A Pilot Study Using Educational Animations as a Way to Improve Farmers’ Agricultural Practices and Health Around Adama, Ethiopia

Julia Bello-Bravo, Gemechu W. Olana, Barry Robert Pittendrigh


This study focuses on the potential of animated videos in educational programs with low-literate farmers around Adama, Ethiopia. Scientific Animations Without Borders (SAWBO), a University of Illinois initiative, focuses on the creation of animations to explain complicated concepts in a simple and visual way that can be used to improve farmers’ livelihoods in rural areas worldwide. Adama Science and Technology University (ASTU) has been collaborating with SAWBO in promoting, disseminating, and evaluating the deployment outcomes of educational animated videos (animations). In this pilot study, we investigated participants’ attitudes toward such animations and surveyed them regarding the social settings and pathways through which they might obtain such animations, thereby determining potential approaches for a larger-scale release. We observed that animations were well received by the participants, who, when surveyed, liked the clarity of the audio and the message in their local languages as well as the animation presentation and duration. Additionally, respondents suggested potential deployment approaches using organizations familiar to them. This holds out the possibility of using informal social groups or traditional community-based organizations like iddirs and equbs as dissemination pathways. These combined data suggest that individuals in this region are open to the use of animation as an educational tool and as a pathway for their social improvement and economic advancement. We also present, based on our findings, a model for a larger-scale deployment pathway.

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