Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Focus Group session on Indigenous Knowledge - Listening to the Roots

Participants in a VIPP session

During "AgKnowledge Africa", the Share Fair on Agricultural and Rural Development Knowledge in Africa in Addis Ababa, we will often work in focus groups.

A focus group is a form of qualitative research in which a group of people are asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs and attitudes towards a concept. Questions are asked in an interactive group setting where participants are free to talk with other group members. In the Focus Group Session will be 4-6 short presentation of 3-5 minutes and then humble time for questions and comments. Guided questions will be provided to kick start the discussion.

The second Focus Group we would like to introduce tackles the topic: "Indigenous Knowledge - Listening to the Roots". It is titled “Traditional Knowledge and Science Our Culture - Our Basis - Our Future.”

The organiser of this focus group is Ms. Anke Weisheit (PhD Fellow, M.Sc, B.Sc. Eng.)
Task force Member for the establishment of the Institute Indigenous Knowledge (IIK) at the Faculty of Development Studies (Mbarara University of Science and Technology - MUST) in Uganda.

The aim of the Focus group discussion is to identify the potential of Indigenous and Traditional Knowledge System in Innovation in Agricultural and Rural Development Knowledge in Africa:
  • To identify roles of Indigenous Knowledge (IK) in Agriculture and Rural Development
  • To establish pathway of integration of IK in Agriculture and Rural Development interventions
  • To identify ways of institutionalizing IK in scientific research and academic training teaching
  • To address issues with Intellectual Property Rights and benefit sharing with IK Bearers and Communities

The session will cover:
  • Brief introduction of the participants the a opening remarks
  • A short key note address
  • 6 spot presenters (each 3-5 minutes)
  • A participative group session using Visualisation in Participatory Programmes (VIPP) method.
  • The session will be concluded with a action plan and a way forward.
  • During the session a participant list will be passed around for sharing the proceedings and future networking.
Note: The VIPP method is a people centred methodology for conducting group events, large and small, based on a philosophy of trusting in the capacities and creativity of human beings, VIPP combines techniques of visualisation with methods for interactive decision making and learning. VIPP methods equal interaction between people the visualisation techniques on which the participants express their main ideas in large enough letters or diagrams to be seen by the whole group. (More)

A wiki will be open for registered participants prior to the Share Fairto develop a draft working paper to feet in the session and to share beyond the event.

Speakers/Talents in this focus group:
  • Keynote: Indigenous Knowledge and Institutional Development for Integration of IK in Research for Development, Ms. Anke Weisheit, Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST)
  • Libraries as Centers for the Dissemination of Indigenous Knowledge – Ms. Helen Sheehy, Ms. Sylvia A. NyanaThe Pennsylvania State University (PSU) USA
  • Traditional ways and processes that knowledge is created and shared in Africa - Ms. Ednah Karamagi Akiiki, Busoga Rural Open Source & Development Initiative (BROSDI), Uganda
  • Indigenous Knowledge in Utilization of Local Trees and Shrubs for Sustainable Livestock Production in Central Tanzania – Mr. John J. Werema Mahegere, Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH)
  • From Radio-Research Gardens to Multi-Media Village Food Festivals: Mwana Alirenji Innovative Knowledge Sharing – Mr. Gladson Makowa, Story Workshop
  • PROmoting Local INNOVAtion Ethiopia: Experiences and Results - Mr. Tesfahun Fenta, Country Coordinator PROLINOVA,

Some background:
  • Indigenous knowledge technologies and science are the root source and now contributing to the development a wide range of fields like Agriculture, Food Science, Health, Social Sciences, Construction, and Engineering.
    Centers of Excellence in the integration of Indigenous Knowledge (IIK) are their contribution to development not yet fully realized that such centers would contribute great to understand the vast traditional agricultural systems and finding methods to transform them to reach a wider development impact.
    The model aims of promoting the development of research, training and technologies regarding the past, present and future of Uganda’s indigenous knowledge systems.
    Its fundamental objectives include contributing to a better awareness and valuation of Indigenous Knowledge Systems with the aim to harness the potential of Indigenous Knowledge for socio-economic and political transformation. This will be by providing a conducive environment for research, training and innovation for IK technologies.
  • The session "Libraries as Centers for the Dissemination of Indigenous Knowledge" is divided into two parts: Helen Sheehy will share with attendees the scope of Penn State University Libraries’ newly acquired collection from the Center for Indigenous Knowledge for Agriculture and Rural Development (CIKARD). The intent is to digitize and make the collection universally accessible. And, she explores opportunities for additional partnerships with academic and educational institutions around the world to create a truly global collection of accessible indigenous knowledge resources.
    Sylvia Nyana explores the use and maintenance of oral tradition within a library system as a tool in the provision of information to reach communities where knowledge and information are communicated orally. Suggests a library system that is sustainable and compatible with oral tradition, and thus explores the following questions: (1) Are library collections and services patterned after Western culture and information needs (print, etc.) relevant to communities where knowledge and information are communicated orally; and (2) How can librarians/libraries be better trained to meet the information needs of communities where knowledge and information are communicated orally?
  • From Radio-Research Gardens to Multi-Media Village Food Festivals: Mwana Alirenji will present a video highlighting the process which Mwana Alirenji project a village go through up to food whole food festivals. Mwana Alirenji the project started as a radio programme but has been including other aspects like radio-research gardens and low literacy illustrations in 2003, and finally matured to a Multi-media community project in 2007.
    The Mwana Alirenji a full multi-media project continues to inspire and benefited many people through the networking forum that it offers at village level. Irrigation, water harvesting using simple and appropriate technologies and use off manure are some of the popular messages. As the title of the programmes depicts food self-sufficient crop and food diversification is the major messages as to adopt and mitigate climate change effect.
    The problem which may also be strength is that we are solely a communication project so in some cases the motivated people need some external inputs which they cannot afford that time we do not provide. Because we encourage self-reliance partnering with an lost loans inputs providing projects to help those who cannot afford but are motivated remains the best way forward.
  • Prolinnova Ethiopia: Experiences and Results: Tesfahun Fenta will introduce PROmoting Local INNOVAtion–Ethiopia is a national platform to create space and provide a conducive environment for recognising and enriching local innovation processes in agriculture and natural resource management (NRM).
    It aims to scale up and integrate Participatory Innovation Development (PID) approaches in governmental and non-governmental organisations concerned with agricultural and NRM research, extension, education and training. Its overall objective is to contribute to enhancing food security, safeguarding the environment and improving rural and urban livelihoods based on sustainable use of natural resource. It is an initiative of several organizations within Ethiopia that had been working in participatory research and development in relative isolation and decided to join forces.

Picture courtesy Southbound

1 comment:

  1. I just took a research for marketing class in last quarter. It was so hard for me. Anyway, thank you for your article.Focus Groups