Joint Initiative on Youth Employment in Africa Concept Note for a Website Proposal

plumpbustlingInternet and Web Development

Dec 4, 2013 (3 years and 10 months ago)

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Joint Initiative on Youth
Employment in Africa


Concept Note for a
Website Proposal


Prepared by Amadou B.
DIALLO, PhD

with the assistance of
Abdoulaye DIALLO,
Consultant.

Human Development
Department, African
Development Bank,
Tunis.










1


TABLE OF CONTENTS


EXECUTIVE

SUMMARY

................................
................................
................................
............................

2

I
.

I
NTRODUCTION

................................
................................
................................
................................
.......

4

II
.

O
BJE
CTIVES OF THE WEBSIT
E
................................
................................
................................
...............

4

III
.

S
IMILAR STANDALONE WE
BSITES FOR YOUTHS


INITIATIVES

................................
............................

6

IV
.

T
ECHNICAL DETAILS

................................
................................
................................
............................

7

V
.

P
ARTICIPATION AND WEB
SITE MANAGEMENT

................................
................................
...................

12

VI
.

T
EMPLATE OF THE WEBSI
TE

................................
................................
................................
..............

14

VII
.

D
EVELO
PMENT PROCESS
,

PLANNING

AND COSTING

................................
................................
....

26

VIII
.

D
ELIVERABLES AND MAIN
TENANCE

................................
................................
................................

28

IX
.

L
EGAL ASPECTS

................................
................................
................................
................................
..

30

X
.

CONCLUSION

................................
................................
................................
................................
........

31












2

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


This document will be present a proposal for a website for the
ILO/UNECA/AU/AfDB Joint Initiative on Youth Employment in Africa.


Objectives of this
website are:

• introduce the Initiative to the World,

• to develop an easily accessible website,

• to develop a strong
social media

component,

• provide links to other websites

on youth employment,


• etc.


This proposal explores various themes, includi
ng:


A design process
that examines a number of design options

aiming at
creating a

visually

striking, and engaging
website

for visitors.


A comprehensive approach to content production
that will deliver a
clear outline of content

requirements for the n
ew website, helping to
identify existing content that can be repurposed and new

content that
needs to be written.


Powerful and easy to use content management tools
to enable
multiple content authors and editors to

manage the content within the
Joint
Init
iative

website.


A range of marketing options
to maximi
z
e the impact of the new
website among key audiences helping

to promote the
Joint Initiative

and
build its profile within target sectors.









3


This proposal is a first tool to engage discussions within th
e members of
the groups for better
understand
ing

the issues that wil
l a
ffect
the Initiative
,
and how best to overcome obstacles and

maximiz
e potential.









4

I. I
N
TRODUCTION


The initiative originated from the AfDB’s Board of Directors’ decision at
its 2010 Ann
ual Meeting to tackle the growing youth unemployment crisis
in the continent. This was the subject of a recommendation to the Bank for
the Medium Term Strategy 2008
-
2012. The Initiative is also in line with
the commitment made by the African Heads of State

at the 17
th

Ordinary
Session of the African Union (Malabo, July 2011) to ensure the creation of
employment for accelerating youth development and empowerment within
the framework of the Youth Decade Plan of Action 2009
-
2018. Finally,
the initiative is con
gruent with the UN Agenda of promoting decent and
productive work for young women and men. The main comparative
advantages are found in: (i) the AU political legitimization role within the
framework of the Declaration on Employment Promotion and Poverty
A
lleviation resulting from the African Heads of State Extraordinary
Summit (Ouagadougou, September 2004), (ii) AfDB’s mandate of
promoting the social and economic development of Africa through
technical and financial leverage and strength in preparing an
d
implementing operational interventions, (iii) the ECA expertise in youth
employment policy advocacy within the framework of sound
macroeconomic analysis and (iv) ILO’s specific mandate, expertise and
experience promoting decent work through labor, emp
loyment and social
protection issues as described in the Decent Work Agenda.


