CIALCA organizes ICT4Ag workshop to build capacity of staff and partners
The Consortium for Improving Agriculture-based Livelihoods in Central Africa (CIALCA) organized a two-day course on the use of digital tools in agriculture research. This is part of CIALCA’s efforts to build the capacity of national scientists and practitioners on innovative digital technologies, to empower research and decision-making to facilitate sustainable agri-food system transformation.
Twenty CIALCA scientists, researchers, PhD students, and partners from Burundi, DR Congo, and Rwanda attended the course in Bujumbura, Burundi.
Participants were provided with the basic skills required for using Open Data Kit (ODK), a digital tool for developing customizable data collection forms to collect data from the field. They also learned how digital tools are revolutionizing agricultural practices and research and how CIALCA is harnessing them for its research. The CIALCA scientists and researchers shared their experience on how to develop easy-to-use forms for field trials (simulating CIALCA’s Nutrient Omission Trials) and household data collection (simulating CIALCA’s extensive household surveying).
Participants were given the opportunity to apply ODK in the real world, in situations that they might find themselves, like scanning barcodes to assign fields in trials and performing household surveys.
With assistance from colleagues and trainers, participants also applied the skills learned to develop their own data collection forms.
Willy Désiré Emera, CIALCA PhD student from Ghent University, said that the
training has helped to improve his knowledge on setting the tools depending on the type of research, data collection, sending the collected data to the server, and retrieving the data collected in the Excel format.
“The skills gained from the workshop will help me collect and manipulate data. It’s a good tool that will save time and money,” he added.