Raising Public Awareness of Development Issues: should Edgeryders get involved?

I will be there.

@Alex_Levene, looks like you are doing this part of the work and calling the shots. Please create an event on the platform and be prepared to host. With Natalia, Quinn, John and myself we have already enough brainpower to start the process. If others join, welcome, even better.

Please see the events page


If there’s anything on there that could be phrased better please let me know. It’s late and i’m trying to catch up with tasks.

@Alex Levene, @johncoate,

@Alex_Levene, @johncoate, @Quinn_Conlon, @Alberto, I really cannot make it on Friday evening, and during the weekend. Would Thursday evening possibly work for you?

Thursday Ok for me

That would be thursday morning for me, which works.  But that’s just me.  Most morning times (where it is late afternoon to evening for you) are ok for me because it is usually before I have to go out to do something.

Updated date and time

I’ve changed the date for the call, and moved the time forward an hour to better accommodate those in N.America

@Quinn Conlon, how about you?

@Quinn_Conlon, how about you?

Thank you so much gentlemen!

Thursday at 15EST/21CET sounds good!

Good morning @johncoate, @Quinn_Conlon, @Nadia and @Alberto - sorry if I wasn’t too much contributing yesterday, in fact, the quality of the call was pretty bad until the last 15 min for me (downsides of living in the not-even-a-country situation). Anyway, as I am digging into the call and trying to find out the people behind it, I also have an idea about whom to engage - and I think they are just the ideal fit for us - it’s Tvind, the school that Piotr works for. They exist since the 70-ties and they do alternative global education. They have schools in Denmark, and a big center in Mozambique and they basically send their students to travel and do case studies in developing countries instead of just being in school and getting only theoretical knowledge.

Here are the links to the school . There is one thing I am worried about is the article about them on Wikipedia - even though I do think these guys are doing amazing job, there were always some attempts to close the place (they started the renewable energy revolution in Denmark in the 70-ties, leading to closing of the plans to build nuclear plants, etc - so they’re basically a bunch of hippies who don’t like the system). I wonder if EU would be up for funding us in cooperation with them. Just a hint.

Another organisation that I really like and they’re my friends is a small architect atelier/group. They have done some work going to South America and Asia building affordable houses and so on - they’re called Atelier Made, and they work in the north of France (I almost got them to talk on LOTE5 but they were too busy). One of them lives in  Brussels.

A couple of ideas then - and will get back to you asap with the information, I hope (the stuff seems to be well hidden on their website:))

Btw, Nadia, you should listen to Thundercat if you love the Internet :wink: I really liked them.

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Doing some intelligence work now

Just letting you guys know that I am trying to figure out what is behind this call. Not too many results so far.

@Natalia_Skoczylas, the people you suggest do not look like possible lead partners. They could, certainly, be non-leading partners, like ourselves. But the cornerstone of a viable partnership is a big dev NGO incorporated in Europe (Oxfam, IRC, Red Cross…). The challenge is finding one that has a smart, innovative person in there.

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I friend of mine from University works quite high up in Oxfam. His father used to be the Chief Executive.

I could call him up and see if there might be an area of interest there. I’d need to know a bit better what i was approaching him with though. Sorry i missed out on the call in the end. I’m back at my desktop PC for the next 10 days so i can do a bit more there.

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There is PAH - huge Polish dev organisation, we could try talking to them.

I found that they host this event in Europeaid - maybe a chance to meet someone there. They also have an infopoint, but after some time of going through their website I felt hopeless about finding who’s exactly behind what there.

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I’m working on it

At the late part of the call Nadia asked that I try to rough out a skeleton of an idea or a couple of ideas based on the conversation we had.