II.
OBJECTIVES OF THE WE
BSITE


The four partners in this joint Initiative recognize that they need to adopt a
participatory

approach in order to ensure internalization of the pr
ocess.
In this setting, the proposed website will serve as a link with Youths
primarily, but also other stakeholders (civil society, private sector,
government, medias, educational institutions, donors, etc.).









5


The proposed website will:


• introduce the
Initiative to the people around the World, and especially
African Youths in the continent and the Diasporas; indeed, Youths
remaining the overarching goal of this Joint Initiative and the ultimate
target for this website;

• to build awareness of the Initi
ative and its activities and help achieving
its objectives;

• to develop an easily accessible online destination for stakeholders;

• to develop a strong
social media

component. That is, converse and
interact directly online with Youths and other stakeholde
rs on problems
facing youths on African’s labor markets and possible solutions to them,
through their views, experiences, knowledge of the market and the
country, etc. The form adopted would combine blogs with links to social
networks such as twitter, face
book, youtube, linkedin, etc. Participants can
comment on general postings from the Initiative’s team, as well as
commenting on each other’s contributions on specific topics. These
conversations will nourish and guide work on the Joint
Initiative

and lead
to a consensus. Youths also have possibility to undertake surveys online to
tell us about their actual employment situation and the labor market
characteristics of the country/region;

• provide links to other websites containing pertinent information on t
he
question of youth employment in Africa (including sites of the four
partner institutions).

• post documentations, events, etc.

• post data and graphs

• develop an online survey on issues pertaining youth employment in
Africa









6

• register visitors and pro
vide them with an account

• etc.


Due to its political nature, we recommend to think carefully on the
stakeholder participation and the decision making process.


III.
SIMILAR STANDALONE W
EBSITES FOR YOUTHS’
INITIATIVES


-

GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP F
OR YOUTH EMP
LOYMENT
:

formed in 2008 is between the International Youth Foundation, the Arab
Urban Development Institute, Understanding Children’s Work and YEN.
The primary goals of the partnership are to build and disseminate evidence
on youth employment outcomes and
proven methods to improve them,
with a special focus on Sub Saharan Africa and the Middle East where the
evidence base is particularly scarce. The Partnerships’ area of intervention
are applied research and learning; policy dialogue and local engagement
wh
ereby technical assistance for local governments and innovative pilot
projects are provided. Website is
www.gpye.org



-

YOUTH EMPLOYMENT INV
ENTORY

:

a joint effort of YEN,
German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Dev
elopment (BMZ),
World Bank, Inter American Development Bank (IADB) and ILO
documents programme design, implementation and achieved results. It’s
website is
www.
youth
-
employment
-
inventory
.org














7

IV
.
TECHNICAL DETAILS


Domain name
.


Proposed names for the website is
www.youthemploymentafrica.org

or

www.yea
-
eja.org

(for Youth Employment Africa


Emploi des Jeun
es en
Afrique).

It is proposed that the site be hosted by a dedicated server, independent
from websites of the four aforementioned institutions. Indeed, online
discussions with Youths reveal that they found our own institutions’
websites too big making re
search and surfing cumbersome.


Website tool.


A powerful content management system (CMS) will be required to
provide you with the ability to manage the content within the site quickly
and efficiently.
To quickly develop the website, it is proposed to use

a
CMS , which are very powerful and flexible website templates

such as
drupal, joomla, ecommerce, magento, typo3, etc.


Drupal


is a
very good for community based sites (such as facebook)
and provides a lot of ‘out of the box’

features, but not so suit
able for this
project as its management of hierarchical page based content is poor

compared to more suitable solutions.


Plone


It’s a

very fast CMS platform for news based sites. Can be used
for standard CMS publishing but

requires work to make it suita
ble for a
standard hierarchical site structure.


Joomla


It is a
very orientated and focused on blogging/news stories,
very popular with designers however

development cycle is slow and the








8

platform is missing many basic features such as workflow, staging

etc.

