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By Nick Pain This is where I now live - Savannakhet, Lao PDR. There are around 100,000 people in the city. There are three other Australian volunteers here, and 10-15 volunteers from elsewhere as well as a few other westerners who work in town. There are very few tourists and very little english is spoken. I'm on a volunteers program (AVID) run by the Australian government that supports regional development and capacity building, mostly throughout Asia and the Pacific. My project lasts for 12 months and partners with the Crawford Fund who are an Australian agricultural development NGO. The aim…
Friday, 14 September 2018 09:25

5 valuable lessons I have learnt over my PhD

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I’m now coming to the end of my candidature. I’ve nearly made it! Looking back at the three-year journey I have made plenty of mistakes along the way. But importantly, from these mistakes, I’ve learnt lots of valuable lessons. So, I thought I’d share 5 of the more important lessons I’ve learnt in the hopes that they will help some of RAID’s readers. So, here we go! On to lesson number one... #1 Never make assumptions My supervisor has said to me from the get-go: “Never make assumptions, or off goes your head and on goes a pumpkin”. I think…
RAID were in attendance at the 2018 Crawford Fund conference ‘Reshaping agriculture for better nutrition – The Agriculture, Food, Nutrition, Health Nexus’, and over the coming week you will see a detailed conference report from RAID Keynote Listeners Madaline and Bec. But in the meantime, we thought, why not reflect on some of the key messages that really hit home for us. With the green revolution we have been able to produce more, feed more and achieve some food security - with agriculture we have been able to respond to challenges very effectively. But the message from all speakers is…
In last week’s blog on women’s empowerment, Romana reminded us not to leave men behind. If both women and men can embrace change and improvement, sustainable benefits can be achieved. She learnt this from NAG progam manager Dr Myo Ma Than. My first thought - What is NAG? (Yes, another acronym for the ever-expanding list). NAG stands for Network Activities Groups - a family of 400 individuals who facilitate collaborative, community-driven projects. They operate under four goals of livelihoods, governance, civil society and public service. One of their projects has helped established solid access roads and the Bae Mi villagers can now…
It’s hard to cross a road in the Philippines - let alone create high resolution soil maps. Yet Australian and Filipino researchers have found a way, distributing maps and techniques to agricultural professionals in the archipelago nation. The land suitability maps are helping rural people in the Philippines create sustainable livelihoods, grow nutritious food for their communities and prevent water pollution, flash flooding and landslides. For example, the Cabulig River gorge in the north of Mindanao Island were identified as a priority area for agroforestry following analysis of the maps with local villagers, farmers, hydropower companies, plantation companies as well…
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