The KIX Africa 19 hub has employed information and communication technology (ICT) solutions to convene 18 GPE member countries in Sub-Saharan Africa as they work together to tackle common education policy challenges by sharing knowledge, evidence and good practices.
On October 19, 2020, the lead institution of the KIX Africa 19 hub, UNESCO’s International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA), hosted a virtual meeting to discuss the creation of a digital repository. It is expected that the repository will help to facilitate online policy sharing and virtual collaboration across member countries.
The agenda also focused on the development of upcoming activities for the hub. These activities were identified through an online rapid needs assessment survey, where member countries indicated their priority activities for the next three months. A considerable number of countries placed emphasis on distance learning, supporting teachers on the use of ICT tools and ensuring education continuity among vulnerable learners.
Though the hub has seen success in advancing its work using ICT solutions, South Sudan and Lesotho raised the important issue of internet connectivity, which is not always accessible or reliable, especially in remote areas. In response, an ICT needs assessment will be conducted to map out connectivity realities, common ICT challenges and good practices for collaboration. The ICT needs assessment will also guide capacity strengthening activities for Ministry of Education focal points and local education partners, so they can better engage together via the Hub’s digital repository and its ICT tools.
Dr. Victoria Kisaakye, Senior Programme Coordinator at IICBA, closed the meeting by saying “I know one day we’ll meet in person. Meeting virtually has its own boundaries, but we look forward to your continued support.” Before signing off, the Hub members, by now accustomed to the new normal of virtual meetings, requestedcopies of the meeting recording and presentations—a good sign that ICT tools are indeed advancing knowledge mobilization across the region.