Two new Prolinnova Oversight Group members elected

The Prolinnova Country Platforms have elected two new members in the Prolinnova Oversight Group (POG): Elske van der Fliert to an independent seat in the POG and Joe Ouko to the seat for farmer organisations.

Elske van de Fliert is Associate Professor at the University of Queensland (UQ), Australia, and Director of its Centre for Communication and Social Change. She has a PhD in Communication from Wageningen University. Before joining UQ in 2006, she was involved for almost 20 years in research, development and teaching in Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Kyrgyzstan, Kenya and Uganda. Her research focuses on the theory and practice of participatory communication in development and social change, and on transdisciplinary research for development. She is currently involved in research projects in Timor Leste, Indonesia and Mongolia, funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). She is a member the Executive Boards of icipe (International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology) and IAMCR (International Association for Media and Communication Research) and is on the editorial advisory boards of the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability and the Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension.

Joram (Joe) Ouko is a Kenyan innovator who has been farming all his life, alongside his work as secondary school teacher and principal, from which he retired in 2000 after 30 years of service. Working with World Neighbors (WN), Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) and Prolinnova–Kenya (PK), Joe was a member of the Local Steering Committee for piloting Local Innovation Support Funds (LISFs) in western Kenya. He raised awareness about the LISF, assessed proposals from farmer innovators to the LISF and monitored the LISF-supported activities. In 2006, he was elected Chair of a district network of dairy-goat farmers, a position he still holds. He mobilises farmer innovators to show their work in regional agricultural fairs, where some group members won prizes, and helps organise farmer innovation fairs. In 2015, he represented Kenyan farmers at the Quakers United Nations Organization (QUNO) meeting in Switzerland on small-scale farmer innovation. In 2016, his dairy-goat feed innovation won a prize from the National Environment Trust Fund, and KALRO selected him to assess farmer innovations in western Kenya under the Program for Accompanying Research in Innovation (PARI). Joe and other innovators are in the process of registering the Farmer-Led Innovators Association of Kenya (FALIA–Kenya), of which he is interim Chair.

The Prolinnova network greatly appreciates their willingness to take on this role and looks forward to working with them. It also warmly thanks the outgoing POG members, Julian Gonsalves (independent) and Esther Penunia (farmer organisations) for their valuable inputs to the POG during their tenure.

For more information about the POG, see www.prolinnova.net/content/prolinnova-oversight-group