Facilitating co-innovation towards sustainable livestock systems in Timor Leste – pulling out all the (communication) stops

Presented by: A/Prof Elske van de Fliert

Date: Friday 4 June 2021
Time: 12–1pm
Location: Online via Zoom 


In order to facilitate smallholder farmers in Timor Leste to transition from low-input/low-output to profitable livestock systems that can pull them out of extreme poverty, a transdisciplinary approach is required that not only offers suitable production and business solutions, but, most importantly, establishes support systems that improves farmer decision-making capacity and collective community action. The ‘Redi KAMODI’ (Cattle for Better Lives Network) model was designed and piloted as a co-innovation platform that responds to these needs.

The design of the model had to consider farmers’ existing practices, capacities and attitudes towards change, which had been shaped by cultural traditions and decades of top-down development programs. In addition, it had to transform an agricultural regulatory and advisory system that lacked capacity to facilitate co-innovation and participatory development. A diverse set of communication functions had to be employed to establish and pilot both the ‘Redi KAMODI’ co-innovation platform itself, as well as the outreach strategy to prepare Timorese development and extension partners to institutionalise the model beyond the project. These functions included participatory, educational, strategic and organisational communication.

This presentation will share the findings from a participatory situation analysis study that informed the design of the Redi KAMODI model and outreach strategy, and show how the various communication functions were employed in piloting and institutionalising Redi KAMODI. It is based on an ACIAR-funded collaborative research project involving Timorese, Indonesian and Australian research, development and extension partners (2016-21), and a precursor to a paper for the 2021 IAMCR Conference, co-authored with Nurul Hilmiati (NTB Assessment Institute for Agricultural Technology, Indonesia) and Adelia Gonzaga dos Santos (Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Timor-Leste).


Elske van de Fliert is an Associate Professor at the UQ School of Communication and Arts and Director of the Centre for Communication and Social Change. Her research focuses on the theory and practice of participatory communication in sustainable development and social change, and frameworks for and facilitation of transdisciplinary research for development. Her work finds application across several disciplinary fields, including agriculture, rural and community development, and energy poverty.


About Research Seminar and Workshop Series


School of Communication and Arts Research Seminar Series

The research seminar and workshop series occur each semester, each with a different topic and guest speaker from UQ or otherwise.

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