Friday, April 11, 2014

CTA web2.0 and social media trainings - What have we learnt?

Over recent years, CTA web2.0 and social media training programme has become a flagship initiative of the organization, receiving positive feedback from participants and host institutions and being awarded the WSIS Project Prize 2013 in the category e-agriculture.

While we are in the process of finalizing the evaluation of the second phase of the programme (2011-2012), I was recently invited to present and discuss the initial findings of the evaluation with CTA staff and managers.

Web 2.0 and social media capacity building initiative - What have we learnt over the period 2011-2012? Results of an impact study from Euforic Services

A few of the headlines emerging from the evaluation are:

  • There is general, high satisfaction of how the training is conducted and its content; 
  • Participants describe the training events as an eye opener and they feel inspired by the potential of social media to support their work;
  • The trainings work for improving participants' social media skills and knowledge;
  • Face-to-face trainings perform better than online trainings in terms of adoption of different social media tools;
  • There is a clear ripple effect, with the training being replicated (in different forms and degrees) by participants in their workplace or with their own partners;
  • Institutional adoption of social media is increasing, but only a few organizations use social media in an advanced way.
  • Resistance to change and lack of management support are the most common challenges to social media adoption.
Some recommendations include:
  • Putting more resources into the documentation and sharing of success (and failure) stories of putting social media to work in the agricultural sector;
  • Investing in a training of trainers programme, to expand the formation of a solid base of trainers across the ACP countries;
  • Sensitize senior and middle managers on the advantages of social media.
The meeting provided a good opportunity for CTA staff to reflect on what has been done so far in the programme, and discuss how to take it forward.