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Creating the Capacity to

Localize Information


The Capacity Localization model has been developed over the past 22 years through the experience of thousands of trained professionals facilitating the localization of life-crucial information in more than 1200 languages. It is a process whereby communities are equipped with the fundamental tools to understand, discuss and act on information that may be crucial for their very survival.

POP Localization is the face-to-face process through which communities acquire, understand, validate, adapt, and adopt innovative information and practices.
POP Localization Services are the human resources, information, training, supplies, and technology provided by change agencies to facilitate the localization process.
Capacity Localization is the establishment of a community's ability to transform innovative information and practices into locally acceptable norms.

These fundamental definitions are based on assumptions regarding the transfer of information between cultures. You can learn more about these assumptions by viewing the Transfer of Meaning... (Requires Flash), or view a complete list of assumptions.

"The key strategy for integral human development must be the localization of the very capacity for development itself. Development capacity cannot be localized if crucial information is communicated in a language or cultural perspective that is essentially foreign to members of a local community."
-Mike Trainum,
Life Access Technology Trust

See the Transfer of Meaning... (Requires Flash)
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Download the Assumptions as PDF
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This model can accommodate a multitude of diverse partners, allowing each to do what it does best without being impeded by the others. These partnerships are necessary to localize the capacity for sustainable development in any language or cultural community. Learn more about Partnerships.


Facilitating Local Ownership of Life-Crucial Information

To learn about each step in the process click on the image below...

Resource Information Leadership Conference Mentor Training Events Community Representative Training Community Process Information Localized
Resource Information

Resource Information - The localization process begins with the highest quality information resources

Members of a community must understand and validate information before they can act on it. Therefore, they themselves must localize the information.

The localization process begins when an Information Agency from Culture A has information that it wants to make understandable to indigenous language speakers in a particular area (Culture B).

  • Information Agency prepares their information for the localization process. This preparation involves developing the information into a resource format and designing the training to accompany the information.
  • A partner Field Implementation Agency in the target nation begins to prepare logistically for the upcoming training events. This involves recruiting leaders, trainers, and consultants in the nation.
Leadership Conference

Leadership Conference - Those who will lead a localization effort first gather at the national or regional level to understand thoroughly the crucial information to be conveyed and to plan an implementation strategy.

  • The Field Implementation Agency recruits leaders, trainers, and consultants from the target nation to attend a Leadership Conference.
  • These national participants meet with representatives of the Information Agency, Field Implementation Agency, a Research Institution, and Shellbook Trainers at a Leadership Conference, where they learn the key concepts about the information, discuss, and plan for the implementation of the localization phase of the project.
  • The Information Agency (or a contracted training agency) demonstrates the information training at the Leadership Conference.
  • Localization Mentors are selected for the Mentor Training Events which follow.
Mentor Training Events

Mentor Training Events - Those with a gift for training trainers learn the process of preparing Community Representatives to facilitate information localization

Leaders choose qualified individuals to train as Localization Mentors. During a Mentor Training Event, they learn the way in which Shellbooks are used to facilitate the localization process.

  • The Information Agency assists with training for the event.
  • The Field Implementation Agency assists with the logistics for the event.
  • The Research Institution monitors and evaluates the event.
Community Representative Training

Community Representative Training - Localization Mentors train Community Representatives -- appointed by Community Leaders -- in the process of localizing the information.

Each Localization Mentor returns to his or her region and trains Community Representatives at a workshop or other appropriate venue. In this training, bilingual citizens from one or more local communities meet to discuss and learn the core concepts of the information. The Localization Mentor also teaches the Community Representatives how to facilitate their community'€™s understanding of the information.

  • The Localization Mentor visits the local communities to make initial contact with Community Leaders. The Mentor asks the Leaders to select Representatives who will attend the Community Representative training.
  • Community Representatives, appointed and approved by Community Leaders, attend the training. At this time, Community Representatives learn about the information and how to best communicate that information to their communities.
  • The Research Institution evaluates and monitors this process.
Community Process

Community Process - The community works together to develop a localized version of the information.

The Community Process is the key to localization. The other steps in the process are simply support services that make localization by local people possible. This is the point at which each Community Representative returns to his or her community and communicates the information and engages the people in the information.

  • Community Representatives facilitate the community process—presenting the information within the context of the people's language and culture.
  • The community authors the localized version of the information.
  • After a manuscript has been endorsed by the community and its leaders, the Community Representative brings the manuscript to the Localization Mentor, who arranges for back translations if required, and works with a regional Shellbook publishing facility to print, archive and assist with the distribution of the localized version.
  • The Research Institution evaluates and monitors this process.
Information Localized

Information Localized - The end result of the localization process is transformational change through life-crucial information that is validated, authored, owned, and put to use by the local community.

The information may be disseminated by any number of media: print, virtual library, radio or television broadcast, audio cassette, video tape, or live performance.

Local communities are much more likely to act on localized information because

  • community leaders and traditional institutions play the key role in its development and implementation;
  • the information is not merely translated-rather, while maintaining the accuracy of the information, it is "re-authored" in the cultural perspective and idiom of the local language;
  • information localized in this principled fashion increases access to education and development, especially for women and children in rural areas;
  • the localization process is socially integrative where parents are monolingual and children are learning a second language in school;
  • the process reinforces community self-determination and tradition; and
  • the process assists the community in directing the course of its own development.