"Roots": IFAD's Independent Office of Evaluation's podcast for rural communities
Launched in September 2018, "Roots", is a podcast created by the Independent Office of Evaluation of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) to disseminate the voice of rural workers in their own communities and in the world.
The podcast is a new and innovative product for communicating the impact of the projects, evaluated by IFAD, in beneficiaries' lives. Because of the intimacy of podcasting speaking directly to the listeners, "Roots" increases the ability to reach the hearts and minds of rural communities, inspiring them to take action and be a part of worldwide efforts for a sustainable and inclusive rural development.
The idea of producing podcasts emerged for the first time during the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for Evaluation International Conference, which was held at IFAD headquarters in June 2017. As part of the conclusions of the conference, it was suggested that ICT tools be used to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of evaluation. ICT should in fact, serve the task of including vulnerable and marginalized populations in the evaluation process.
In the context of improving data collection and analysis, the main purpose of "Roots" is to disseminate the voices of beneficiaries of IFAD-supported projects to share knowledge and learning. "Roots is an opportunity to learn and to allow rural communities to observe what is working well, what it is not, why, and what needs to be improved to promote a sustainable and inclusive rural development", Oscar A. García, Director of the Office Independent Evaluation of IFAD, said.
From Peru to Niger, Belize or Kenya, each month "Roots" presents a new episode sharing the experience of beneficiaries in different regions. Each episode brings to life the stories of rural communities sharing data and information on development projects evaluated by IFAD.
In the first episodes, "Roots" visited: The Department of San Martin, in Peru's High Rainforest and the Toledo District; Stann Creek, in Belize; the North Region of Côte d'Ivoire; and Nakuru County, in Kenya.
The podcasts are disseminated through the United Nations Department of Public Information (DPI), United Nations Information Centres (UNICs) and radio stations in the countries targeted by the projects.