Madagascar on Gaia

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Madagascar on Gaia

Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The Project explores the possibility of using virtual worlds to facilitate interaction between geographically dispersed beneficiaries and stakeholders in a donor funded programme in an immersive realistic way at significantly lower costs.

The general concept is that stakeholders, beneficiaries, programme managers and consultants can collaborate, meet, exchange ideas and discuss,  in a context appropriate format (conferences, workshops, face to face meetings) in an environment that makes the interaction real.

The Virtual world that this project is being developed in is Openlife where two regions are being used in the pilot. One region, Danaus, hosts the One Laptop Per Child centre on Openlife  OLPC Openlife where those involved in the OLPC programme may meet and interact regardless of geographical location.

The Madagascar in Gaia project is linked to the OLPC program by way of following a specific project in Madagascar and looking at the ways a virtual world could be used to faciliate and sustain education reform  -





About You
Project Street Address
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Project Postal/Zip Code
Project Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on:

Although areas of experience cover Asia Pacific regions, the project will apply to any country in development towards Millennium Development Goals 2 (Education for all) and 7 ( Education For Sustainable Development). The pilot project 'Madagascar on Gaia' considers Madagascar as a target country for development

What stage is your project in?

Operating for less than a year

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What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?


Describe your idea in fewer than 50 words.

Provides an immersive environment for beneficiaries (students, pupils, teachers) and stakeholders to meet, create solutions, learn and showcase achievements to the world in a 3D environment, all in a fun way, at low cost.

What makes your idea unique?

Personalised solutions for expression of creativity and opportunities for learning in ways that would not be possible in real life where assets and resources are in limited supply or too costly.

What is your area of work? (Please check as many as apply.)

Education , Education reform , Adult education , Architecture , Business , Communications , Community development , Conscious consumerism , Globalization , Information technology , Poverty alleviation , Sustainable development , Technology , Environment & Sustainability , Biodiversity , Conservation , Green business , Green consumerism , Wildlife conservation , Indigenous cultures , Arts and culture .

What impact have you had?

Creating awareness of the options that are available through demonstration of the possibilities in areas related to MDG 2 ( One Laptop Per Child programmes) and 7 ( simulation and exposure of WWF programs in Madagascar)

Describe the primary problem(s) that your project is addressing.

- Acceptance of virtual worlds as an alternative to real situations; the barriers to entry are often high (a required familiarity with use of virtual worlds, modest internet access required)

Describe the steps that your organization is taking to make your project successful.

Creating materials and content that show the capabilities of virtual worlds in education, making access simpler

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Success in Year 1:

Sustained participation by incountry beneficiary organisations (NGOs, MoE, Training Organisations) in exploring potential uses of the virtual environment with a view to identifying areas for mutual benefit ( eg educational initiatives, ecotourism, environmentally sustainable trading with outside partners)

Success in Year 2:

Continued sustained participation by one or more incountry organisations contributing to the programme; securing financial backing or generating revenue to cover costs of implementation and training; local administration is sustained.

Success in Year 3:

Participating organisations fully independent in sustaining and managing local activities in the virtual world, generating revenue that covers the costs of participation

Do you have a business plan or strategic plan? (yes/no)

No published business plan

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 1:

Engage the interests of one or more organisations with a commitment to invest time and resources into exploring how a Virtual World project would yield benefits and to produce proposal for joint ventures.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 2:

Evaluate proposals on basis of value to local, district or regional communities in respect of education reform, environmental sustainability, and project sustainability ( funding,staffing )

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization? STEP 3:

Preparation of project plans for management ( Project alignment with MDG Goals, Log frame analysis, sustainability and risk analysis) and M&E ( Monitoring and Evaluation ) of performance against goals

Describe the expected results of these actions.

A project that successfully demonstrates it is possible for an organisation to have a presence in a virtual world, to work in ways that would otherwise be restrictive in terms of cost and resources in the real world, yet reaching out to a more global audience.

What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

When I realised, as a professional in education and training that I could design and build a system in a virtual world that could teach skills ( manual dexterity) and conduct assessment of an individual's skills in an automated way.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

PhD in Psychology with an interest in use of Information and Communications Techology to benefit in education and the environment. Wide experience internationally and an interest in the cultures and people of the places I have worked

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

OLPC Madagascar list posting

What would prevent your project from being a success?

Technological barriers - inadequate telecommunications infrastructure to support the initiatives.

Social Barriers - reluctance of stakeholders and beneficiaries to adopt new ways of working and teaching.

Political Barriers - lack of commitment/interest by relevant national stakeholders (eg Ministries of Education, Trade and Industry, Telecommunications) to consider the long term benefits of the initiative.

Financing source


If yes, provide organization name.


How long has this organization been operating? (i.e. less than a year; 1-5 years; more than 5 years)


Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs? (yes/no)


Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses? (yes/no)

No formal links

The Story
Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government? (yes/no)

No ( only through contracting agencies and donors )

Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.


How many people will your project serve annually?

Pilot - hopefully 100

What is the total number of employees and total number of volunteers at your organization?

1 Full Time Consultant , can draw upon a network of consultants in specialised areas

What is your organization's business classification?


Have you received funding from any of the following groups? (Please check as many as apply.)