GFAR blog

Wanted: Feedback on our communications project

Eight months ago, we started an ambitious project to revamp our GFAR communications. Sure, we wanted to expand our own GFAR outreach, and inform or involve more people in our projects. And by “ours”, we really meant “ours”: the outreach from GFAR and all its partners. All of our communications channels should be open to advocate for any project, from all of our partners.
To achieve this, we revamped the GFAR website and our blog, overhauled our social media approach and invested considerable time to properly manage our social media channels.

But that was only one part of what we really wanted to achieve: as a Global Forum, we saw “communications” as a corner stone of what we, as an organisation, want to achieve: “communications” is what makes a network come alive. So we wanted to turn our communication platforms into a discussion and exchange platform.
To achieve this goal, we encouraged discussions, questions and feedback throughout all of our communication platforms. We actively monitor each of these channels and do an extra effort to be responsive to any incoming reactions or queries.

At the same time, our goal was to build a strong collaborative and mutual support network for the communicators in our partner organisations. We wanted to find opportunities to learn together, and to build our common communications capacity.
To accomplish this, we built an active online discussion forum as the communicators “Community of Practice”, organised trainings and webinars.

Now, eight months into this project, we want to take stock, get feedback and use this to further fine-tune and improve our communications project. At the same time, we also want to use some of your feedback in our 2015 annual report.

So, here is where we’d like your help:

This is a call to you: The professional communicators in our network, to our blog readers, our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn audience, our website visitors and the participants in our trainings and webinars:

How do you see our outreach, how we use our tools? How have you appreciated our trainings and webinars? What would you like more, or want to see less, or different?

We are particularly interested in anecdotes of instances where any of our communications projects or any of our posts had the “extra effect”: where they lead you to discover/learn new or different things, where you used some of our information in your work, how our network has helped you and what you “did” with the information.

We’d also love to see some feedback from you, we could quote in our upcoming annual report.

You can leave feedback in the comments section, or send it directly to Peter Casier – p.casier(at)

Thank you for your help!

13 thoughts on “Wanted: Feedback on our communications project”

  1. Just feel great to follow the news and update in order to learn how to improve and extend the agriculture quality and quantity to feed ourselve ; community; and the world as whole

  2. This webinar helped me think about different ways that we can share our work. The examples across the CG centers was very helpful to help initiate how we might do things differently. I plan on writing blogs regarding our scientific journal publications blending in a relevant beneficiary story. This is helpful as journal articles count more in our performance review than blogs and it is a creative way to blend the two. I would have never of thought of this had it not been the example Peter gave from CIMMTY. I look forward to upcoming webinars. They were surely worth the time. It is hard to stay atop of all the new developments in the social media world and Peter does a terrific job keeping us informed and inspired.

  3. Received by email:

    I really appreciated the social media training I attended as part of GCARD3. I used a lot of what I learned to actually give a session to the project leaders of our capacity building project to help them guide their fellows who all have to write 2 blog posts related to their fellowships.
    We went over a lot of different things and then I gave them a powerpoint as a summary for them to use while talking to their fellows. I think its really helped us to get better blog submissions from fellows who probably previously thought of blogs more as their research abstracts than as a creative writing outlet. I’ve also used what I’ve learned when editing other blog submissions.

    Natalie Orentlicher
    Communications Fellow
    CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems in the Greater Mekong (WLE Greater Mekong)

  4. Received by email:

    YPARD members attended a [GCARD3] social media training sponsored by GFAR. With that training, two of us (Dax Olfindo and I) from YPARD Philippines learned a lot and were able to practice during the HLPD itself.

    But more than that, we were able to conduct a re-echo of that social media training (with the permission of Peter Casier to share his materials) in the Philippines in partnership with Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquaculture and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD). During the HLPD, Dr. Virginia Cardenas and Dr. Rey Ebora thought that it would be good to have a re-echo since such a training can be very useful for the scientific community in the country. Hence, we conducted the re-echo last week – January 12 and 13 at the PCAARRD Headquarters.

