In October 2010, ILRI Addis Ababa was the venue for a ‘share fair’ on Africa’s agricultural and rural knowledge.
In September 2011, the second Rome share fair will be hosted by IFAD (more info); so we decided to ask people who attended the Addis share fair what they took away from the event, and what impacts if any it had on their work.
What are some of the concrete benefits participants took from the fair?
Other ‘take-aways’ include:
- Making full use of the new media and social networking sites.
- Since then i have built a strong network with other like minded journalists from other parts of the world who are interested in reporting on climate change food security and environment and health.
- I realized so much is happening…its just how to learn in real terms that is not clear
- I realized there are many parallel efforts going on, and Synergies are not used enough. Failures are not communicated widely (or even admitted), which leads to needless reproduction
- The learning route concept was new to me and was facinated by the way it developed.
- The sessions were a creative mix of formal and informal learning
The ‘best’ parts of the share fair included:
- The day zero training;
- The wrap-up session with group work prior to that
- The great venue and the wonderful series of little interactions and spaces to connect, the travelling marketplace, the talking trees etc.
- The great participation from so many Africans was really really excellent!
- The spoken web, and I also found interesting reporting agriculture plus climate change.
- Experience sharing on land use and Land tenure issues and Land Mapping among participants from different countries, like Niger, Swaziland, Tanzania, Benin, Madagascar, Ethiopia and Philipines.
- The involvement of grassroot farmers so that we could share knowledge
- One of the best parts of the workshop was the mode of the presentations, moving away from the PowerPoint type of presenting to more creative inactive presentations
- Value chains knowledge sharing
- Learning path – climate change
- The opportunity to develop a knowledge-sharing project with concrete outcomes, in the context of a wider interesting stimulating event
- Fusion of the knowledge we have to a spatial dimension… and the free wifi internet everywhere, that was fantastic!
- land path way, the maket place across the campus discussion and the use of social media in knowledge sharing
- location, location, location!
- The technical presentations on radio and video productions, advanced sessions on social media
- I met very interesting people, who are kind of walking libraries that in a very special way changed very much the way I work and share knowledge.
- Learning about community radio use and the spoken web discussions.
- Indigenous knowledge, Documenting indigenous knowledge
- Making Knowledge travel, KM4Dev
- Telecentres; Youth and Agknowledge
- Documenting farmer knowledge and sharing it. I Acquired more skills on how to better do this for the benefit of my audience.
- The youth session – very applicable to my work. I also very much enjoyed the laid back style and met some interesting people that I wouldn’t have normally met in the course of my work.
- The informal nature yet serious of the whole event and social reporting on events. Then the Farmers from Kenya!
- Ethiopian coffee! because it created the opportunities to meet and exchange with many interesting people
And the not so good?
- Learning pathway workshops. They prevented us from going to the other sessions.
- My failure to participate in other interesting sessions like indigenous knowledge and telecenters.
- The situations when there was a clash between sessions that I wanted to attend.
- There was so much to learn at the same time.
- Injera is not for me.
- The stress – trying to pack in as much as possible of what could be learned
- Lack of structure also sometimes meant that I felt outcomes were not tangible enough.
- Gap between excess of e-technologies and the applicability of it in the rural.
What impacts if any did people who attended attribute to the event?
- I learned so much I needed several weeks to digest everything.
- Have sharpen my knowledge on blogging and encouraged my colleagues to blog on various topical issues that affect human life. Have also developed a great desire as a journalist to specialize in climate change food security reporting.
- The fair changed my way of looking at things, I ask myself a number of questions before making any decision that may have an influence on or impact other activities and the surroundings. I have to make awider evaluation of situations before taking any action.
- There is immense knowledge in people’s minds that is not shared due to the poor documentation in Africa but through application of the various KM tools there is alot to be learned for improving livelihoods at community levels.
- The learning initiative on tenure in rangelands is now ready to be launched, built on the solid base initiated at the share fair. This is an ambitious project, and the start that the sharefair afforded gave it a good foundation.
- One great impact on me from the 2010 share fair was the fact that in as much as there was a presence of the elites or academic or schoole experts, the presence of farmerswho are the actual and often very much forgotten real professional brought out a very interesting perspective.
- Need to share what we already possess to the wider audience out there … things that dont seem to matter to you mean a lot to others.
- Best practices can be shared and scale up in other areas or from one country to another.
- The single most memorable thing, which I will never forget, was a part of an opening presentation, where a speaker gave an example how the use of ‘evolutionary’ design (random variation) leads to much better results than ‘rational design’
- On myself: I learnt the urgency of information sharing – learnt that it is not as important important to gather information as it is to share it. This makes me ensure knowledge sharing is at the core of everything we do.
- On the wider environment: we begun interacting with other centers, organisations etc; we created relationships that result in partnerships.
- New ways of thinking and acting which has greatly changed the way we produce, share and conserve Knowledge for corporate and community development in Tanzania.
- Infonet has connected with other participants from the share-fair, most notably ALIN and more people at KARI as well as some Kenyan farmers.
- I networked with a number of people at the sharefair, with whom I have since carried out various developmental activities with.
- I have been able to share the experiences with my colleagues and plans are underway to emulate some of the projects I saw at the sharefair.
- After that sharefair, I introduced social media applications within staff of my project
- On me it has changed my job description
- We are now testing the Crop protection products counterfeit application which helps buyers/farmers identify fake products on the market using a scratch area similar to air time. This application uses SMS on the mobile phone and is affordable. Right now we are testing the adaptability. This idea sprung from the shairfair after several comments that Africa is flooded with counterfeit but there’s is no measure to counter the fake products.
- Through my initiative my organization launched a bimonthly newsletter; issues of which you can find on our blog (which i created using knowledge/skills I acquired from the event)
- No impact at all.
- At the fair we learned about ALIN in Kenya, and as a result of the participation in the AgShareFair we organized a visit from Helvetas Mozambique and representatives of the Provincial Government to project experiences of ALIN in Kenya, which helped establish a network for local staff accross borders and have project ideas shared.
- We also took up some ideas with regard to the use of radio and blogs, and are currenly working with radio soaps and a governance blog in Helvetas Mozambique. We even started a blog to allow broad participation in the discussion to design our new 5 year plan in Mozambique (2012-2016), inspired by learnings from the share fair.
- I ‘think’ I better understand what ‘traducture’ is