Like Plone, this is not particularly focused on browsable hierarchical
structures
-

better for news etc.


Magento


is a
very powerful eCommerce platform with basic CMS
capabilities.

Really not suitable for this project.


Alfresco


a
very powerful

platform which is based on an enterprise
class DAM. Suitable for more portal

orientated projects and those
requiring a huge amount of documents.


Typo3


a
very powerful CMS platform focused on hierarchical page
based content with a rich extension

archit
ecture providing thousands of
extensions. Whilst Typo3 is not the prettiest CMS, it is very focused on

the management of hierarchical page based content and article/document
repositories.

Whilst these are all good CMS platforms (we use a number of
them reg
ularly), they are focused on different site

requirements




We use joomla for designing this website.
Joomla offers all the
functionality that the Joint Initiative require for this project, whilst at the
same time offering the benefits of being a very act
ive

open source project.

It
provide
s

the following functionality
:

• Page based CMS editing (with paragraph based layouts)

• Medias contents and management

• News/Blog catalogues (inc RSS and event calendars)

• Comment capabilities

• Digital Asset Manager (
multi
-
upload)

• Polls and surveys

• Contact catalogue

• Form builder









9

• Discussion forums

• Search engine friendly

• Publishing workflow with multiple work spaces (training, staging,
production etc
.
)


Logo

and banner
.


As a new Initiative, new logo
and bann
er
should be created for this
website. Whist the logo is important, we should also think

about the
pe
rsona which is exuded by the Initiative
, ensuring visitors and
stakeholders get the right

impression of it
.


Social medias.


Considering the scope and topi
c of this project,
one

cannot
and must
not
ignore social media.

S
ocial media is likely to play a fundamental aspect of
helping to promote the
Joint Initiative
and its activities.

We’ve already
started to
spend time to explore how Social Media (Blogs, Faceb
ook,
YouTube, Linked
-
in,

Twitter etc
.
) could be used effectively by the
Joint
Initiative
to support and promote your expertise.



Hosting.


The
Joint Initiative

website could be hosted on the
server of a member,
say, the
African Development Bank
’s

server (
which would be the cheapest
option), or it could have its own dedicated server ensuring your hosting in
independent of
partners’ respective websites
.









10

From a cost perspective, hosting can vary dramatically from a bit of cheep
virtual hosting costing a few h
undred

dollars a year, through to much more
robust and fully managed services which are of course more expensive

(approximately from 5,000 to
10,000
US dollars
per year).

The hosting
could be made by a company based in Tunis, which are more affordable
than

European or American ones

and efficient alike
.


Search engine optimization.


Search engine visibility is an increasingly important aspect of any
website’s objectives
. A
fter all what is the use

of a lovely website if no one
knows about it?

Considering the

importance of search engine ranking, a
fundamental aspect of
the

planning and development

process
of this
website
would be to develop a comprehensive search e
ngine optimiz
ation
strategy, ensuring that the site will

organically perform well within search
e
ngines, helping to improve the visibility of the
Joint Initiative
and

its
activities.

For the optimization, all referencing techniques (google
adwords, robots, key words, etc.) will be used.


Key milestones.


We need to e
stablish key milestones for improv
ing further

the website
.
U
ltimately we need a target

launch date.

We can aim for an aggressive
target of
end
December

2012
, or we can be a bit more realistic and target

January
2013
launch which allows more time for content and decision
making.

As

time is
a key issue, we could

also

work to launch an initial
,
`lighter’,

website, followed by a more

complex and fuller website.











11

Information architecture


catering to multiple stakeholder groups.


One

can easily redesign a website to be visually
attractive;

thi
s is not
however what will define the site’s ability to

cater to its visitor’s needs.
Key to
the proposed

website’s success is its ability to cater to a wide range
of different visitor

groups with varying levels of knowledge and expertise,
in an intuitive
and engaging manner.

Targeted groups are youths,
researchers, policymakers, etc. We adopt a strategic content profiling
(SCP) to design our website.


