22 October 2008

Agricultural research communication challenges in Africa

Addis Ababa, 22 October: At this week’s workshop to discuss how improved communication can help maximize the impact of agricultural research in Africa, participants profiled and mapped their research communication efforts: What type of organization do they represent? Who do they communicate with? Which communication tools do they use? Which ‘gaps’ do they need to cross? Each participant drew a picture of their situation.

As the photograph of the coloured cards reveals, we were a broad mix of organizations, with a strong interest in communicating with policymakers, researchers and academics, farmers and the private sector. We also use a wide range of communication methods such as face to face meetings, the media, publications, and the web.

What about the gaps, the challenges? These were summarized by the workshop facilitators and included: the ‘packaging’ of research – its relevance, quality and user friendliness; questions about data sharing; about how to reach many audiences beyond colleagues and c lose networks; about generating feedback and interaction with users; about the accessibility of web-based services; finding the right partners; having a real influence on policy implementation; stimulating media interest in research; and overcoming resistance to change.

Thereafter, participants worked in small groups on communication strategies and approaches to address the challenges. Reflecting on the workshop, Professor O. A. Omotesho, Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Ilorin in Nigeria sets out some of the actions in his personal strategy…

The Addis Ababa workshop is organized by the Global Development Network (GDN) in partnership with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), the World Bank Institute (WBI), and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), with support from the Information and Communications Technology – Knowledge Management (ICT-KM) program of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

Photos from the workshop
Video interviews at the workshop
more stories on this blog / on euforic blog / on ICT-KM blog
Euforic news on communication and knowledge-sharing
R4D news on research communication

by Peter Ballantyne

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Anonymous Jesus Mondea said...

very informative article. I will check back often as well as spread the news about this blog.

October 25, 2008  

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