As part of the efforts of the Knowledge Sharing in Research Pilot project “Safe Food despite wastewater irrigation: a knowledge sharing approach” lead by the International Water Management Institute(IWMI), an innovative knowledge sharing approach has been developed to help share appropriate knowledge generated by research projects working on wastewater with key stakeholders.
Described as a ‘roadshow’ this knowledge sharing approach is designed to bring relevant stakeholders together to follow the contamination pathway from farm to fork to understand how the contamination occurs, what the health risks are, and then to look at and learn what practices could be used to reduce the contamination and health risks. Key in all of this is that all stakeholders from farmers, to market vendors to caterers to extension officers and policy makers observe , discuss and learn together.
The overall objective is to improve the adoption potential by application of an knowledge sharing activity that brings together representatives of all involved groups along the contamination pathway in wastewater irrigated vegetable production.
Specific objectives include:
Bring together representatives of all stakeholder groups, researchers, farmers, vendors, market women, caterers and authorities to:
Ø discuss/ demonstrate identified health risk reduction options in a sequence along the contamination pathway.
Ø create a better understanding for each group of identified methods used at each level from the production, processing and up to the consumption what is involved and what is needed to jointly ensure the reduction of health risks
Ø show the correlations between the different levels of application of the health reducing methodologies, i.e. the accumulative effect or draw-backs in case of failure at individual stages.
Ø create a platform for exchange of related questions, challenges on the adoption potential of the identified option with all groups involved.
Ø see if the feeling of joint responsibility for the participating groups can be strengthened by knowledge sharing activities into research projects and thus the impact of our research.
Ø monitor and evaluate the benefits of knowledge sharing activities into research projects.
The KSinR pilot project has been developing and trying out various knowledge sharing approaches to:
- find better ways to interact with stakeholders during the research process
- increase learning throughout the process
- find better ways to share valuable research results with target groups
The roadshow is one of a variety of approaches that has been used.
The roadshow approach was first used in Accra, Ghana by the project in November 2008-with resounding success. The other cities in Ghana where wastewater work has been done also wanted such an approach to be done there. So in March 2009 a roadshow was organised in Kumasi and Tamale Cities in Ghana.
I had a chance to visit during the roadshow in Kumasi, so will be posting some updates, photos etc from this exciting event.