Friday, 27 March 2009

ComPart Tips & Tricks #3: Accessing the PBwiki2.0

As ComPart-admins we are getting a lot of questions about how to access the wikis after the change to the new version. If you want to read a 'private' wiki - and unfortunately too many of the ComPart wikis are set as 'private' at the moment - or in general if you want to add a comment or edit a page, you have to have request access to the wiki. On the other side, you may get an invitation to join a wiki. Today we explain step by step what to do in both cases.

Access after an invitation
You may get in your mailbox an email from with the subject “xxxx has invited you to join their wiki”. The message will look like the image at the right.

However if you click on the “log in here” link, you will only get access to the wiki if you already have a PBwiki account. Most of you do not have such an account yet. This means you will have to create a PBwiki account first. Once you have a PBwiki account you'll use the same personal password for any PBwiki you have or will get access to.

So, how to create a PBwiki account? There are different ways you can do it.

You can go to a public wiki, such as and click on “create account” in the upper right of the window. This will lead you to a page similar to the figure at the left. Fill in your name, your email address and two times a chosen personal password. Again: this password will be valid for all Pbwikis you have or will get access to. A general “invite key” as we could use in the previous version of PBwiki will not work anymore.

The way to create an account is slightly different when you have asked access to a wiki yourself without having already a PBwiki account. You can ask to join a wiki by clicking the “request access” button; on a public wiki this will appear on the right panel, on a private wiki it will appear on the login page.

Requesting access
When you use the “request access” button, you will send a massage to the administrators of the wiki with your own email address and hopefully with a message telling you why you would like to access that particular wiki.

Having requested the access, you then will get a massage back, saying that the access is granted. In this message a link is given saying “Please click here to join [wiki name]”. This link will lead you to a webpage looking like the image below.
Just fill in your name and enter twice a personal password. In that way your account is created and with your email address and the chosen password you can get into any PBwiki you have access to.

Forgot your password?
Of course with all these Internet based tools, we are managing too many passwords and often forget them. If you have forgotten your password once you have created a PBwiki account you can always “reset” it. When logging in to a wiki you always have the option to click a link “Forgot your password” besides the login button. After clicking that button, you fill in your email address and the button “reset”. Nearly immediately you will get a message with gives you an easy way to reset (or re-enter) your password.

Please also have a look at the PBwiki help files on this topic.

For other Tips & Tricks follow this link.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

ComPart Tips & Tricks - #2: Linking to pages, images and/or files within a wiki

In the new version of PBwiki linking to another page of the wiki, or to images or files uploaded on the wiki has become much easier.

Once in the 'edit' mode, highlight the word (or words) where you want create a link. Then see on the right hand side the 'insert link' option: here you can choose the item you want to link to just by clicking on it.

Under 'insert links' you see that you have two tabs: 'pages' and 'images and files'. So choose what you want to link to and scroll until you see the desired item. Click on it and the link is immediately inserted. Easy! ;-)

You can also choose to 'Insert a link to a new page'; or to 'Upload a file' and then link to it.

Did you make a mistake and want to change the link inserted?
Just highlight again the word(s) and select again the page or file you want to link to. The right one this time! :-)

If you want instead to create a link to a web page or file outside the wiki itself, you should do as you were used to do in version 1 of PBwiki.

Here's how it works:
highlight the word (or words) where you want create a link; then click on the 'Link' button on the editing bar; under 'Link Type', choose 'URL' and type in (or copy/paste) the web address you want to link to. Click on the 'OK button and off you go, the link is inserted!

For more information on inserting links in PBwiki, see the PBwiki manual

See more on working with ComPart

Monday, 16 March 2009

A rich exchange at Compart South workshop

The ComPart South workshop in February 09 brought together people from seven Southern organisations with colleagues from ICCO and a team from Euforic. Our aim was to discuss and plan how best to extend ComPart to the areas in the ‘South’ in which partner organisations of the ICCO Alliance work. There was a rich exchange of ideas, including in face-to-face meetings between Southern participants and ICCO staff in Utrecht. Six blog stories were written and thirteen blips were made by participants during and in preparation of the workshop, which helped grow awareness of the ComPart south workshop. Concrete proposals for next steps were developed.

