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Outcomes of the FOSS certification planning workshop

FOSS Certification Planning Workshop Overview

Date: 15 – 17 October 2008
Location: Sunnyside Park Hotel, Johannesburg
Number of Participants: 21 people, including facilitators
Countries: South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Ghana, Germany

Workshop Outline

The overall workshop objective was
  • to involve key people with expertise in FOSS training and certification in the planning process for the ict@innovation pillar B on FOSS certification;
  • to obtain an overview of the different relevant perspectives and experiences from different countries and organizational contexts;
  • and eventually, through a discussion process, to achieve a common vision of how the ict@innovation FOSS certification programme could both ideally and realistically be designed, so that it is adapted to local requirements, is sustainable and will make a positive impact towards the pillar B performance objective (PriME).

Three Workshop Parts

1. Analysis of issues: In the first part, we approached the FOSS certification topic from the two key perspectives a) criteria for FOSS certification and training, and benchmarking with existing schemes and b) skills needs and ICT markets in the different countries. In a plenary group discussion, we collected criteria that are important to take into account in the design of the ict@innovation FOSS certification programme, and discussed different perspectives of the criteria. The objective was to bring all issues from the different perspectives and regions to the table that we need to consider in the detailed design of ict@innovation FOSS Certification programme. As part of this first session, several participants gave presentations of their specific country perspectives on the FOSS training and certification topic. Also, a FOSSFA paper on perspectives on African and international FOSS certifications was presented.

2. Creative idea and vision development: The second part was dedicated to a creative approach to the issue. We asked the participants to create a vision of their ideal ict@innovation FOSS certification programme, and the elements that this programme should have. In an individual brainstorming exercise with cards we first collected ideas for the FOSS certification programme, and then clustered the cards and summarized the ideas.

3.
Concrete Planning: In the third part, we looked in detail at the different potential components of the ict@innovation FOSS certification programme, and how they could be designed. Some decisions regarding key directions of the programme were taken by the group, and recommendations for the programme design were developed.

Contents of Workshop Report

Part I: Analysis of Issues
Training and Certification Criteria
FOSS Skills Needs and African ICT Markets

Part II: Towards the ict@innovation FOSS Certification Programme, Ideas and Inputs
Reasons for past Challenges with international Certifications in Africa
Components of an ict@innovation FOSS Certification programme, Summary of Brainstorming

Part III: Planning the ict@innovation FOSS Certification Programme