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Thank you, Rebecca for your interest in OLE's work with children, youth and families whose lives are displaced and disrupted. Translators without Borders may indeed be helpful as we are progress with the Free Education Library for Syrians, or FELS. We look forward to being in touch!

Hi Open Ideo Team!

Thank you for asking to see a demo. What we can share is the platform currently implemented online for you to see the functionality. Click here: http://bit.ly/2wfpiPW, and login with USER: learner PW: learner. The personal dashboard menu is on the left, the community menu is on top. This demo is from the learner’s point of view, as the community/admin view is proprietary. To see the full power of the system, we've provided a few screen shots: http://bit.ly/2wfqqDl. We are redesigning a tablet UX, that will be used for the Somalia and FELS programs respectively, based on feedback we've received. Click here to see the new interface: http://bit.ly/2v5aox9. Further details on the platform can be found on the OLE website: https://www.ole.org/our-platform.

In reply to the thoughtful questions above that we haven't already responded to: 1) OLE's approach for a CLC/Peace Build village in Somalia and the Free Education Library for Syrians (FELS) are two new applications for OLE's constantly evolving, human-centered approach to enable everyone, everywhere to learn continually. 2) OLE's learning system and approach is inherently human-centered. As described, we work with nation-based partners from the start who customize the system for their community needs and interests. We focus on quality freely available learning as a way that integrates local culture and society. Our local Exchange Partners are consistently receiving and conveying feedback from community members (as demonstrated in our proposal). In fact, I am currently in Kenya with one of the Dadaab learning coaches and from our discussion we are further developing this proposed application of Planet Learning for the Camp and for the village program in Somalia, which will potential employ Planet Learning to help Somali refugees in Dadaab become "Ready to Return" and at the same time provide the conditions in selected Somali communities that enable them to become “Peace Building Communities” functioning as “magnets” for the Ready to Return refugees in Dadaab!

Hi Chris,
In response to your final question on OLE's funding model, please see below:

Our goal and our strategy for achieving OLE's goal for the next decade makes our funding model challenging. We think about it a lot. Here’s why.

We believe:

Powerful, meaningful and connected learning, something we all require in order to thrive, is a public responsibility, even a duty. It cannot be provided to everyone in a nation solely through the private sector. Too many people get left out. Thus our goal is to have the public sector fund and guarantee quality learning for everyone. We believe this should, at some basic level, be a lifelong duty for everyone, everywhere.

Since governments tend to be slow to change and to resist innovations, there is a permanent need for non-governmental organizations to be innovators, demonstrators and promoters of effective learning systems. These are needed in every nation and many nations needs many such organizations. They need their own policy boards, programs, staff and budgets and rarely have “extra” funding for “nice to have” activities and relationships.

Community-centered learning can be the most cost effective model for learning, especially basic learning. This seems to be true not only for the early ages. The learning of basic skills that are new to the learner can best be done at the community level. This is especially clear now that digital tools for learning are increasingly available worldwide. Such programs require funding that is almost always scarce.

OLE has chosen our core function to be to promote community-centered, life long learning that is guaranteed by the public sector. To us, “public sector” includes support from the communities served by their Community Learning Center. It’s a little like a Carnegie Free Public Library on steroids. In many cases, in order to obtain universal access, support is also needed at the regional and national levels.

What then is a viable business model for the Open Learning Exchange? Our current answer is as follows:
1) Membership Fees: Each of OLE’s nation-based Exchange Partners will be to pay an annual membership fee based on their total budget turnover. We plan to roll this out at OLE’s General Assembly meeting with all of OLE’s partner organizations in November in Kathmandu, Nepal.
2) Launch Fee: We will ask for a one year Launch Fee to be paid by every new Planet Learning program that we help establish. This is not a fee for the software but rather for the assistance and staff development costs involved in setting up and maintaining the Planet Learning system over the first year.
3) Annual Service Fee: We will ask each program using the Planet Learning system to pay an annual Service Fee for ongoing support of their system.
4) Contracts: We will continue to prepare proposals for contracts for services in setting up new Planet Learning systems. In most of these cases the majority of funding will be investing in the country where the service is being established. Such contracts for new services will include the standard Launch Fee and possibly additional fees for services that are needed from OLE.
5) Grants: We will continue to prepare proposals for unrestricted financial support for the core functions of OLE’s US-based operations. For the foreseeable future a substantial portion of such funding will be invested in continued improvements in the effectiveness of the Planet Learning software.

My best,
Richard