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Communicating Science for Impact: Radio for Reaching Farmers with Research Results 4R : Final Technical Report

This project has provided additional evidence that interactive radio is an effective and efficient means for scaling out improved agricultural practices to farmers and audiences, improving knowledge, and increasing the uptake of research results. We have also learned a lot about the intricacies and issues involved with sharing research results with intended end users whilst research is still in progress. We have achieved or exceeded key project milestones and outcomes.

Key results include:

● Insects: A higher percentage of listeners (38%) than non-listeners (24%) regularly feed insects to their poultry or fish. Of those who feed insects to their poultry or fish, a higher percentage of listeners than non-listeners started doing so either this year (34%-18%) or last year (11%-8%). This corresponds to the period when the radio programs were being broadcast.
● Insects: 65% of respondents in communities that could hear the radio programs listened to them, including 61% of women and 68% of men.
● Insects: Listeners’ average knowledge levels rose from 35% at baseline to 50%, an increase of 43%. Knowledge scores for listeners at endline were 61% higher than non-listeners (50% vs. 31%).
● Insects: More frequent listening to the radio programs was associated with more frequent regular feeding of insects to fish and poultry.
● Insects: Family was the major influence on respondents’ decision to start feeding insects to their livestock and fish. Radio was the second strongest influence on listeners, with 26% of listeners choosing it as the major influence.
● Beans: Average knowledge scores for listeners in Uganda were 14% higher than non-listeners (56% vs. 49%). Average knowledge scores in Kenya were 62% for listeners and 60% for non-listeners.
● Beans: 38% of Ugandan respondents in communities that could hear the radio program listened to them, with a higher proportion of men than women listening (43% – 32%).
● Beans: The overall rate of listening to the beans programs in Kenya was 72%, with men listening at a higher rate than women (94% – 64%).
● There were 12,656 unique callers to six radio stations, resulting in 40,610 interactions.
● It is estimated that the six project radio stations reached a total of 9,000,000 listeners throughout the project period.

This innovative project went one step further than sharing improved agricultural practices with targeted end users. Through our interactive systems, FRI encouraged both engagement between researchers and end users while the research was ongoing, and uptake of brand new research results “straight from the lab.” By using radio as an innovative pathway for uptake of ongoing research efforts, the project has increased our understanding of the intricacies and issues involved in ensuring that this is safe and effective.

This work was carried out with the aid of a grant from Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), www.idrc.ca, and with financial support from the Government of Canada.

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