Headshot of Dr. Helen Hambly

Helen Hambly

Position: Associate Professor; Capacity Development and Extension, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph

About Dr. Helen Hambly

Dr. Helen Hambly Odame joined the Capacity Development & Extension program in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph in 2003. Her research focuses on information, knowledge, communication and media for agricultural, environment and rural development. Dr. Hambly works with various technologies and institutions in multi-stakeholder communication processes and community-based media. Her research efforts support innovation among farmers and other stakeholders. Dr. Hambly leads the Regional and Rural Broadband (R2B2) project, which is Canada’s largest and oldest project focused on agricultural and rural broadband infrastructure.

Internationally, Dr. Hambly has professional work experience with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), The World Bank, United Nations and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). She is the past Chair of the Independent Steering Committee of the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers and Bananas (2012-2018), the largest global research program. Dr. Hambly’s international projects included work in Sri Lanka (Mobilizing Knowledge for Sustainable Agriculture with University of Alberta), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (Rural Communication; Farmer Field Schools Assessment), a founding member of GENArdis (Gender, Agriculture and Rural Development Information Systems), Vice-President of Farm Radio International and Vice-President and Secretary of Journalists for Human Rights. She is widely recognized for her longstanding training activities in gender analysis for smallholder agriculture with current R&D networks and projects in Peru, Nepal, India and Ghana.

In Canada, Dr. Hambly works on efforts aimed at achieving socio-economic prosperity through high and ultra-high speed broadband infrastructure including Web-based applications for agricultural education and extension involving cloud computing, social media and video.  She recently served as the Chair of the Peer Review Committee for the National Research Council of Canada’s $20 million High-Throughput Secure Networks (HTSN) Challenge Research Program.

“Communication and learning are rarely central but entirely fundamental to agricultural innovation and the well-being and sustainability of both rural and urban areas.”