By promoting training in ComDev, FAO hopes to continue building capacity in the use of participatory approaches to address the knowledge and information needs of rural stakeholders and to facilitate their active involvement in development initiatives.
Communication for Development (ComDev) has proven to be a key element in improving the effectiveness and sustainability of development initiatives. The course aims to guide users in designing and implementing communication strategies for agricultural and rural development initiatives, combining participatory methods with communication processes, media and tools, ranging from community media to Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), best suited for a specific context.
The e-learning course is based on the Communication for Rural Development Sourcebook published in 2014 by FAO and the College of Development Communication at the University of the Philippines Los Baños. It offers a self-paced, practical and interactive learning experience to three different user groups.
The target audience of the course includes:
- Development planners and project coordinators
- Rural development and communication professionals
- Communication and community media practitioners, extension workers and field agents
The 11 lessons of the course are organized into three units:
Unit 1. Introduction to ComDev planning for agricultural and rural development introduces the ComDev approach and the added value that it can offer to agriculture and rural development. It analyses the different phases of such a participatory process and how it can be integrated into the design of a development project.
Unit 2. Participatory ComDev planning illustrates how to conduct design a ComDev strategy that responds to stakeholders’ communication needs and priorities based on the findings of a participatory communication assessment. It describes the basic components of a ComDev plan of action and M&E plan.
Unit 3. Implementing a ComDev initiative explains how to develop local communication plans, how to design effective messages and materials in a participatory way, and how to use ComDev media and materials in the field.
Learners can take the entire course or only the lessons recommended for their specific user group.