Jon Hellin, acting director of the Impacts, Targeting and Assessment Unit (ITAU), recently spoke with the staff of the BBC World Service Trust in London, England. His topic was Agriculture, Poverty, and Livelihood Security in Sub- Saharan Africa and it was designed to help the World Service Trust better understand the meaning and methodologies involved in livelihood approaches to poverty reduction in rural settings.
The World Service Trust is the BBC’s international charity and development organization. It uses the creative power of media to address poverty, health, human rights, livelihood, and humanitarian needs in developing countries and countries in conflict. It has offices in 20 countries and carries out projects in nearly 40.
In introducing Hellin, David Mowbray, the Africa director for the World Service Trust, said he knew the talk would contribute to the Trust’s development of a coherent, forward-thinking strategy for livelihood broadcasts and multi-media interventions. After the seminar, Hellin joined the World Service Trust’s livelihoods task force for a working lunch to further the discussion. Traditionally, rural or farm radio broadcasts have been top-down, expert-driven programs. As an outcome of the London discussions, Hellin and Mowbray agreed to continue a dialogue that might lead to better integration of broadcast outreach into agricultural research for development projects.