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Action Aid holds message development workshop

Mar 4, 2013, 10:37 AM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

Following the validation of the study on the 2011/2012 crop failure, Action Aid International The Gambia (AAITG) on Thursday held a daylong message development workshop for its partners, at Tango Conference Hall in Kanifing.

According to the organisers, the simplified messages from the workshop would be later taken to the communities for their inputs into making what would be called ‘Citizen Report on Food Security and Resilience Building.’

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Buba Khan, Africa Advocacy Officer, AAITG, said the essence of the workshop was to develop messages from the report that the consultant has produced.

“You would recall that few weeks ago we had a number of meetings which we had policy training before the consultant was sent out to the field and we also had a meeting with our counterparts in Senegal looking at the long-term resilience,” Mr. Khan told participants.

According to him, draught alone should not cause food crisis, if necessary policies are put in place. As he puts it, “we do not need to be seeing the occurrences of draught in the sub-region.”

“What we had initiated was to do a comprehensive review of the policies in The Gambia and Senegal and these policies are not meant for us (participants), but is meant for the whole country,” he said.

While highlighting the importance of involving local communities in policy formulation, he said, that’s why they decided to bring a simple communication language to enhance their interaction with those existing policies.

In his statement, on behalf of AAITG’s Executive Director, Kujejatou Manneh, Mr. Lamin Nyangado, Head of Policy and Advocacy at AAITG, said as participants they needed to look at some structural issues that relate to policies.

“Having policies is not just enough. We must make sure that they are effectively implemented to the needs of the people and we are here to be able to extract relevant messages which we can discuss with the communities. And by doing so, we hope that we will also be engaged in the wider development processes of the country,” he said.

The workshop, which was characterised with a power point presentation on the topic: message development by Mrs. Jainaba Nyang-Njie, Head of Communication at AAITG, saw Mr. Katim S. Touray, also a consultant making a power point presentation about his field work findings on the 2011/2012 crop failure.