Languages.


The website will use the working language of the continent: French,
English, Arabic, Spanish
and Portuguese. It is proposed that the website’s
contents be written in one language (say English) and then make them
translated by a professional translator who can put them in other language
and post them on the website.
Budget and time will therefore n
eed to be
planned for this activity. A point to consider is the possibility of launching
on a single language and then adding the additional languages as the
content is translated
-

this would allow for the quicker process and ensure
that content is transl
ated in context of the website.
So far, French language
has been used.


Website content.


The single most important aspect of this project will be the content
(s)
/

message
(s)

that is provided to visitors, this is

what visitors will be coming
to the websit
e for.

We need to
agree on

the content architecture
as soon as
possible

and to then
allocate

sufficient resources to write
and update it
.









12


Evolving structure.


As this is a new initiative, we expect the content structure to grow and
develop over time.

We
will therefore need to establish a roadmap, which
outlines initial content requirements, whilst mapping an

evolutionary
growth into something much more complete.


V.
PARTICIPATION AND WE
BSITE MANAGEMENT


Remember, this is a potentially political project.


From experience, a project such as this
is

often fairly political, even when
there is a clear mandate for

centraliz
ed decision making.

This calls for a
need to develop a participation framework which will encourage the
participation of all members of the f
our organization and beyond, at the
early stage and thereafter to gather their inputs. This will build consensus,
team work and speeds up the process.


Team required.


Two levels of participation are foreseen:



A s
takeholder participation
:
We believe t
hat a stakeholder group
which consists of 7 to 10 key opinion formers/leaders is essential. This









13

stakeholder group will be used to help define the user requirements,
resulting in the information architecture
1
.


A d
ecision making process
:
The other very im
portant aspect which will
affect this project is the decision making process. We really need

to know
who the key decision makers are and who could have strong opinions
related to the project.

We would therefore strongly suggest these
individuals are includ
ed in decisions early on (forming part of the

stakeholder group), otherwise they are bound to have opinions/views
without having been part of the

context/process
, which can have a
devastating e
ffect on the project and its final outcome.


Two teams
therefor
e will be needed:


A w
orking
group
,
which
is responsible for getting the work done and
consists of a number of team members who will work on the
planning/design/development of the website. This team consists of hands
-
on individuals who will help plan, gat
her, write and populate content for
the

website
.

If budget is available, the following experts are needed: (i) a
w
orking group project lead
-

decision maker who will provide feedback /
sign
-
off / approval
, (ii) an
online communication specialist
-

experien
ced
online specialist
, (iii) a c
ontent leader
-

in charge of content team, ideally a
good content editor
, (iv) a c
ontent writers
-

a number of content writers,
experienced at writing for the web
, (v) a p
roduction support
-

individual to
support content pop
ulation and asset preparation
, (vi) an a
dministration
support
-

organize meetings, workshops, travel etc.
, (vii) an
IT support
-

should only need to be involved to help arrange hosting/internal
infrastructure issues
.
The working group will work on the
webs
ite
project,
from
actual phase

planning through
out

to the final launch.

• A s
takeholder group,
which provides the knowledge, insight and
opinion and

consists of decision makers and key stakeholders in the



1

This is different from a working group.









14

initiative. These individuals will have influence w
ithin the initiative and
should ideally come from different parts of the initiative, ensuring we have
a full and balanced view regarding the objectives, issues and obstacles
faced by the initiative.

Ideally we need the most senior decision makes
possible t
o be involved at the key stages, ensuring the correct insight and
influence is applied at the appropriate stages in the project.

The stake
-
holder group essentially consists of equivalent of a ‘board of directors’

if
possible
,
or at least managers,
plus a f
ew other key knowledge leaders
from the organization.

