Talk:OLPCorps Africa

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shouldn't there be two 'c's, as in "OLPCcorps" ?

The wiki stated that teams would be notified by April 10th. Is that only teams who were selected? We have also been hearing that no one has been notified as yet because you need more time due to a high volume of applications. As students, we are in a difficult situation because we have deadlines to submit our internships, and if we are not selected we have to start thinking of a plan B. We understand how busy you are right now, but please know that any communication from you (no matter how brief) would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

How do students initiate projects?

If we've haven't heard yet about winning teams should we assume that we were not selected?

  • This seems to be missing is a clear statement of what it is you are asking of people... How should students know what to do to come up with the necessary NGO connection, project scope, and proposal language? (paraphrased from wb)
    • Re: NGO Connection - We are looking for students who already have an established connection with an NGO, School, or some prior relationship (e.g. family ties).
    • Re: Project Scope - As with anything, this is a learning process for everyone involved. We will work closely with teams over the coming months to develop their proposals. We'd like to solicit the olpc community to help with assiting others so that they, too, can be a part of the olpc family.
    • Re: Proposal Language - We do not want a specific proposal language for every applicant. We're not looking for uniformity but, rather, creativity. What makes each project proposal stand out? Who goes above and beyond? Who shows that they're truly committed? Does a group not fit a certain criteria, but applies anyway just to show that they can and will do it better than anyone else? That's who we want to see. Like I said before, this is our first process, and one that is significantly constrained because of time. For that reason, we will go with what we can handle and not overextend ourselves. -Paul C.
  • I would argue that this would be rather hard to organize, without any help, for the individuals interested. As stated above, a clear statement is indeed needed – so is some more assistance. Is the one month deadline realistic for individuals?
    • Yes, organizing this will be difficult, as this is the first time. For that reason, everyone in the OLPC community should think about what s/he can do to support the interns. Remember, this is a university student program who are learning, too. Everyone should contribute and learn from the process. We should support OLPC projects. And there are ways to do just that. Have community members reach out to specific groups. Ask them what help they need. Let's revise the deployment guide and tailor it to small-scale 100 XO deployments. -Paul C.
  • It would be helpful to have a quick guide to making a good proposal, especially for people who are only proficient in English and don't have the same expectations of proposal style/language that you do / that american university summer-program offices do. --Sj talk 14:59, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
    • We are fully aware of the varying degrees of language we will receive. As this is our first time, we're setting a high level of proficiency for English so that we can work out all the kinks that arise. As we move forward, we can determine better ways to incorporate additional languages, like French, Kiswahili, etc. Keep in mind, we're focusing on African students, not to create another American-based internship program abroad.
  • Would it be helpful to create a forum thread for individuals seeking to group up, preferably on ?
    • YES! Great idea. Let's do it, particularly because many people are unfamiliar with wiki at first! Can you start one and email me at I will include the link in every email response so that we start generating more questions/answers/discussion/etc. This will really get the word out about the forum. Have any other ideas? -Paul C.
  • It would really be helpful if IU OHOT (or OLPC) could post the proposal that they (IU OHOT) submitted in order to initiate this program. It would help to give people a clear understanding of what's expected without requiring significant new work (like outlining requirements). Given the amount of preparation necessary to prepare a successful deployment, I would say that time is short and getting a model proposal up here quickly would greatly increase the chances of the Corps receiving qualified proposals before the deadline. --Dan talk
    • re: program - There was no formal, written proposal submitted to start this program. The program started after several conversations around the idea. re: model proposal - the IU group is submitting a proposal in the coming days. However, student teams shouldn't base what they do only on this example, as this is but 1 group. This should simply serve to generate ideas so we can all learn from them. -Paul C.
  • Is the requirement that these proposals be submitted with 2+ Full-Time Students one that this program is willing to overlook if the rest of a proposal is good enough?

