Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

FInd photos from the recently held Knowledge Sharing in Research project Synthesis Workshop on the KS project’s Flickr site.

Directly via:

Or click on the PHOTOS tab on the top of the KS website home page (–which will take you to the Flickr site page showing all the sets of KS Project photos available–and go to the KSinR Synthesis workshop Photo set–shown in image below.


In the Most Significant Change story approach it is usual for the participants as a whole to listen to the stories and make a selection of that story or those stories which they consider to be most significant for the group or the program.

In the recently held Knowledge Sharing in Research Synthesis workshop, the review and selection of stories was done in a different way. Instead of the participants judging the stories themselves as a group, two people, somewhat outside of the direct KSinR project, were asked to listen to the stories and make comments and selections. These were:ksinr-synthesis-workshop-164

  • Meredith Giordano (IWMI)-Senior Researcher involved in Impact work at IWMI and supervising the Project Leader of KSinR
  • Debbie Bossio (IWMI)- Senior Researcher and Theme Leader of Productive Water Use Theme–not involved in the KSinR Project at all

And instead of them making their comments and selection just between the two of them (in private), the workshop used a fishbowl technique which involved Meredith and Debbie sitting in the middle of a circle made up up of all the other participants of the workshop.


Meredith and Debbie then commented on all the stories, indicating things they liked about stories, important points, key elements of packaging stories and their thoughts on the importance of particular changes indicated. They also talked about how well these could be ‘sold’ to their research Centres and projects. Everyone was asked to listen to them without interrupting first–and only after they finished their ‘internal’ discussion was it opened up to the wider group.

Some key points made in the fishbowl were:

  • Need to focus on ONE significant change–not tell everything about the project
  • To show significant change would be good to indicate what was done before/how things were done before–so that a difference can be seen–as Alessandra did in her story
  • Give evidence of or demonstrate with an example the change you are talking about–like in Phillip’s story
  • Interesting to indicate change in one’s own knowledge, skills, experience as the most significant change–this is very real and important–as shown in Natasja’s story
  • Ben’s story showed the importance of finding common interest
  • Liked how some stories showed the implications and consequences–what would happen next as a result
  • Use of numbers is appealing for scientists–Tonya’s story gave some numbers of farmers and percentage of adoption which made the change seem more concrete
  • Debbie pointed out that she couldn’t take anything in particular that she heard to the donors–need to consider target groups when developing stories
  • Should indicate what the impact has been or could be due to the change–Alexandra indicated this in her story
  • Need to feel free to tell ‘negative’ stories as alot cna be learned from these as well
  • Should consider the language we use in our stories
  • …and much more!

“Mobile Telephony in Rural Areas” COME IN AND FIND OUT!

JOIN our Latest Forum on “Mobile Telephony in Rural Areas” 17-28 November 2008


… over 150 active participants from 50 nations …

… contributions from small farmers, private sector and NGO workers, scientists and academics, and governmental representatives …

This Forum examines the challenges that rural communities face in enhancing the benefits of mobile telephony, and looks at some examples of interesting initiatives and good outcomes from around the globe.

Here’s what some of the participants are saying…

“Today, mobile telephony are being used for providing information to the farmers on pest advisory system, branchless banking, agricultural market arrivals and prices through SMS and multimedia supported system in many Asian countries. […] However, there is a lot more we can do in this field to improve the plight of small and marginal farmers with the help of innovative products/technologies customized for rural sector. This is an important forum where we can all discuss the challenges and strategies for the implementation of mobile telephony in rural areas.” – Sapna A. Narula, Assistant Professor of the G. B. Pant University of Agriculture & Technology, Pantnagar, India.

“The forum has provided a great opportunity to hear about creative uses for mobile phones from people across the world. From college professors in Uganda to farmers in Bangladesh, everyone is reporting that phones have indeed become a ubiquitous source of information reaching even remote rural areas. Their potential is really captured by all of the suggestions being made for their use and the participation of many field experts will likely make them happen.” – Hélène Martin, Grameen Foundation Technology Center,

Subject Matter experts include:
· Pete Cranston, ICT and New Media in Development Consultant;
· Laura M. Drewett, Partner Director, BusyLab Ltd.;
· Jawahar Kanjilal, Global Head of Emerging Market Services, Services & Software, Nokia;
· Christian Kreutz, Consultant, Knowledge Activist;
· AHM Sultanur Reza, Additional General Manager and Head, Community Information Center, Grameenphone Ltd.;
· Luca Servo, Communication for Development Consultant, Research and Extension Division, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations;

· Nigel Scott, Gamos Ltd.
With Charlotte Masiello-Riome, Communications Expert and Coordinator; and Michael Riggs, Information Management Specialist for the Asia-Pacific region, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Join in this exciting forum!
If you haven’t yet registered on the platform,
click here.
Go to, log in, and click on the forum section!
Any questions, please write to

IFPRI has recently issued a call for nominations for a new initiative on “Millions Fed: Proven Successes in Agricultural Development.” To submit a nomination or nominations, please visit

Also check out the flyer:millions-fed-flyer-pic1


The Millions Fed project, supported by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, will document evidence on “what works” in agriculture—what sorts of policies, programs, and investments in pro-poor agricultural development have had a proven impact on hunger and food security.

We invite nominations highlighting interventions that have had a significant impact on food security, including those that have empowered women and vulnerable groups to improve their livelihoods. Nominations may include, for example, research and extension programs that have improved on-farm yields and outputs for small-scale farmers; public investment programs that have helped food-insecure consumers meet their daily nutritional requirements and accumulate assets; community-led efforts that have conserved soil, water, forests, and biodiversity; or market-based interventions that have strengthened the ability of small-scale farmers and food-insecure consumers to gain access to production inputs, rural services, and agricultural commodities.

Please submit your nominations by December 31, 2008. Nominated interventions will be reviewed by a panel of international experts and, if selected, highlighted in the Millions Fed global communications initiative.  For more information on the selection criteria, nomination process, and the Millions Fed project in general, please see the attached flyer or visit

We encourage you to share this call for nominations with colleagues in your organization and networks. Please feel free to contact the IFPRI Millions Fed team at if you have any questions or would like further information.

The Innovation Asia-Pacific Symposium will take place from 4 to 7 May 2009 in Katmandu, innovation-asia_flyer-brochureNepal. PROLINNOVA is co-organising this symposium with ICIMOD (International Center for Integrated Mountain Dveelopment) and CIAT Asia. PROLINNOVA partners in Nepal – LI-BIRD and Practical Action are playing a leading role in all the activities leading up to the symposium. RIU has already committed itself to financially support the symposium and several other donors are considering funding.

The call for contributions and the brochure for the symposium are attached herewith:

Please feel free to pass this on to other interested individuals and organizations. More information is found on the website Closing date for submission of abstracts is 20 December 2008.

innovation-asia_flyer-call-for-contributions1The organisers hope that this symposium will be as successful as the Innovation Africa Symposium that was co-organised in Uganda in November 2006 and contribute to promoting local innovation and innovations systems in agriculture and NRM.