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web 2.0 for development


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Creating subtitles for videos on YouTube

The creation of subtitles for videos on YouTube is very easy.

Proceed as follows:

upload your video on YouTube,

– in the list of your “Uploaded videos”, select the one you want to manage and click on Edit,

– in the settings check for the tab “Subtitles

– download the automatic transcription of the voice (it is actually automatic for English voices only, but the file itself  can help anyway with the time schedule of the voice),

– prepare the translation, create a Caption file on the basis of the transcription and upload it,

– your video is now ready to be in two or more languages!

More details on YouTube Help site.


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2010 Scriptwriting Competition is starting

Liliane and I are ready to evaluate the entries for the 2010 Scriptwriting Competition organized by Farm Radio International. This year the topic is “Using radio to share stories about healthy communities“: 68 scripts have been selected to take part to the first round of the competition.

Check the list of participants.


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Blog Action day 2010 dedicated to WATER

blog action day on Water

By definition WATER is a clue topic! Today more than in the past. Vandana Shiva many times wrote that the next wars will be fought for water and not for oil.

The topic is so relevant that I would like to publish for this article something more detailed and peculiar than my own thoughts. That’s why I prefer to report this short extract from “Water and the Rural Poor: Interventions for improving Livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa“:

Insecure access to water for consumption and productive uses is a major constraint on poverty reduction in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). For millions of smallholder farmers, fishers and herders in SSA, water is one of the most important production assets, and securing access to and control and management of water is key to enhancing their livelihoods. The potential exists for well-targeted, local interventions in water that contribute to rapid improvement in the livelihoods of the rural poor in SSA and help attain the Millennium Development Goal of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. It discusses conditions for success and proposes water-based, context-specific, and livelihood-centered approaches to poverty reduction in rural areas.

Given the predominance of rural poverty in SSA, and given that agriculture will remain the main source of livelihood, poverty reduction strategies need to focus on improving productivity in this sector. This report focuses on agricultural water because:
(i) it plays a central role in agriculture-based rural livelihoods;
(ii) adequate availability and reliable access to water is frequently a constraint on production; and
(iii) water provides a focal point around which other interventions can be organized.

Examples of successful water projects in SSA exist, and there are important opportunities for new investments in water. Their success will depend on the development of new models of interventions, centered on enhancing the diversity of livelihood conditions of rural populations. A large part of the success of future investments in water control will depend on a more comprehensive analysis of dynamic opportunities and needs, which are closely linked to the shifting biophysical and socio-economic contexts.

However, there is no “one size fits all” approach for improving livelihoods. Different contexts and needs will require different types of investments, in which market or household food security, prevailing agroclimatic conditions and associated farming systems, and the overall socio-economic and institutional environment will guide the choice from a non-prescriptive menu of appropriate interventions at different scales.

Special thanks to Guido Santini and Jean-Marc Faurès for their publication and contribution.


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The FRI’s scriptwriting competition winner is…

John Cheburet from the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation!!!

John, who is a journalist from The Organic Farmer, won the competition with his script called “Sawdust prolongs the storage of potatoes“!

This experience was very interesting and involving to me. I spent hours reading the tens of scripts which qualified for the latest selection. And it was not easy for me to make distinctions among the best scripts as most of them were really high-quality. The best result was the fact that during all the time I dedicated to this exercise, I was more and more convinced of the importance of this project, of the relevance of the scripts and of the potential benefits listeners can receive from such a communication activity.

Now with my colleague Liliane of FAO, and then with a more enlarged team, we are starting organizing John’s trip to FAO to share with us his experience in the field and work with together on the preparation of future content for farmers.
Compliments John and the other 14 winners of the FRI’s competition.

What a good example of activity and collaboration!

Here is the complete list of the winners (the winners and script titles in alphabetical order by country):

  • Felix Houinsou, Benin – Using weaver ants to protect fruit trees from pests
  • Issakou Yagui Assouma, Benin – Crush the maize stalk to preserve the grains
  • Adama Zongo, Burkina Faso – The pump mill
  • Lydia Ajono, Ghana – The miracle local plant “zabila/lelle” or henna plant: The turning point for food security for a smallholder woman farmer in northern Ghana
  • Gabriel Adukpo, Ghana – A farmer suffocates stem borers to death and saves his cocoa farm
  • Rosemond Ohene, Ghana –  A farmer protects his young oil palm seedlings from rodents with jatropha
  • John Cheburet, Kenya – Sawdust prolongs the storage life of potatoes
  • Stanley Nyakwana Ongwae, Kenya – Women re-invent hanging gardens technology to solve land crisis
  • Rosemary Nyaole-Kowuor, Kenya – Sack farming: Unlimited vegetable harvest
  • Fredrick Mariwa, Kenya – A local farmer in Kenya uses water hyacinth to produce chicken feed
  • Andrew Mahiyu, Malawi – Innovative farmer uses animal dung to protect his crops by fending off hungry goats
  • Gladson Makowa, Malawi – What fattens pigs is still a mystery
  • Lamine Togola, Mali – Composting, the best practice for improving soil fertility: The case of Dien
  • Assétou Sidibe, Mali – Scarecrows and cassette tapes protect rice fields from predatory birds
  • Lazarus Laiser, Tanzania – Transforming bicycles into a vehicle of innovation

Read more details on the FRI dedicated website.


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FSCA-PISA web platform is online

The new FSCA-PISA collaboration platform is online!

It has been launched during an interesting online ceremony which gathered almost 40 people in front of the screen.

For this occasion, all the seven West African countries which are taking part to the programme were involved in the event. FSCA – Food Security through Commercialization of Agriculture is the Italian Special Contribution to the Global Trust Fund for Food Security and Food Safety established by FAO. The Programme adopts a relevant communication component to support its activities.

As you can see in the image below, each national office (National Project Directors and Coordinators, their Assistants, the National Consultants, the Inter Country Coordinator and his Team, and all the experts from the FAO headquarters) gathered in front of the webcam for a multilateral audio conference through Skype in occasion of the launch.

Our objectives were to:

  • show everyone the website,
  • reinforce the common perspective,
  • talk about the actual needs in terms of digital communication, and
  • show how online interaction is possible among us.

Spending an hour in front of the video with six connections almost always on, having rounds of intros, comments and exchanges, gathering almost 40 people around West Africa was in my opinion a great success for the FSCA-PISA communication strategy. We want the platform to become the “place” where our team can freely collaborate to reach better results. Now we come to the most difficult part of this effort: spreading this culture of interaction, collaboration and exchange among actors and beneficiaries of the programme.

More details as soon as activities will move ahead.


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FSCA Regional Workshop in Monrovia

FSCA

Almost ready to the start of the second FSCA Regional Workshop here in Monrovia, Liberia. During the third day I will spend the morning introducing Communication for Development and Knowledge Sharing to the tens of people working in the seven countries (Senegal, The Gambia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau) involved in the projects and the Inter-Country Coordination project.