The European Union defines “development” as:

Made jointly by the 3 main EU institutions (Commission, Parliament and Council), the Consensus on Development identifies shared values, goals, principles and commitments which the Commission and EU governments will implement in their development policies:

  • reducing poverty — particularly through the Millennium Development Goals. This will also impact sustainability, HIV/AIDS, security, conflict prevention, forced migration, etc.
  • democratic values — respect for human rights, democracy, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, good governance, gender equality, solidarity and social justice
  • nationally-led development — by the beneficiary countries themselves, based on national strategies (developed in collaboration with non-government bodies) and domestic resources. EU aid will be aligned with national strategies and procedures.

How this intersects with “care” would likely be mainly in the first of those bullet points.

So, it is my understanding (correct me if I’m wrong) that our creating a development arm of ER would more quickly go from a vague idea to something real if we try to put together a viable proposal.

My thinking about this specific EC DEAR proposal centers around the public receiving plenty of information and awareness from the press abou the nature and size of the problem with the occasional story about some group helping in some creative or interesting way, but there is no place I have found so far that informs you about what efforts are happening where, and more particularly, which ones are really making a difference or helping in a creative way at the local level.  So I’m thinking about how we could help raise awareness about what is and isn’t working and what the obstacles are preventing some good projects from being better realized.

In the next few days I hope to get more specific into sketching out how something useful like that would work, and in what partnerships.

Sustainable coordination, solutions-oriented communication…

…and feeling enabled to move from paralysis and sense of helplessness, towards contributing constructively (having a choice of involvement one feels comfortable with and a social contract stating that this is perfectly fine, any small contribution is very welcome etc).

Learning from Helliniko’s way of working and socialising everyone who comes through the door…to tackle the challenges I tried to define/articulate out in this post.

What is a social infrastructure and engagement mechanism that would allow for this? What about the language barriers? The technical

I think this is what is needed, and what OpenCare really ought to be looking to develop a model for.

- sms based technology and human-to-human audio communication (seen the call a random swede campaign?)

@DennisNguyen2012 visual signal based communication. Badges signalling level of openness and curiosity prompting interaction (you can ask me/talk to me about…)​

Ping @Susa maybe something for the students?

Interesting thoughts

Hi John,

Thanks for this, helps to give some context to what we might be talking about.

I’ve certainly found that this problem exists across the sector i’m currently working in at Calais. Its definitely true that there is no central system of sharing information, ideas, policies and projects between people doing humanitarian and devloment work with migrants within Europe.

Perhaps this is where the Edgeryders community could come together to create a system that investigates these initiatives through directly having people on the ground at various support centres around Europe collecting stories in person, or/and encouraging people to join up to ER and share themselves. Alongside this we would then have an online platform similar to the current OpenCare platform for sharing these case studies/stories of these organisations/projects; and then finally acting as a central ‘good news’ platform & media outreach hub, helping to change the narrative around the humanitarian crisis.

It seems like we would want and need a major player to be able to leverage access into the camps, support centres and migrant centres as well as possibly providing some more personnel to undertake that work.

Basically i see the EdgeRyders core part of this being that we become the listeners and storytellers. Sharing the good news of others and using our international network to make sure that the stories can be accessed in many languages, in many countries, by many people (including the media)

Does this sound like it fits with some of your thoughts?

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Really like this

Good work, @Alex_Levene. I want to think about this for a while. You guys please continue your conversation.

More (hopefully) interesting thoughts…

One detail of interest given this is an EC grant, is that between Greece and Hungary, the countries in the migration path (Macedonia and Serbia) are not in the EU.  So presumably they would not be so interested in funding anything involving those countries.  That’s too bad because I imagine that a great many migrants are there trying to get north.

Any site or service we might set up immdiately runs into the problem of updating.  I have seen a lot of efforts, many well funded, that catalog situations and orgs and other entities and there was no  provision or funding to update it so it wasn’t useful pretty fast.

Another problem with evaluations online is that you can’t even out all the respective biases of whomever enters a report or a comment until you have a high resonse rate.  Otherwise it’s too easy to skew things.

One idea I have is to make a tool that describes efforts at relief and care that is easy and simple to enter and update data (in a wiki-like sort f way) and then seed it with the insights and comments of people we know or can trust, to get things off on a credible footing.

