The 4SITE programme is meant to contribute to poverty reduction by adopting socially innovative solutions that combine technology with human research capacity. The programme builds on the successful implementation of the phase I of the project. In this second phase the focus is to utilize the well-established infrastructure and networks with partners to realize a dream achieved at two levels of implementation, academic and societal. At the academic level, the programme intends to aid the university to become a leading institution in research on social innovation in the fields of education, governance, information services and entrepreneurship. At the societal level, the programme aims at making actors utilize technological innovative solutions to enhance governance of natural resources, social services delivery and entrepreneurial skills.
The programme shall make MU more active in actionable research in the above areas. The programme shall ensure local citizens, MU staff, students, SMEs, duty bearers, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), and NGOs to have access to research findings on innovative solutions, and trainings. The improved governance of natural resources, innovative teaching and learning, socially innovative research on and delivery of social services delivery, gender sensitivity, and entrepreneurial skills ultimately contribute to poverty reduction within the community. MU will also benefit from its staff being trained at the level of PhD and through short professional courses. This will enhance the university’s capacity to provide knowledge and education, research and consultancy.
The overall strategy to attain these objectives is to create tools for academic and societal development that are not just sustainable but also self-steering as befits a phase II realizing ownership in the south. Project 1 creates a center of excellence for socially innovative pedagogy and applies adapted learning methods at MU, organizing workshops to strengthen skills of academic staff in using socially innovative research methods and ensure academic output and dissemination. The sustainable production of online videos such as Moodles becomes self-steering as certificates such as Badgr are issued. P1’s center of excellence will organize editing workshops for an annual 4SITE special issue in the thus empowered university’s Journal of Policy and Leadership. The dream is to implement a self-steering learning culture at all levels of the institution.
Project 2 increases use of e-resources within the university and beyond, makes a Multimedia contents services unit operational, and establishes information services monitoring tools to keep track of the programme’s effectiveness. It improves information services delivery for local society through innovative techniques of content organization and enhanced usage of MU ICT infrastructure and by strengthening the institutional network for service sharing. A maker space allowing the visitor to combine available (e-)resources renders the medialab self-steering. The ‘hardware’ of project 2 cannot function without the ‘software’ of Project 1.
Project 3 seeks to make local governance of natural resources and social service delivery more effective and gender sensitive. Actionable research on social accountability, collective action and gender sensitivity is increased, among others through socially innovative tools such as location-based monitoring apps and e-research. Monitoring apps make natural resource management self-steering. Those tools imply direct involvement of Projects 1 and 2.
Project 4 empowers SMEs to access entrepreneurial knowledge and skills, provides the MU School of Business programmes with the Blended Learning mode, develops databases and platforms for teaching cases in the form of e-learning. Clips by successful entrepreneurs permit the local business environment to steer itself.Project 4 thus delivers content for Project 1 as well as counts on Project 2 to pedagogically enable content delivery.
Adapting to new national and international challenges, Tanzanians leave behind blueprints and ideologies to develop practical designs in line with capacities acquired. The 4SITE programme aims at a transversal, fluid platform for learning, managing resources and processing to market.