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Andrius Kulikauskas Self Learners Network. Think Through Art with Andrius Kulikauskas. Directory of ways of figuring things out. Chicago Street Artist Blog. Video summary of knowledge of everything. Notes on Gamestorming. Living by Truth working group. Twitter: @selflearners Email: ms @ ms.lt
Edward Cherlin Earth Treasury
Kennedy Owino Nafsi Afrika Acrobats
Ben de Vries
Samwel Kongere Mendenyo
George Christian Jeyaraj
Lucas Gonzalez Santa Cruz
Christine Ax, Steve Bonzak, James Ferguson, Maria Agnese Giraudo, Marcin Jakubowski, Ed Jonas, Rick Nelson, Hannington Onyango, Linas Plankis, Proscoviour Vunyiwa
Andrius helped with the following websites:
Emergency Response Network
Emergency Response Network proposed at Rising Voices
RISING VOICES GRANT APPLICATION
Application Deadline: November 30, 2007 (Extended to December 3)
PROJECT TITLE: Emergency Response Network
YOUR NAME: Andrius Kulikauskas
YOUR ORGANIZATION (optional): Minciu Sodas
WEB SITE: http://www.ms.lt
PHONE/SKYPE/GTALK: +370 699 30003 +1 773 874-3332 skype: minciusodas
E-MAIL: [email protected]
Why are you seeking Rising Voices funding? How will your project benefit the community you are targeting? (100 words)
Independent thinkers share a concern to think ahead and prepare for local and global catastrophes (pandemics, natural disasters, ethnic strife, economic disruptions). We should practice engaging others to discuss fearful issues and take action as volunteers and local leaders.
Minciu Sodas organizes global teams of hundreds of self-directed participants, each with their own projects. We are strong in East Africa. We wish to demonstrate the viability of an Emergency Response Network using local meetings, SMS text messages and web feedback as a cost-effective way of identifying local concerns, fostering local leaders and sharing global resources.
What kinds of news, stories, information and other content will your project provide? Describe your vision for the content. (250 words)
Each local group will, on average, organize five meetings. Each meeting will be devoted to a particular emergency.
Content created will include:
In English, discussion and analysis of the potential emergency and how best to respond to it:
* A transcript of an online chat meeting (as here). * Correspondence at discussion groups (as here). * A wiki page (as here) with basic facts that can be translated into local languages. * Five relevant test questions that are multiple choice or have straightforward answers, such as What did you last eat? What is your temperature? How many meters away should you stand from a person who has the flu (1, 2, 5 or 10?) * Translations of the aggregate answers. * A short summary of the local meeting. * Additional information that would help people get global response to their values, questions, endeavors. * A summary of global response that can be shared at the next local meeting.
In the local language:
* A wiki page about how to respond to the emergency. * A Wikipedia page drawing on that page. * A post at a blog, discussion group and/or wiki with a report on the meeting. * Five test questions. * A list of phone numbers maintained by the organization. * A list of aggregated answers to the survey questions. * An interview with a local official about what to do in the event of the emergency. * Answers that individuals would like to share about their values, questions, endeavors.
Also: Photographs, audio and video where possible.
All content generated will be in the Public Domain.
The content will be generated by local groups in East Africa along with their global supporters online. In each case, our goal is to support an independent thinker who is also a leader of a local group. We support them so they might motivate their group to prepare for an emergency and be able to respond decisively. They will reach out to their local community and link it to the global Internet community.
Each local leader will take responsibility to organize five local meetings, each dedicated to a possible emergency that concerns them. They will be responsible to get help to create all of the content.
Each local leader will mentor a group of assistants who will do research, write reports, post content at blogs, wikis, discussion groups.
The local leader will organize the group members to send SMS invitations to their acquaintances. Each invitation will ask for an answer Will you attend the meeting? along with an answer to a test question (typically from the last meeting). This will encourage a distributed network for asking questions and collecting answers. Answers will be brought to the next meeting and recorded. Those who attend the meeting will be asked to be included in the phone list and they will get a short list of people in the network to send SMS to, and they may also invite strangers.
See Sustainablity for leaders of local groups active who are active at Minciu Sodas and who we will draw on for our local Emergency Response Networks:
They will work primarily in their local languages (Kiswahili, Lou,...) and translate the meeting summaries, survey questions and answers, and basic information into English.
What kinds of participation and interaction do you expect from the readers/listeners/viewers of your content? How will you encourage participation? (75 words)
For local participation, see above. Each local leader leads or will lead a blog or discussion group for sharing news from their organization.
