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Writeshop on Video for development

These days FAO is hosting a very interesting writeshop about how to use Video for development. Introducing the event, the organizers declare the objective to:

document experiences and provide guidance to readers on the application of video for rural and agricultural development

So FAO, CTA, gtz and the University of Wageningen, gathering experts in Rome, want to offer a general overview of the potential use of video in development. Here is a tentative graph to define the two factors (audiences and objectives) directors keep in mind while deciding what kind of video to shoot:

With the publication of the book, the participants wish specifically to accelerate the debate on video in agricultural development.

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Writeshop – day 2

Today: writing, writing, writing. But also: organizing, organizing, organizing. Giving a structure to the book and adding words to content is the task of today. Having defined together a rough framework about topics, chapters, paragraphs, we divided into groups to focus on single tasks. At the moment we are 6 people and we are expecting others to come and join us today and in the next days.

While organizing content, the controversial relation between communication, on one side, and knowledge management, on the other, is coming out more and more. This relation so many times becomes an opposition, a sort of conflict which, unfortunately, brings to nothing.

My personal view is that KM should be considered as a mean while communication is the aim. In this way KM is useful for communicators to do their job properly. This is true for commercial companies and for non-profit organizations as well. The two disciplines are distinguished but one is functional to the other. So we come to the point that is usually strongly debated: who has to say the last word? Who has to decide? What comes first?

I strongly encourage to give leadership to communication. In my vision, the person who is in charge of communication has the need to orient also the management of knowledge. This is due to a consideration about natural disposition of the two: the choice between people and tools. Communication is related with people more than KM, while this can be more focused on tools and techniques. Also communication can have this temptation but, if it wants to be successful, it cannot forget the persons who are listening to, at all. So, human beings are the factor that we cannot change and forget in any case.

I found an interesting definition on Panos to clarify my position:

Communication is part of the fabric of societies. By receiving, giving and discussing information and ideas we are able to make decisions and form opinions.

That’s why I assign the leadership to communication. So: people and not tools, relationships and not techniques, trust and not methods have to be the leading factors.

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Writeshop about communication for development and knowledge management

paul.jpgI started today a 4 days writeshop about communication for development and knowledge management, organized by FAO and gtz. The aim is to describe the relationship between the two topics.

The writeshop is the final event of a long process that the two organizations started to analyze this relationship and it’s the attempt to collect and give a shape to the knowledge gathered during the previous meetings of experts, the last one of which was in Assisi, earlier this year.

Day 1Activities and aim

Today we collected all the pieces at disposal and worked on the definition of the structure of the book. Paul (you see him in the picture), who’s facilitating the event, gave this clear and interesting definition of the process we are involved: we have CONTENT, then STRUCTURE and WORDS. Today we elaborate the structure to give to our content. Then, we’ll look for the right words. That’s according the definition that “when data acquire a structure, they become information”.

I’ll keep on blogging the following days to describe next phases of the writeshop.