The Institute of Development Studies (IDS), at the University of Nairobi, along with COL organised a workshop in Nairobi in July and presented their findings from an evaluation study on COL’s Lifelong Learning for Farmers (L3F) initiative activities in Kenya and Uganda.
Stakeholders representing agriculture, community development, gender issues, youth and rural development, drawn from the government, the private sector, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies, participated in the workshop.
Ms. Anne Onyango, Agriculture Secretary at Kenya’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, said she welcomed “innovations such as the L3F which will enable farmers to access information and farm more sustainably using the available resources as well as enable them to handle the effects of climate change.”
IDS Director, Professor Winnie Mitullah, said that the L3F approach, which focuses on the use of open and distance learning supported by ICT, shows that technology can be used effectively to reach a large number of poor and marginalised people, especially women.
Professor Asha Kanwar, COL’s President and CEO, was also at the workshop, noting that COL uses various technologies to accelerate progress towards achieving development goals.
The results of the evaluation survey were presented by Professor Rosemary Atieno. The study found that the L3F initiative had effective impacts and outcomes in improving livelihoods through economic diversification, nutrition and food security among the L3F communities. It also established that there was greater social empowerment, in the form of social capital, networking and social mobility among the L3F participants compared to the non-participants.