USAID: Global Collaboration In Microenterprise Development -Stacey Young / Forum One Web Executive Seminar


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This presentation discusses the challenges associated with uniting geographically dispersed stakeholders in international development around common goals and illustrates USAID's approach to cross-continental collaboration and information sharing. Full event details at . Contact Joe Pringle / / .

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  • The US Agency for International Development operates in more than 100 countries worldwide. Bringing the learning that’s generated in Belize or Botswana to bear in Cameroon or Croatia presents a critical challenge: how to bridge the geographic divide and enable people to share what they know and seek help from their peers? USAID's Microenterprise Development office meets this challenge through a combination of asynchronous online conferences on the website, and in-person events paired with real-time webinars.
  • USAID: Global Collaboration In Microenterprise Development -Stacey Young / Forum One Web Executive Seminar

    1. 1. Talk to Me: Global collaboration in microenterprise development Beyond the Hype: Government 2.0 for Decision Makers Forum One Web Executive Seminar National Press Club, Washington, DC, June 4, 2009 Stacey Young, PhD · Senior Knowledge Management Advisor · USAID Microenterprise Development
    2. 2. Web Executive Seminars Beyond the Hype: Gov 2.0 for Decision Makers June 4, 2009 National Press Club Washington, DC Learn more:
    3. 3. US Agency for International Development: USG’s primary foreign assistance agency
    4. 4. Not your father’s federal agency • Geographically dispersed (100+ countries) • Complexly tasked (many sectors, many situations) • Externally focused: – Objectives and results aim at country contexts – Large #s of foreign staff in field offices – Work is outsourced to thousands of partner org.s
    5. 5. Our development challenge Half the world (~ 3 billion people) lives on <$2/day USAID funding reaches a tiny fraction of them
    6. 6. How can web-based learning help? Increase our impact (direct & indirect) by spreading learning much more broadly than we can spread actual dollars:
    7. 7. Global leader in Microenterprise Development (MED) One USAID goal: help poor people in developing countries by reducing poverty and increasing economic growth One method: microenterprise development (MED) – access to financial services (credit, savings, remittances) for poor households and microenterprises – links to competitive markets – improved policy environment How to leverage what we and others know?
    8. 8. Two examples from • Face-to-face Seminars with virtual components • Online Speaker’s Corner conferences BOTH are aimed at getting people to talk to each other about: • innovations in the sector • how to adapt the innovations • how to apply them
    10. 10. Monthly face-to-face seminar series +++ • quality interaction with presenters • three dimensional experience • networking opportunities
    11. 11. Monthly face-to-face seminar series --- • limited #s can participate • attending from outside DC = $$$, carbon footprint • once it’s over, it’s over
    12. 12. A Washington DC event
    13. 13. is complemented by a real-time webinar • GoToWebinar (but there are other products) • easy: log on to URL, dial phone #, enter code • dashboard: – indicates who’s participating – enables person-to-person messaging – enables person-to-group posts for Q&A session • can record the event
    14. 14. Webinar •
    15. 15. And becomes a post-event permanent resource: screencast
    16. 16. Speaker’s Corner
    17. 17. Monthly online three-day conference • Asynchronous – time zone differences okay • Remote facilitation – moderators can be anywhere • Participants can read and post via their email “Before-during-after” activity: • Before: Links to resources are posted on the event page • During: Online discussion is lively • After: Discussion is archived, sometimes synthesized in a brief
    18. 18. Other resources available in advance
    19. 19. Participants share innovations
    20. 20. They share tools and resources
    21. 21. They find partnering opportunities
    22. 22. And they get a little help from their friends
    23. 23. But they now enjoy a much wider circle
    24. 24. Anyone can revisit the event anytime
    25. 25. Why do we consider these successful? • Demand/participation keeps growing • Anecdotal feedback is very positive • People are keen to present or moderate • Others replicate our model
    26. 26. We reach more people, with quality technical knowledge
    27. 27. Advantages of web-based learning… • increases the #s of people who benefit from the exchange of knowledge • brings the world’s diverse perspectives to the event • creates a permanent resource • saves $$$, reduces greenhouse emissions from travel
    28. 28. Results • Technical knowledge is shared with those who can apply it • Scale far exceeds F2F-only events • Engagement with other USAID microenterprise resources
    29. 29. Impacts? Hard to quantify or attribute, but qualitative evidence indicates: • People report changing the way they work • They interact with colleagues they otherwise wouldn’t encounter • The events can be an entry point to other resources • Our funded partners have become knowledge workers
    30. 30. Lessons learned Seminar/webinar • Time zones matter • It takes work to integrate webinar participants into the event • Breakout discussions can’t easily be webinar-ed Speaker’s Corner • Facilitation is key • Lurkers count • Post-event synthesis documents are useful (but $$) • Technology: things can go wrong; login requirements are a barrier • Government regulations can be a problem too
    31. 31. Thank you! visit us at
    32. 32. Web Executive Seminars LEARN MORE: