Acknowledgements

This toolkit was developed by the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID) Fostering Agriculture Competitiveness Employing Information Communication Technologies (FACET) project being implemented by FHI 360 under award number EPP-A-00-09-00007, which is an associate award under the FIELD-Support LWA.

The original concept came from discussions between Judy Payne (e-Business Advisor and ICT Advisor for Agriculture at USAID) and Josh Woodard at FHI 360, with input along the way from numerous USAID missions and implementing partners. It is the result of conversations with an increasing number of Feed the Future (FTF) and other USAID-funded projects that are struggling to effectively integrate information and communication technologies into their work with farmers. Many of these projects expressed interest in using low-cost video, although few of them had the know-how to do so on their own.

Particular acknowledgement goes to Judy Payne for her support of the development of this toolkit; Rikin Gandhi, CEO at Digital Green, for his insightful input and feedback at all stages of development; Shivaji Choudhury, Regional Program Coordinator at Digital Green, for the informative dissemination training he facilitated for iDE Ethiopia staff and the author in February 2012; and Kebede Ayele, Country Director of iDE Ethiopia, and the rest of the iDE Ethiopia team for warmly welcoming the author to participate in their dissemination training.

Additional acknowledgement goes to John Zoltner, Senior ICT and Agriculture Advisor at FHI 360 for his input and suggestions for the toolkit; Chris Lunch, co-director of InsightShare, and Paul Van Mele, director of Agro-Insight for their input; Stefanie O'Brien, Deanna Ledet Saab, and Jacob Reid in the FHI 360 DesignLab for designing and laying out the toolkit; and Tula Michaelides for editing the final version of the toolkit.

ABOUT FACET

FACET is funded by USAID's Bureau for Africa, Office of Sustainable Development, Economic Growth, Environment and Agriculture Division (AFR/SD/ EGEA). The project works closely with USAID's Economic Growth and Trade unit (USAID/EGAT), USAID missions, as well as implementing partners, governments, and the private sector to provide technical assistance to better enhance the competitiveness and trade in the agriculture sector across sub-Saharan Africa. Designed to be interactive and collaborative, FACET provides technical assistance to improve competitiveness and productivity across agriculture sub-sectors through the use of ICTs as tools to enhance the functioning and competitiveness of agricultural value chains and facilitate trade in agricultural products across sub-Saharan Africa.

To achieve its objectives, FACET has two components:

  • Knowledge sharing across missions regarding sustainable and scalable approaches to using ICT to increase the success of Feed the Future activities.
  • Short-term technical assistance to projects to help them improve their uses of ICT, especially in ways that may be helpful to other projects as well.

Numerous briefing papers and application profiles produced by FACET, along with other resources related to ICT and agriculture, can be accessed online at: http://www.ICTforAg.org. You can also connect with project staff and other practitioners on Twitter and Facebook.

USAID-funded agriculture projects working in sub-Saharan Africa can request short-term technical assistance by contacting Josh Woodard at jwoodard@fhi360.org.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Josh Woodard is a program officer in FHI 360's Information Technology Applications Center and has managed the FACET project since its inception in 2009. He has been experimenting with video and other forms of low-cost ICT tools for more than a decade. Josh has facilitated workshops on the subject for rural schools in Indonesia, local project staff in Macedonia, Farmer to Farmer implementing partner staff, and high school students in Washington, DC. Prior to joining FHI 360, he worked for Thailand's Board of Investment, researching and writing articles on industries targeted for investment promotion and value chain enhancement, including agriculture and ICT. As a Peace Corps volunteer in a rural community in Thailand, he also worked closely with farmer groups to help them improve the marketing of their products and to employ computer-based accounting systems.