The eLearning Fundi

Random reflections about eLearning in Africa

Success of eLearning Programmes and Initiatives

After I posted the blog on 10 reasons whey eLearning initiatives fail, my friends and I were engaged in a diagnostic discussion of why it is difficult to create sustainable projects in Africa. The concern was mainly on the public and donor funded projects. Some of the strong points that came out are:

  1. Some of the projects are started for the wrong reasons. One one of the wrong reason that came into the light is personal gratification and enrichment. While it is not wrong to earn from donor/public funded projects, it should be within all moral and ethical bounds and not at the expense of its sustainability.
  2. Related to the point above, is that the project created become synonymous to their founders or directors. These people always form a shield around themselves to protect their interests – and block any new ideas that will destabilize the status quo. This makes it difficult to audit the projects. Further, in case of any eventuality that the synonyms cannot continue leading this projects, there is a vacuum in terms of the knowledge of what the project was all about or being run.
  3. People in leadership monopolizing the custodianship of knowledge about the projects and selectively passing it out when it favors them. This is usually because of the wrong philosophy that for you to be powerful, you should be the only one who knows how to do something.
  4. Finally what also came out is what I will call a copy-n-paste solution, or a next patient same treatment situation or a one size fit all. A good example of this is where an initiative that was perceived to have worked with the UN staff in New York is imposed to a rural school in say Mozambique, Zambia or Kenya. The disparity of these two contexts is as wide as the earth is from the now disowned Pluto.

What these brings forth in summary is:

  1. We should always start our eLeraning initiatives and programmes for the right reasons.
  2. While it is good to earn from such projects, it is good to put the projects before self.
  3. We should strive to share knowledge with others – empowering each other.
  4. We should localis and contextualise the solutions that we are offering.

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