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AMARC Asia Pacific Conference – Day 2

Interesting morning dedicated to two major topics: radio for Disaster Risk Reduction and radio for Food Security or Food Sovereignty, as the chair preferred to define it.

Examples on how the radio reacted and supported efforts in Japan, after the Kobe earthquake, and in Indonesia, after tsunami in Aceh, gave an interesting perspective about the role of radio in post natural disaster conditions. While the training radio of the Secretariat of Pacific Community explained how the radio can be used for specific purposes and produce adequate responses.

The debate on Food Security was not only on the food for itself but related to many other surroundings topics like: the local knowledge on food, the techniques for food production and indigenous food. Many people are dedicating radio programs to the creation of a tradition of local food, in the perspective of giving value to nutrition habits and create local Slow Food experiences.

The afternoon, as usual, was dedicated to individual workshops. I followed the one on Community Radio in the Philippines. The panelist gave a brief description of various radios born in collaboration with the Local Government Unit (LGU). He explained how they were able, not being independent by definition, to serve in some cases the territory without political pressures, while in others they were transformed in media center serving the political part of the mayor of the LGU which created the radio station.

In the late afternoon, I had the chance to meet several broadcasters and, in particular, almost the whole delegation from Afghanistan which has been very numerous and active during these days even if language was quite an obstacle.

I also heard the very interesting story of Sunil, from Sri Lanka, who decided, after serving for 30 years in a Community Radio, not to retire but to set up a new webradio, to preserve his experience!


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AMARC Asia Pacific 2nd Regional Conference Begins

Very positive impressions after Day one of the AMARC Asia Pacific 2nd Regional Conference that has just started this morning in Bangalore, India.

After the morning Plenary sessions dedicated to the topics of main interest for the members as “Airwaves for Sustainability and Justice” and “Radio friendly legislation in Asia Pacific“, the afternoon was divided into several workshops.

I joined the one about the idea of creating a regional news agency to serve AMARC members but not only. During the discussion, the need of stronger networking among members was clearly stated by the majority of the participants: knowledge sharing is a main issue also in this context.

I think we, at FAO, have the knowledge to provide a major support both on the idea of setting up the news agency and on the side of increasing networking activities.


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2nd AMARC Asia Pacific Conference

Do you remember the AMARC Pan African Conference I took part last April, in Abidjan? Good! I’m almost ready to go to Bangalore to take part to the 2nd AMARC Asia Pacific Conference!

Reports will be available soon in this blog as well as on my twitter account.

This is a very important occasion to meet for the first time with such a large group of Asian radio broadcasters who are actually expanding and developing many activities in the field of rural and community radio.


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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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The ability of creating linkages through the Internet

I recently found this article and I think it’s worth reading it. Written by Seth Godin, it’s called “How to make money using the Internet“. As you can understand from the title, the article is meant for a business audience and not directly for people involved in development projects.

Image by kugel on flickr

Image by kugel on flickr

Nonetheless, I see interesting prods about how we can use the Internet to stimulate interaction, collaboration and knowledge sharing among people/organizations/networks/institutions interested in development activities. In all the quoted examples, the authors highlighted the ability to connect a certain kind of demand with a certain kind of offer, matching and satisfying the two counterparts: using the Web makes find the two faces of the same coin easier.

Matching” was one of the keyword for us, at FAO, during the Meeting on Rural radio last April. Participants were invited to prepare two lists, one of  demands and one of offers, and the meeting focused on putting them together. We considered, as a prerequisite for an effective action, an accurate definition of the target group and a correct identification of their needs. I’m really convinced following this approach is the key to have good results.

In the same perspectiva, talking about tools, it seems interesting to adopt an appropriate selection and a balanced mix of them to stimulate every audience through the most effective levarege. So doing, we go back again to the concept of convergence of: Intenet, rural and community radio and mobile phones.


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Share Fair 09 just started

The Fair is started at the end after so much preparation and it’s seems to be quite successful until now. The official ceremony was full of people and the atrium at FAO is a great place to meet people and talk.

I’m confident the event can be interesting even if many people in the buildings are not giving enough attention to this occasuion as very busy in the everyday job.

More details about the Opening plenary and keynote speech in the Share fair blog and on twitter.