The Livestock Guru: The Design and Testing of a Tool for Knowledge Transfer among the Poor

Claire Heffernan, Louise Nielsen

Abstract


The application of ICTs to meet development objectives has increased dramatically in recent years. Nevertheless, there is a little overall evidence regarding the impact of these tools on the poor. Therefore, this article describes the creation and assessment of the Livestock Guru, an interactive multimedia program for poor livestock keepers in India and Bolivia. Learning outcomes were explored among 305 farmers in 17 communities across both nations. The study also compared the impact of the software with more conventional media such as videos and written extension material. The authors found that the uptake of new knowledge was highly related to the specific topic involved. Not surprisingly, the level of challenge to existing beliefs also affected learning. Nonetheless, by utilizing visual cues and referents that supported traditional knowledge frames, the software messages showed greater levels of knowledge than messages delivered by more traditional means.

Keywords


Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs); Development; Livestock Furu; Interactive Multimedia Program; Agriculture; Software; Messages

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