If I agree to become a development
partner, what can I expect to happen?
The partnership will be scheduled for 10 weeks starting in mid-to
late May. The student consultant will begin to communicate with
you well before they arrive in order to gather background information
and to begin to understand your needs and situation. When they do
arrive, they will work full time with you and your key staff for
the duration of their visit.
During this time you, your key staff, and the student consultant
work together. The student facilitates a process that moves from
assessment, to analysis of problems and opportunities, to defining
a scope of work, to developing a work plan, to analyzing outcomes
and finally presenting that analysis.
As the development partner, you are the consulting client. You provide
information and discuss that information with the student consultant.
But you are more than a client; you are also a learner. As in any
capacity-building approach, the client owns “the problem”
as well as its solution. The consultant facilitates the client in
achieving that solution. The consultant doesn’t “do
for” the client. Rather, the consultant works “with”
the client. As you move through the process together, you will be
learning. Once the partnership determines the scope of work, you
actually implement that scope of work together.
Please contact Joe
Mertz to receive an example of a typical Memorandum of Understanding,
describing the details of a partnership agreement.
What types of activities are typically included in a
scope of work?
Each scope of work is unique and depends solely upon the specific
needs and opportunities of the development partner. In the past,
partnerships have focused on a wide range of activities, including:
personal information management (how to use Windows, organize files,
backup files, use various software packages, use time managers,
use Palm Pilots and other personal information management tools,
e-mail, etc.), developing a plan for how to train staff and how
to incorporate knowledge and skill into job description, designing
a local area network, implementing Internet connectivity, designing
and developing a web site, determining effective data storage methods,
analyzing the needs for an information database, designing and implementing
a database, solving technical problems, designing a public community
technology access center, determining the specifications for computers,
Internet and networking, developing a menu system for elementary-age
students, developing disaster recovery plans, and so on.
The development partner accomplishes this with the help and assistance
of the student consultant. The student consultant seeks to assist
in ways that lead to the development partner’s ability to
sustain and maintain whatever is accomplished.
Who can be a development partner?
This program targets individuals playing a leadership role, administratively
or programmatically, within a school, governmental, or non-governmental
organization, or small business. This leader then includes key staff persons who will
be instrumental in developing, using, and maintaining whatever solutions
Why do you focus on organizational leaders?
The leaders are the decision makers. If the leaders do not understand
enough of the technology to lead, then the organization cannot integrate
technology into its administration and programming. Leaders who
understand and use information technology tools are leaders who
integrate the power of these tools into their vision for how to
accomplish the mission of the organization. In every partnership,
leaders have benefited from the partnership experience, regardless
of their prior ICT knowledge. By focusing assistance on the leaders,
we see those leaders take great strides toward integrating technology,
administratively and programmatically. We partner with leaders at
different levels of an organization in order to expand the technical
capacity of the entire organization.
What are the requirements for being a development partner?
See the example Memorandum of Understanding for details. We ask
that the development partner:
- Holds a leadership role within the organization.
- Is interested in committing their personal work time (at least
3 hours a week) and their key staff members’ time to working
with the student consultant throughout their visit.
- Have computers, Internet access, and the basic ICT infrastructure
on which they want to build.
- Share information about their organization with the student
- Read project reports prepared by the student consultant and
give him or her immediate feedback.
- Provide interim status reports and final evaluation information
to the TCinGC program director.
What are the costs for being a development partner?
See the example Memorandum of Understanding for details. At minimum, we ask
that you provide for the student consultant:
- Local housing accommodations
- Local transportation
- A locally-appropriate daily stipend for food and incidental
We also have very limited funding to cover airfare and advising. It is much more likely that we can place student consultants to work with you if you can also cover these expenses. We are also open to working with you to approach 3rd party donors for this support.