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Project Team

Michigan State University will facilitate a core team of committed anchor partners from the two convenings and experts selected by MSU to assist the planning and pilot process. Known internationally as a major U.S. public university with global reach, Michigan State University has been advancing knowledge and transforming lives through innovative teaching, research, and outreach for over 150 years. MSU is a member of the Association of American Universities, the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, and the Big Ten athletic conference.

The staff from South African Institute for Distance Education (Saide) OER Africa will serve as an in-country project manager and advisor to AgShare partners particularly regarding intellectual property policies. OER Africa, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya, is an initiative of the SAIDE with seed funding from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. It was established in February 2008 with the firm belief that OER has a powerful positive role to play in developing and capacitating higher education systems and institutions across Africa. OER Africa has been set up to ensure that the power of OER is harnessed by Africans for Africans by building collaborative networks across the continent.


FLOSS4Edu (Free Libre Open Source Software for Education) and Learning4Content have partnered to illustrate the impact and scalability of OER. Under the sponsorship of Commonwealth of Learning (COL), a conceptual building framework was developed to support and add value to existing FLOSS initiatives in the education sector. FLOSS4Edu is particularly interested in the power of social software for education in Africa and how wiki technologies can contribute to the development of free content by Africans for Africa. FLOSS4EDU uses the WikiEducator platform (inaugural recipient of the 2008 MERLOT Africa Network awards for Exemplary OER practices).

RUFORUM started as an initiative of the Rockefeller Foundation Food Security Program in 1992. For 12 years, it supported MSc level training and operated in Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. In 2006, the membership was expanded to the current number of 12 by the addition of University of Zambia, Zambia and Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania. RUFORUM also began to forge links with associate universities elsewhere in Uganda and in Ethiopia, Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, DR-Congo, Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland.

Creative Common’s ccLearn staff are members of the team consulting on shared global practices and implementing DiscoverEd search and tracking that will enable an unlimited number of partners and stakeholders to benefit from AgShare. Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. ccLearn is a division of Creative Commons dedicated to supporting open learning and open educational resources. ccLearn developed DiscoverEd as an open source scalable, extensible, universal search for educational resources on the web so that specific communities of interest (such as AgShare) could collaborate and share more easily, and so that the global educational community could locate and benefit from the ongoing, distributed production of useful OER.

The team also includes Krishna Alluri, Ph.D. who recently retired from the Commonwealth of Learning and leads numerous small farmer education projects will be a project manager and assist with finding key anchor partners; Lisbeth Levy, an experienced OER consultant to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation in Africa, will assist with finding key anchor partners and implementing monitoring and evaluation activities; and John Kaneene, Ph.D., an epidemiologist at MSU will provide expertise and help plan OER-creating field research activities

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