The diversity of its readership: a challenge and an asset Over the years, the CTA's flagship magazine has won the loyalty of a wide range of readers – policy makers responsible for rural development, farmers' representatives, researchers, teachers, students and, of course, producers – by giving them access to high-level information and discussion. Managing to speak with one voice to people of different languages, cultures, education and profiles is no mean achievement. This is, nevertheless, the challenge faced by Spore/Esporo in edition after edition. A challenge and a rich asset, requiring simple (but not simplistic) language and a variety of points of view, perspectives and subjects. The writers, journalists of all stripes based for the most part in the ACP countries, enable Spore/Esporo to be closer to the information.
Re-reading back copies of Spore/Esporo is to immerse yourself in the history of agriculture and rural development of the ACP countries, from "communication for development" to the advent of ICT. Exchanges between the regions (Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific) remain at the heart of an editorial project that combines information with debate, and personal accounts with analyses. The current format of the magazine has remained unchanged for the last ten years or so. Food safety, youth, value chains, etc. – the magazine is never short of topics! But does it still satisfy the expectations of an increasingly demanding and better informed readership?
Evaluation for evolution
Although the magazine is evolving, the agricultural and rural world of the ACP countries is also in a constant state of flux. Subject to some major challenges, particularly in demographic and environmental terms, it has experienced considerable upheaval in recent years. To ensure that Spore/Esporo remains one of the flagship publications of the CTA, the Centre has decided to carry out an evaluation. Jackie Davies and Myriam Horngren, experts from the Communication 4 Development (C4D) organisation based in the United Kingdom, will conduct this evaluation in 2015. The Spore evaluation relies on reader feedback. Knowing what they currently think of the magazine, what they expect from it, what changes need to be made so that they can feel as though it truly belongs to them, will enable the CTA to ensure progress along the right lines.
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