On Saturday 25, July 2015 exactly at 09:00 AM, the event stared up on Gilgamesh Hall in Babylon Warwick hotel, Baghdad, gathering participants of Local civil society organizations, unlike the usual, members of the Network of Iraqi Facilitators have been invited to the event.
At the beginning, participants were energized by an Ice-breaker conducted by Mr. Basman Issa, facilitator of the event. The exercise offered the opportunity for the participants, facilitators, and the organizing team of Sanad to get acquainted with each other. This was essential for the later session to be carried out. Mr. Abdul Aziz Al Jarba, a member of the Network of Iraqi facilitators, directed the session were the audience were asked to express openly their opinions on the actual problems faced by CSOs, Local government institutions, and the Baghdadi society.
The participants were able during the 90-minute session to write down the major problem statement to be discussed later on.
Soon afterwards all were busy in an activity to form groups that are meant to prioritize the problems, and come up with action items as a consequent. The participants fell into five work group, these groups were as follows:
- Security and rule of law work-group.
- Cultural and social aspects work-group.
- Political aspect work-group.
- Youth and civil society work-group.
- Services work-group.
Each group above was run by a facilitator in order to discuss the problem statements previously identified in the session, focusing on in-detail dilemmas the Iraqi society is suffering from. Soon after the end of this session, technologists provided brief presentations on the technologies that could be helpful for prospected projects to diminish the problems addressed.
Although it’s Sunday, where office hours usually start in Iraq, the audience was enthusiastic to participate in PTX Baghdad to carry on the progress achieved earlier in the day before.
The event was highlighted with the participation of a total of 31 persons, members of both local CSOs and the Network of Iraqi Facilitators, 20 female participants to 11 male participants.
The first day of the workshop have concluded five major groups, each group was concerned in a certain issue where its members had brainstorming sessions that helped address the main problems facing the particular aspect that each group was named after.
Each of the mentioned groups nominated a speaker to present the main problems, their impacts, and possible solutions. After the presentations, each group was given the time to run advocacy for the issues that need attention to the audience as an attempt to prioritize their problems for solutions.
All the participants were soon distributed among nine round tables; each table was run by a technologist. To dwell deeply into the props of each technology available in the workshop, participants cycled periodically among all technology tables, to get closely acquainted with the technologies at first, then to have a clear image for potential practical solutions to the problems previously addressed
Each group highlighted three problems for each issue according to priority and urgency. It was the final draft for the problem statements to be presented, but that was not the case for the next activity, in which each participant voted openly for one of the three problem statements, for each group in a row. The following problem statements were:
- The Lack of social and legal awareness among the public.
- Misuse of political authorities.
- Transportation difficulties and traffic jams.
- Underage marriage.
- The dysfunction in the educational system.
- Low female participation in the political process.
- Waste disposition.
- Pollution in tap water.
- Tackling the activities of local CSOs in the universities of Baghdad.
- The lack of transparency and accountability in some local CSOs.
- Lack of public awareness towards the scope of work and dependence of the CSOs.
- The lack of civil peace.
- The disrupt in the provincial council’s electoral program for the new candidates in Baghdad provincial council.
- Low awareness on public participation in Baghdad provincial council elections.
- Militarization of the community.
- KoBo Toolbox 85%
- Search Engine Optimization 40%
- Info Mapping 35%
- WordPress & Blogger 55%
- Twitter 55%
- Digital Security 50%
- StoryMaker 50%
- Social Media Campaigns 45%
- Facebook for NGOs 40%
Days 3 and 4 of Baghdad PTX were full of technologies that engaged participants from civil society organizations. After completing the 2 days of problem solving and identifying and prioritizing the major problems CSOs are focusing on, it is time now to provide the tools that will help address parts of these problems for CSOs to be able to tackle them using technologies.
This PTX was equipped with 9 different technologies that, like the previous ones in Basra and Sulaimanyah, focus on data collection, visualization and sharing. These technologies were delivered by Iraqi technologists.
Facebook for NGOs, Social Media Campaigns, StoryMaker, Digital Security, Twitter, WordPress & Blogger, Info Mapping, SEO — Search Engine Optimization and KoBo Toolbox.
Some technologies like Kobo Toolbox (an offline survey and data collection tool) witnessed a very high demand during the 6 rounds of technologies. Participants were also interested in learning about social media campaigns, twitter, StoryMaker and digital security.
Since Baghdad PTX is not designed to fund projects, we brought a new tool to help participants fund and run their projects. Participants learned about Online Fund- Raising, a new way and a new mind-set for civil society organizations. Haider Hamzoz, a technologist from INSM, taught participants on how to use this tool and shared some
Iraqi success stories of young people who used online fund-raising and had their projects funded and implements.
By Day 5 of Baghdad PTX, participants have worked their way through identifying and analyzing the major problems they want to tackle and then the technologists took them through free and easy to use technologies that will help them address parts of the problems.
The last day focused on helping participants brainstorm on linking the problem with the technology through projects they see worth implementing. It started with some general outlines and instructions on how to plan for a project. Then the participants were divided into 5 groups, each group to identify a maximum of 3 projects. Later on, participants presented their top 3 projects highlighting the technologies they plan to use.