Lessons of Experience with Media for Youths

Sunset in Uganda, where the action is.

Its now one year into the Media and Creativity Project, so I deem it appropriate to share a few lessons of experience.
It has been an exciting journey with lotsĀ  to learn and share. It has called for hard-work, going beyond the normal working hours, research and doing new stuff.

Lesson#1: Plan Your Work
It has proved very valuable that we sat down to plan how to introduce the project. Sharing plans with all people that matter was valuable. In the process of sharing, we also got to learn which people we needed to participate but were likely to be problematic, and then made decisions about how to deal with the situation. It must be noted that the implementation will try as much as possible to follow the plan but there is room for change. The plan is not set in stone.

Lesson#2: Mobilising Resources
Resource mobilisation has proved a challenge. What we have learnt so far is that most people want to work with projects that are already in motion. We are getting better feedback as the project gains traction that when we were still at concept stage.

Lesson#3: Managing Expectations
Each stakeholder, each participant has expectations. We have had to dampen some of them to avoid frustrations.

Lesson#4: Communicating Results
The benefits of the project are very clear to the project participants. We have learnt however that they may always be clear to some of the stakeholders unless clearly communicated. Traditional reports (write-ups) have proved very ineffective in communicating results.
We have found video (https://youtu.be/Tdu1Z-uGTMU) and live testimonies more powerful tools which we intend to continue using.

Exhibitions of youth works will also come into play.

Lesson#5: Listen to the Participants
Keeping our ear to the ground has been very valuable. Youths have great ideas about how to move the project forward. Maintaining and open mind, accepting new ideas, guiding rather than instructing have worked for us.

Lesson#6: Superficial Support
In project implementation, resistance may be masked as superficial support. Be alert. Pick and process signals of resistance, and try to address underlying fears, doubts and unease of stakeholders.

Lesson#7 : Support Eco-systems
No matter how great you are at selling the project or implementation, yu need support systems around you to help move the project to the next level and into the future. Think of all the systems needed to make it happen and reach out. Treasure and honor those you have got and cultivate new ones outside of the organisations where the innovation is being implemented.

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Kalema Golooba Ayub