I’m experimenting with my blogs. I used to bundle them all together under one heading. Now I’m starting to experiment with different styles of posts. It may be a bit muddled at first  as I see what tends to emerge.

“Connections” were the blogs I started writing – i.e. posts on whatever I was thinking about at the time. They were to share connections between people, organisations and ideas.

“Jottings”  are notes to myself, that are mixture of journal,”to-do”list and “could-do”list. The first one was a mix of journal and open letter. I’ll make a clearer distinction in future.


Dadamac – Comments – Membership – Escape

Not a catchy headline – but a pragmatic one. This post is a response to someone at Escape School yesterday who asked about visibility and posting comments (you know who you are, and I don’t name people unless I know they’re happy to be named.)

The short answer to posting comments was “Not possible now.” (which may seem odd given Dadamac Connect is about helping people to make connections and become more visible if they want to).

The longer answer is “If you want to then probably you can –  if I can set it up in a way that suits both of us.”

This is the “thinking timeline” on having comments at Dadamac Connect:

  • I asked Louis of to do the Dadamac Connect website
  • I said I’d be blogging
  • He showed me some other sites he’d done including one with a blog and lively comments threads
  • It reminded me of my previous experiences of online groups that need moderation
  • Moderation in not the way I want to spend my time – so I told him I don’t want comments.
  • At present the way information goes around is that I respond to:
    • Conversations I’ve have – like we had yesterday and I’m responding to here
    • Things people write to me through the contact form
    • Feedback from Dadamac Connect members
  • Membership could be the answer.
  • I could make the “right to comment” an automatic membership privilege.
  • Members, as a group, will influence the shape of any comments thread.
  • If a member was to cause problems through comments then others members could  suggest that the person’s membership be terminated.
  • I could set up as simple mechanism for terminating membership.
  • That would mean group moderation by members (s0 I don’t have to take the moderator’s role) and a way for you to comment (if you choose to be a member).

Please let me know what you think through the contact form.


Mar 13, 2015 by pamela | Categories: My Blogs

Dadamac Foundation, Fantsuam Foundation and Enactus

This post is primarily to help John Dada of Fantsuam Foundation. John and I go back a long way – see and People – John Dada on


John gets loads of emails inviting him to get involved in one thing and another – things that claim to offer benefits to Fantsuam Foundation. He doesn’t want to miss out on any  genuine ones – but most of them are spam. He’s a busy man, running an overstretched community organisation so he shouldn’t be spending time checking them out himself – especially as he faces various challenges getting online, so it can waste a lot of his time.

Hence the email to me this morning asking for advice. I’m a Dadamac Foundation co-founder, advisory board member, and “volunteer who tries to cover all the stuff that needs doing but there is no-one to do it.” I’m hoping that Dadamac Connect may help me to find people who’d like to volunteer with Dadamac Foundation.

The email

Given this is a kind of “Shout out” on behalf of John relating to the email I’ll quote some of it below – although usually I don’t quote an email without permission from the person who wrote it in the first place.

I am part of an organisation called Enactus. Enactus Sheffield is a social enterprise company, based at the University of Sheffield. Through both social and commercial projects we aim to harness students’ entrepreneurial spirit, to make a difference in our local community and to communities abroad. Enactus Sheffield has already implemented very successful international projects and we recently represented the UK at the Enactus World Cup in Beijing.

Our team is hoping to implement the project I have outlined below this summer. For this project to be successful, it is essential we find the correct location and an in-country partner organisation to support us during implementation and support the project after we leave. Having looked at your organisation, we think you may be a real asset to our team and have a wealth of knowledge and experience that can be used in the deployment of our project. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like me to email you more information.

My reply

Hi John

I’ve googled it –

It looks genuine enough, but I think you need to ask yourself some searching questions before you get involved. I’m thinking of various “hit and run” experiences I had with ICT4D students regarding the work in Ago-Are, and given I didn’t  invent the term I know I’m not the only person to have suffered from them. Will they really bring you any benefit to justify the time and effort they expect you to put in?

What they offer

The Recycle Swap is a not-for-profit venture seeking to simultaneously tackle the problem of waste disposal, empower a community and help to alleviate poverty. The project will involve setting up an enterprise employing people to collect and sort recyclable waste from households to be sold on to waste processing companies. The money made from the sale of the waste will pay the wages of the staff and pay for a good which local households desperately need (e.g. food, contraception, transport, healthcare etc.) to be given in return for their waste.

What they want to know

I’m just looking at the questions in the email that they expect you to answer:

To help us decide whether Kaduna would be a suitable location for us to implement The Recycle Swap, we would be very grateful if you could provide us with any information you have to help us answer the following questions:

·        Do households in the area produce recyclable waste (plastic, paper, glass, metal etc.)?

·        If so, what would an average household’s weekly waste typically consist of? And what do they currently do with this waste?

