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FARA & Dgroups

  1. Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa Dgroups at FARA by Myra Wopereis Director of Knowledge and Technologies, FARA 2012 Dgroups Annual Meeting 15 Nov 2012
  2. Outline • Purpose of dgroups • Current status • Benefits • Challenges • Conclusion
  3. Purpose of dgroups Tool to assist FARA: – as a forum to reach out (virtually) to diverse members across the world – to communicate and manage platforms across the continent
  4. Current status • Members – 2528 from 102 countries – Skills improving in use of dgroups (including ethics) • sub communities : 50
  5. Benefits • Provides continuous link with constituents in between the FARA Science week held every 3 years • Empowers non-research stakeholders to engage in discussions on Africa’s agriculture research, extension, education initiatives. • Advocacy and dissemination tool • Focused discussions and management of platforms
  6. Challenges • Management – maintaining dynamic subcommunities and catalyzing discussions – managing diverse skills and interests of members – harnessing access to member details/profile • Clear advantage compared to other tools i.e. social media tools (ning, linkedin, etc.) • Members – understanding purpose of dgroups – managing their own accounts – following threads of discussions
  7. Conclusion • Clear benefits of dgroups to FARA • Strengthen its use within the communications strategy including social media strategy of FARA • Rationalizing the subcommunities, members’ list • Assessment of effective of dgroups for FARA • Need for comprehensive strategy and plan to manage FARA dgroups (dedicated staff to manage dgroups)
  8. Key questions • Monitoring and evaluation of dgroups • Member’s database analysis, use, exporting to other programs • Management of main community vs. subcommunity vs. subsubcommunity – flow of information – automatic membership
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