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The Information Management Tool training

IM tool training

Last December I took part to the Food Security Cluster Information Management Tool Training, organized by the global Food Security Cluster (gFSC).

This was the second training hosted by the gFSC and it built on recommendations and lessons learned from the pilot training which took place in Rome in July 2014. The training focused on teaching participants about core IM concepts, what the FSC IM Tool is and how it can facilitate the FSC IM process.

Information Management is one of the core Food Security Cluster functions. Recognizing the need for the country-level Food Security Clusters to take a holistic approach to data collection and sharing, the gFSC has been developing a web-based IM tool for cluster systems and partners to use to collect, analyse and report on food security responses.

While the IM tool will make data collection, processing and response analysis globally comparable, it is flexible enough to be able to be tailored to different country contexts. By producing standard reports and maps the IM tool can help in visualizing gaps and overlaps of partner responses, and ultimately help in avoiding duplication of humanitarian assistance, especially considering issues of food availability, access and utilization. Consistent information sharing by partners will facilitate project tracking and monitoring, and ultimately result in evidence based decision making for strategic intervention and improved implementation. Furthermore, use of the IM tool will enhance the dissemination of timely and accurate information for advocacy efforts by clusters.

My interest was mainly in understanding what kind of data is collected during emergencies and how we can use that data in order to communicate effectively about acrisis. I see great potentialities in this data if well managed.

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How to describe a crisis on the web?

In the last months we were able to create a pretty new template for the FAO in emergencies website to talk about the ongoing humanitarian crisis around the world.

The layout is very modern and dynamic. To do so, we used some of the latest tweaks and effects to make communication about such complex events much easier! Now stories, documents, photos, videos and data are all accessible from one place, in a visual and quick way.

In the example below you can see the page dedicated to the Crisis in South Sudan. CAR, Madagascar and Philippines have also theirs.

south-sudan-crisis

 


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Good news: I’ll take care of the FAO Emergency web activities

This week I have a very good news!

I’m  going to take care of the FAO Emergency Division website together with the related social media and the internet communication.

FAO Emergency

This is a very important news!

And now let’s  start working on the open issues.

First question is: how many people do browse the website and who are they?


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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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Organizing the FSCA-PISA Training Workshop on ComDev

One of my main tasks in this period is the organization of a training workshop on Communication for Development from 11 to 15 April 2011 in Dakar, Senegal. This training is a direct outcome to the recommendations of the FSCA-PISA project team during the latest Regional Workshops.

Preparing the FSCA-PISA Training Workshop in BanjulWe consider this event being fundamental for the progress of the project: it aims at enhancing the communication skills of project staff and key stakeholders, and at strengthening the linkages among the various FSCA projects and harmonizing communication approaches. The workshop also aims at addressing the specific training needs expressed by the individual projects.

Our first worry was to design a highly participative workshop, where trainees are asked to contribute with their own experiences, know-how and visual material from their own projects. These will constitute the basis for interactive sessions during which all participants convene around themes of common interest, prepare case studies, share successes, approaches and lessons learned through tools such as World café, Open Space, Chat Shows and other modern km techniques.

Each project is asked to propose a team of maximum 7 participants among whom we suggest representatives of Ministries of Agriculture, involved in the activities, members of farmer based organizations, partners and the communication consultants. The selection process is fundamental because these people play a crucial role in the management of the projects. A focal point will be designated to coordinate the participation of the whole country team.2nd FSCA-PISA Regional workshop in MonroviaWhile waiting for April to come, we don’t want to loose time. So, the training will consist of two distinct phases: a pre-workshop distance learning step and the proper 5 days face-to-face workshop:

Phase I –  The distance learning step must be completed in advance. It basically consists of a data collection exercise about the projects and about the participants themselves. Our team of facilitators will soon contact them individually and guide them through the process. This phase will help in solving part of the problems due to distance and differences of the 7 countries involved in the FSCA-PISA activities. The more data and objects related to the activities will be collected the better. They will be used to give the other Teams the feeling and the sense of what each project is like.

Phase IIFace to face workshop will be held over a 5 day period in Banjul, Gambia. In addition to the theoretical presentations, there will be practical, participatory labs for communication tools such as web, video, photography, rural radio and mobile telephony. The training sessions will run in parallel for both English and French groups.


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The Cynefin framework

Thanks to IFAD and @rsamii we had a very interesting morning yesterday meeting Dave Snowden for a lecture on his Cynefin framework.

Dave talked for more than one hour and I was overwhelmed by an incredible flow of inputs, suggestions, questions and doubts. These kind of moments are fundamental for professionals like me who have to afford the complexity Dave is describing in his approach.

To be able to “probe, sense and respond” we must be always open and willing to look for and receive new inputs from outside.

Complex systems

@snowded said: “We must create new architecture where applications work”. To do that our brain must be always stimulated and fight the risk of being stuck on our desks, behind our monitors, locked in our rooms.

Dave Snowden at IFAD