Knowledge management and communications training in Indonesia’s AKSI-ADB projectACER news 17 Jun 2021 5 minute read
The use of visual storytelling has skyrocketed in use in branding strategies and brought success to businesses. AKSI-ADB believes educational institutions can benefit from the same strategy.
The AKSI-ADB project, with technical support from partners including the Asian Development Bank and the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) Indonesia, supports skills and knowledge advancement for four Indonesian universities: University of Jambi, University of Malikussaleh, University of Riau, and Indonesia University of Education. The institutions were chosen for their distinctive qualities, observed capabilities to expand and sustain their expertise, and focus on building Centres of Excellence (CoE) in their field of expertise. An essential factor in building CoEs is an established knowledge management and communication system. It is key in disseminating research and work to stakeholders, and for maintaining a positive public image.
The AKSI project held three of four interrelated training sessions on the subject between March and May 2021. They aimed to provide hands-on experience to university staff in handling publication and utilising publication channels. The first session was on building project branding through digital design, the second on understanding and working with mass media, and the third on managing websites and maximising use of social media for project visibility. Fortunately, the training content could be administered using accessible online tools, such as Google Docs and Canva, allowing for hands-on experience despite their virtual nature.
The training sessions were facilitated by experts. Project Branding and Visibilities was facilitated by Januar Sena and Abdillah Kusumajati from Maxymum Design House, a digital agency with vast experience working with government and educational institutions, and a creative partner in the AKSI project that helped build AKSI’s logo and branding features. The training exposed participants to logo guidelines, including when and how the AKSI logo should be used. Participants used Canva, a graphic design platform, to produce a poster for their university's upcoming event. The experience gave the participants insights into poster design, image editing tools, and AKSI logo positioning on their designs and products.
The second session, on understanding and working with mass media, had an exceptional resource person: Miss Desy Saputra, a communication expert for the Executive Office of the President of the Republic Indonesia. She covered an array of media-related topics, from the media landscape to the leading mass media in Indonesia. This training provided participants with hands-on experience in identifying potential topics for media publications and preparing a press release, and participants were encouraged to use the resulting material in outreach to local media in each university’s area.
The third session, on website management and social media use, aimed to respond to the emergence of digital in Indonesia's higher education environment. Biline Web Developer's Arief Chasan, one of the people responsible for AKSI’s official website, and Bastina Dewi, a social media expert from ID COMM – an agency that provides knowledge management service for AKSI project, with experience in working with multiple stakeholders in the development sector – were our expert presenters. The training included a tutorial in the administration of AKSI’s official website and AKSI’s university website, as well as a detailed explanation of best practice in using social media. Participants practiced producing an Editorial Plan (EP) for their university’s official social media account and presented them to be reviewed by the presenters.
The three sessions resulted in very positive feedback from the participants. Prima Sabrina, a member of the Secretariat Team of Project Management Unit (PMU), MoEC, shared her impressions: 'As a participant, I am amazed by how interactive a virtual activity could be. The training sees what the participants and the project really need. We are also guided to view the lags and to see what steps we should take to catch up'.
While the sessions were heavily praised for their hands-on nature, on-site experience is undeniably better. The participants’ dispersed locations affected their network connection and ability to easily follow the sessions. However, the aim of the training was achieved, as each university successfully produced the outputs expected from each session. Taken together, the training provided a compact guide to, and practical experience in, how to best use available channels for knowledge management and public communication. It is hoped that more training can be put in place to support the visibility of AKSI’s endeavours.
This article was written by Flory Abiwawanti, Project Assistant at AKSI-ABD, under the supervision of Budiarti Rahayu, Project Manager, ACER Indonesia.