Local solutions to local problems

July 30th, 2012
Gwanda community meeting

Gwanda community meeting

The Secretary General of the FAO came to Harare today. According to the papers his most important message was that Zimbabwe should be seeking local solutions to local problems.

This echoes a meeting I had with the FAO just a couple of days back. FAO are excited about our podcasting work. They are currently funding the creation of a post-harvest handbook for farmers and extension workers in the local Nbele language. Now we are talking about breaking down that manual into audio chunks – podcasts – which can be played to the local communities.

Our meeting got exciting as I started to think about the Practical Answers website becoming a repository for podcasts in local languages from throughout the Southern African region. Part of our project is to capture the local knowledge – in danger of being lost as older generations die out. If we could harness the power of all our partner NGOs to capture this knowledge – upload it and then share it we could reach hundreds of thousands of people. To make the project sustainable we could even create a subscription service where NGOs and others contribute to the costs of the service but the information is made freely available to the people who need it.

 We’ll see how this one develops but it’s another sign of how powerful our knowledge sharing service already is, but also what the potential for further growth is.

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