Daily Archives: April 28, 2010

Brand extension: videos from Africa Rice Center (formerly WARDA)

The journal Development in Practice recently published a paper by Paul Van Mele, Jonas Wanvoeke, and Esperance Zossou, Enhancing rural learning, linkages and institutions: the rice videos in Africa.  A peer review version can be downloaded at:  http://www.warda.org/warda/DIP%20Video%20in%20Africa.pdf

Africa Rice Center (formerly WARDA) has built a strong brand over the years, and has established a reputation for delivering high quality products to farmers across Africa.  These videos extend the brand identity by delivering high quality and accessible training to further support farmers.  Capitalising on the trust already gained, the “value” of the brand can reach beyond research alone and ensure more effective technology transfer.

By way of an introduction to this work, the preamble observes that:

Africa Rice Center (WARDA) facilitated the development and translation of 11 rice videos. From 2005 to 2009, WARDA partners translated them into more than 30 African languages. Open-air video presentations enhanced learning, experimentation, confidence, trust, and group cohesion among rural people. The videos strengthened capacities of more than 500 organisations and hundreds of thousands of farmers. WARDA’s integrated rural learning approach also helped women to access new markets and credit. Learning videos allow for unsupervised learning; unleash local creativity and experimentation; facilitate institutional innovations; and improve social inclusion of the poor, youth, and women.

The authors also observe that:

Across the board, the potential role of radio and video in strengthening agricultural innovation systems has not been fully explored. In this article, we present on-going work by Africa Rice Center (WARDA) and partners. Attention is paid to the ways in which video complements rural radio in enhancing learning, linkages, and institutions: the three pillars of an innovation system (see also http://www.warda.org/warda/p3-rurallearning.asp). We conclude by addressing some issues of social exclusion arising with the use of media, and we present potential ways to overcome these.

The paper is a must-read for those seeking to use media to effectively support agricultural development, and it is appropriate that Paul Van Mele, AfricaRice’s Learning and Innovation Systems Specialist, was honored with the 2009 CGIAR Outstanding Communications Award.  Paul’s work was also recognized this year by the International Visual Communication Association, which highly commended the video Cashing in with Parboiled Rice in the category of the Industry Award for Effective Communication.

More information on the video library can be found at: http://www.warda.org/warda/guide-video.asp

Post written by Peter Bloch, consultant to CAS-IP