Last week, our team was focusing on South Sudan. After two weeks of one hour per day daily remote training sessions, participants came together in person for a two day residential. Alongside of this digitial literacy work, our weekly design sessions on data governance began. The atmosphere was electric. Perhaps it was because of the diversity of participants from 11 different organisations. Or perhaps it was merely the fact we both digital literacy and governance work was happening at the same time.
However, mostly it was and is because we have reached the people we set out to and we tried new things. With out digital literacy work we had always wanted to target frontline project teams. People in direct contact with community members. Part of our desire for this was that we wanted to work with South Sudanese, not just expats. 81% of the participants were South Sudanese, which we were pleased about. The gender diversity has been poor, but it’s been slowly improving over our engagement.
We also tried new things. Participants worked in teams to create resources to create awareness about digital rights. They had 24 hours during which they needed to create the resource, but also work with a designer (on upwork, fiverer, or elsewhere) to produce it. And then collectively, everyone voted to for the one they liked the best. The team who designed a T-shirt won.
Video was taken throughout the residential too. And on the evening of day one of the residential, Janna edited it to include music and voice over and then showed the participants. They loved it! They loved seeing themselves on the big screen. And here’s the thing – it is a simple video, nothing fancy and it’s amazing. If we would have hired someone to do a video, it would have taken months – to agree a contract, agree content, script, and the edit, and produce. However, this was just Janna, a camera, knowing how to edit videos, and a few hours. It’s not perfect, but it’s amazing.
Nothing we are doing is perfect. Change doesn’t happen when we focus on perfection, it happens when we try things. And then try again. And again. And again.