If not, a committee could be put in place, consisting
of at least 2 people from each of the four institutions.
The stakeholder
group will be required at key points within the project, as access to their

time is limited


VI.
TEMPLATE OF THE WEBS
ITE


At this stage it is too early to really have a

full

view about
what this
website should become as discussions continue
. Planning time to define
the objectives and the audience requirements will be needed, as w
ell as
time to define the visual identity of the organization. We have however
put together a brief mock
-
up design, which does provides a platform to
start thinking about what the site could become.









15

Home page
: it presents briefly the Joint Initiative with

first a tentative
banner and l
ogo
s

of the
four

partners
. We add also a “
news


page that
displays the latest news
about

the initiative
. On the right, we also present
the various menu
s

of the
web
site and the link
s

of the site
to its child b
log
and social ne
tworks to better share information and articles published on
the site. The video library
displays

the latest video
s

and photo galleries
about youths and employment
.

That is, to improve the attractiveness of the
website, we allow users to upload media conte
nts on the website.











16


A
bout us

page
. As its name suggests
talks about

the initiative and the
partners associated
in

it and the purpose
s

and objective
s.










17

The
p
rogram
me page
:
provides more
detailed explanation
s

about the
Initiative,

chronologies of diffe
rent events, places and the date
s..
.










18

Activities page
: This
page

refers to all
upcoming
activities

(events,
projects, programmes, etc.),

to be carried out within the framework of this
joint initiative
.










19

Survey page
:
collect information about
visitors

ab
out various questions
(such as their current employment situation and the prevailing labor
market conditions in their country)
.
This will enable us to build a
permanent and
reliable database
which could become a

valuable tool for
youth employment

policies
.


To start
, the user has to

respond to questionnaires
about

identify
themselves with their
personal characteristics.











20

Then
she/
he’ll
answer the questions
about employment and economic
situation of his country.
She/h
e’ll f
inally
provide his

own comments,

critics and suggestions.


Of course, we can modify this questionnaire to make shorter and more
accurate.










21

Documentation page
:
will
publish all the
important
documents that
might
be useful for visitors for a better understanding of the employment
situati
on in Africa
.










22

Useful links

page
:
will redirect the visitors to useful links and addresses
of
different institutions work
ing

on promoting

employment

situation

of
young people in Africa.

It will also provide insights to experiences in the
rest of the Wor
ld.










23

Contact

us page
:

it to engage users
with us
on various subjects,
collect

their comm
ents,
criticisms and suggestions
.










24

The country heading section
:

allows direct search

by country
for n
ews,
local
initiative
s and projects

for employment
, especially
youth
employment, and documentations.











25

The initiatives section
:

presents various
international
initiatives
for
p
r
omoting

the employment of young people in Africa
.











26

VII. DEVELOPMENT PRO
CESS, PLANNING AND
COSTING


Initial design presentation.


A prese
ntation of the site has been made on 18
th

April

2012 at the Ramada
Plaza hotel in Tunis. Now, the process is to loop at the final design.


Development process for the final website.


Next steps for the final website are to look at the planning, the agreem
ent,




June

July

August

September

October

November

December













Planning



















Content
Writing



















CSS/HTML
















CMS
















Site Build U
p
















Launch






















27

T
he pl
anning phase, content writing and design
of the final website

can
begin running concurrently. From this point, each phase runs sequentially,
with ratification and approval points ensuring the project stays on track.


The planning and strategy phase of the
project is where all aspects of the
project are discussed and considered, ensuring that the project is
thoroughly thought out before any design or development work starts.

It
involves lot of discussions and agreements, information gathering and
research, s
ite mapping,
etc.


The design phase implements the final
visual look of the site
. Similar
websites will be used as models and competitors in this stage.

The
production phase aims at designing
key screens layouts

and will also
create
key HTML templates
. Th
is will
turn

the

design into key building
blocks which are required to build the website.

The
CMS
development phase is where the programming and integration of
specified functionality is carried out including the implementation of a
multi
-
site content mana
gement system
, including core HTML
programming,
images and
media library configuration, survey page setting
up, extra functionality, etc.

