Livestock and Fish program gives communication skills training to Tanzania Dairy Development Forum partners

Communications and knowledge sharing skills development training for the Livestock and Fish Tanzania dairy value chain

A communications and knowledge sharing skills training for CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish partners in Tanzania was held in May 2014 (photo credit: ILRI/Paul Karaimu).

As a contribution to the CGIAR Research Program on Livestock and Fish, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), recently held a three-day training workshop for communication staff working with the Dairy Development Forum in Tanzania.

The workshop, held 12-14 May 2014, at ILRI in Nairobi, was designed and facilitated by ILRI’s Capacity Development and Knowledge Management and Information Services teams to strengthen the knowledge management and communication skills of staff representing the Tanzania Dairy Board, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, and Agri-ProFocus.

In the workshop, participants shared their experiences in supporting communication and knowledge sharing activities with Tanzanian Livestock and Fish Program partners. They were trained in the use of various tools, products, approaches and platforms that are relevant to their work and which could help improve the outreach and collaborative strategies of the Dairy Development Forum. The training also emphasized opportunities for better collaboration between the Tanzania Dairy Board and Agri-ProFocus.

Training sessions focused on how to best interact with the public through the Tanzania Dairy Board website, the SNV and Agri-Pro-Focus Ning platforms, use of MailChimp for e-newsletters, SurveyMonkey, and other social media tools. Participants will use the new tools learnt and skills gained in planning and organizing Tanzania Dairy Development Forum events, documentation processes, and to increase engagement with the public and potential partners in the dairy industry.

A mapping exercise was also conducted to identify the different Dairy Development Forum audiences, their needs and demands and to prioritize relevant communication and knowledge sharing products, services, platforms and opportunities. The mapping exercise will ultimately inform the Tanzania Dairy Board’s communication and knowledge management strategy which will be completed later in the year.

Apart from advancing my communication skills, I have also learned a lot of tips and tricks in network facilitation – Katarina Mungure SNV Tanzania

After the workshop, a 12-month action plan was developed, which includes a set of key milestones to improve communication and knowledge sharing in the Dairy Development Forum.

The Dairy Development Forum was launched 2013 to bring together dairy actors from across Tanzania in a bid to explore a coordinated approach to collaborative development of the Tanzanian dairy industry. Nested under the authority of the Tanzania Dairy Board,whose role is to strategically plan and the coordinate diary sector development in the country, the DDF offers a platform where dairy sector initiatives can be conceived and acted on, where evidence of what works and what does not can be shared and discussed, and where action-based alliances between like-minded actors can be formed. It aims to fill gaps in dairy technology and agribusiness skills, craft strategies for expanding the national dairy herd and seek business solutions for year round availability of quality feeds.

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This article was written by Joyce Maru, a capacity development officer at ILRI.