29 September 2011

ShareFair #188 Afghanistan's poor farmers struggle to access markets

Session 188 – New Trends and thinking on market access challenges for small farmers
12:00-13:00 in B500

Gulla Jan Ahmadzai introduced us to the at time tough conditions for small Afghan farmers to increase their living standards through increased productivity, diversity and access to markets. Road conditions; a lack of consolidation of farmers associations (cooperatives, associations and federation); insufficient adequate product storage to influence and respond to market demands; and a lack of collaboration with intermediary traders and exporters do not favor the realization of their aspirations. Even IFAD itself, supporting them, has difficulties in identifying local context adjusted mechanisms to assist them in their endeavour.
Gulla presents and a lively exchange of experiences and suggestions ensues with among others colleagues working in similar environments like Kosovo.
Gulla will remain in touch with the 8 participants, send them the presentation and exchanged contact details.

ShareFair #192 Cameroon's Tiko farmers go to Market

Godwin Tanda introduced us to his small local NGO and his incredible drive, will-power and creativeness to assist poor small farmers on degraded former rubber plantation lands in Tiko on the SW coast of Cameroon to diversify, build their productive and marketing capacities and so gradually improve their lives.

The NGO, EPDA, is young, the initiative is young, but already there are things to share (see his presentation). Above all Godwin's objective is to receive peer assistance during the session, so I propose a round of introductions of some 7 participants and their work, encourage them to write up SWOT based feedback during the presentation, have Godwin present, and review and dig deeper in SWOT feedback received. Everyone learns, tips are exchanged, and so is the list of participants and their contact details.
A last tip from my side to Godwin and others (IFAD in Afghanistan): get in touch with the SDC RAS PPP experience in various parts of the world #229.

26 September 2011

At the SF: Video Production session experience

Wang, Robert, Carl & Peter experiment with video, doing interviews of each other on our motivation to join the session of Pier Andrea:


 More to come...

CoP by Etienne

CoPs run on social artists who when working in organizations account horizontally among peer learners but also vertically, as the org wishes to understand and use what the artist does. His talk about heart and trust comes close to Scharmer's Prescensing.

25 September 2011

F2F versus nonF2F : the pro and cons, some musing...

However much I can agree with the advantages (and need of, at least initially) of F2F meetings, I cannot help to think about the foot-print becoming darker and darker, In days of recession, travel is likely to become more and more unaffordable for many. So yes F2F by all means for those that are within reasonable distance of travel (the interpretation of this criterium depends of course on frequency and costs or means of travel available to those involved).

But we have to keep contributing to maturing channels, methods and tools to also (increasingly) collaborate and interact in nonF2F ways. Egypt, Tunesia, Jemen, Bahrein, Syria, UK would not have happened if only relying on F2F (I think).

And... it is definitely not only about channels, methods and tools. It's is about culture, practice, habit and willingness.

To make a very provocative statement: those of us - adventurersin the permitting conditions, tend to too easily choose for F2F as it permits them to have (tiring maybe) fun on planes and exotic places...

Just back from 2 weeks Uganda (my average annual footprint is dark grey, though compensated by a willingness to work from home, shop on a bicycle, and enjoying the challenge of nonF2F collaboration, even if regularly I make mistakes).