Finally,
the site build
-
up, content integration and testing will wrap the
whole things together. At this stage, the fu
ll website is in shape according
to the site map and the content will be populated with the CMS, the
graphic elements, the animated items, etc.

Once this step is successfully achieved, the website could be officially
launched and come alive, enabling user
s to surf on it and having automatic
redirection of

old URLs to new URLs to ensure
that
existing search engine
ranking is retained
. Ideally, the website should be uploaded on a dedicated
server.












28

Costs
.


The pro
ject is expected

to cost around 3
0,000 USD

per year, based on
Tunisian standard fees.


Item

Cost (USD)

Logo and banner

500

Final design phase

1000

Production (Key screens, HTML templates)

1000

CMS implementation
-

optional

800

Intranet/Extranet Development
-

secure area for
stakeholders/me
mbers

1000

Wireframe / Prototype development

1500

Site build, content population, hand crafting and site flourishes

12000

Site Launch & URL remapping
-

optional

500

Translation

5000

Meetings

5000

Project management

2000

Total

30300


VIII. DELI
VERABLES AND MAINTEN
ANCE


De
liverables
.


There are a number of key deliverables within the project with the final
part of this being the live website.

The following is a breakdown of the
key deliverables / options:

1. A site map and content architecture









29

2.

Wireframes / HTML prototype

3. Mood Boards

4. Initial designs (Design Swatches)

5. Final design

6. Key screen layouts

7. XHTML/CSS Templates (Cross platform and browser compatible)

8. CMS platform:

(i) p
age based content management
-

Allows users to
edit,

modify and delete pages and
content
, (ii) n
ews / b
log functionality
-

p
rovides a powerful news story publishing platform, with commenting,

categories and RSS syndication

9. Site build & Layout within CMS

10. CMS training

11. URL re
-
mapping

12. Launch of s
ite

13. Content writing

14. Translation Services

15. Photography

16. Additional sever functionality


Optionally, the Joint Initiative could request a mobile version of the
website that can be accessible on Palm and Android supports including
Iphone, Blackb
erry, etc.


Maintenance and support
.









30


The Joint Initiative could either hire a dedicated staff to maintain the
website or hire a consulting firm, with site guardian capabilities (server
maintenance, site integrity, etc.), to do it.


IX. L
EGAL ASPECTS


Fi
nally, following procurement rules of the four institutions, a special
attention should be paid to legal aspects such as consultant services,
workshops,
materials. It would be ensure
d

that any item produced for this
website be
quality
guaranteed by a warra
nty and liability between the
Initiative coordinator’s and the consultants.
It should also be ensure that
they are produced in time

to meet the deadlines
.
Consultants should also
be ready to fix bugs and errors during a year following services.
All
interac
tions between the Initiative team and consultants should also be
recorded to avoid potential conflicts in the future.
All the codes, materials,
supports remain the property of the Joint Initiative

and will be
copyrighted
.

The Initiative will dispose freely

of these materials.

Likewise, the Initiative team will make sure that no infringement to the
laws is caused by putting contents that violate copyrights or laws or
morality on the website.
The website should not also be generating
revenues (unless otherwis
e specified such as collecting funds for a
catastrophe). The costs of
maintaining the website and renewing
registration fees, domain name registration and hosting, etc., are at the
charge of the Initiative.
The Initiative team will adopt a code of conduct
for its staffs and for users.
All parties will treat information as confidential
unless this is from the public domain. Any changes to the legal terms
should be agreed by both parties (the Team and the Consultants).
Contract
termination should also follow
standard rules and legal delays.











31

X. CONCLUSION


The Joint Initiative is an exciting and very important programme that
deserves to have its own website, as the same as the World Bank’s Global
Partnership on Youth Employment.

This website will undoubtedl
y shed light on constraints and opportunities
facing today and in the future Youths in Africa. In the modern area of
internet and informatics, it is important to have a best
-
of
-
breed website
that would attract all the Youths and other audiences, to better
communicate with them, to communicate the Initiative to the World and
help the Initiative achieving its objectives.