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Vendor at Makola Market, Accra, Ghana. Photo: Georgia Popplewell /Flickr

February 5, 2013
Thematic Meeting: Technology & Practice for Conservation Communications in Africa

The objectives and key themes of the upcoming meeting are:

  • Overview of findings of IRG report “Emerging Technology & Practice for Conservation Communications in Africa: A report on the state of the art and trends with recommendations for USAID.”;
  • Explore emerging technologies for conservation;
  • Discover examples of how ICTs (Information & Communications Technology) are successfully used in other sectors: agriculture, finance, health, governance;
  • Identify benefits to local communities for employing new technological developments in conservation;
  • Inspire improved knowledge management and sharing for USAID implementers with colleagues in Africa

Several sources of information have been provided in the links below for your convenience. Proceedings of the meeting will be posted as a summary note with links to accompanying literature, multimedia and other material.
USAID Report

An audio-visual recording of the meeting is available in its entirety here. Below is the meeting agends including presentation slides that accompanied the talks:

Welcome and overview

Allard Blom, Meeting Chair, World Wildlife Fund-US

Emerging Technology & Practice for Conservation Communications in Africa: A Report on the State of the Art and Trends with Recommendations for USAID

Peter Hobby, Director of Knowledge Exchange for the Center for Pharmaceuticals Management at Management Sciences for Health

Information Communication Technologies in other sectors of development: Agriculture Broad overview and some examples from the field

Jill S. Shemin, Associate ICT Advisor, USAID Africa Bureau, Economic Growth

Using SMART, a new law enforcement management and monitoring tool for adaptive management of law enforcement in the field

Barney Long, WWF-US, SMART Partnership (CITES/MIKE, FZS, NCZ, WCS, WWF, and ZSL)

FRAMEweb: Applying social media tools to encourage south-south collaboration

Sarah Schmidt, Capitalizing Knowledge, Connecting Communities (CK2C)

From Awareness to Action: Sharing Lessons Learned for African Conservation

A Report to the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund prepared by the Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group

What are the most effective methods of communication and networking to influence conservation outcomes for non-governmental organizations and African partners?

How do we promote awareness on key conservation challenges that result in conservation capacity building and action?

These were the research questions behind the communications assessment carried out by the Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group (ABCG). ABCG, a collaboration by U.S.-based international conservation non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that explores cutting edge and high priority issues affecting Africa, wanted to determine how new conservation concepts, tools and lessons are best shared with conservation decision-makers and practitioners in all regions of Africa. ABCG conducted four case studies to gain an in-depth view of the effectiveness of different communications methods, activities, and products used in their collaboration as well as other projects. The case studies included:

1. Biodiversity Support Program (BSP) Armed Conflict and the Environment Project;

2. ABCG HIV/AIDS and Conservation Linkages Project;

3. ABCG General Communications Activities; and

4. ABCG Product Cost Analysis.

The key finding of this study is:

U.S.-initiated projects that articulate conservation linkages and identify key messages and lessons on emerging and high priority issues can more effectively build capacity of field-based partners in Africa (in terms of learning, behavior change, and organizational change) when they develop and implement a focused, effective multi-tiered communications strategy that takes into account different levels of target audiences and identifies the most useful means of communications that considers timing, outreach, and cost.

Photo Credit: R. Zurba, USAID