Frequently Asked Questions

TCinGC’s Five Key Values | Frequently Asked Questions | Would You Like to Become a TCinGC Partner?

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 are developed.

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 consultant.
  • 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 expenses

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.