Wednesday, 11 April 2012

First week of E-mediat workshop - Yemen

E-mediat Yemen team started its mission to conduct workshops of developing NGOs capacity in Yemen by providing fine training and resources on several subjects that are related with social media and online presence. The program was planned to start on June 2011 and lasts for 10 months, containing 5 main workshops. However, instability in Yemen caused some changes made the program to start later on the 31th of March 2012 with participants from different local NGOs in Sana’a city. This workshop training is conducted by trainer Ahmed Al-shami, under the supervision of SOUL for Development.

All participants attended the first day of training with passion and love of learning more about social media. They asked a lot of questions on incoming subjects and they were all too enthusiastic to indulge their NGOs in such a great capacity building even though, some of them already have good online presence. First day was a good starter for trainer and participants to icebreak and get to know each other well besides knowing overall agenda of coming days. The trainer conducted an activity that is an icebreaker for participants besides it is a way to introduce the meaning of social networks in a practical method. This activity was divided to 3 parts, each of which works with a single board attached with other 2 boards. The first board (Participants’ Profile) was meant to contain sticky notes placed by participants who wrote their names, NGOs’ names, and position. The second board (from me to we) or (Participants Interests), was used by participants to place 3 sticky notes that contain 3 words of interests for each. The third board (Participants’ Inquiries & Discussions) this is considered as the wall for all participants to place questions and share answers by using sticky notes. The overall idea of this activity is to show participants a practical way that would be used during all training days for sharing interests with the ability to share knowledge as well. Besides that, a new way to encourage asking questions and involving all participants to answer them in a small social network as the following diagram shows:

Participants were active in the beginning with this social network and as time goes by, the trainer kept encouraging participants to interact with the social network’s wall by asking them to place any question asked during training sessions and ask others to try to find any answer for this question, if they cannot then 
the trainer has to stick the answer

After that, another activity “Cases for Discussion” was conducted which is brainstorming and discussing on general principles of social media and online presence to introduce participants with concepts and ideas of the whole workshop. The activity started by distributing case’s card to each one then they have to discuss the cases with other group members. After that, the trainer displays a photo in the slides that is related to each case and asks trainees to identify whose case’s card match the photo, upon correct identification there is final discussion with the whole group for each case.

The rest of the day was presentations and group works on Networked NGOs and interactive assessment of online presence for each of the participating NGOs. All of the participating NGOs laid on the crawl and walk platforms.

Day 2 was an introduction to the social media strategy where participants got to know all concepts of the strategy and linked them to implementing it for their NGOs. Besides that, principles of social media tools were presented theoretically noting that each of those tools is going to be explained practically in coming sessions. In addition, the concept of mapping was put into table and participants were divided to groups to draw their own social communication maps as photos below show:

In day 3 participants played the social media game and got to work on implementing their own social media strategy according to idea that they got from the social media game and other activities on the previous two days.

Online listening and its tools were presented and practically worked on labs in day 4. Participants went out of this session with the ability to use Google alerts, Social Mention, IceRocker, and Twitter Search. They were able to identify a lot of key words suiting their NGOs and different projects. However, there was a problem in this session with using that is unable to support search in long Arabic key words. The trainer has posted this problem in the E-mediat Facebook Group and got feedback that socialmention does not support Arabic language.
Day 5 was a session to create awareness among participating NGOs about security and privacy in social media tools and using internet generally. Many tools were practically presented and participants discovered a lot of ways to keep their online presence secure and private. Besides that, concept of blogging was introduced with its practical implementation where all participants created blogs for their NGOs except one of them who had been using blogging before and she just was taught about the correct steps to keep that blog active.


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