Putting our ears to the ground: How can African broadcasters help improve Farm Radio International’s services?
Farm Radio International (FRI) proposes a half-day participatory workshop during or in conjunction with PCF7. The workshop would bring together some of FRI’s broadcasting partners to focus on improving our Resource Packs – the documents we post on our website and distribute to more than 440 radio partners in sub-Saharan Africa. This discussion would also touch on more general themes, such as how NGOs such as FRI can best deliver distance learning materials that meet the objectives listed below in the workshop goals. // In 1979, FRI distributed its first package of radio scripts about sustainable small-scale farming practices to broadcasters at radio stations in developing countries. It was an innovative way to provide open learning resources – from a distance – to rural broadcasters, who themselves are distance educators. Thirty-four years later, we continue to revise our offerings to better meet the needs of our broadcasting partners. // We recently launched a review of this program by inviting a panel of experts to review a selection of scripts. The reviews were comprehensive and thoughtful, and generated recommendations which will improve the program. // We would like to take this review one step further by convening a half-day workshop for our partner African radio broadcasters at PCF7. The workshop would gather feedback from these distance educators on how to improve the quality, relevancy and usefulness of the resources we provide. // Workshop goals would be to: 1. Present the recommendations of our review panel to African partner broadcasters, and get an on-the-ground perspective of how to improve them; and, more generally, 2. investigate how best to use our resources (and by extension resources offered by other NGOs) to: a. improve rural broadcasting b. make rural broadcasts more responsive to local needs, and c. help broadcasters address their programming challenges. // We hope to include partner broadcasters not attending the workshop through Skype. Ideal attendees would be experienced broadcasters with a rich experience of developing programming for farmers, a demonstrated dedication to understanding and meeting the needs of their listeners, and a good sense of the kinds of resources that are most useful for developing programming. FRI will support two West African broadcasters to attend. One FRI staff will attend in order to facilitate. FRI broadcasting partners who meet the attendee criteria and are attending PCF7 for other events would be encouraged to attend. We are open to having a few other qualified broadcasters who are not currently Farm Radio International broadcaster partners attend the workshop. We aim for about eight participants. // Paper ID: 271
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