·        Are there organisations in the area which are willing to pay for waste of this nature? And if so, how much money do they pay for the materials?

·        What is the average wage for the area?

·        What are the local people most in need of (e.g. food, contraception, transport, healthcare etc.)?

Previous experience

Given our previous experience of a recycling plastic project you do have some of the information, but who is going to find it all again and send it to them?

You? Filo? Anyone else? Is it worth the hassle and opportunity cost? Will it really be worth your while to get involved?

Information is a precious resource because it takes time to gather and present

If the students want some background on the waste plastic situation locally maybe they should do some of the initial information gathering by going to the site and searching for plastic recycling – and then get back to you for additional information.

Fantsuam Foundation is not some big NGO with spare capacity, and a load of people who have time to search out information for people. Probably the students don’t realise that. Maybe they could send a donation to Fantsuam Foundation to help you cover the costs of getting someone to put in the time to dig out the information.

Once Dadamac Foundation has more resources

Once Dadamac Foundation has more resources then we’ll be able to help you with things like this – either through our volunteer team, or by giving Fantsuam Foundation some money for an information agent. Then you can pay someone on your team to act as the information agent and do the extra work necessary to answer the questions.

For now, what I’ve written above this is the best I can offer.  I’m also posting this at Dadamac Connect (a new “Dadamac happening” – which I hope will have spin off benefits to many of the people and organisations I already care about – and others that I have yet to meet).









Mar 13, 2015 by pamela | Categories: My Blogs

Making Connections on January 10th 2015


Dadamac Connect showed off some of its connections at an event that Nicola and I arranged at Hub Westminster on January 10th 2015. We arranged it on behalf of another organisation that has “Dadamac DNA”. It’s called Dadamac Foundation. It’s focussed on Africa-UK connections and is a registered charity –  see

Like Dadamac Connect it grew out of the work Nicola and I did together previously for many years in the Dadamac Network  (archived at

The event was “Africa-UK Connections  in Practice – New Approaches for 2015”. It was to promote the work of Dadamac Foundation, share its vision, and connect with possible collaborators.

Given our shared Dadamac DNA, Dadamac Connect sponsored the event in various ways including bringing in 180 degrees to video it- see video called #dadamac2015

Nicola (also known as Nikki) blogged about the event recently over on the Dadamac Foundation website, giving more background and all the links – see Summary of Dadamac’s January Launch of New Model

Mar 11, 2015 by pamela | Categories: My Blogs

Newbie at the Dadamac Connect website

Once this blog is posted I’ll be able to say “I’m Pamela McLean of Dadamac Connect. We connect people, organisations and ideas. You can find out more at”.

bear and button_resized_2(1)

Today I was given a password to come and add the content here, so I’ve been on a learning curve, and I’m not quite at the top yet. I’ve been learning-by-doing, supplemented by “phone a friend” (and I don’t want to bother him again this evening). I’ve made some mistakes and learned from them and progress is being made.

Gradually the front page will fill up with blog posts – and this is the first one. I’ll need to add a picture. I haven’t cracked that one yet, when I do I’ll come back and edit the blog. (Editing note added later – as you see – progress was made). I feel like I’m almost the last person on the planet to not yet know how to do this – but I don’t know yet – so I’ll share my learning journey.

My phone-a-friend friend told me to take a photo on my phone and email it to myself and all would be well. I needed to find something appropriate to take a photo of. A Dadamac Connect button seemed appropriate – but I needed to pin in it onto someone or something – and it wasn’t going to be me. I’ve solved that one – we now have a mascot.

I’ve found the camera app on my phone and managed to persuade it that I have no intention of taking a selfie (so will it please focus in the opposite direction). A photo has been taken – well several, as I had trouble finding them once they were taken. I’ve tracked one down and discovered how to mail it to myself. As usual there were choices to be made – and I had no idea what to choose – so I sent myself a series of photos – normal, large, medium and small.

I’m hoping to end the day in triumph (“small step for mankind” and all that – major leap for me). I hope I’ll go to my in box. It will be obvious which size photo I should use. I’ll be able to drag and drop it to my desktop. I’ll click the “add media” button on the edit page for the blog, and “presto” my induction day as a newbie at the Dadamac Connect website will be successfully completed. Or not.

Tomorrow I’ll go out in my new identity, making new connections and pointing people here. I won’t let possible photo-failure stand in the way of my new identity. I’ll publish the blog now and I’ll add the photo when I’ve figured out how.

PS – Evening update – I’m making progress. The photos is here, but it’s not as it should be. The learning curve continues.


Mar 11, 2015 by pamela | Categories: My Blogs

Coming soon

This is the new Dadamac Connect website. It’s a Work in Progress at the moment, come back soon to see the new site.

Mar 05, 2015 by pamela | Categories: Uncategorized

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