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Women’s club radio listeners call in to station: African Radio and Drama association women’s club listeners use new technologies to call into the radio station in rural Nigeria.Now in our third round of GenARDIS, this morning’s workshop session was opened as the group was welcomed by exploring the question why – Why GenARDIS? Oumy Ndiaye of the CTA began the discussion by sharing her personal interest in the small grants fun, but also elaborated on its importance on a greater scale. “GenARDIS,” she explained, “is an opportunity to see things move, and seeing the good ideas being implemented on the ground.” APC Executive Director Anriette Esterhuisen continued that GenARDIS also brings together the work that organisations do at national policy and international levels, that can sometimes lose their sense without knowing how it is being reflected on the ground. GenARDIS is the reason why organisations like the CTA and APC come together: to make a real difference in the lives of rural communities worldwide.

Sessions like this GenARDIS knowledge sharing workshop are important, because it is in these spaces that knowledge that was gained by work on the ground, can be shared and documented for future use, and to highlight the positive (and even sometimes negative) changes that can take place as a result of bringing access to information and technologies to rural and agricultural women. Grantees were introduced to the Smart ToolKit, a monitoring and evaluation guide, that focuses on learning, and strives to integrate monitoring and evaluating into daily practice, rather than once or twice during a project cycle. But the hard work GenARDIS grantees have done does not stop at evaluating the project – it is critical that results from these studies are taken to regional and national levels and turned into policy advocacy. Looking at the larger picture, real change must also be reflected in national ICT policies. APC’s Policy manager, Willie Currie also gave a session on advocacy and how to take what they have learned to the next level: “Policy environments change, and continual analysis is necessary so that the strategy remains dynamic,” he closed with.

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