A one page summary of the report is available here, and the full report here.

The Southern ‘enablers’ brought new perspectives to ComPart and helped develop the approach. Awareness was raised within ICCO about the enabling organisations and their potential role while the participants from those organisations gained a much deeper understanding of ICCO. Their expertise and experience convinced participants at the ICCO group workshop of the positive role they can play in supporting ICCO Alliance programmes.

“I especially liked the fact that five organisations from the South are involved and seem to have so much expertise on the subject and who have been working on this issue for a couple of years. So I am quite confident now: my question mark has turned into an exclamation mark!” (Irma van Leeuwen, Learning Facilitator, SFED: )

In looking at how ComPart could support different parts of the development programme life-cycle we have “tumbled the approach”, “putting the needs of the people in the first place … what do people in a certain context or moment need and how can different tools help them” (Henk Gilhuis).


During the next phase of Compart in 2009 and 2010 we propose to connect with ICCO’s major change processes in a number of ways:
  • Work with ICCO’s Regional Working Offices (RWO’s) to set common goals and milestones.
  • Develop pilot activities in three thematic areas globally, to be identified with teams
  • Arrange in-country meetings, to get to know the partners, adapt ComPart to the reality on the ground and share findings across the community.
  • Arrange regional thematic meetings, to map actors and identify champions
  • Through surveys of ICCO partners and other civil society actors deepen our understanding of e-readiness and ks-readiness
  • Continue to develop the Compart resource and support materials, ensuring users can identify relevant tools and approaches for their specific needs and tasks through an additional view onto the materials - web2do

Concrete proposals developed with ICCO Programme or finance staff
  • In South Asia SAP International (SAP I) will be supporting the ICCO programme, ‘Food Security for Ultra Poor Women in Gaibandha’.
  • In Central America, there is a proposal for a ComPart workshop for internal staff and partners when the new office in Managua is operational.
  • In Andes Rimisp will provide help/assistance with “mesas financieras”, currently being conducted in Bolivia, strengthen organizations’ capacities and prepare the other countries (Peru, Ecuador, Nicaragua) to implement “mesas financieras” in the future, with a regional workshop planned for later in 09.
  • In West Africa Christophe Hien and Oudou Bengaly continue to provide support to the Education programme, feeding and moderating the blogs and wikis established at the Burkina workshop. They will also be exploring how they could collaborate with ICCO’s junior professionals placement programme, beginning with needs analysis amongst NGOs for junior professional skills.
......oh, and perhaps arrange the next workshop somewhere a little warmer and drier ...

Thursday, 12 March 2009

ComPart Tips & Tricks

While working with the ComPart tools we found several tricks which make it much easier and/or fun to work with the tools. From now on we will regularly post tips and tricks on this blog. The first posts will all refer to PBwiki, as the new version has many new features which make much easier to work with them.

So today the first tip:

1. PBwiki notification settings
Getting annoyed by all those messages from PBwiki telling you somebody has edited the wiki? There is a simple solution: just change your settings!

Click in your email address in the upper right corner of the wiki page. This will lead you to your account page, which gives you an overview of all the wikis you are working with. Next to the name of each wiki you will find a box which you can tick or un-tick, to get or don't get messages about changes in that particular wiki.

Of course if you are an editor/admin of a wiki, you will want to know if somebody has changed things, and therefore better you keep the notification of your wiki(s)
enabled. But otherwise it certainly is not necessary.

If you have enabled the notification for
one or more wikis, you also can change the frequency of receiving the notification(s). The place where to change this can be found in the lower left corner of your pbwiki account home page.

Any other question? Just send a message to:

Pier and Maarten