Globally, our online assistants will help circulate content through our discussion groups and our wiki so as to encourage response to particular wishes expressed in the microcontent. Our online assistants will approach volunteers such as Lucas Gonzalez who have provided outstanding expertises in various disciplines such as Flu Pandemic.
What is your knowledge of your target community? Why are you the best individual/organization to lead this project? Do you have prior experience in citizen media outreach? (100 words)
We attract strong individuals who overcome barriers of language and marginal Internet access to participate at our global Minciu Sodas laboratory. We focus on What is your deepest value in life that includes all of your other values? What is a question that you don't know the answer to, but wish to answer? What would you like to achieve? Such questions make our motivation transparent and help us focus on getting things done. We are experienced at helping African independent thinkers engage the world with chat, wikis, emails and video.
Describe what technologies and tools your project will use to produce the content. What kinds of technical skills and expertise do you bring to the project? What are your technical needs? (100 words)
We will use Perl, PHP, Python and/or MySQL to create a web application for entering the microcontent associated with a meeting and creating an XML format from that which leaders may post or send and can be found and read.
We could use help making the XML available for other projects.
How will you measure and evaluate your project’s impact – on your main participants? other contributors? on the larger community? How many participants do you expect to be involved in your project? How will you seek and sustain their involvement? (200 words)
Success indicators will include:
* Meeting attendance. We would like each meeting to attract at least 50 people. * Telephone lists. We would like each local group to have a list of at least 50 people with cell phones. * Response rates for the SMS. * Quality of data and answers. * Global response. * Any projects started that link the local group with the online world and the local community. * Awareness in the local media. * Reuse of the materials created for each emergency. * Use by researchers of answers collected.
What challenges do you expect to face, and how do you plan to overcome them? (200 words)
The greatest challenge will be the local group's ability to reach out and attract wider interest from the local community. The local leader will need to be able to motivate their local group and make excellent use of the attendance rewards but also choose an emergency of real interest and frame it well. We're greatly encouraged by our laboratory's participants' leadership skills locally.
Another challenge will be phrasing good survey questions to get meaningful answers.
We also hope to make the questions-answers fun, as if a game or challenge. The meetings should also have an element of fun.
Another challenge will be training online assistants so that they are helpful (although we have had good success with Sasha Mrkailo!)
How do you plan to sustain your project's content after the Rising Voices funding has ended? Detail specific plans. How do you plan to raise revenue to continue your efforts in the future? (300 words)
We are demonstrating that our global network is able to organize large amounts of people with small amounts of money. For example, we might be able to organize 1,000,000 people for $1,000,000. Therefore this pilot project will give us the results and recognition to allow us to work for large organizations such as perhaps the World Health Organization, the Red Cross or Doctors without Borders.
We have assembled an outstanding group of local leaders:
* Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: Uyoga youth association led by Josephat Ndibalema and also William Wambura, Helen Mahoo, and many others. * Rusinga Island and Mbita Point, rural Kenya near Lake Victoria: Samwel Kongere leads an ICT center training 3,000 women. * Kisumu, Kenya: Tom Ochuka of Deaf Impact trains the deaf. * Nairobi, Kenya: Kennedy Owino of Nafsi Afrika Acrobats mentors street children. * Kampala, Uganda: Fred Kayiwa coaches youth soccer. * Kenya: David Mutua of Teachers Talking trains ICT teachers. * Kenya: Dennis Kimambo organizes community theater for AIDS education. * Nyando district, Kenya: Ronald Otieno Omondi leads the CBO Nyando District Youth Initiative. * Cameroon: Wendi Loshe Bernadette leads the women's organization Actwid Kongadzem.
They have benefited from their online participation at Minciu Sodas with paid work, help with grants, contacts, video cameras, digital cameras, air fare and more.
This project will greatly strengthen our networks and help our local groups connect with the local community. This activity opens up new resources for our local groups. We can then pursue work in emergency preparedness on larger projects that leverage our global network.
What resources and support can Rising Voices provide to your project to ensure its success? (200 words)
We would like to find additional funding partners such as google.org that are interested in emergency preparedness. And also partners to make good use of the answers that we will be collecting.
We ask for help to make the answers we collect available to others who might make good use of it, such as agencies for emergency response that might make good use of an XML format with the answers.
We ask for help to introduce us to various domain experts.
We are interested to include other groups at Rising Voices and elsewhere that would like to participate at our Minciu Sodas laboratory and strengthen our network and our commons.
