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Capacity Building In Information And Communication Management (ICM) Towards Food Security

Temu, Andrew and Msuya, Elibariki Emmanuel (2004): Capacity Building In Information And Communication Management (ICM) Towards Food Security.

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Abstract

This paper addresses capacity strengthening needs in the area of ICM to support food security initiatives. It fully acknowledges that FS is a state of assuring physical availability and economic accessibility to enough food in terms of quantity (amount, distribution, calories), quality (safe, nutritious, balanced) and cultural acceptability for all people at all times for a healthy and active life.

It starts by outlining how ICM can support strategies to ensure availability, access, acceptability, adequacy, and agency and it highlights key information needs in each case. A FS Information and Communication Web is developed basing on a generic conceptual framework of determinants of food security. The web delineates information needs that would support strategies to ensure adequacy of food, stability of supply, and access – physical and economical.

The paper then articulates capacity strengthening needs in line with the three dimensions or levels of food security: national, community and household. Four case studies: (i) Uganda’s ICT policy and Food Security (ii) Human Resources needs at community level drawing experiences from Africa and Asia (iii) HR Capacity Development Needs in Africa by the IMF (iv) Audio visual and farmer skills in Mali – serve to demonstrate grassroots ICM applications that support food security initiatives, and in each case it points to theme specific capacity strengthening needs. The studies, as a result, demonstrate how enhanced ICM capacity can support food security through: developing suitable ICT policies, empowering communities with ICM knowledge, improving development planning, enhancing agricultural productivity, supporting marketing systems, improving natural resources management and conservation, and through effective execution of early warning systems – all having implications for food security.

The paper concludes by presenting a summary of capacity strengthening needs. These range from sensitization of regional and national policy makers, down to technical skills required by data collectors, analysts and information generators, knowledge disseminators and also knowledge users. To achieve the above the paper proposes roles that may be played by governments, NGOs, education sector, research and development institutions, regional and international organizations, and CTA.

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