Global Good Practice Notes

NOTE 15: Social Media for Rural Advisory Services

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Social media refers to the web-based tools and media that allow users to personally and informally interact, create, share, retrieve, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. Social media includes social networking sites, blogs and microblogs, online forums, discussion boards and groups, wikis, socially integrated text messaging services, videos and podcasts, and many more. Rural advisory services (RAS) have seen enormous changes in the 21st Century that require interaction among multiple stakeholders ‒ public, private, and non-profit – and learning to take collective action.

Note 3: Mobile Based Bundled Services

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Smallholder farmers in developing countries face a number of challenges that impact their productivity and contribution to food security. These include lack of access to financial services (credit, savings, and micro-insurance) and limited access to rural advisory services.

NOTE 0: Overview of extension philosophies and methods

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NOTE 1: Innovation Platforms

inno p sFarmers, agri-business and service providers have to innovate continuously to adapt to an ever-changing environment (including markets, climate and resources). Innovation is about putting ideas that are new to a certain location into practice, and in this way changing the situation of those living in this area for the better. These “ideas” can be a new way of irrigating a field (i.e. a technology), a new way of organizing women farmers to bulk their produce (i.e. an organizational innovation), or a new policy that supports smallholders in getting bank loans (i.e. an institutional innovation). In agriculture, innovation often involves a combination of these different types of changes. For example: a new way of diverting water to fields requires that the farmers organize themselves in water use associations, which must in turn be supported by the local authorities.

There is plenty of information available in the public domain that covers various aspects of extension and know-how about new methodologies for implementation.  However this information is often scattered and presented in complex academic language. Hence practitioners, who often have very limited time and/or may only have basic formal education, find it difficult to make use of this information.  

The Global Good Practices Initiative aims to bridge this gap by providing information about extension approaches and methods in easy-to-understand formats. As part of this effort, it makes “Good Practice Notes” available to all on a downloadable website.

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