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Grameen Uganda


Presentation by Michael Culbertson on the start up work with Grameen CKW program in Uganda, Summer 2012

In traditional agricultural extension, a small number of heavily trained extension officers attempt to cover a large number of farmers, limiting the opportunities for each farmer to receive new agricultural knowledge. The Grameen Foundation’s Community Knowledge Worker (CKW) program reverses the traditional model by equipping a large number of lightly trained, respected community members with smartphones that can access a database of agricultural information. These CKWs then act as liaisons between their local community and new agricultural information, including improved agricultural practices, service/input providers, and weather and market conditions. Since CKWs are invested in their community, they often take an active role in diagnosing their neighbors’ farming challenges and following up with farmers on the implementation of new agricultural practices.

The Grameen Foundation is conducting an impact evaluation of the CKW program with assistance from MEAS affiliates at Michigan State University and the University of Illinois. The impact evaluation coincides with an expansion of the CKW program into the greater Masaka area, partnering with the East Africa Dairy Development (EADD). EADD supports the development of local dairy farmer cooperatives, many of which bulk milk for collective sale. EADD believes that CKWs provide crucial extension services to potential cooperative members that will increase local milk production, improving the sustainability of the dairy cooperatives.

The impact evaluation follows a cluster-randomized design with three treatment groups: EADD activity alone, EADD plus CKWs, EADD plus CKWs and a cooperative-run agro-vet shop. After baseline data collection in August 2012, four dairy hubs were randomly assigned to each of the three conditions. The evaluation is looking for program impact in the following areas of farmers’ lives: poverty level, food security, overall health, agricultural production, household finance, and attitudes about farming.  Additionally, the study investigates the diffusion/adoption of artificial insemination of dairy cows, an agricultural technology promoted by EADD. Data will be collected every six months for up to three years.


CKW program website:  http://www.ckw.applab.org/

Community Knowledge Workers: Taking Farmer Education to the Community

POSTER presented at the biennial meeting of the Society for Community Research and Action, June 27-29, 2013, Coral Gables, FL. (see www.ideals.illinois.edu/handle/2142/45105)

In traditional agricultural extension, a small number of heavily trained extension officers attempt to cover a large number of farmers, limiting the opportunities for each farmer to receive new agricultural knowledge. The Grameen Foundation’s Community Knowledge Worker (CKW) program reverses the traditional model by equipping a large number of lightly trained, respected community members with smartphones that can access a database of agricultural information. These CKWs then act as liaisons between their local community and new agricultural information. Since CKWs are invested in their community, they often take an active role in diagnosing their neighbors’ farming challenges and following up with farmers on the implementation of new agricultural practices. This poster describes how the CKW program combines new media and a community-based approach to promote thriving among marginalized farmers in rural Uganda.

Click here to see the poster or download below.
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