Paul, since you are responding to all of the discussion posts here I'm assuming that you are in some way managing or at least influencing the management of this project. Operating under this assumption, I'd like to bring up a point that I've been pushing via the @community email thread in this venue (the wiki) as well to make sure that it's reached your ears/eyes. Given the aggressive deadline that has been set here, and the reality that to properly prepare for a deployment takes considerable planning, is this program interested in applications from teams that do not meet the requirement that the group include 2+ (or more specifically, any) Full-time college students? I ask because it is my understanding that there are a number of groups in the community at large that do not meet this requirement, but are already well into the planning process, can meet all other requirements, and are probably itching to turn in quality proposals. Furthermore, these groups are already well entrenched in local communities in need, understand the cultural context and local issues involved, and have plenty of real world experience working in these communities. I think that they have the potential to contribute significantly to the success of this project. With the termination of the change the world / give a school program, these qualified parties are unable to even purchase laptops in quantities of 100, let alone be given training, free laptops, and a stipend as accompaniment. If the underlying goal of this program is to build a network of knowledge and experience sharing small scale grassroots deployments to further education in developing countries (or in Africa if we need to be that specific), is there a good reason for excluding proposals from teams that don't meet the 2+ student requirement? --Dan talk (Infrastructure/Tech_Manager for: OLPC_Nigeria/Jimeta)

Submitting Proposals

  • Is the 1/2 page budget outline considered as part of the 750 words? Should we include team member bios?
    • The 1/2 page budget is not considered as part of the 750 words. If you want to include team member bios, create a team wiki page and put the hyperlink in your 750 word proposal. - Bryan S.
  • If our team is interested in partnering with a women's education NGO, is it acceptable to distribute the 100 laptops to girls only, or should we aim for more equal distribution?
    • In general, this idea is fine. Depending on the specific situation, it could be incredibly interesting! Be sure to check out our Core Principles and e-mail us at with some details. - Bryan S.
  • The proposal is restricted to 750 words, yet hyperlinks are allowed. Will the additional detail included in hyper-linked pages give teams a better chance of acceptance? And if so, doesn't that essentially defeat the purpose of a maximum word count?


  • What kind of hardware will OLPC provide the teams? It seems as though that will make up a large amount of the expenses that cut into the $10K stipend (i.e. solar panels if necessary, storage battery, XOP's/MBC's, etc.). If the teams knew exactly what hardware they would receive in addition to the server, they could probably plan their costs a lot better.
    • We are creating the following bundle which will be provided to each team: 100XOs & 1 server. Power may/may not be provided based on circumstances of each proposal. We are working on finding access points at the moment. The server will be provided as part of the package, not subtracted from the 'up to $10,000' - Paul C.


Have a pre-application process, and a later final app date

> Perhaps a pre-app could be used to give you some idea of the level of > participation / attendance you need to prepare for, and a later date could > be put in place for finalizing all of the details of the final application. > Can we have our cake and eat it to? -- Dan Bennett

  • A pre-application process definitely offers some benefits to the program. Time is our biggest constraint this year, and I don't think that we have enough of it to hold a two-tiered application process. This idea is a great one and will be considered for future years of OLPCorps. - Bryan S.
  • Bryan, I'm not sure if my point above is clear, so I want to give some more details. I'm stating that a two-tiered application process is a method for giving the program more time. If you make your current March 27th date the date that a group must submit some sub-set of their application (that should give you a good idea how committed they are, and how likely they are to fulfill your requirements) then you can start planning whatever it is that's so time sensitive from your end around those pre-applications while still allowing applicants a slightly more realistic window for polishing up their final proposals.

Does that not make sense? Or perhaps you just think of it as giving a second chance to applications that are close, but don't quite meet your requirements when March 27th roles around.

I think that either could be beneficial in attaining your desired outcome. -Dan Bennett

There's nothing to stop a group from starting their planning process and posting a draft proposal well before the application period is officially open, is there? That gives them plenty of time before the official deadline and gives OLPCorps Africa an indication of what projects are in the works. We actually started our planning for 2010 back in July 2009 and posted our draft proposal in October 2009. I wouldn't want the deadline to be any later than it is, because we will need to have time after we hear whether we get the grant, or not, to collect on grants that are contingent on receiving the OLPC grant, to start making logistical arrangements, and to work on detailed training plans.

Janissa 20:17, 1 November 2009 (UTC)    Janissa Balcomb, OLPCorps_Muskingum_College_Lesotho

Rolling applications?

