Early this year Cordaid’s new website went live. The site unites Akvo RSR with Cordaid’s own project management system. The first 139 projects of Cordaid’s total portfolio, which numbers a few thousand projects, are now visible online with the help of Akvo RSR. For Cordaid this is a first and significant step in opening up information about the work they do. But to actually bring to life what’s happening on the ground, it is important that their field staff and partners start communicating about project progress.
Akvo RSR workshops aim to train partners in the use of the RSR platform and reporting on project progress, challenges, milestones and anything else that helps those interested understand what’s happening or what’s not happening, and why.
In order for Cordaid field staff to start updating on their projects, on 14 May a first RSR training session was held for Cordaid staff from their Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya offices. Together with my colleague Phylis I facilitated this workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Here you can see my pictures from the training.
Caroline Kroon from Cordaid’s head office in the Netherlands kicked off and explained the strategic vision behind their recent reorganisation, opening up about the work they do, and how that resulted in the use of Akvo RSR. After showing Cordaid’s new website and their RSR project pages, the majority of the day then involved an interactive and hands-on training in practicing what makes an interesting project update, doing video interviews and adding online updates to projects. Caroline also asked us to include a hands-on training in social media such as Twitter, and how this can be used to share project updates and experiences.
Practicing video interviews with a smartphone
It was great to see the enthusiasm from the participants, both for taking part in a practical training session and for having the opportunity to share their experiences from the field. This workshop was the first to show the RSR updating process from a different environment than Akvo.org. Cordaid staff and partners can add updates from their own project page on the Cordaid website. You can read more about that in this blog. As this hasn’t gone without technical challenges, particularly in the days prior to the training, it was great to hear participants saying that it looks good and is easy to use. Special thanks to my colleague Adrian from the Akvo Dev team for making it possible.
Thanks also to Caroline Kroon for assisting with the workshop, and to Eva Yohannes from Cordaid’s Ethiopia office for handling the logistics. Phylis and I are still grateful for a good internet connection – which was quite the opposite the day before the training – and we are looking forward to seeing the first updates coming in on Cordaid.org.
Cordaid-branded training kit
Charlotte Soedjak is a project officer at Akvo.