In May, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) hosted a training workshop in Nairobi for communications staff working for the Tanzania Dairy Development Forum (DDF).
Here, Katarina Mungure of the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) reflects on the event.
The aim of the training was to build and strengthen the communications skills of some of the partners of the Dairy Development Forum. The partners included Deo Mlay and Mayasa Simba of the Tanzania Dairy Board (TDB), and Katarina Mungure of the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV).
DDF was initiated by the Livestock and Fish Tanzania dairy value chain to promote a more inclusive dairy development in Tanzania. The members of this forum have a shared goal of increasing milk production known as ‘Maziwa Zaidi’ Swahili translation of ‘more milk’. The forum is coordinated by the Tanzania Dairy Board and consists of an advisory committee and stakeholder organizations. It is envisaged that DDF will promote;
- A more inclusive orientation in public and private investments in the dairy sector
- Professionalization and best practices in the dairy sector
- Information and knowledge sharing including, convening as an innovation platform to address systemic bottlenecks and co-create solutions in the dairy sector at national and milk-shed levels
The three-day training session provided room for the trainers and trainees to share experiences of the communications tools that are used by each organization to reach out to their audiences. It also equipped participants with adequate knowledge in creating and managing social media and web pages such as, wiki’s and you tube, skills in effective event organization and documentation together with network and platform facilitation.
Furthermore, participants went through an exhaustive brainstorming session which helped to provide a clear sketch of the desired communication strategy for the DDF as follows;
- The audience categories i.e. value chain actors, consumers and government and non-governmental institutions
- The existing communication tools and platforms within DDF e.g. emails, websites, physical mailing, meetings and workshops
- The types of information needed to be communicated to each audience (goals of communicating to them) e.g. information on the support system for dairy production and information on dairy production for value chain actors
- The additional desired communication tools and techniques that would be ideal for the forum but are not yet used by the coordinating body e.g. policy briefs, effective event organisations, networks and platforms facilitation
At the end of the three-day training, participants were satisfied with the wealth of knowledge that was shared and acquired during the training. Apart from advancing my communication skills, I also learned a lot of tips and tricks in network facilitation.
The training was organized by the Livestock and Fish CGIAR Research Program with inputs from ILRI’s Knowledge Management and Information Services and Capacity Development units.
Two members of ILRI’s Public Awareness Unit also contributed to this training and will see the participants next at the opening of ILRI’s office in Dar Es Salaam on 13 June, where all these communications skills will be put to the test!