Talking Book Results: Ving Ving 2009

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Results of Literacy Bridge's Ghana pilot program in the village of Ving Ving in 2009.

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  • This local knowledge exists, and relatively close to rural villages. But govts/NGOs don’t have the $ to reach everyone. We need something to connect this information to those who need it.
  • Talking Book Results: Ving Ving 2009

    1. 1. THE TALKING BOOK<br />ghana pilot results<br />LITERACY BRIDGE<br />http://www.literacybridge.org/<br />info@literacybridge.org<br />Cliff Schmidt<br />Trina Gorman<br />
    2. 2. AGENDA<br />Introduction<br />Problem<br />Current Solutions<br />Participatory Design Process<br />Overview of Pilot Study<br />Evaluation<br />Qualitative Results<br />Quantitative Harvest Results<br />Lessons Learned<br />Future Work<br />
    3. 3. PROBLEM<br />Rural Communities in Developing Countries<br />3 billion people (57% of developing country populations)<br />Agriculture is major source of livelihood—often use inefficient practices<br />No electricity, limited connectivity<br />1.5 billion people have no access to electricity<br />1.3 billion estimated to be without access in 2030<br />High illiteracy rates—776 million illiterate adults<br />
    4. 4. CURRENT SOLUTIONS<br />Traditional<br />Agriculture extension<br />Staff must reach many geographically dispersed farmers<br />Only a fraction are reached<br />Ex. 7.3% of rural households in Uganda received extension visit in 1 year<br />Low levels of adopting recommended practices <br />ICT4D<br />Radio broadcast<br />Digital Green<br />Grameen’s Community Knowledge Worker<br />Farmers need locally generated agriculture guidance that they can listen to repeatedly and when they need it. <br />
    5. 5. PARTICIPATORY DESIGN PROCESS<br />Iterative Design<br />2 years of research including numerous trips to test and collect feedback in the field <br />Explored a variety of form factors <br />Current Model<br />Manufactured 100 Talking Books in 2008<br />Users can: (more info)<br />Listen to recordings from local experts<br />Record messages to share knowledge or provide feedback<br />Copy messages between devices<br />Governments and NGOs purchase Talking Books to more effectively share information with the communities they serve.<br />
    6. 6. OVERVIEW OF PILOT STUDY<br />Content. Local experts in agriculture, health, and education recorded guidance on the Talking Books.<br />Launch. Literacy Bridge delivered 21 devices to a small village in the Upper West Region of Ghana.<br />Allocation. Village chief and elders formed a leadership committee to train others and equitably allocate devices.<br />Continual Support. Literacy Bridge visited every two weeks to provide support and collect feedback. <br />Evaluation. Completed 96 interviews to:<br /><ul><li>Collect feedback about training, usability, usage, content, etc.
    7. 7. Compare harvest results between users and non users </li></ul>This research has been funded in part by the Seattle International Foundation<br />
    8. 8. QUALITATIVE STUDY<br />Methodology<br />>40 in-person interviews (33 users, 9 non users)<br />Education<br />Usage / Usability<br />Value<br />Messages<br />Implementation <br />General<br />Strong positive response regarding the value of the information.<br />Farmers reported:<br />Learning, applying, and seeing improved results.<br />Telling peers within and outside the village.<br />Residents trusted the information because they respect the local experts who recorded the guidance. <br />
    9. 9. FEEDBACK<br />They (Agric Officers) also told us how to care for our families and kids and the livestock, and how to keep the environment clean. They told us the importance of building an livestock pens and keeping it clean, which we don’t usually do but now I’ve built a pen except that I don’t have the money to cement it but I sweep it everyday in the morning. It’s a help to me because I don’t see a lot of sick animals anymore since I adapted to the teaching in the talk book. <br />I talked about to friends and even beyond the VingVing community. I talked about farming issues. According to the device we were told to use animals droppings to apply on farms crops and upon doing it there are improvements. <br />
