Three jedis of farm radio

The force was strong when these three were in the room: Gizaw — master of operations and all things logistical; Ian — master of the program, project and execution of a plan; and Kevin, master of the ship and the long term vision.

I took to heart some suggestions from another jedi — the father of mine. I didn’t quite have enough ideas or concrete plans for this meeting of the minds on the future of the RICT team at Farm Radio. My father suggested I not worry too much about that and rather offer my four observations and then pose three questions.

My observations:

  1. Harmonizing the RICT approach to interactive requires work across every aspect of the organization: PD, finance, training, KMT etc requires a lot of “new” work and is a full time job in itself.
  2. converging and consolidating: Feels like we are very close with “converging and consolidating” the different facets of our innovations
  3. The glue: FRI Log holds the potential to “glue together” our technology/approach with the rest of the organizations
  4. Growth: Currently no way for radio stations or partners to “sign up” for Uliza without invitation, everything is tightly coupled (technology and funding) to projects rather than business model

My questions:

  1. What is the business model? Geopoll and VOTO mobile have demonstrated there is a business model in data / surveys and development — could this be a facet of Uliza/Farm Radio?
  2. Restructure the RICT team? How do we structure / restructure the RICT team?
  3. Next 6 months: What is the best way for me to focus the coming six months of my work?

So — roughly, I had a session with the gang about where I’m at right now. When of the most powerful experiences in the whole process was Ian said “So basically you are responsible for three areas of our work which could easily be considered full time jobs on their own: Team lead on delivery of RICT, discovery and..” I forget what the third was because somehow my body started to fill with a feeling of release. Acknowledging the heavy work load and responsibilities I’ve been juggling helped me come to the present and some relief that I will be able to let go of some of these and focus at some point.

Another thing I noticed was how much two of the jedis were excited at reorganizing the organogram, which I do believe is important, but to me feels like the easiest of the tasks at hand. The questions I am trying to think through are more about how we focus my remaining time.

Here are a few other highlights:

  • Any explorations into business models of Uliza and RICT should be wrapped in the “social franchise” language and efforts that Farm Radio is already committed to — Nat from Ghana may be the best one to kick this off early!
  • Early forays into the biz model could be thought of as laying the technical foundations upon which the rest of the social franchise offerings could be supported.
  • Some WUSC/Uniterra volunteers could come in to be part of this mix — and we should start this process ASAP to get people out here! (Ghana/TZ?)
  • A “discovery” team will handle the work of both supporting the existing products, doing upgrades and researching in the mix — we need some anarchists who are self organizing but have deliverables they are responsible for :) (I may well stay involved with this aspect of the team)

So today we take on part two of this adventure — some of the things I’m looking forward to:

  • What support I can expect in working through the six months so I can especially focus on the discovery side
  • How the AIFU and Uniterra 3 workplans can lay foundation for discovery side
  • Support on bringing the “regional” team’s JDs and salaries into a good place
  • How much money left this year for RICT budgets invoicing… what can be done to carry forward? Equipment?
  • Reflections and questions the jedis have on RICT?

And that is a bit how it goes… Over and out for now

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