Another Freedom fone (FF) workshop was conducted to train the Department of Export Agriculture (DOEA) staff in Kurunegala branch on 28 Jan 2015 at Wayamba University of Sri Lanka.
DOEA previously introduced FrontlineSMS text messaging technology as part of our communication campaigns. They were actively using the SMS technology to interact with their farmer groups especially sending common message to farmers. DOEA experienced a low texting response rate by the farmers, partly because farmers are reluctant to use texting in part due to language barriers. However, most interesting thing was after receiving a SMS from DOEA, farmers usually call back to confirm the message and/or ask more information about that. So, DOEA has taken up this insight and wants to test an IVR solution.
They were familiarized with implementing Freedom Fone--a low cost Interactive Voice Response solution (IVR)--for their farmer extension program. DOEA staff is now well trained to use FF. We put less emphasis on technical background of the FF because they have not previous exposure to the Linux environment.
They quickly realized the cost benefits and incremental effectiveness they gain from this IVR system and are pleased to use it for farmer extension program. During the workshop they created a sample voice menu and tested. They need to further discuss the voice menu and content structure design with their administrative personnel (especially with Janaka) at DOEA as they roll out their implementation.