Capacities for Change, GFAR blog

Join GFAR’s webinar on “Farm Radio, Community Radio and Participatory Radio”

We had been driving around for days interviewing farmers in the remote and arid northern part of Burkina Faso. To get from one settlement to the next, it took hours: Hours of negotiating gullies cut deep into the sandy soil, with boulders washed onto what used to be a dirt road. The whole time, the fresh sound of “La Voix du Paysant” (“The Voice of the Farmer”), a local farm radio station, blasted through the car’s speakers.

It was almost as if the music and the joy in which the presenters brought the programs, were in sharp contrast with the desolate landscape we crawled through. Herman, our local guide and an extension agent, translated most of the listeners’ telephone calls which were patched into the programs. The calls came from dozens and dozens of farmers, often living in the very same remote settlements we passed through. It was clear this farm radio served like a “on-the-air community center” for farmers.

A few days later, we decided to drop by the studio, where almost all the programming was done live. A lady sat behind a mixer and patched in the telephone calls, mixed with interviews and music. And music, there was! Most of it, brought life by the presenter -slash- producer -slash- singer/songwriter, Sodre Ousmane. The only instruments were Sodre’s voice, and a two stringed rough-cut wooden instrument, played by Sodre’s side-kick Isaka Belem. Most of the songs were improvised on the spot, live on the air. The music interluded interactive programs on conservation agriculture techniques, farmers produce market prices, and cattle diseases. To name just a few.

Seeing “Maman” behind the mixer with Sodre and Isaka jokingly patching in the farmers from this remote part of the world, with a minimum of technical means, is where my respect for rural farm radios comes from.

And so, we did not have to think twice to say “YES!”, when Karen Hampson from Farm Radio International (FRI), a GFAR partner organisation, approached us for a webinar, dedicated to farm radio. Karen and her team have also been crucial in assembling most of our other presenters. (Thanks again, Karen!)

And thus (drum roll)… it is with an absolute great pleasure we hereby announce GFAR’s next webinar on farm radio, community radio and participatory radio, a trio of interconnected topics, with a close link to agriculture and rural communities.

We’re ever so proud to feature a number of expert speakers, all coming from a different background and approaching the topics from diversified entry points.

Join us!

Webinar: “Farm Radio, Community Radio and Participatory Radio”

Date: Tuesday June 13th 2017 – at 14:00 Rome time
Duration: 2 hours
(Use this tool helps you convert “Rome time” to your timezone)

This webinar is a collaborative effort: our panel of professional communicators worked together to share their experiences and approaches, their trials and errors.

We will give ample opportunity for all webinar participants to join into the discussion, either to share their own experiences, hints and tricks, or to ask questions to the speakers, or to the entire group.

Our speakers:

Karen Hampson is Regional Programs Manager with Farm Radio International (FRI), a Canadian NGO. She has over 20 years experience in international development, working with farming communities on three continents in various guises. In her current role, she supports fifteen radio and ICT projects in four countries of East and Southern Africa. The projects use the power and reach of radio and ICTs to engage with listeners for various aims: to scale out proven technologies, to promote uptake of agricultural innovations and improvements, or to assess the effectiveness of radio, ICTs and other extension and communication for development methods. Karen also leads project and partnership development in the region, building partnerships with various international organisations and research centres for effective impact projects. Karen is based in Arusha, Tanzania, at FRI’s regional office for sub-Saharan Africa.

Lucky A. Komba a.k.a Allan Lucky – is a media personality, media consultant, education activist and a digital expert who’s been in the communication industry for 12 years. He started with experiential marketing campaigns in 2005 and eventually made an entry to TV & radio career with East Africa Television Ltd (EATV) in 2008. He was among the founders of the most famous high school TV show in Tanzania in 2009 – Skonga, which still airs on East Africa Television (EATV).
Lucky is currently part of a team of creative minds at Well Told Story Limited (WTS) as a senior media producer for Shujaaz – a two times Emmy Award winning multimedia communication platform that aims to help improve the lives and livelihoods of young people in Africa.
Lucky has a wealth of experience in dealing with young people and handling matters related to them. In regards to this, he believes that the young must be involved in finding solutions to their challenges.

Rainbow Wilcox is Africa’s Voices Foundation‘s Impact, Learning and Communications Manager.
Rainbow was first involved with Africa’s Voices Foundation during its pilot phase, as a student volunteer, while completing an MPhil in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge.
Her role draws upon experiences in East Africa, in the non-profit sector, and in communications — including with radio stations. She gained an understanding of social science research methods during her Psychology BSc from University College London.

Riccardo del Castello is a Communication for Development (ComDev) Officer at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). He has more than 30 years of experience in participatory communication processes in agricultural and rural development, with a focus on food security and nutrition.
Riccardo has extensively worked in Africa and Eastern Europe for the development of communication strategies using multi-media approaches, the design and delivery of ComDev training and the establishment of rural/community radios and ICTs for agricultural research and advisory services.

Register now!

You can register for this webinar by sending a simple email to Peter Casier – peter.casier(at)

Please mention the title of the webinar you want to participate in, your name, affiliation (organisation/institute) and function.

We will send you a confirmation email. You will get a reminder with the technical details to join the webinar, one day before the event.

Register fast! Our webinars are limited to 100 participants and the available “seats” are often taken in a matter of days. We encourage participants to actively engage in our webinars with feedback, questions, and sharing of their own experiences.

About the GFAR webinars

We, at GFAR strongly believe in the power of communications to bring – with our partners – our common messages to the public, and to network within our own communities and with our stake holders. That’s why we continuously support trainings, workshops and webinars on communications.

While the webinars are organised by GFAR, they are collaboratively built with the speakers, often presenting the work of GFAR partners. As such, the webinars are by themselves a proof how we catalyze between our partner organizations -and others- to work together towards shared GFAR goals. If your organisation is not a GFAR partner yet, join now!

Attendance to our webinars is open to GFAR partners as well as other nonprofit organisations or individuals working in the area of agriculture, ecosystems and sustainable development. Our webinars are mostly attended by scientists, students, communications staff as well as a wide variety of agricultural practitioners.

We do not ask for a participation fee, but want all participants to actively engage into the online discussion during the webinar.

The webinars are moderated via BlueJeans, an online tool running within any internet browser. It only requires participants to have a good and reliable Internet connection and a computer/tablet running any browser.

Topics of our past GFAR communications webinars include:
“Participatory communications and uptake communications”
“Participatory video”
“Email based newsletters”
The challenge of internal communications
“Building a bridge between scientists and communicators”
“An introduction to social media”
“How to read updates from hundreds of websites, easily”
“How to define and measure your social media performance”
“How to find and use pictures for your websites”
“Basic Search Engine Optimization”
“The Art of Website Revamps”
“The Crystal Ball: Predicting the future of online media”

Top picture: A scenery from northern Burkina Faso
Second picture:
Farm radio “La Voix du Paysant” in Ouahigouya, Burkina Faso
Photos courtesy Peter Casier/CCAFS

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