eCampaigning training series launched
One of my ambitions for FairSay was always to use it help organisations to have effective e-campaigning. The eCampaigning Forum was the first initiative starting in 2002 while I was still Oxfam GB's eCampaigning Manager. The launch of FairSay's various services in 2004 was another intervention. Now FairSay's new eCampaigning Training Series will hopefully help more.
Comprehensive eCampaigning Training Series
I'm usually very hesitant about making grand claims about my work, so I am fairly confident that FairSay new eCampaigning training series is a first-of-its kind anywhere. This is because:
- It provides learning opportunities for everyone from the absolute beginner to the most experienced e-campaigner - and campaigning senior managers too.
- It provides in depth, hands-on skills and knowledge of the essential e-campaigning principles and practices
- Its modular approach for the advanced courses allows experienced practitioners to deepen their skills and knowledge only in the areas that are relevant to them
- The expert exchanges allow even the most experienced practitioners to learn from peers at a similar level to continue to improve
eCampaigning Practitioners Shortage
The shortage of experienced practitioners is one of the key problems I identified in my review of the key gaps in 2006, and the situation has only got worse. Today, more organisations want to be campaigning on-line and yet that available pool of experienced practitioners has barely grown. Those that do exist have acquired their skills and knowledge of 2-3 years and yet much of it could have been learned in a few days of well focused training.
Training can't replace on-the-job experience, but it definitely can accelerate it and help avoid the most common and costly mistakes. So training offers a way to accelerate the growth of skilled practitioners and knowledgeable managers as thus help more organisations have effective e-campaigning.
eCampaigning Training Alternatives
There are other choices besides FairSay:
- BOND (UK) offered a one-day eCampaigning Training in June 2008 and will hold another in December 2009. It received good feedback and provided an overview for eCampaigning.
- Advocacy Online launched an e-campaigning training this summer (2008)
- The New Organizing Institute (US) offers regular training in e-campaigning, and it is excellent (I observed one via a webcast last year). It seems more focused on providing a range of basic skills and knowledge to large groups via speakers with some hands-on work. This is what most organisations will need to start, but not to rapidly improve.
- Parli-training (UK) claim to offer an e-campaigning course, but I had never heard of them until now nor anyone who had taken the course. Like the BOND course, a one day training can only be a basic overview. Perhaps their focus is political party campaigning vs. NGO campaigning.
I'm sure a few other options must exist too - so please share them if you know of them. The point of the above examples is that everyone seems to be only focusing on the basics with no options for those with experience to continue to improve. FairSay will also offer the basics, but with a leaning path and levels to serve practitioners and managers as they gain experience.
So, hopefully that justifies my claim that it is the most comprehensive e-campaigning training series. Of course, offering the series is only one part of the solution. It only becomes reality if people want more than just the basics.
Released Under Creative Commons License
The other aspect of the training is that I am releasing it all under a creative commons share-alike license. This is because I want to encourage spreading of e-campaigning skills and knowledge. I also am interested in actively collaborating with others, including the organisations listed above, to improve the trainings. However the having content for FairSay's training isn't the same as doing a course. FairSay's training series is only 35% of a course wile 50% is hands-on learning and 15% is participant sharing.
What do you think?
So on that point, I'd like to ask what you think of the training series and what you'd like to see added or improved?