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Social Reporting during the FAO Conference

After the very positive event in Dakar for the FSCA-PISA Workshop on ComDev, it is now time for a new experiment of Social Reporting.

This time it’s happening during the 37th FAO Conference which is taking place this week at FAO in Rome.

It is the first official experiment of this kind for FAO and I think it is going to be a very interesting experience for the organization. It is important to offer the house a perception of what social reporting could be during such an event.

We chose a very light approach with few people in the Team (mainly @faonews, @permreps_unrome and myself @neoluk) and a list of selected events during the week to follow and tweet about.

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Ten tips to improve your presentations

Engaging people during a meeting is one of the most difficult tasks a professional can face.

meeting on rural radio

While listening to a recent presentation, I put together some suggestions:

  1. Content is fundamental BUT the way to present it is at least as important as content
  2. VARY THE WAY to present your content to the audience. Do NOT adopt common methods but use a different style. The surprise will “shake” the audience and attract the attention, provoking emotions: this is the reason why, NOWADAYS, my suggestion is NOT to use .ppt presentations. They have been abused and, as a consequence, not able to stimulate reactions any more as the audience is TOO used to them
  3. AVOID the term PRESENTATION: it is always better “to meet people”, “to dialogue with them”, “to discuss about a certain topic” rather than to PRESENT them something, giving a clear one-way direction to the meeting
  4. Your VOICE is fundamental. The TONE and the VOLUME are key elements to engage with people in front of you
  5. Use IMAGES and CARDS as they can help to provoke emotions and reactions in the people listening to your speech
  6. Start speech with the CORE of your message, to capture the attention of the audience, and THEN provide more details and explanation of specific aspects
  7. DO NOT SIT behind you laptop during the presentation. Stand up and walk around the room. You need to add dynamism to the situation. If you have ten people sitting around a table, standing there for 1 hour or more, they need continuous stimulation to maintain their attention vivid and to the point. Otherwise you will loose their attention
  8. KISS (Keep It Short and Simple) Principle has to be always in your mind. Even if you like to talk, try to be as short as possible and keep your talking to the point (be sure with previous assessment and questions about what the exact point is)
  9. PREPARE EVERYTHING WELL IN ADVANCE and be sure that everything works in front of the audience at the right time. Otherwise you will offer a bad idea since the beginning
  10. Make your audience LAUGH. It always works

Note: if you see people yawning or leaving the room in advance, it is a clear sign that you have to go quickly to either the point or the conclusion of the speech!


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AMARC 10 opens today

Greetings to all the participants to AMARC 10, the world Conference of AMARC that is opening today in La Plata, Argentina. I’m really willing to know more about what’s going on there.

The draft Agenda and the Concept of the Conference.


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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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Radio is for everyone

Last week Mr John Cheburet was in Rome with us. It was a very nice experience and I’m sure everyone involved in this experiment got a benefit from it.
jc in rome005As you probably remember, John is the winner of the FRI scriptwriting competition on innovation in smallholder agriculture. His script was a story about how Sawdust prolongs the storage life of potatoes. John is a journalist from Kenya and works for The organic farmer. John usually spends his time in contact with farmers around Kenya, collecting ideas and stories.

jc in rome035This time the approach was a bit different. John spent three days meeting with people in Rome, partly at FAO and partly at IFAD. All of them dealing with agriculture but from very different angles. Very different, one from the other: we meet people dealing with Animal health and rinderpest and those working for CountryStat, people dealing with Plant production and potato (the subject of John’s winning script), gender issues, bees pollination and FAO-EU Food facility. And they were many..

jc in rome022The variety of interests was enormous as John interviewed more than 15 people in just one morning and two afternoons. More than 10 hours of sound, as he calls it, were recorded using a fast and simple voice recorder.

The last morning I asked him the miracle: “John” I said, “this afternoon we are going to call everyone back and we need to give a sample of what radio can do for them. We need to show also what contribution they can give to radio. Can you put together a clip to give a perception of what we have been doing the last two days? Some minutes of recording with the essence of what you and these people said during 11 different meetings.”

John just did it.

jc in rome027Wednesday afternoon we were again in the meeting room to learn how radio and development projects can go together. To give the taste of the power of communication. The power of radio, in the days of the Internet. So simple, so powerful.

And John had a great success. Every participant was extremely fascinated by what he/she saw and heard. Now you can hear it and see it, just as the participants did few days ago!

I think it was a very interesting experiment and would like to have chances to repeat it again, soon.

In conclusion, and above everything else, a very special thanks to John for his energy and enthusiasm.

John Cheburet‘s blog.