The value of digital tools to create communities across nations, organise and work towards a common goal has never been more starkly demonstrated than during 2020. The Covid-19 global pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have created opportunities for us to reflect on what we do and why, and accelerate change. Through adaption, we can work towards climate justice and more power can be ceded to partners.

Small organisations, diaspora and NHS Health Links are no longer travelling to visit their partners and families across Africa but instead have pivoted to continue much of their work through the lens of their smartphone, various online teaching platforms and messaging applications. Their capacity for change, adaption and the ability to work together and stand in partnership and solidarity has been remarkable. While the pandemic has been devastating, we can only hope that some of these positives are embedded into future practice.

Hub Cymru Africa commissioned a sectoral assessment report to assist the digital transition within Wales’ international development community and to assess what tools were in use here and by our partners in Africa and across the UK. The aim is to understand both the opportunities and the challenges of this new, digital way of working but also to identify future opportunities for shared activities and new ways to work together.

I’d like to thank everyone who has participated in surveys, workshops and interviews, and I hope you can see the value of your willingness to share and contribute to learning within the sector reflected in these pages. Particular thanks to Julia Rosser who undertook this work on our behalf, and Hannah Sheppard in the Hub Cymru Africa team, who has co-ordinated this work from beginning to end.

This report contains some pertinent recommendations for funders and organisations in the way we work with our partners. There is huge capacity for small organisations to make better use of free technology in their work with partners and Hub Cymru Africa looks forward to working with you on that endeavour.

 

Claire O’Shea
Head of Partnership

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