People and Action

Mainly about people I know and things they are doing –  also includes some open letters.


Matt Haikin, opportunities and Dadamac


Matt Haiken is looking for an opportunity to do grass-roots participatory work with technology… Can you help? More on his blog

I’ve known Matt for some time so I’ve “got confidence in his history”. I’ll point him to what I’m writing here, to find out if he’s interested in opportunities with Dadamac.

What Matt’s looking for

He writes – What I really want to get some experience of is a group, project, or program working at the top-end of Arnstein’s ladder – full and meaningful participation of the local community at every stage – from defining the goals, through delivery to evaluation – something that is genuinely empowering…  Using technology…

  • Work pro-bono for a few months
  • For an organisation working directly with end-users in their local communities
  • Ideally within a project making use of ICTs and participatory methods
  • Where?  Pretty much anywhere…
  • When?  End of 2015 or early in 2016.  The only real deadline is that I need to be finished by September 2016 at the latest.
  • Doing what?  Well this is tricky – obviously I need to be helpful to the project/organisation so my ICT4D practice and research skills – project management, program development, research and evaluation, fundraising, strategic consultancy etc. are all potentially useful.  BUT I also need to learn about what makes for good, effective, fair participatory work, so I want  to be directly involved in this delivery.

What we could explore ref Dadamac

It’s possible that we might be able to sort out some kind of opportunity with Fantsuam Foundation (FF) through John Dada, or if that didn’t appeal then there are Dadamac Changemakers in the Diaspora in London, who have projects “back home” in other countries and might be a source of opportunities for you.

Thinking about practicalities

John often has people at FF through VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) and the Canadian equivalent. If you were doing it more independently you’d need to sort out all the admin stuff that VSO would normally be responsible for – insurance, permits etc.

John has always arranged for someone to pick me up from Abuja airport, and would probably do the same for you.

Ref catering etc. I’ve only been to FF for a few weeks at a time, so I’ve never needed to do my own catering, I’ve always been abIe to join in some kind of “family/staff/voluteers” meals, but I’ve paid my way and have been guided by John on what I should contribute for my keep. VSO people do their own catering.

Accommodation at FF has proper plumbing installed, but there is seldom enough electricity to pump water to the tanks, so water tends to come from the well rather than the taps. There is electrical wiring too, but obviously that’s only useful when there is power. NEPA (grid electricity) is “unreliable” and it’s too expensive to run the generator for domestic use (it’s only “affordable” when there are lots of paying students who need access to computers).  There is some solar power, but not enough for full domestic use, so expect lamps, and a quick habituation to get up at cock-crow and go to sleep a couple of hours after sunset.

Local needs, participation and ICTs

Fantsuam Foundation is driven by local needs. I can give you loads more details, but to get a flavour check the new Dadamac Foundation home page for videos of John talking about FF, and see the old Dadamac Network website for earlier information and a good Fantsuam Foundation video link in the information about John.

If you go to FF is won’t be “the local community participating in an external initiative” it will be “you participating in a local intitiative” which seems to me the way it should be.

There is a strong relationship between development and ICT at FF, as you’ll soon realise if you follow the links above and go a bit deeper. Check out Zittnet – Rural Connectivity at Fantsuam for more on how it started.

Other possibilities

If FF is not what you are looking for then we could explore opportunities with the “projects back home” organised by Dadamac Changemakers in the Diaspora in London. I’d love to see you bringing your skills to help our changemakers. There are so many opportunities. I’m confident we could work out something that would be a good match between what you want to learn and experience and what you offer.

Jul 12, 2015 by pamela | Categories: People and Action


How I can help ref – 1: Uganda contacts. 2: Farmer-pastoralist project.


The best way I can help you is if we use Kabissa – Space for Change in Africa.

I suggest this because if we only communicate in a one-to-one private way then things will go too slowly. (I become a communication bottleneck). If we communicate in a public way there will be a better chance of getting other people involved.

I have made a start.

I have started to make your needs and interests visible in Dadamac’s space on Kabissa. I wrote something in a “general purpose area” called the “First Thursday Group” (It has connections with an earlier group of that name):

What I wrote on Kabissa

Still crazily busy this month. A mixture of reasons – I won’t list them all.

Regarding First Thursday Group I’m trying to bring other conversations over into this space.

I hope to bring Chief Gbade Adejumo here. I want him to share:

  • what he has been doing regarding Farmers and Pastoralists research
  • how we followed up on that when he was in London earlier this month
  • what we are discussing as possible follow up.

I also want to bring Joanna Norton founder and CEO of Keywords here. @Tobias she is doing amazing stuff related to literacy (and much more) and is going to Uganda soon. She wonders if I can help her with any contacts. Any suggestions from Kabissa?

Joanna – I’m thinking that you might be interested in connecting with the work of a group that meets in London and is to do with STEM subjects and higher education in Africa – I’ll find the link if you ask me.

What I want you to do next

Please go the July First Thursday topic on Kabissa and scroll down until you find my post. Here is the link First Thursday Group 8 – July 2015 – Share your news – and your hopes

Please reply to that post with some more details. Before you can reply you will need to  sign in (or log on if you have signed in previously). Any problems please let me know and we will try to sort them together.

Jul 11, 2015 by pamela | Categories: People and Action


Peter Burgess – MDIA -Multi Dimension Value Accounting


Peter is one of my “inspirational figures”. He is an accountant who holds people and big money to account – and has been doing so for years.  Obviously this makes him something of a lone voice.

He is currently working on this series and would appreciate feedback.

See slide 56 for his contact details – including his linked in profile

MDIA-p3-12 OIL AND GAS 150709 from Peter Burgess

 This is one of a series. I think it is a valuable work – and, knowing Peter, probably a labour of love. Please it out and others in the series and give feedback (or even simply acknowledge and encourage). Work like this can be lonely work. We need more people like Peter.

Jul 10, 2015 by pamela | Categories: People and Action






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