Thank you Chelsea :-). This is very interesting. We can explore a partnership to see how we can make the digital learning space we are providing friendlier to the disabled, especially the blind. Rose Acock we can discuss this further.
What potential challenges do you foresee? Do you have them mapped out? Yes. The main challenge that we expect is a trust issue where we expect that young people mistrust the general procurement system by Government believing that it is rigged against them and in favour of the elite. Also, getting financial partners on board to recognise LPOs and finance young people based on LPOs. And also to reduce the cost of credit.
Do the target audience see the benefits of training? Yes they do. The majority of young people who have been disqualified in tender processes have been very bitter and claim that the system was rigged against them. However, upon review, we have been able to show them where they went wrong. They see the benefits of training in improving their success rates and equipping them with the right tools and skills sets to use in the long run.
How viable is it post-training to actually access the money? It is very viable. There is a compliance module within the AGPO system that is tracking the contracts that have been allocated to these preference groups, their value and and how they are being awarded. Lastly, Parliament requires the National Treasury to report on the progress of AGPO by providing reports on the number of businesses that have benefited and by how much.
How do you intend to break some of the initial barriers? Due to our pre-existing relationship with both AGPO registered companies and the National Treasury, we do not foresee any initial barriers in terms of deployment. The barriers at an operational level will be monitored and the system adjusted accordingly.
Do you have some hypothesis we want to test? Yes. That procurement training and capacity building improves the rate at which youth, women and persons with disabilities owned businesses win Government tenders.
Reflect on the user's journey… Have you considered making different user experience maps for different types of users? Yes. The users journey is dependent on his industry and type of business. We might want to customise this further... a lot of it will be adjusted based on actual user experience and analytics showing how users navigate through the system.
Do youth really want to apply and win Government tenders? Is it in line with their aspirations? Yes. Abundantly so. Youth owned businesses offer many services that are required by the Government in its day to day operations; from simple supply supplies work to complex ICT systems development that a lot of our youth are now quite proficient in. Government as a client offers these Youth owned businesses the stability that many lack due to chasing of payments. This is especially so due to the directive that Youth owned businesses must be paid within 2 months of supplying their services.
Do you have potential users that have limited access to be online or no access at all? Yes. How we plan to cater for those with limited supply is to avail different formats of training apart from video. All training content will be downloadable for use offline. Sample filled tender documents that can be downloaded and printed will be provided in addition to infographics providing users with step by step process of filling tender documents.
How do you intend to reach them? The registration of these enterprises for the AGPO certificates happens online. The certificates are issued digitally. Therefore, the assumption is that all companies seeking to provide services have access online, even periodic.
Have you considered a fair or series of pop up stands for people to come and learn? The cost connotation of doing physical training is quite high. However, through our partners, we can ride on their offices, events and general infrastructure to distribute materials.
What are the potential insights and lessons learned from video training? And non-video training? Video training provides more context than non-video training. Non Video training may be cost effective and given its variety (infographics, sample tender docs, it may be better due to the constant reference to it at the comfort of the office or house without necessarily being online.
How do they compare and what is the impact? We will have to assess the impact from our analytics to see which has the greatest impact and adjust the training appropriately.
What is in place post this training to ensure that once tenders are won that young people have sufficient support to expand their businesses etc? Once tenders are won, the system will be set to alert the users of similar tenders that have been advertised by Government to enable them get more business but now with the benefit of experience having done similar work. Further, we shall avail information to ensure that once a tender is won, they have enough advice on how to invest the money back in the business, pay their taxes, and in general ensure that the work is done well to ensure that they can get repeat business.