It would be nice to give some groups more time to pull their apps together; and others, who need to know right away, a way to get a decision by the current decision-date. Could there be two tranches for decisionmaking? --Sj talk 06:39, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

  • Given that this is the first year of OLPCorps, we don't know how many strong project proposals we will receive. A rolling applications process works best when a baseline level of expectations exist. For future years of OLPCorps, this could be a great idea. - Bryan S.

Require student groups to show support from their uni

< Nowhere in your current > program is there any requirement that the University lend any support at > all (other than Students of course...) -- Dan Bennett

This was in the contxt of wondering why only students can apply. --Sj talk

Page naming protocol

Would it be possible to add the grant application year to the projects' page names? It would help on the list of Subpages to know which are upcoming, ongoing, or previous projects.

Janissa 20:17, 1 November 2009 (UTC)    (Janissa Balcomb)

Why not broaden the scope?

allow non-student groups to apply

Non-student gropus often have more experinece / are doing more deeply considered long-term projects. Couldn't this funding and interest go into supporting and enhancing their efforts? -- from blog discussion

allow people to apply for other times of year / longer projects

Groups with long-term plans may not be able to fit into this particular usmmer schedule, particularly if they are not students. Following up on the above, what about providing for variations on timing, but still requiring joint attendance at workshops and more intensive training sessions? -- from blog discussion


The notion of "summer" as used here is North hemisphere-centric. Please use actual months / dates to make the information here global Red.png Yamaplos 21:19, 1 March 2009 (UTC)


i would like to know how i should write my title if i'm partnering with someone from another university?

  • You can just pick one of your universities - the title helps us organize proposals. - Bryan S.

A user deleted photos from my group's wiki

Yesterday, April 10th, a friend alerted me that someone had added changed photos on my group's wiki. My friend actually told me that a pornographic photo had been added. I don't see any evidence of that, but indeed, an OLPC user has gone into the script and deleted photos that I had uploaded. I do not think I violated any rules by adding these photos in the first place. Members of my group took these photos last year and are releasing them to OLPC, we don't claim any copyright permissions.
As for omissions, I went back into the script on the wiki page and changed it back. I have not however changed the main OLPCorps Afrca page. I will leave that up to the community. I am upset that this action may have been someone trying to better their chances for winning, or maybe a way to sabotage our group's chances. The user who changed the wiki used an Anonymous IP Address when editing the main page: But they were not as smart on the Group page, The user did not mask himself there, it was Look at his edit history. Someone also left a discussion text on my personal page signed by User:Diva shanice10. Either way, I hope the grant proposal committee relys more on the email that was submitted. In this case, the wiki is an unfortunate piece of technology that was misused. I still belive in the collaborative nature of a wiki, however it should be used more for documenting OLPC efforts rather than posting competing grant proposals. --Davidwalternorman 19:06, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Triage ideas

See OLPCorps triage for thoughts on how to recap and review the first summer of the Corps. --Sj talk 16:46, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Acquiring XO laptops before deployment

I've created a group page on Facebook called 'Donate your OLPC XO Laptop' and placed an add on Facebook with the hopes of acquiring several XO laptops for our team prior to deployment. The idea is to get people who bought an XO through the Give One Get One program, but who are no longer using them, to donate them to our project.

I have no idea how much response I'll get from this, but we're only looking for 2-3 XOs. I tried tracking down G1G1 XO owners in my area to borrow a few XOs, but I was unsuccessful. We could buy them off eBay, but they are going for more than we can afford right now.

Our group has several reasons for wanting to acquire 2-3 XOs prior to deployment. We would like to use them at fundraising events to give potential donors a hands-on experience with the XOs. We'd also like to get comfortable with using them before we deploy so we can be more effective during deployment and so we can start creating lesson plans prior to deployment.

If you're team is also interested in getting a few XOs prior to deployment, go to the Facebook group page 'Donate your OLPC XO Laptop,' join the group, then write about your project on the wall, and add a link to your project website.

I've added a disclaimer to the group page that it is not for individuals seeking XOs for personal use.

Janissa 02:55, 2 November 2009 (UTC) OLPCorps Muskingum College Lesotho 2010]

Submissions from last year

Some submissions seem to have been orphaned here on the wiki; not sure if they were seen through some other channel.

--Sj talk

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