Friday, November 12, 2010

AgKnowledge Africa - After Action Review of the organizing team

An After Action Review (AAR) was carried out by the organizing agencies at IFAD in Rome ten days after the AgKnowledge Share Fair. Those who could not be physically present at the venue joined the discussion via Skype or via audio conference.

Participants: @rsamii @@peterballantyne @petecranston @eporcari_CGIAR @bajan_nads @Willem @elenadip Silvia Sperandini @gaurisalokhe

Here are some key issues (put together with @elenadip) that came out during the AAR.

Day 0 – Learning and Training:
  • The majority of participants expressed themselves positively about the Training Day, underlining they had learnt new tools. Beginners, though, said they did not have enough time to learn. Longer sessions should have been organized for them to learn new skills and get used to new tools.
AgKnowledge Share Fair:
  • Majority of the participants appreciated the concept of embedding Ethiopian culture in the different sessions like the marketplace, horn and Bunna!!
  • In case of the marketplace, the participants thought it should have been made in a smaller space instead of dispersing around the ILRI campus.
  • Organizers realized that those sessions carefully planned over a longer period of time were superior, in terms of quality, than those sessions which were organized in a shorter span of time
  • Organizers also decided they should improve the ways to collect content and make it usable for the participants once the event is over.
  • Social reporters had a key role in covering the event, although some sessions were poorly covered with respect to others. In a brainstorming with the social reporting team, some put forward the idea of having a more structured social reporting plan for all sessions to be equally covered. Others argued this would subtract from the real nature of social reporting which is a spontaneous activity.
  • One issue all the reporters agreed on is that a stricter quality control should be applied to the social media coverage.
  • The issue of social reporting vs documenting was also raised. The social reporting at the event was remarkable whereas there was no documentation of the sessions. For the sake of documentation, a rapporteur should have been assigned to each session. Rapporteurs could be recruited among university students knowledgeable about the topics and able to produce first draft documentation to be distributed to the participants before the end of the event.
  • All the sessions in the Fair were self-organized. Most sessions thus were good, with buy-in and ownership from the participants, but there were a few which could have done better.
  • Organizers observed there was request for more open spaces - more space for spontaneous discussions.
  • Each sessions should have a content facilitator and a process facilitator.
Meaningful outcomes of the Fair were:
  • The funding of 65 participants from various organizations in Africa.
  • The participation of heterogeneous groups (farmers, researchers, NGOs, etc.) which allowed different parties belonging to the same value chains to interact and talk about common problems.
  • The presence of farmers was particularly significant and made it clear that they should be adequately represented and that more interaction and space should be dedicated to them in order to understand their needs. The idea was put forward to organize a Farmers’ Share Fair.
  • The remarkable number of social reporting outputs: blog posts (60+), pictures (470+), podcasts (15+), tweets (2400+) and 50 videos (50+).
The organizers decided to work on indicators to measure the impact of a Share Fair. A “One Year After the Fair” Survey will be distributed to collect feedback and reason upon the metrics of success of a Fair.

1 comment:

Geoff said...

Great that farmers were involved! I bet they had lots to share and something to learn. That's really getting knowledge to flow to and from where it will make a difference.

Well done!