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FEMSCRIPT Participatory Video to Empower Women

The FEMSCRIPT project was designed to empower women in the Niger Delta to make their voices heard in the public arena and highlight women's human rights issues through participatory video.

Led by Media Information Narrative Development (MIND), in collaboration with Stichting FLL from the Netherlands who conducted the participatory video training, the project was supported by CORDAID and the Netherlands Embassy in Nigeria.

The project included training, the provision of camera equipment, and facilitating access to mass media platforms. The training used a learning-by-doing approach, combining in-depth training workshops with hands-on fieldwork in the trainees’ home communities guided by professional researchers and video-makers. In the process, the women were encouraged to critically reflect on their own human rights and conflict experiences.

Nine young women from Bayelsa State, Delta State, and Rivers State were selected to participate in an intensive long-term Action Learning Trajectory programme. Nine Video Case Studies were produced featuring examples of women in the Niger Delta who are managing to make ends meet despite the many challenges they face.

In the future, MIND intends to use the project outputs as local awareness raising tools in collaboration with local NGOs and community-based organisations. MIND and its training partner FLL also hope to find resources for translating the video footage gathered by the FEMSCRIPT trainees into a condensed 30-minute documentary reaching out to a wider audience (including film festivals and TV channels in Nigeria and abroad).

MIND currently has a 5 mins documentary, inspired by the FEMSCRIPT project. Watch the video: http://vimeo.com/14987037

More details about this project can be found here

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Shamba Shape-Up! Kenya's first agricultural TV show

shambaShamba means small farm in Swahili. Shamba Shape Up is Kenya's first make-over style TV programme focusing on agriculture, produced by the Mediae Company based in Nairobi. 

Targeting East Africa’s rapidly growing rural and peri-urban TV audience, the show outlines a series of agricultural challenges tackling issues of livestock, poultry, crops and soil fertility, pest management, irrigation and solar power, aiming to give farmers the tools to improve their productivity and income.

The Shape Up team and film crew visit a different farm each week in various areas of the country. Based on the needs of the farmers in the episode, an agricultural expert within Mediae Company involves a number of colleagues from partner organisations and research bodies, including the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), to guarantee that good quality agricultural advice is provided.

The TV programme includes interactive use of ICTs to make learning new agricultural techniques more accessible. At the end of each episode, viewers are encouraged to request additional information and follow updates and video clips on the Shamba Shape Up Facebook page. Those who send via SMS their name and address can receive a free leaflet on the topics covered in the show by email or post.

The first series was broadcast from March to June 2012 in Kenya to about 4 million people - 16,000 leaflets were sent out on request, and over 22,000 text messages were received. Surveys indicate that 40% of viewers have changed their farming practices as a consequence of the programme, and 91% reported they had had learnt something new. For the next series a larger broadcast is expected, covering about 6 millions more farmers in Uganda and Tanzania.

You can read the full story here and visit Shamba Shape Up website to watch all 13 episodes of the first series.

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FAO Expert Consultation on Rural ComDev - REPORT OUT!

faoexpertconsThe Expert Consultation on "Communication for Development: meeting today’s agricultural and rural development challenges" took place in Rome, from 14 to 16 September 2011. It was organized by FAO Office of Knowledge Exchange Research and Extension (OEK) in collaboration with the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD).

32 international specialists, including scholars, representatives from rural development agencies, NGOs, national institutions and donors met to identify challenges and strategic actions for maximizing ComDev contribution to the agriculture and rural development sector.

The comprehensive final report of the FAO Expert Consultation outlines the process leading to the event, presents the methodology used to inspire dialogue and provides highlights from the three days of discussion. The experts concurred that FAO should take a leading role for mainstreaming ComDev in the rural development agenda and devised four main recommendations:

  1. International rural development organizations and national institutions should include communication for development in their vision, policy, and strategic framework
  2. Make ComDev relevant and compelling to key audiences (FAO, academia, other institutions)
  3. Establish a multi-institutional alliance to promote ComDev principles and practices within agricultural innovation systems and translate these into actions at the country level
  4. Facilitate national ComDev networks that involve practitioners, academicians and stakeholders, connecting theory, research and practice, and systematically improve standards of programs

The report detailing the experience and conclusions of the consultation is now available for download here.

For more information about the Expert Consultation visit the dedicated webpage on FAO ComDev website.

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UNESCO-IPDC Prize for Rural Communication 2012

The IPDC Prize for Rural Communication is awarded every two years to meritorious and innovative initiatives aimed at improving communication for rural communities in developing countries. Co-winners of the 2012 edition are the Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists and the Kenyan Arid Lands Information Network who share the US$ 20,000 Prize. The award ceremony took place on 22 March at UNESCO Headquarters, during the 28th session of the IPDC Council.

The Nepal Forum of Environmental Journalists (NEFEJ) is an NGO established in 1986 to promote environmental journalism in Nepal. It is actively engaged in raising public awareness about sustainable development through the use of various forms of media. In 1997 NEFEJ created the first community radio in Nepal, Radio Sagarmatha, and recently launched a Community Radio Support Centre providing assistance to other community radio stations in the country.

The Kenyan Arid Lands Information Network is an international NGO that facilitates information and knowledge exchange between extension workers or infomediaries and arid lands communities in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. The information exchange activities focus on small-scale sustainable agriculture, climate change adaptation, natural resources management and other livelihood issues. Information is accessed through community-based Maarifa (Knowledge) centres via a range of channels that include: web portals, Web 2.0 applications, mobile phone platforms, workshops, exchange visits and regular publications.

You can read more about the IPDC programme on the UNESCO-IPDC site.

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Honorary doctorate to ComDev pioneer Nora Quebral

nora_cruz_quebral_6244On December 14 2011, the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) awarded Professor Nora Cruz Quebral a honorary doctorate for her “pioneering and continued contribution to the field of development communication”.

Professor Cruz-Quebral was the founder and is professor emeritus of the College of Development Communication at the Unviersity of the Philippines Los Baños, Asia's first faculty for the field. She has worked as consultant with FAO, UNICEF, IDRC, UNDP, US Academy of Educational Development, International Institute of Rural Reconstruction, Southeast Asian Regional Center for Agriculture among others.

On the occasion of the celebratory seminar held in London, Prof Quebral delivered a paper on “Development Communication, Los Baños Style”. The full text of the lecture is available for download here.

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