The PTX series started in March 2015 in Basra, and one of the important milestones was to get the buy-in from local CSOs and the local government of Basra.
The team conducted a pre-event survey to help identify which CSOs can join the PTX based on the CSOs experience, field of specialty and willingness in collaborating with the government. A similar survey was conducted with the local government but this time the selection was made based on the participants experience with technology and willingness to adapting technology at work.
Based on the results of these surveys, the PTX’s agenda was developed to accommodate the needs of participants and the best ways for them to learn the new technologies.
An important step forward was the meeting of Sanad and USIP’s management with Basra Governor’s Deputy; the meeting involved briefing the Governor’s Deputy on the project’s objectives, desired outputs and areas of collaboration between the local government and CSOs in Basra towards enhancing accountability and transparency in Basra.
Then the Basra PTX series was conducted for 30 CSOs on 15-17 March and 30 Local Government participants on 18-19 March. And the participants participated in brainstorming sessions and identified the areas where technology can help monitor/ improve service delivery, address accountability and transparency issues and helping the community. Based on their findings and understanding of technologies during the sessions , interested CSOs started developing their project proposals and shared with Sanad’s team who helped in fine-tuning these proposals, providing advice and recommending better mechanisms for implementation through follow up consultations.
7 out of 12 projects were approved and will be funded. The other 5 projects were rejected because they did not utilize technology in implementation.
One of the technologists, Mohammed Al-Sammaraie, posted on Facebook:
“The environment was motivating for the participants, technologists, facilitators and the organizers. The participants did great with addressing real issues they face daily as CSOs with the government. The technologists were amazing with the material they provided the participants with and how open they were. The facilitators basically made the event so alive through their interactions, sense of humor and professionalism. Last but not least, the organizers were supportive to everybody to the degree that makes you think ‘‘they should run for presidency’’. Simply I’m happy to be part of PTX Basra.”