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Home / Blogs / Lasa Circuit Rider Project

Lasa Circuit Rider Project

Stories from the field [Blog: Lasa Circuit Rider Project]
2003-10-23 03:55:07

My Story from the Field on working with one of our organisations, Waltham Forest Mencap, on their network install seems to have vanished but I don't think I wrote the html properly so that's probably why!

It can be seen on the project website as a case study at - not sure if the href will come out on here although I'm assured by Haiko the tech support that the blogs can support the tag.

Ian @ Lasa

@ 2003-10-23 03:55:07
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Project overview [Blog: Lasa Circuit Rider Project]
2003-10-09 06:38:00

On Monday 29th September I gave a short presentation to a meeting of UK Circuit Riders in Bristol on the Lasa project. There’s background info on the project at www.lasa.org.uk/circuitriderproject but, a year into the project, it’s useful to look at how it’s going.

On the up side, groups are generally very positive and involved with the evaluation from first phase (recruitment; first visits; Healthcheck; action plan development) being overwhelmingly good. An amount of handholding for groups going through upgrades and liaison with support companies has been carried out and it is great to see increasing confidence in abilities of groups to tackle ICT strategy/development.

On the down side, the initial healthcheck period was extremely tight – and the Round Up coming in the middle of this busy period didn’t help matters. Three groups dropped out - one Kurdish group because the Iraq war meant they were too stretched to commit staff time, one because the key staff member left and another because communication by phone, fax or email all failed to elicit a response!) We encountered a potential conflict situation with a support company where we felt they were over-specifying equipment which the group could ill afford (since mitigated – they won…). We’ve learnt that communicating with the right people is crucial (the project contact went off sick and it was obvious from meeting the rest of the staff that their priorities were for other things…) and that the “community” is taking a long time to build – the mailing list usage is low. In addition we are unsure whether the website resources are being used.

Specific examples of work that we’ve done include: working through a network procurement (see the case study on Lasa’s website); a re-evaluation of a successful £10,000 bid with regard to existing network structure; budgeting, drawing up requirements documentation, preparation and “handholding” a group with funding for operating system and memory upgrades, wireless network and broadband installation; and helping an organisation obtain £15,000 funding for new network/PC upgrades through budgeting and providing funding information.

It’s a been a busy first 9 months but we can see that we’re making some sort of difference to some of the groups! Sorry this is a bit long but I guess I’ve had some catching up to do.

Ian @ Lasa

@ 2003-10-09 06:38:00
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