Open Cities Africa

Collaborative Mapping for Resilient Societies

Built by educators to meet the learning goals of organizations and people, our platform represents seven years of methodical development.

About the Client

Building on the success of the global Open Data for Resilience Initiative (OpenDR), Open Cities Africa is a unique partnership between GFDRR, the World Bank, and city governments across the continent.

Defining the Solution

Facilitating community and knowledge exchange among project participants and stakeholders in a novel way that complements existing in-person trainings.

TechChange provided a customized online learning platform to host webshops, drive knowledge exchange, and build a community of engaged scholarship.

Quick Stats

The platform allows us to push out a large volume of content (in many different forms—traditional written, webinar, video), and in different languages, to a distributed cohort (both geographically, and linguistically).

Nuala Cowan, Disaster Risk Management
Consultant, Open Cities Africa

Getting Started with TechChange

The Open Cities Africa team reached out to TechChange with an important challenge. How do we facilitate community and knowledge exchange among project participants and stakeholders in a novel way that complements existing in-person trainings? TechChange worked with the team to map out how the curriculum could be adapted for an effective online learning experience on the TechChange platform. Our creative team created eye-catching graphics and captivating media and videos that would support the course. Additionally, our instructional design team created interactive activities to further enhance the online learning experience.

Custom-built, interactive articulates

Personalized Support

From the onset of the course, the TechChange team was invested in providing robust support for the Open Cities Africa team. The team reviewed initial content and provided both pedagogical and technical feedback. Wanting to showcase the multiple African cities represented within Open Cities Africa, the TechChange team customized the platform to include a city project gallery, resource library, and city update page.

This allowed participants to share successes, milestones, frustrations, and goals for their existing mapping projects in their cities. Facilitators from the Open Cities Africa team could share resources with their team and facilitate forum discussions important to course content.

The initial conversations enabled the TechChange team to work with the Open Cities Africa team to conceptualize how to effectively take their existing training materials and adapt it to our online learning platform using pedagogy and in-house instructional design experience.

Open Cities Africa platform environment

The Webshop Experience

Another aspect of the online learning experience that stood out for Open Cities Africa was the use of the platform for webinar experiences. The webshop approach cut down on expenses for in-person trainings, especially when convening people in multiple geographical areas. Global mapping technology experts were featured in webinars facilitated by a member of the TechChange team.

This hybrid approach resulted in a vibrant community of engaged scholarship and idea exchange. It was a successful example of the TechChange webshop model for combining the interactivity of an in-person workshop with the online global reach of a webinar.

Webinar hosted in the TechChange studio

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