We are especially interested to include those who do not win funding from other sources.
What online tools and software programs do you plan on using? What experience do you have with these tools? (200 words)
We are using:
* the ARSC online chat (here) * Yahoo groups which we aggregate at our Minciu Sodas website using RSS * ProWiki (here) which includes metadata capabilities that we use for Endeavors (although we may migrate) * some of our participants use WordPress blogs and FaceBook pages
We will also create web functionality to upload and show the microcontent (questions, answers, attendance, messages) for each meeting. We can also create a page for generating an XML format for the meeting's information.
Detail a specific budget of up to $5,000 for two years of operating costs. Applicants are encouraged to submit budgets for less than the maximum $5,000 as smaller grants allow us to fund more projects. Hosting fees and curriculum resources will be provided by Rising Voices and therefore need not be included as budget expenses. Potential costs might include hardware, internet access, workshop costs, translation, travel, and coordinator expenses.
Description of Expenses Units/Months Unit Amount Amount Local organizer 30 meetings 25$ 750$ Attendance rewards 30 meetings 25$ 750$
30 meetings $50
1500$ Total Amount: $3,000
* We will space the total number of meetings out over two years. * We are asking support to organize at least one meeting per month. * Generally, a group will organize one meeting every three months. * We can organize for $100 as many meetings as we might get funding for. * Please adjust the total funding of our proposal as best suits you! * We will be flexible and slowly select local leaders as their interest becomes apparent. * We will allow our local leaders to decide (with our approval) the attendance rewards that make sense for their community. These may include rewards for the entire group, rewards for those who invite the most people, or rewards based on lotterry. The rewards might be, for example, USB flash drives, a community theater event or a performance by acrobats. * We will experiment with the reward system to discover how tightly we should link it to actual attendance. * We will generally avoid sending cash and will instead send, for example, USB flash drives for the amount budgeted. * The online support includes payment to our online assistants (such as Sasha Mrkailo) who will help with our online chats, online research, posting and circulating content and fostering online response. * The online support may also include payment to software developers (such as Andrius Kulikauskas) for creating web functionality as needed. * We will try to use these funds as co-financing for related projects.
Janet Feldman: Andrius, I also wanted to say that your idea about the emergency response network is an excellent one, and I do think it could be the subject of a grant, or several, in fact. A wide variety of topics could be covered in a "one-stop" way with such a network, and text messaging as well as mobile phones are becoming more widely available and used in Africa already, so adapting same for your proposed uses should be easier accordingly.
I'd love to see ActALIVE members consider how to develop such an idea with a focus on HIV/AIDS, and with an edutainment approach. One thing to consider is this: a website for info-sharing abt this project is a great idea, and should be pursued, though I would also hope in conjunction with other methods such as radio, peer education in a face-to-face context, written and spoken-word (podcasts et al) instructions in local languages, videos which also might be in local languages. This to reach the greatest numbers of people.
Thanks much, and I/we look forward to developing this idea further and ensuring that the voices of members rise and shine! With artistic affections and appreciation, Janet
David Sasaki said
at 4:23 am on Nov 27, 2007
Andrius, given that mobile phone service providers have yet to establish emergency SMS notification systems, I think that your idea of community-based warning systems is an innovative solution that shows the power of communication in saving lives. However, it is key to your proposal that you offer specific details about which church or organization you'll be partnering with and also that you sketch a rough timeline of the activities of your project. It's also important that we're clear about the technical capabilities of the mobile phones and mobile phone networks in the region you choose. For example, are you sure that a single SMS message can be sent out to 100 recipients? Also, what are examples of "emergencies' that would warrant SMS notification?
Citizen media is a two-way conversation and so I like the idea of the participants responding with answers to select questions. But how will you turn these 150-character messages into some type of meaningful discussion? How would the text messages be published to the internet and what value would they provide both the senders and the readers of the messages?
Your idea is extremely innovative as it brings citizen media to communities where internet access may not even exist, but I would like to see more details about how a batch of 50-100 text messages could then be published online and presented in a meaningful way on the Rising Voices website. Also, are there ways in which readers' comments might be relayed to the original senders of the messages? Or is there even value in that exchange?
Thu, 22 May 2008 21:31:24 UTC Wainaina: hi
saw the thread on www.worknets.org/archive/index.pl?mon=10&mday=24&year=2007
and wondered what happened to the project - you may reach me on [email protected]
also see www.bungesms.com