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Videos and ICTs

Videos, especially digital ones, are a relatively new technology. Videos may help to meet the challenges of disseminating information to farmers and reaching the poor, marginalised, women, and youth. Different types of video include documentary (describing events), institutional (promoting a project or organisation), instructional (developed by researchers with limited input from farmers), farmer-learning (made with farmers), and participatory (made by farmers). Videos have many benefits: entertainment value, the power of ‘seeing is believing’, clips can be readily available, and they are easily made in many local languages. However, drawbacks include the fact that equipment and power are required to view them. Also, they must be in a language that is easy to understand, and they are more costly to produce than a flyer or poster. Special technical capacities are needed. In terms of sustainability, video can be made locally, and one DVD can be shown multiple times to thousands of people. And Digital Green has shown, using a controlled evaluation, that video-enabled behaviour-change methods can bring a 10-fold increase in cost-effectiveness relative to a conventional extension system (5)
Gandhi, R., Veeraraghavan, R. and Toyama, K. 2009. 322-797-2-PB.pdf. Information Technologies & International Development 5 (1): 1–15.
. For more information see Note 6 (videos).

On other ICTs see Note 11 (navigating ICTs), Note 15 (social media), Note 17 (mobile phones), and Note 18 (radio).

Innovation platforms

Finally, innovation platforms can be a useful tool, especially for problem solving with relevant actors in value chains or innovation systems. This tool can be very empowering for farmers. However, it takes a lot of time and effort to coordinate, and the high number of stakeholders makes management a bottleneck, and sustainability an issue. Capacities needed by extension include facilitation and coordination. For more information see Note 1.