Since my trip to Haiti in November, Waveplace has been very busy. First finishing the Haiti Spring 2010 video, then lining up the new Haiti pilots, then writing and rewriting our budgets (which took a surprisingly long time), and lastly writing three non-trivial documents: our Partner Accord, our Pilot Plan, and our Haiti Laptop Plan.

The Partner Accord is an informal signed agreement between Waveplace and each individual partner organization. In the past, we’ve conveyed expectations informally, through email bullet lists and on the phone. Needless to say, some things got forgotten, which inevitably led to problems at pilot time. With the new partner accord, written with three years worth of experience behind it, we hope to keep things clearer for everyone involved.

Here’s an excerpt:

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III. Responsibilities of Waveplace Foundation

1. Laptops

Acquire and deliver sufficient laptop computers and related hardware to each location prior to the start of each pilot. Install necessary software on each laptop and briefly test each laptop. After each pilot, assist each location in procuring more laptops, as desired.

2. Training

Conduct ten-day training workshops to teach each new mentor laptop basics, the Squeak Etoys environment, and pilot procedures. Conduct concurrent children’s classes to allow trainee mentors to witness the Waveplace guided discovery approach first-hand.

3. Courseware

Provide mentors with sufficient courseware (teaching materials) for the full pilot period. Courseware consists of video tutorials, printed books, and computer files, translated into the pilot’s target language. After each pilot, further courseware will be provided as available.

4. Support

Provide priority support to mentors via phone, email, and Internet during the pilot period, not to exceed 30 minutes per day per location. After each pilot, provide continuing support to all mentors, not to exceed 30 minutes per week per location.

5. Assessment

Determine effectiveness of the laptop program by acquiring and reviewing laptop use data upon completion of each pilot. Interview mentors and children during each pilot to collect ideas, complaint, and metrics. Produce an assessment report and share with PARTNER ORG.

6. Server

Provide a central server for ongoing digital communications between mentors, children, Waveplace, and PARTNER ORG. Access to server may occur via web browser, email, chat, Etoys, or custom programs. All identifying information will remain private from the world.

7. Publicity

Publicize pilot activities to social networks, newspapers, blogs, websites, and other media. Such publicity is intended to raise general awareness of our collective efforts to assist with fundraising and community building. All materials will be shared with PARTNER ORG.

8. Videos

Videotape the locations, workshops, and pilots using professional equipment. Produce short movies to be published via Web and/or DVD. Provide untitled or retitled versions of such movies to PARTNER ORG for use in their own publicity.

9. Updates

Provide free updates to Waveplace courseware and supplied software as they become available. Train mentors or other personnel to make such updates at each location. Provide extended support for such updates via email, phone, or Internet.

10. Fundraising

Conduct ongoing fundraising campaigns that periodically feature each location, providing a mechanism where donors may give to specific locations to help pay ongoing class costs. Fundraising results will vary greatly and should never be expected by PARTNER ORG.

IV. Responsibilities of PARTNER ORG

1. Budget

Work with Waveplace to design budgets for each specific pilot. Budgets should be considered specific to a location and time period, whereas this Accord should be considered an ongoing agreement. Make timely payments to both Waveplace and mentors as specified in each budget.

2. Access

For each specific pilot, designate a point person at PARTNER ORG who can communicate as needed with both Waveplace and the class mentors. Quick response (less than 48 hours) is essential, particularly during the pilots. This person should have authority to make most decisions on their own.

3. Mentors

Select five mentors to participate in each pilot training that can spend approximately five hours per day during the ten-day workshop, and 2.5 hours per day during the following six week pilot. Require mentors to furnish weekly reports to Waveplace. Ensure proper attendance of mentors.

4. Students

Select students to attend each class. Ensure attendance of students. At the start of each pilot, ask each child’s parent or guardian to sign the Waveplace Standard Release, allowing photography and videotaping of each child and posting of children’s work to the Internet.

5. Schedule

Create and confirm a calendar for each workshop and pilot that works with family, government, and school calendars, taking into account holidays and other “no class” days. Inform Waveplace and mentors immediately about any changes to such calendars.

6. Location

Provide suitable classrooms that are reasonably quiet for optimal interaction. Provide extension cords sufficient to reach all power strips. Provide a safe place to lock equipment between classes. Assure each classroom is unlocked 20 minutes prior to each class.

7. Transportation

Arrange transportation for mentors to both workshop and pilot classrooms. Arrange transportation for children to pilot classrooms. Inform Waveplace and mentors upon any change to transportation arrangements. Pay transportation costs as indicated in budgets.

8. Power

Ensure availability of electrical power for class use. If electricity within the classroom is not available, provide a nearby location for two-hour laptop charging between classes. Pay electricity costs, including emergency backup costs, as indicated in budgets.

9. Internet

Assess availability, cost, and type of Internet access available. Provide weekly Internet access for mentors. Determine whether to provide Internet access to students (not required in any Waveplace pilot). Pay for Internet costs as indicated in budgets.

10. Food

Food is essential to maintaining motivation and focus during class. If a children’s class is held outside of normal school hours, assure that each child receives lunch or a snack prior to the start of the class. Pay food costs as indicated in budgets.

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