Another idea also is to create somethign that matches someone’s skills, abilities, resources and location to needs and orgs who are doing the work.  That’s easy enough to make, but it wouldn’t mean much unless it had a tangible path to making that help actually happen.

I’m still just musing about this so far (many pretty serious personal distractions, my apologies for not being very quick with this) and seeing if I can come up with something workable.

But in accord with what Alex said, I too pictured this in the call as a companion piece to Open Care to evaluate who is doing what and how well they are succeeding at it and what the obstacles are and how one can help, etc.

And I have been searching around the web looking at what is available now.  For example if you search “how to help refugees in the European Union” or “refugee care Europe” you get a big variety of links to orgs large and small and articles but nothing that evaluates any of it other than recommendations by whoever the writer is.  There is UNCR, Save the Children, Rescue.org, etc. but smaller more local orgs are harding to locate.

That said, any motivated person who wants to help shouldn’t have to spend too much time looking before finding a meaningful way to contribute.  What I feel I have not come up with yet is an idea for something that offers a clear advantage over what is already going on.

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thinking more about a “care finder and evaluator”

that works harmoniously with OC.  It seeks and identifies on-the-ground actions (orgs, NGO, informal group, lone hacker) that have basic compatibilities with the OC open approach as well as the specific projects and actions and research findings that come from OC.  The evaluator part wouldn’t be so much of a judge or critic as an identifier of what is working and where it is stuck and why.

The big orgs don’t need this, but looking back at the tiny nonprofit efforts that were dissected at the LOTE5 Manzini workshop, they were well thought through projects led by dedicated, sane hard working people with little personal gain possible.  And I am certain that there are hundreds of actions like this going on right now.  I have read since then many articles about how hard it is for these little groups - and espcially true in the EU 13 countries - to get any funding or sometimes any attention.  Or even if they get some press, what happens when later you want to track them down?  You probably didn’t save that article.  Google will probably find it for you, but maybe not.

Also, leaving it all to the predilictions of the press or a bunch of Google-found websites may well mean that you don’t know how your skills and situation would match up, or even if they do, how compatible would you be with that group and their internal culture?

I know I am still in a vague musing stage with this proposal, but I still like the idea of a companion piece with OC that helps a wider world connect with those projects.  I suspect that by letting them live side by side in a helpful community-input-and-updated tool, one could zero in on OC projects as well as a huge host of other not dissimilar projects.

This time in the world feels more and more like a unique time to me.  A kind of renaissance of crisis and efforts at care or solutions.

We have climate change, which every thinking person knows is a potential end game for humaity. And now this migration crisis that is yet another chapter that goes back at least to the Crusades, but is so acute that it threatens the existance of the EU itself.  And since last week, earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador.  And I read that Nepal is still a barely improved disaster zone with the inept government not leading.  The combination of crises is such that the idea of community-created care and help is a meme rapidly propagating.  Open Care has lots of friends out there.

And, again, the established sites don’t need it, but then the established norms aren’t exactly working either.  Or not enough.  So there has to be more and in fact there is more.  Lots of it.  But how to find it and how to see where it fits in a larger ecology of care?

Hello, as we’re working on a refugee-related application right now and I am collecting partners, it seems I could bring on board UNHCR or ASAM from Turkey - just let me know if we’re still doing this thing;)

Update on this

No luck so far getting high quality info. I wrote a formal email to the dedicated address. I don’t expect anyhing of substance.

In a couple of days I will decide whether we know enough for it to be worth it to put in the work.

Probably IFRC

No information from the EC. I put in a formal question, but I do not think they will answer either fast enough or candidly enough.

On the upside, Giulio introduced me to someone who does innovation and policy in the Red Cross. The introduction was unrelated to the call, but I ran it past him and he liked the idea. He is now speaking to his Brussels office, so that he can gather the intelligence we need and make a decision. We are speaking again on Monday.

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