Moving forward, I start by sharing the following thoughts that came to my mind after reading through all the feedback on this discussion.
· The discussions generally confirmed that academically based C4D training is weak around the world. However I get the idea the extent differs according to regions.
· Experts who have visited diverse NGOs around the world have confirm too that there is general lack of communication capacity (would be good if they could give an indication of the regions)
· Sub Saharan Africa region seems to be the weakest with most University focusing on journalism, public relations and marketing communications. (Would be good to understand why through a research of some sort. If such research exists somewhere please share a link)
Map of a network/database: It is important to have a Map of a network/database of C4D courses and Universities by region. I am not sure what the current survey will establish but this is important information as we proceed. (If not done maybe one action point)
MOOC: I support the idea, and would like to point out the following contextual issues:
· Uptake especially in the sub Saharan region might be a challenge because of a number of factors that include among others:
o Access to internet data,
o Employers’ attitude towards online courses. Most including UN still give little recognition to qualifications gained through this route.
o This demotivates potential students because the number one motivation for uptake of courses is professional career development
My experience in the region is that an institutionalised blended course with residency block release is more successful in terms of uptake.
· Institution and the residency/block release becomes the glue that binds the students. One can embark on this without resigning from their job position. (e.g. UNICEF has partnered with a local University in Zimbabwe and they run a Post Graduate Diploma in Child Sensitive Social Policies course which uptake is very good).
Against this background I think there is need for advocacy actions.
- Lobby for C4D courses to be "embedded" in select existing journalism, PR and marketing degree courses or
- A standalone postgraduate diploma could be better targeting students who already have some experience or background in other fields or specialisations.
- This course on C4D could be structured as a regional course in partnership with Universities, UN and NGOs
The MOOC curriculum or module developed can be included in existing University courses
I look forward to your feedback