    10. 10. QUALITATIVE RESULTS<br />Training and Usability<br />Audio instructions were effective alone for some, others said committee’s training was insufficient<br />Youth and those with some schooling required less training.<br />Misunderstandings included:<br />Must purchase own batteries.<br />Recording voice would send messages to the government<br />Should record messages to request services from an NGO<br />Need to train farmers to handle the devices with care.<br />Usage and Allocation<br />Many requests for more devices—devices were valuable, some reported conflicts over allocation.<br />Unequal access between ages, gender, and regions<br />Committee was protective for fear of breakage—seemed to favor some.<br />Women/elders less likely to check out a device.<br />Women often listened to the devices after dinner with family.<br />Reports of men not sharing with wife/families<br />Since the community is divided into sections I think that we should distribute them according to each section. We should divide the number of sections by the number of devices. <br />I would change the device distribution to make it more fair. So if there are thirty devices, then women get 15 and men get 15 to prevent conflicts. <br />
    11. 11. QUALITATIVE RESULTS (cont.)<br />I will have been glad if the device size could be reduced to the size of a mobile phone to enable us to put it into our pocket. I also suggest that if the sign/navigators could be a little higher that it is to enable blind people usage. I also recommend that it will be nice if there is a handle. <br />Common Requests<br />Lights for use at night<br />More pronounced buttons for the blind<br />Embedded radio<br />Solar or rechargeable power<br />Reduce to pocket-size<br />Durability and Maintenance<br />Rough handling of microphone jack and some software issues required repairs<br />One device disassembled by residents but still functioned properly <br />
    12. 12. MEET SUGLO<br />It has a lot of benefits to me. It taught me that we should start clearing our farm lands before the farming season begins, start by March and finish between May and June. That we can just cultivate the land and plant the crops or plant them in beds and/or lanes; that those methods increase the amount of crops per land area compared to mounds which waste land and take up a lot of space. Beds also help accumulate water, prevent erosion and keep the soil within the farm moist. The beds actually make a big difference in terms of keeping the soil moist. Mounds are too high from the ground and they dry up very fast and our crops suffer during insufficient rain fall. Now we can still smile during short periods of draught because planting in beds keeps the soil moist for a little while. Since I heard that from this thing (talkbook),<br />I tried it this year, and I am a woman but people exclaim whenever they see my crops in the farm and I just keep my mouth shut because I know the harvest is going to be good. With the small amount of rain that we get, the beds still keep the water around and the crops stay healthy for up to a week and I go to look at them with <br />smile on my face. <br />
    13. 13. PICTURES<br />TRADITIONAL METHODS <br />
    14. 14. PICTURES<br />TALKING BOOK METHODS <br />TRADITIONAL METHODS <br />
    15. 15. QUANTITATIVE STUDY<br />Methodology<br />Interviewed 33 Talking Book users and 40 non-users<br />Collected information about:<br />Demographics (region, age, schooling)<br />Bags produced in 2008 and 2009 <br />Millet<br />Maize<br />Beans<br />Ground nuts<br />Changes in farming practices<br />Human labor<br />Farm animals<br />Pesticide and fertilizer use<br />Amount of land<br />Application of new guidance (users only)<br />
    16. 16. HARVEST RESULTS: ALL CROPS<br />Users produced 48% more crops than nonusers (7.22 bags) after controlling for other factors (p=.008)<br />1 bag= ~120 lbs, 50 gallons<br />
    17. 17. CROP YIELDS BY GROUP<br />
    18. 18. HARVEST Results: PER Crop<br />Talking Book users produced more millet and ground nuts:<br />.755 additional bags of millet; a 25% increase (p=.022) <br />4.43 additional bags of groundnuts; a 48% increase (p=.008)<br />Approximate market value: $136<br />Talking Book users did not produce significantly more maize or beans<br />Possible reasons include:<br />Messages were not relatively as valuable<br />Improper application<br />Other unmeasured factors negatively impacted these specific crops<br />
    19. 19. RESULTS: EXPOSURE AND APPLICATION<br />Village-wide exposure<br /><ul><li>~360 people from 37 farms in VingVing (~40% of total farms) directly benefited from exposure to messages. </li></ul>Testing of Guidance Per Crop<br /><ul><li>How frequently did users test guidance on a portion of their land?
