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Judging for the FRI’s Scriptwriting Competition

Last week I started a new curious activity: I’m part of the judging panel of the scriptwriting competition on Smallholder Farmer Innovation launched last summer by Farm Radio International.

Actually we are in the phase one of the evaluation process: over 70 scripts were received by FRI and 58 of them passed the initial screening. They have been divided up so each judge got 9 or 10 scripts to review. We now have to go through these entries and select our top 4 or 5 (based on a common judging criteria score sheet). These top 4 or 5 will then proceed to the second round where every judge will review all of the scripts.

More about the competition during the next weeks when I’ll have a better idea on the entries.


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Convergence is almost here, somewhere!

first mileIFAD organized an interesting workshop to learn more on the results of the First Mile Project. I really suggest to read here the details of the project because the methodology is quite interesting.

meeting ifadOne of the aspects I found particularly interesting is the fact that the whole activity started on a KM project called LinkingLocalLearners, above which a sophisticated commercial activity was built on. Another key point of the project is the massive use of the cellphones and Internet technologies to manage commodity prices in three East African countries: Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

At the end of the morning I had a question for Ueli, my fellow friend of KM4DEV list:

Connection among partners

“In this interesting communication/business chain (have a look at the image on the left), do you see a place for rural radios to become IBM (Information Business Manager) and use their communication capacity to promote the business model?”

For my experience, I’m really sure that radios, as communication centres, could be perfect partners of this mechanism: on one side, they have all the requisites to do properly the job of market analysis and prices communication. On the other side, thanks to their advanced communication skills and resources, radios could help the mechanism with additional support like: organizing live training, collecting feedback and news, broadcasting the prices of commodities, offering distance learning, etc.

So doing, the “tools triangle” (radio, Internet, mobile phones) would be closed!


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Why local content creation is so important for farmers

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Interview during the MobileActive 2008 World Summit (Johannesburg, South Africa) with Mary NAKIRYA, Program coordinator at BROSDI, Busoga Open Source & Development Initiative, in Uganda.

Mary explains how the CELAC (Collecting & Exchange of Local Agricultural Content) project enables farmers to voice record their own innovative techniques and how they disseminate their experiences with radio/CD players during group sessions. Here are some of the factors that Mary considers fundamental in this experience:

  • using people’s local languages
  • people’s sense of pride for being considered expert of a certain subject
  • trust towards content prepared by colleagues
  • help by the researchers to rationalize the local knowledge and spread it
  • pride of producing audio files
  • support by CELAC to distribute the CDs with the farmers’ voices recorded and stimulate groups of conversation about the topics