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Last Update

2016-01-11T00:00:00.000Z

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Background Information

Employment History

Africa Adapt

Communications Expert
Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa

Affiliations

Advisor To Minister for Development Co-Operation ( Ministry of Foreign Affairs Brussels )
the Belgian

Web References (13 Total References)


AfricaAdapt Home page

www.africa-adapt.net [cached]

Francois Stepman


AfricaAdapt Home page

www.africa-adapt.net [cached]

Francois Stepman AfricaAdapt Home page

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Francois Stepman is a communications specialist with the Forum on Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), based in Accra, Ghana. Prior to this, he worked with UNDP in Nouakchott, in South Sudan Programme of Médecins sans Frontières. He also worked with the Belgian University Development cooperation, the International Institute for Communication and Development (the Hague), and as advisor to the Belgian Minister for development co-operation (Ministry of Foreign Affairs Brussels). In his day-to-day work, he strives to demonstrate to African researchers how the use of a few carefully chosen knowledge sharing tools can help them cope with the rising tide of scientific information - turning a burden into an opportunity. With African agricultural science enduring a rather low a profile on the web, Francois has helped FARA have more visibility and have FARA play an active role in communication related to climate change.


Innovative Farmer Advisory Services using ICTs - François Stepman, FARA / Programme / Atelier de Montpellier / Séminaires / sim2g / Home -

www.sim2g.org [cached]

sim2g Séminaires Atelier de Montpellier Programme Innovative Farmer Advisory Services using ICTs - François Stepman, FARA

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Innovative Farmer Advisory Services using ICTs - François Stepman, FARA


Innovative Farmer Advisory Services using ICTs - François Stepman, FARA / Program / Montpellier Workshop / Workshops / sim2g / Home -

www.sim2g.org [cached]

sim2g Workshops Montpellier Workshop Program Innovative Farmer Advisory Services using ICTs - François Stepman, FARA

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Innovative Farmer Advisory Services using ICTs - François Stepman, FARA


Knowledge Sharing in the CGIAR - Tools and Methods for Sharing Knowledge: The CGIAR's Wiki Approach

www.ks-cgiar.org [cached]

François Stepman is a communications specialist with the Forum on Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), based in Accra, Ghana. He recently participated in a KS workshop, which was organized by the CGIAR KS Project as a way to coalesce a multidisciplinary user group around KS issues. In his day-to-day work as a communicator, Stepman is keen to demonstrate to African researchers how the use of a few carefully chosen KS tools, far from adding to their workload, can help them cope with the rising tide of scientific information - turning a burden into an opportunity.

"When you talk about information and communications, their reaction is often, 'No, we are already facing too much communication. Don't invite us to join another network as we'll have an additional information flow.' So we have to be very hygienic. The first task, adds Stepman, is to help researchers identify their information needs and organize how that information comes to them.
One example is that scientists can, like any other Internet user, streamline incoming information flow with the help of news feeds. (The generic name, RSS, refers to a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated digital content.) Many websites now offer this feature, which notifies subscribers when web pages - blogs, podcasts, newsletters, and so on - are updated or content otherwise changes. "This is a big revelation to many of our agricultural scientists," says Stepman.
Internet users can also design their own iGoogle page, which allows newsfeeds, Gmail (Google e-mail) messages, and other selected information to be organized in a single location for a rapid overview. "Because the majority of these scientists are complaining of overkill," says Stepman, "their reaction is, 'Oh, so this will make the information inflow much more digestible for me'. Similarly, Google Alerts can help busy scientists stay abreast of developments in their discipline. With this service, the user is alerted via an e-mail message of top-ranked news stories, blog posts, or other fresh website items that match a set of search terms chosen by the user. Most of this information will probably not be of any use to the scientist, admits Stepman. "But for every weekly e-mail alert you get from Google, there may be three or four very interesting links, what I call 'quick wins'."
Much can also be done on the knowledge outflow side where, at least in the case of African agricultural science, the problem is not one of too much information to cope with, according to Stepman, but rather too low a profile on the World Wide Web. With his help, FARA recently created an in-house video blogging capacity which has since been described in the CGIAR Toolkit.
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White helped the CGIAR's KS Project to set up the KS toolkit on an interactive website (a wiki) and also served as one of three resource people for the CGIAR-convened KS workshop that was attended by Stepman and 20 other participants.

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