Training 10,000 Kenyan dairy farmers in calving and herd hygiene

The Objective

Deliver remote training to dairy farmers on topics including helping a cow to calve and herd hygiene

The Outcome

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) trained almost 10,000 dairy farmers in East Africa by distributing digital courses through social channels

Background to the project

In 2020 the ADGG Project Team at ILRI developed two digital training courses for dairy farmers in East Africa. These courses were digitised using the platform which turns static course content into a fun and engaging web app. The web app was tested with a small group of dairy farmers before being rolled out to almost 10,000 users through a digital marketing campaign. This case study highlights the results and lessons learned from this pilot experiment.

Remote user testing the digital courses with dairy farmers in Kenya

Creating the digital training courses

The first task was to identify the learning objectives for each course. Each learning objective would then become a module in the digital training. The ILRI team used the Course Creation Template to outline the course name, course description, learning objectives and behaviour change objective for the calving course and the hygiene course. The team then used the Course Builder tool to create first drafts of the courses that could be shared with a group of test users.

I like the format of courses...and the content is attractive to the younger generation who need to learn the intricacies of dairy production
Julie Ojango, Senior Scientist, ILRI

Testing the training

As part of the CGIAR Rapid Response grant, supported ILRI in testing the training with 5 smallholder dairy farmers in Central Kenya. As the team were in the UK, and with little opportunity to travel, they used a Zoom connection to conduct remote user testing.

The feedback from the user testing was overwhelmingly positive. The user testers felt that the digital tool was a novel and engaging way to improve their knowledge about dairy farming. The difficulty level was about right with most users getting a mix of correct and incorrect answers in the baseline quizzes. The language was felt to be simple and clear and the format of a conversation meant that the information was easy to digest. You can hear some of the feedback for yourself in the video below:

The user testers helpfully identified a number of areas for improvement. Overall the user testers felt that the lessons were slightly too long and could be broken up into smaller chunks, with some of the extraneous text removed. The use of images was welcomed but most of the user testers preferred the use of photographs rather than illustrations. Comments from one farmer made clear the importance of using photos that are taken in a Kenyan dairy context rather than using stock images. The use of multiple choice questions to drive interactivity was popular among users and many gave feedback that more could be made of this technique. Check out the video below to hear for yourself:

Early stage results

The Helping Your Cow to Calve and Ensuring Dairy Herd Hygiene courses were rolled out to almost 10,000 people through an social media marketing campaign. The results from this trial were extremely positive with farmers rating the courses an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars. The courses led to a significant increase in quiz accuracy scores vs baseline (47% for the calving course, 28% for the hygiene course).


people used the digital training tool during the pilot


of registered users reported they are currently dairy farming


of endline quiz questions answered correctly


out of 5 was the average course rating

Thanks for the course which so informative and crucial for a successful dairy farmer and all those I charge
Moses O, Dairy farmer, Kenya
I love this lesson is very informative and important
Innocent G, Dairy farmer, Kenya

image info
Distribution of locations of users of the ADGG Dairy tool

Next steps

Buoyed by the success of this initial pilot, the ILRI team are now working on a third course to teach farmers how to better care for their calves. The courses will also be translated into Swahili to make them more accessible for a Tanzanian audience. Once all courses are completed ILRI will start distributing the ADGG Dairy Tool out through their networks of hundreds of thousands of farmers across East Africa.


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