Cultivate Africa's Future
Cultivate Africa’s Future (CultiAF) was a four-year, CA$15 million research partnership that ran from 2013 to 2017, to support research for improved long-term food security in sub-Saharan Africa. It was a joint programme between Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
In 2014, WRENmedia was contracted to provide wide-ranging consultation and support to CultiAF’s communication activities. In particular, we worked closely with the eight research projects. This approach recognises that good communication is essential, not just for creating awareness about a project, but for helping it to achieve its overall goals and objectives, including real changes in the lives of the communities involved.
A one-week workshop held in March 2015 in Nairobi, facilitated by WRENmedia, provided training and support to the project teams in developing communication strategies, and included practical skills in photography and the use of social media (especially blogging and Twitter) for research communication. Teams also interacted with African science journalists and were given tips and practical experience of being interviewed for radio and/or TV.
In 2016, we provided two further training days: one to help the teams develop gender outcome stories and key messages alongside a gender training workshop; and a second on refining key messages and improving presentation skills to provide a practised and honed presentation prior to a one-day conference at the 2016 African Green Revolution Forum. WRENmedia also tweeted live from the one-day conference to stimulate a conversation. This coverage generated over 20,000 impressions in one day in addition to the coverage provided by IDRC.
Stories from the field
Whilst working with the projects on their six-month updates, gender outcome stories and end of project briefs, a series of ‘Stories from the field’ was developed with our correspondents in Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe: