Together with The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Amplio is helping to inform and inspire rural communities to drive social change in Uganda. The project will use the Amplio Talking Book as a technology to sensitize around 8,000 people about women's land rights in the West Nile region.
The project was officially launched on July 28, 2022, in Adjumani District.
Designed for users with low or no literacy, Talking Books do not require reading skills. Community members will be able to listen to educational audio content at their own convenience — together with neighbors, friends, and family members.
FAO Uganda is the first to deploy the Amplio Talking Book 2. The devices work offline and can be powered by rechargeable or conventional batteries.
Thanks to the support from FAO’s Flexible Voluntary Contribution (FVC), the team has distributed 400 devices through farmer support groups as well as directly into households across rural communities in Moyo and Adjumani districts.
“While Amplio is the implementing partner for the program, it's a true partnership,” shared Lisa Zook, Amplio Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Advisor. “We can offer guidance on how best to implement Talking Book programs and design effective social and behavior change strategies. FAO brings its world-renowned expertise in the agricultural and land rights sector. It's a collaborative learning approach.”
Collaborating, learning, and adapting
For the FAO Uganda's women's land rights project, Amplio is leading the program design, content strategy and production, and field implementation, as well as monitoring and evaluation strategy.
One of the key pieces of Amplio’s support, in addition to our analytics dashboard, is the design and implementation of a household survey for Farmer Field School participants and their partners as well as members of Watershed Management groups.
"The entire M&E approach is designed around collaborating, learning, and adapting,” Lisa said. “The survey is helping us gain a better understanding of gender dynamics and social norms within the communities, as well as knowledge and awareness of land rights and laws within Uganda." The baseline will inform the program and content design and also establish a reference point, so the team can measure program achievement.
Promoting gender equality and social inclusion
To better engage the audience, the Talking Book audio content was produced using social and behavior change best practices, including dramatic dialogue, narrative, poetry, and music. The messages are recorded in Madi, a local language.
The goal is to spark discussion in households and groups.
Listeners are encouraged to explore new ways of thinking. For instance, a dialogue questions why women have less access to land control as well as access to technologies and inputs, despite accounting for 76 percent of the local agricultural workforce. The content also covers other issues pertinent to agricultural contexts, such as climate change and its impacts on food production and farmers’ livelihoods.
With the Talking Book’s built-in microphone, community members can record their questions and feedback about the project and the messages they hear. Amplio and FAO will review Talking Book usage data and user feedback on regular basis.
“We are trying to gather data and insights that can help us respond to the needs of the communities," Lisa said. "Listening to community voices and perspectives empowers us with the evidence needed to adapt and evolve programming.”
Advancing secure land rights for all
The project will advance the Voluntary Guidelines for Responsible Governance of Tenure (VGGT) and build on FAO's Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Food and Agriculture initiative, funded by the Flexible Multi-Partner Mechanism (FMM), and operating across Uganda, Kenya, Senegal, and Cambodia.
The Amplio Talking Book is included as a technology to enable program scaling and adaption/replication in Gender transformative approaches for food security, improved nutrition, and sustainable agriculture – A compendium of fifteen good practices (FAO, World Food Programme, International Fund for Agricultural Development - 2020).