"The means is dialogue, the end is learning, the purpose is peace." ~ Founder Dr. Jane Vella
Farm Radio International (FRI) launched an ambitious effort to effectively reach farmers across rural Africa through well-designed participatory radio campaigns (PRCs). They knew that there must be a solid training package as part of this effort, and that it needed to be designed with a sound pedagogical adult learning process in mind. “We didn’t have this kind of expertise on our team and we knew we needed to source this externally. GLP gave us the opportunity to learn about an adult learning approach that puts the learner first and that much of the learning is ‘by doing’ which seemed to fit well into the practical nature of our work.” (Sheila Huggins Rao)
FRI hired GLP and DynaMind Ltd. to develop and implement what would be the very well-received learning program "Building Broadcaster Capacity for Effective Radio Programming". We designed the program from scratch for staff and volunteers of twenty-five radio stations (in Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana and Mali) in order to expand and strengthen their broadcasts on agriculture and food security issues. The team analyzed station needs assessment data from all countries, as well as community rural appraisal findings as a basis for development of the PRC. We gathered secondary research on rural radio worldwide to learn from similar efforts in other places. GLP drafted a complete “training architecture” and proposed a detailed set of objectives, learning tasks, and resource materials.
We worked closely with the DynaMind e-learning specialists to ensure that a blended approach (combining hands-on face-to-face workshops with innovative distance learning) would be seamless. The final design allowed for successful online collaborative learning in rural areas for the first time. GLP oversaw the pilot run of the effort in Malawi, and synthesized findings so that the program could be revised before full international roll-out.
This training program is a good example of how a well-designed "blended approach" can turn innovative ideas into practical skills. Staff from 25 radio stations across countries participated in the blended learning package, and each studio produced its own PRCs, in turn reaching thousands of farmers. Visit: http://www.farmradio.org/english/donors/publications/EightPager.pdf .
Developing the initial training package was not an easy road by any means. But, we worked hard to make sure that every step of the learning process was a practical one – giving all participants the confidence and skills they needed to actually create an effective radio program, not just talk about creating one!
“I personally learned the importance in investing the time from the very beginning to establish the foundations of the training working through the details of the design, so that the actual content and final outcomes of the training answer our initial objectives.” (SHR)