few more faces for Aug Bootcamp. Reason is, the institution has the ability to make Certification a featured program, which not much dependency on Individuals, and so would enjoy the flexibility and availability of Seasoned as well as Fresh Certified individuals. At the end of the TOT, it is our hope that Roll Outs shall have 10 -20 participants ready to sit LPI I or II or Both. The logistical challenges an individual (or a small team) would go thru to arrange for a complete Boot,camp set up as well as online and/or hard copy exams, compared to an established institution would be far more. Renting and moving Equipment and so on, while achievable, will be harder for a team of certified enthusiasts to set up, and maintain, as compared to walking into a facility with 80% of the physical logistics. Finally, if we consider the projected scale of Roll outs - All of East and Southern Africa - we would then want to consider that we enter into a partnership with LPI such that for subsequent(non-TOT) Trainings, exams be sat online. The logistics to post, back and forth across the whole continent, with absolutely no control of when and where the exam centers will be might be something that LPI would want to ask us to guarantee. Established in-country FOSS institutions might have better ratings when it comes to what LPI considers to be a good exam center, and as such would go a long way in building LPI's confidence, but also in using this FOSSFA/ict@innovation 'opportunity' to get these institutions into approved LPI partners and centers. Again this goes a long way in the sustainability model. I know a few arguments that are against this model, such as GIZ's original interest not being to interrupt the schedule of already established organizations, or get entangled into the administration and/or management of support that would arise out of such a venture. That is great, but you should also consider the fact that some of these institutions would actually use a professional 'nudge' in the right direction, and if you are looking to a venture as big and promising as this would be, I would understand if you needed to be part of decision making processes, and to an extent, monitoring and evaluation - afterall, if GIZ chooses to remain on the sidelines, there is a chance the venture would become a white elephant. This is what i think - I would be happy to hear your thoughts. Brian -

Thanks Brian for your insights. You have touched on a number of things that I have also been thinking about which we can all discuss and take this forward.

First, I want to agree with what Balthas has said. The main interest of GIZ is to see the success of this pillar going forward, long after the end of life of the ict@innovation project. From where I stand and you have also mentioned this, it is up to us in the FOSS community in Africa to take this and run with it. We need to build on the foundation that this project is laying, by finding innovative ways to utilize the new potential that is accruing.

Here are my responses to some points that I was able to distill from your comments:

  1. I see the roll out for LPI training in the partner institutions as something they have been planning to do but they probably lacked capacity. This is a very technical certification that is potentially in high demand. In this regard it is expected that there will be a market for those who will have solid plans to offer the training. In this regards, one thing that we will do here is to assist the institutions to become LPI academic partners. This will allow them to have recognitioin and to train more people.
  2. As you have said, it can be a challenge for individuals to offer the training on their own. We there would advocate and encourage our trainers to partner with reputable institutions to deliver the training. Then they can share the income.
  3. On our part, we will continue our negotiations with the LPI to ensure that our training partners get the best deals and treatment from LPI. This is ongoing and we are currently working on having even cheaper exams. This is benefit to our trainers as they will get more people to train as it will be more affordable for those who need it.
  4. When All is said and done, in my view I see that the greatest need is in the facilitation of our training partners by way of strategies and deal making with the LPI. This is because it is easier to get better terms from LPI when we negotiate as a larger community, as opposed to an individual or one institution.
Evans

Dear all, thanks for starting this important discussion. Looking forward to your interaction on this. Just one quick reaction to Brians input: Lots of interesting points, particularly on how to leverage ict@innovation with LPI . I feel promted to react on the statement of "GIZ interest": There is no such interest beyond seing you guys develop whatever suits your countries / your needs. In this regard, all technical support, including material, liaison with LPI, monitoring, evaluation, PR, etc. can be gladly provided through Evans and through you, the community.  This forum has been set up to talk about exactly these issues.  But ultimately, the "sidelines" is the only place, where we as GIZ belong, if you as a community are to be in the centre (Which is where you should be, as you are know much more about elephants - of all colors :-) . Cheers, Balthas

Thanks for the platform. I am hoping to be part of Jhb ToT, and to initiate a Roll-Out at the University of Cape Town thereafter.

 My comment for now is that planning ahead requires notification of exact dates etc.

 i) ICT@innovation-LPI/LPI

The project could look at ways of assisting the development of a ''credible and Quality'' certification of the           ICT@innovation-LPI.

For example South Africa there is the SAQA which give credibility to qualifications. ICT@innovation could look at possible ways of assisting in this in the different member countries.

LPI is not yet a reconginzed standard qualification most countries through such bodies eg SAQA.So there  exist a possible way that ICT@innovation could with LPI try and do this as a JV and by so doing  this could enhance ICT@innovation-LPI visbility

Here are are some thoughts from the participants of the on going LPI ToT2 in South Africa regarding what they are looking for to support their roll out of LPI training:

  1. Networking in terms of contacts and affiliates
  2. Training Progression
  3. Books
  4. Open Source sharing of content
  5. Marketing support
  6. Support for women who cannot afford the fees
  7. Advertising
  8. Rollout planning
  9. Assistance with certification locally (exam delivery/proctoring?)
  10. ict@innovation participation certificates
  11. Sample training agendas
  12. Periodically update the content
  13. Any financial support
  14. Logistics and budget
  15. Registration and accreditation support
  16. It would be nice to have officials of GIZ to attend the first few days of workshop to show legitimacy for and partnership with GIZ
  17. Suggest we put an index in the book so that its easy to make references to commands/topics covered.
This discussion is still ongoing and we are almost finalizing our strategy. If you have any other comments that have not been covered above, please feel free to contribute and add to the list above

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