The Global association of the Master’s in Development Practice Program at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, in partnership with the Sustainable Development Solution Network, will host the 4th Annual International Conference on Sustainable Development on September 21 & 22, 2016. (http://ic-sd.org/)
The aim of the conference is to identify and share practical, evidence-based solutions that can support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This year’s conference theme is “Moving Forward: The SDGs in Practice.” The ICSD provides a unique opportunity to bring together stakeholders from government, academia, the United Nations, international agencies, NGOs, and grassroots organizers to share practical solutions towards the achievement of more sustainable and inclusive societies. This conference is truly a global event. ICSD will host students from around the world’s top universities, its participants include leading scientists and representatives of many governments and the UN.
Faria Rashid, a MSc Candidate from the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development (SEDRD) at the University of Guelph (Canada) and a team member for the project “Mobilizing Knowledge for Sustainable Agriculture” will present a paper entitled “Converging Frontline SMS, Freedom Fone and Radio for Mobilizing Knowledge for Sustainable Agriculture in Sri Lanka” at this conference.
This will be a great opportunity for our project to share our lessons learned on using low-cost information and communication technologies (ICTs) for knowledge mobilization among agricultural communities of practice in Sri Lanka. This includes feedback received from radio staff from farm listeners on the use of radio and ICTs also known as (Radio+) for sustainable agriculture. Below is a copy of the abstract for this paper.
Information and communications technologies (ICTs) have great potential for sustainable agriculture, especially when broadcast radio is combined with mobile and open source software technologies referred to here as Radio+. This paper examines the Radio+ experiences of six organizations in a community of practice for ICT-enabled farm media convergence in Sri Lanka including Rangiri Radio, Department of Export Agriculture, Wayamba University and LIRNEAsia with researchers at the University of Alberta and University of Guelph in Canada. Our work demonstrates how a “tried and true” technology such as rural radio can expand its reach with FOSS applications. Specifically, collaboration with Rangiri Radio since 2014 has involved testing open source software (Freedom Fone and Frontline SMS) and mobile technologies. Farmers are positive about radio programming that use interactive options including “call-in” audience response programs, multiple text messaging and voice recorded messages. The paper concludes that Radio+ has good potential to strengthen participatory communication for development through a multi-media connection that networks broadcasters, agricultural experts, and farmers.