    We would like to thank you for GFAR’s continual support in equipping the youth in the pursuit of national, regional and global agricultural development. And of course, thank you to APAARI for organizing the HLPD to support GCARD3, where the social media training could come in. This is just the first of many positive ripple effects of the GCARD3, and hopefully we will be able to re-echo the training to more Philippine government scientific agencies.

    Jim Leandro P. Cano
    Country Representative
    YPARD Philippines

  5. Some feedback on the webinar “Introduction to social media for professionals”

    Many thanks for a most valuable session today. I now feel I have a much better understanding of use of the various vehicles for communication. I liked the idea that the blog is the central communication vehicle.
    – Once again an excellent session – many thanks. Also many thanks for the links

    Dr Simon B Heath
    Secretary General, GCHERA

    We will certainly follow your valuable tips and check out all the links you have given. Many thanks!

    Savitri Mohapatra
    Communications officer, AfricaRice

    The webinar was excellent and gave me a lot of info and inspiration.

    Marita Dieling
    Executive Secretary, AIRCA

    I truly enjoyed the first session and am changing already my approach to social media use. Thank you very much for this!!

    Karin Reinprecht,
    Gender Program Coordinator, CGIAR Research Program on Dryland Systems

    Thank you so much for the wonderful insights you shared. – I am interested in joining your GFAR comms network and want to participate in the social media outreach project.

    John Francis Okiror,
    Communication intern, Policy Action for Climate Change (PACCA)

    There were many many new things I learnt plus I really appreciate the various resources / link shared.
    I am interested to be part of the GCARD3 project and YPARD social media team.

    Zuraida Zainal Abidin,
    Senior Manager Communications, Crops For the Future

    My personal opinion regarding the webinar on ‘Social Media’, last January, is highly positive as it was really good to have an update on tools that help us to better show our work (After the two webinar sessions I really wanted to continue with my blog!).

    It was also very good listening new perspectives and good knowledge, namely Susan McMillan / ILRI, which gave really nice tips/suggestions!

    Thank you so much for the enthusiasm and opportunity!

    Ana Oliveira,
    Post-Doctoral Fellow – Crop Genetics and Molecular Breeding, IITA

  6. More feedback received from our training in Bangkok:

    Having the chance to participate in the Social Media Training last December in Bangkok was a wonderful experience. We had the best mentor ever, Peter Casier, who taught us a lot about utilizing social media tools for non-profit purposes. The dynamic and interactive sessions during the training were what really matter for us so that we could better understand the function of social media. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Peter Casier, YPARD and GFAR for the awesome experience and new skill I have learned from this training and I look forward to another valuable social media session.

    Coordinator of Clean Up Jakarta Day and Control Council of International Association of Students in Agricultural and Related Sciences (IAAS) Indonesia

  7. The GCARD training at the HLPD meeting in Bangkok was a great experience. I learned a ton, met a lot of people, and most importantly improved the quality of my social media outputs and blog posts from Peter Casier. It was also a great opportunity to network and share ideas with like-minded individuals. In my case, many of these were young people in the field like me so it was nice to see the youth getting involved in the discussions for water, agriculture, and sustainable development.

  8. The opportunity to be a part in HLPD in Bangkok was a great experience, and a day long social media training prior to the event was a cherry on a cake.
    The art of using the social media tools in a right way, art of blogging (art of seduction) live tweeting and every learnings from the training was incredible. Though almost all of us were familiar to the social medias, there were lot more to be learned. Personally, I am not too into the blogging and live tweeting but post training I am kind of enjoying those.
    Also I am following some series of webinars about the social medias and found those interesting too. I would like to involve more in these kind of webinars and workshops in near future.
    I am utilizing those skills in every possible way and share my experience among my circle.
    Special thanks to GFAR, YPARD, and our mentor(Peter Casier) for making such a good environment for us to learn.

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