Browsing by Author "Manzar, Osama"
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- ItemOpen AccessDeveloping Indigenous Women Leaders through Digital Mentorship: Experiences from the GOAL Program, India(2022-09) Manzar, Osama; Srivastava, SaurabhPCF10 Sub-theme: Inspiring Innovations [POSTER] // Critical social and organisational skills are increasingly becoming a desired quality in most of the service sector jobs in India. Personality development, self-improvement and public speaking are now marketed in urban India through several educational enterprises that charge an exorbitant amount of money from the customers. People from rural and marginalised backgrounds often lack the sophistication and confidence to compete with their privileged counterparts in urban India despite having technical and vocational skills. Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) initiated the program Going Online as Leaders (GOAL) —to connect urban volunteers with rural women online to provide them guidance and support in digital skills to bridge the information gap. Initially, the program connected four women from the rural indigenous community with 25 skilled urban women, the program is now expanded to— states. Data comparing the baseline and end-line survey of the program shows that the number of those who want to pursue higher education has doubled. Also, at 26 per cent, the largest number of mentees wanted to work towards establishing digital connectivity and engagement in their communities, a nine per cent increase from registration. Remarkably, there was a 44 per cent rise in mentees who want to do social work showing their aspiration to be the change-makers in their community. // The programme‘s provision of smartphones is a transformative experience for mentees. None of the mentees interviewed had owned a phone prior to GOAL, while their brothers and fathers did. Mentees described that interacting with mentors had enabled them to speak ‘my mind‘, ‘not be shy' and ‘dream big'. They started using WhatsApp, Facebook and YouTube to connect with the larger world. They browse the internet avidly for information, supplement studies, and learn crafts. They also download apps for English translations to karaoke singing. Music, films and serials are routinely sourced online. Mentors have taught them to use technology safely and responsibly. Mentors and trainers observe that the mentees’ ‘quality of conversations’ has improved sharply and that they have learnt to think about themselves’. The GOAL program was adopted by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India and is now being replicated in several states. Using the GOAL program as an example, the presentation will demonstrate how digital technology, with planned programs can bridge the geographical inequalities in accessing education and acquiring skills. // Paper ID 4544
- ItemOpen AccessPresenting START, GOAL, Digital Sarthak, SkillBot and Maker’s Space: Inspiring Innovations for an Empowering, Democratic and Inclusive Technological Society(2022-09) Manzar, Osama; Srivastava, SaurabhPCF10 Sub-theme: Inspiring Innovations [PRESENTATION] // Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF) has been making use of many innovative methods and technologies to democratize innovation, upskill, build resilience and foster lifelong learning in rural India with a special focus on marginalized communities. We would like to showcase some of our innovations here. // START: A digital learning and Media & Information Literacy (MIL) toolkit, designed exclusively for first-generation technology users to promote digital inclusion and fight information poverty. It is a 45-hour digital learning curriculum that covers 30 topics ranging from basics of computers, use of applications, MIL and online security and safety, among others. The pedagogy for START focuses on hands-on training and workshops in rural and tribal communities through activities and gamification of topics. // GOAL (Going Online as Leaders): A program to connect urban volunteers with rural women online to provide them guidance and support in digital skills to bridge the information gap. This technology-enabled mentorship program was adopted by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India and is now being replicated in several states. The data comparing baseline and endline show that beneficiaries of GOAL show higher interest in pursuing higher education, greater self-confidence, improved communication skills and aspiration to become changemakers. // Digital Sarthak: This program demonstrates how digital literacy through the community network model can be an important strategy to achieve a replicable model of local economic development. 100 rural women were trained to further train 500 women-led Community Development Organizations (CDOs) and 10000 rural women entrepreneurs in the first stage. The program placed women in active roles in the information eco-system that further improved their confidence and capacity. // SkillBot: A self-learning chatbot built on the free and open-source Telegram platform. Telegram provides free backend technical support and chatbot feature. SkillBot was developed by DEF and Commonwealth of Learning to teach digital literacy, financial literacy, citizen services and data management to rural youth and artisans. SkillBot is multilingual and employs tutorial lessons, audio graphics, infographics, flashcards, interactive quizzes and activities for teaching. Skil Bot thus provides an accessible, easy to understand platform for skilling. // Maker's Space is an initiative where physical centres equipped with STEM learning and digital skilling tools are created in DEF’s community information centres at the remotest locations. Maker's Space facilitates an unstructured learning space supported by digital/STEM tools that allow children and youth, especially persons with disabilities, to take ownership of their learning and create innovative solutions for their communities." // Paper ID 9404
- ItemOpen AccessSkillBot: An Affordable, Accessible, Multi Lingual, Multimedia, Self-Learning, Skilling Chatbot for Addressing Unemployment and Skill Shortage(2022-09) Manzar, Osama; Srivastava, SaurabhPCF10 Sub-theme: Inspiring Innovations [POSTER] // Affordability and accessibility of avenues for skilling is still a challenge for uneducated and unqualified youth of rural India. They also require platforms for skilling that facilitate learning at their own pace and time, local language instruction, usage of multimedia formats to retain attention and minimal entry-level requirements for learning. India’s artisans and rural entrepreneurs would also benefit from the skilling on digital literacy, financial literacy, digital financial literacy, citizen services and data management. As per a baseline study undertaken by Digital Empowerment Foundation and Commonwealth of Learning, even when the artisans, weavers and rural entrepreneurs possess smartphones and access the internet, using smartphones to acquire new skills and conduct business is minimal. It is in this context that Skill Bot becomes relevant. // Skill Bot’ is a self-learning chatbot built on the Telegram platform. Telegram is a free, open-source and accessible messaging service. Unlike WhatsApp, which offers paid chatbot features, Telegram chatbots are completely free as well making them accessible to organizations. Skill Bot was developed by DEF and Commonwealth of Learning to teach digital literacy, financial literacy, citizen services and data management. SkillBot is multilingual and employs tutorial lessons, audio graphics, infographics, flashcards, interactive quizzes and activities for teaching. Since both Telegram and Skill Bot is free, easy to use and accessible, this provides a platform for those without access to formal avenues of learning to acquire the skillsets. Using the SkillBot requires basic digital literacy only. Additionally, since it is interactive with continuous assessment, learners can proceed at their own pace. So far, 2400 users have been accessing it. // From an organizational point of view also, SkillBot is a valuable tool. Covid-19 pandemic has restricted the ability of organizations to reach out to learners. SkillBot provides the opportunity to deliver content to a large demographic at a minimal cost. Organizations find it costly to build, manage, promote and maintain mobile applications or web-based learning management systems. Telegram also provides back end technical support, further reducing cost and labour. // Through this presentation, using a chatbot as an example, we intend to demonstrate how organizations can use technology to build affordable, accessible, easy to learn, skilling and learning platforms for the uneducated and unskilled population. // Paper ID 3122