Annual Report of the TYPO3 Expansion Committee, 2022

Categories: Community development, Community, Association, TYPO3 CMS, Marketing Created by Daniel Homorodean
Bearded white male speaking, standing behind lectern.
Daniel Homorodean speaking about Developing a National Digital Innovation Ecosystem at Tanzania Annual ICT Conference, 2022 (TAIC2022). Photo: ICT Commission-Tanzania / Twitter @ict_commission
The committee has expanded our international network and worked to strengthen TYPO3’s profile in developing markets. In these markets, TYPO3 is a business enabler for tech communities and a strategic platform for governments.

We learned a lot in 2019 - 2021 and had discussions with many companies — even governments. The Expansion Committee engaged with communities and web developers from many countries, and ran the TYPO3 International Mentorship Program for two years. With our support, the government of Rwanda established TYPO3 as a national website standard for public institutions.

For 2022, it became clear that we need a more pragmatic approach than previous years. While we see that mentoring of developers is effective for knowledge transfer, those starting their TYPO3 journey need real work opportunities that fit their level of experience. Our project in Rwanda (2018–2020), where we involve ourselves in a more holistic fashion, has proven to be a successful way to solve this problem and create sustainable results.

Retrospective on the Mentorship Program

In 2020 and 2021 we offered the TYPO3 Mentorship Program to web development communities from various countries. These activities gave us the opportunity to learn what works and what doesn’t.

We successfully introduced developers from Chile, Cuba, Bosnia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, and Benin to TYPO3 CMS. However, the mentees did not integrate further into our community because they lacked direct work opportunities.

With the exception of Rwanda, where we had an ongoing project with the government, there was no local market demand for TYPO3 and no local web agencies ready to hire TYPO3 juniors. This shows that supporting the development of demand in the local market is essential. Web agencies can only justify the investment in learning the technology when there is a local demand for TYPO3.

The Rwandan Model

What we did in Rwanda in 2018–2020 is a model we can repeat. With commitment from the Rwandan government and financial support from GIZ, we had interest from the local web agencies. 

Rwanda has adopted TYPO3 as a technical standard for all the websites of public institutions.  By Q3 of 2022, over 200 TYPO3-based websites, developed by local web developers, had been launched. Compared to other initiatives, Rwanda’s standard is not only open source, but built on a truly community-based CMS that gives increased local involvement and financial independence.

We are shaping our current initiatives around this successful model and its three pillars:

  1. Commitment to TYPO3 by organizations that can provide a sustainable demand in the market. Central governments are good examples of such enablers in the developing and emerging markets.
  2. Financial capacity to pay for the development, maintenance, and hosting of the new websites. Local web agencies must be given the financial and human-resource capacity to support their employees' learning. Where the capacity is scarce, external funding must be found, e.g. from international funding (GIZ had this role in Rwanda).
  3. Presence of a skilled workforce capable of learning TYPO3 and using the acquired knowledge for the benefit of the clients (see 1), while also having the will to adopt TYPO3 as part of their business strategy.

Activities Under the Model’s Three Pillars in 2022

As a result, our activities in 2022 all fit under the three pillars:

Pillar 1: Direct Engagement With Governments 

We have developed the conversation with relevant governmental institutions, such as the Ministry of ICT or national digitalization agencies, for example in Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and Papua New Guinea. These conversations were the result of personal networking, demonstrating the importance of being present at relevant events and personal involvement.

In the countries that have shown most interest, we have organized workshops with teams from their Ministries of ICT to convey the detailed advantages of TYPO3, the Rwandan model, and specific approaches that ensure the alignment of the institutional stakeholders and donor organizations. These countries are expecting further support from us to define strategies for funding, specification, and implementation of a national project.

In Uganda, we have also engaged with the local administrations to explore a complimentary bottom-up local approach. One example is Gulu, the largest city in Northern Uganda, where we have organized workshops with the city hall and the local university. As a result, we have gained their support (including the allocation of web developers and software development students from the university) for the implementation of the portal of the city hall using TYPO3.

Pillar 2: Direct Engagement With Tech Communities, Web Agencies, and IT Industry Associations

Our activities included:

  • Presentation of TYPO3 to the Papua New Guinea ICT Cluster.
  • Discussions with companies from Tanzania at TAIC (Tanzania Annual ICT Conference)
  • Discussions with companies from the Middle East at MENA ICT Forum
  • Presentation of TYPO3 at the DevFest Bujumbura 2022
  • Discussions with web development companies from various countries: Uganda, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Chile, and Benin.

Pillar 3: Engagement With Donors And International Networks

With help from GIZ, TYPO3 and the TYPO3 Association have been included in the GovStack Initiative, which aims to support the governments of the developing countries with proven working software—ideally open source. 

The TYPO3 Association has been given the responsibility of coordinating the GovStack CMS Working Group. This is a very important achievement that will require a strong and continuous commitment from us. The goal is to create a specification for an optimal CMS approach for governments.

We have also started networking with Norwegian organizations that can help us gain access to potential project partners, local expertise and funding networks.

Continuing the Effort in 2023

We will continue this focus in 2023, with a focus on five initiatives:

  • Active participation in the GovStack initiative to create a specification for an open source CMS model for governments.
  • Continue the work to reproduce the Rwandan model, in particular in Uganda and Papua New Guinea.
  • Start a project with the city of Gulu, Uganda, with collaboration from the local university. This will be an example of a bottom-up approach for TYPO3 adoption at local administration level.
  • Continue and concretize conversations with governments, local communities and donors. 
  • Engage with IT communities from various countries, present TYPO3, and support their needs.
      

Would you like to get involved in the TYPO3 Community Expansion Committee? Contact Daniel Homorodean: daniel.homorodean(at)typo3.org 

 
Updated 17 January 2022, 21:22: Removed an invalid link.

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