“The power of documentation”
As we embrace the rainy season in Uganda, it was a sunny afternoon on April 1, 2015 when faculty, students and development partners joined Makerere University School of Public Health (MakSPH) ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) for the launch of the RAN MKITs at the MakSPH Innovation Lab space on Plot 30, Upper Kololo Terrace, Kampala Uganda. Following the Micro/Modular/Mobile Knowledge, Information and Teachings (MKITs) (Videos) and Photo Challenge which attracted 120 submissions RAN launched its MKITs and recognized the MKITs challenge winners in an event that brought together over 100 people. The Challenge participants included among others students from Makerere University, Kyambogo University, Kisubi Brothers, Public Health Ambassadors, Artfield Institute of Design in Kampala Uganda and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States of America.
At RAN, MKITs aiddocumentation of innovator projects, scaling of team based learning and facilitateinnovators to apply their scientific and technical ideas in knowledge sharing and dissemination. MKITS can leverage simple digital technologies such as cell phone based video captures, voice-overs on slideshows, and social-network platforms in order to lower the threshold for the creation of modules. Once created, these modules can be quickly disseminated over a range of hosting platforms such as standalone websites, organizational intranets, and popular channels such as YouTube or even radio channels.
M-KITS are flexible, information modules and platforms that can serve multiple functions ranging from quickly informing an audience about a specific topic, a semester long set of courses, innovator pitching their project ideas or a way for a community to share best practices.
To further strengthen and leverage from collaboration, Mr. Maurice Mugisha, News Manager at NTV Uganda graced the occasion as Chief Guest. He joined the judges Allan Tugume, Founder of Events Guru in Uganda and Joseph Ssematimba, a Makerere University, Australian trained Lecturer and Professional designer from the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT), Department of Visual Communication Design and Multimedia to motivate and coach the young innovators about the importance of documentation in the innovation process. Mr. Mugisha emphasized that “Documentation of every step in your innovation/ idea is as important as the idea itself”. It was also an opportunity for the judges, Dr. Dorothy Okello, RAN Eastern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab Director and the Chief Guest to share important tips in Videography and Photography with the young innovators. Additionally, they highlighted the dos and don’ts in documenting using videos and photos but also the fact that visuals and photos speak louder than text. “That photo of the vulture waiting for the starved/malnourished child to die and it pounces on him/her tells a thousand words”, added Mr. Mugisha while displaying the photo on screen for all to view.
The MKITs (Short Videos) Category winners (in that order) included the following;
On the other hand, the top three from the Photo Challenge included;
“When taking that photo or capturing that video, ensure that you have the gist of the matter in the lens, the story that you want to tell in that photo and or video must all be captured. Take a closer shot in case of need” advised one RAN MKITs challenge judge.
It was during the same event that the 30 other students who had successfully completed the RAN Design Thinking (DT) Training of Trainers were recognized. These were equipped with DT skills using the Stanford University MKITs and were declared RAN DT Ambassadors to not only further publicize RAN and its activities but also front, uplift and pass on the DT skills acquired.
All these processes were aimed at augmenting e-learning, knowledge sharing on an open online platform with the related advantages. RAN with the support of Stanford University will continuously develop and share MKITs on the RAN YouTube account accessed at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTrAhCIWygZwTyzYT8uf91A and these are available for use by all.