Project Everest

Cambodia FarmEd Impact Assessment

by
Annabel Day
Annabel Day | Jan 19, 2017 | in Knowledge Base

Susaday!

We are trekkers on the FarmEd team in Cambodia this month and want to update everyone with our progress. We have been working on the impact assessment and have made some observations about our impact in country.

 

Project Everest has made and continues to make many positive impacts within communities in country. Our group was able to maintain professional relationships with all NGO’s and other various stakeholders through dressing appropriately, understanding cultural sensitivities, being aware of their personal rights and learning local phrases. We are able to measure this through the engagement and reactions of people we interact with, for example the Landmine Museum Relief Centre and the Trailblazer Foundation being keen to work with us and use our app in future. Our positive impact will be enhanced through connections with IBM Watson as we will be able to provide reliable sources of data information and knowledge. Future teams should also look to developing a relationship with Deep Thunder who could provide us with accurate weather forecasts. Using consent forms and asking for photos was another positive way to assess our impact, demonstrating that the farmers we surveyed were comfortable with us and were interested in our project.

However, with every positive there are some negatives which we need to address in order to attempt to eliminate our negative impact in country. First and foremost, the communication barriers we have encountered have sometimes resulted in a lack of understanding about our project. Empathising is a key tool in crossing communication barriers, through being mindful of cultural beliefs. We have employed consistent translators to assist us in communicating as best we can, and translated any documents we would be using in our interactions. We continually ensure to be very clear and concise in wording our emails and text messages as well as when in meetings, so that all stakeholders are aware of our goals and intentions in country. We have also ensured to continue to practice concise and refined pitches so that we can clearly communicate Project Everest’s motives, as well as the way a social business operates and how it is different from other models.

Another negative impact is that our target market is primarily higher income farmers, we have not focused so much on the lower income farmers - we encourage future teams to do this. Higher-income farmers are in a more financially secure position than lower-income farmers and are therefore more likely to invest in FarmEd. Essentially this will affect market prices, but at the stage we are at right now we are working on a smaller community based scale. However, we have still included low income farmers in our business model even at this early stage of development. This is through the use of NGOs and community centers as bases for access to the application. Using feedback we receive from higher income farmers we are hoping to be able to refine and tailor the project for lower income farmers to ensure we will not induce any negative impact. Should we offer an unrefined app to low income farmers who are scraping by day by day, this could negatively affect their livelihood, families and community.

We have also identified that the implementation of new, more efficient farming practices rather than traditional practices is a cultural issue. Conducting research on the Khmer culture, agricultural systems, Cambodia’s economy and other organisations that want to achieve a similar outcome to us, allowed us to be prepared to communicate and address all situations appropriately. This also ensured that we remained respectful when communicating with farmers or stakeholders who may not have responded in the positive manner that we anticipated.

 

We are looking forward to what lies ahead for Project FarmEd!

 

Bella & Alana

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edited on 19th January 2017, 09:01 by Annabel Day
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