    20. 20. Tested Guidance – 52%
    21. 21. Applied to entire plot – 21%
    22. 22. Did not apply – 27%</li></ul>Reasons for not applying any guidance:<br /><ul><li>Broken device
    23. 23. Did not listen in time
    24. 24. Wanted to wait and see the results of peers</li></li></ul><li>RESULTS: FARMER FEEDBACK<br />Reasons for decreased yields from nonusers<br /><ul><li>Over flooding
    25. 25. The land lost its fertility
    26. 26. Planted at wrong time</li></ul>What will Talking Book users do with the extra crops?<br /><ul><li>75% of farmers intend to sell their new surplus to:
    27. 27. Pay for health insurance.
    28. 28. Invest in farming inputs (seeds, labor, animals).
    29. 29. Improve their houses (especially important before the rainy season).
    30. 30. Pay for their children's school fees.
    31. 31. 33% of farmers expect that all or some of the additional crops will be required to properly feed their families or to store for the future.</li></li></ul><li>Limitations of Study<br />QUALITATIVE<br />Those interviewed were not a random sample.<br />Foreigners are distracting—how does our presence influence their actions and answers?<br />Language barrier between Literacy Bridge staff, interviewers, and residents—what was lost in the translation?<br />QUANTITATIVE<br />Subjectivity bias<br />Data was self reported (reliant on farmer’s memory)<br />Users may have been inclined to report additional increases<br />-2 to 2 scale had flaws<br />Could not analyze level of application per crop<br />Limited our ability to analyze the effects of each factor<br />Not a RCT evaluation<br />Users were “self selected” by checking out a device <br />Did not capture all factors that affected 2009 yields<br />Small sample size weakened analysis<br />
    32. 32. MEET ANTHONY<br />Before the talkbooks, I used to plant my crops the way my grandparents did. Now with this talkbook, I have learnt the different ways of farming that are beneficial. I used to plant my crops on mounds and therefore, I’ll cultivate a large piece of land and harvest very little but with the help of this device, I’ve learnt how to plant crops in lanes which dramatically increased the amount of crops planted per area. There were certain crops that whenever I grew them they didn’t do well at all so that I can feed my family but due to this device, I’ve learnt the efficient way to plant them and increase my harvest. One of the great things about this device is the amount of corn its lessons enabled me to harvest in the same piece of land this year as compared to years past. <br />I’ve never harvested one quarter of a bag of corn from that piece of land, but this year I’ve harvested more than a bag of corn from the same piece of land. <br />Another benefit of this device is that the government has a program called “farmers meeting” but it usually takes months, sometimes years, to hear from the agriculture officials and when you do see them they will give one radio to the entire village that is supposed to help us. Such devices often end up in the hands of only the more wealthy. One radio can not suffice an entire village but these talkbooks have been a help to those of us that were deprived of vital information. … We have learnt how to stop the spread of illness among the animals by separating the sick animals from the healthy ones and keeping their sleeping area clean. By doing these things, the animals will get healthy and the feces we clean up helps the crops in the field. <br />On the same land on which I’ve harvested only a bucket of pepper in previous years, this year the peppers are so good and healthy - in a way that I’ve never seen - I expect to harvest at least two buckets. <br />
    33. 33. LESSONS LEARNED<br />Committee<br />Buy-in from strong local leaders is key to success. <br />Committee leaders need to be more diverse (gender, age, and region) and improve ongoing training.<br />Allocation<br />Household rotation and gender-specific devices to improve access.<br />Leverage the device:<br />Record “rules” on the devices to reduce misunderstandings.<br />Improve feedback loop—giving residents a continual avenue to provide feedback about program.<br />Behavior Change<br />Improving practices alone made a significant difference on crop yields. <br />Access to inputs inhibited some.<br />
    34. 34. FUTURE WORK<br />Behavior Change<br />How does use (in home, outside, word of mouth) effect behavior change? <br />In what ways can peer recognition of guidance enhance adoption of practices? <br />A farmer’s recorded feedback about an existing message<br />A message from MOFA created in collaboration with a local farmer<br />Usability<br />What are the effects of device to device copying? <br />How can the audio instructions be improved?<br />Do end users have problems uploading/downloading messages using a mobile phone?<br />Ownership<br />How much do farmers value the devices from a financial standpoint?<br />If we do not provide batteries, will residents pay to listen? <br />Would farmers accept a Talking Books “loan” in exchange for future profits?<br />
    35. 35. QUESTIONS?<br />?<br />LITERACY BRIDGE<br />http://www.literacybridge.org/<br />info@literacybridge.org<br />

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