Comdev global research initiative formed
Under the leadership of the University of Queensland (UQ), the Communication for Rural Development and Social Change – Global Research Initiative (GRI) was recently formed to follow up and advance the work in mainstreaming Comdev in rural development earlier initiated by FAO. Aside from UQ, the group is composed of members from FAO, Wageningen University, University of Guelph, University of Reading, and University of the Philippines Los Baños.
For 2015, GRI has lined up a number of activities that would bring Comdev in the agenda of development- and communication–related international conferences, meetings and events among others. These include paper presentation in the forthcoming 22nd European Seminar on Extension and Education (ESEE), April 28-May 1, 2015 in Wageningen, The Netherlands and a panel presentation at the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) conference, July 12-16, 2015, in Montreal, Canada.
In terms of research and capacity building, GRI has also identified possible areas of work on the following: map e-learning modules and higher education courses on ComDev; map community for development research and methodologies; field student assistants for such activities and for internships in FAO projects; consider a global PhD course (similar to WASS structure) to be held in Rome in close connection with FAO and the University of Perugia; conduct inventory of shared sources (text books, learning environments); use and actively contribute to the recent publication of “Communication for Rural Development Sourcebook”; and promote exchange through visiting scholars and fellowships. Elske van de Fliert of UQ coordinates the GRI work.