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ComDev library

Our library contains an ever-growing list of titles and ComDev resources available to download, check the latest uploads! And if you'd like to include your publications, just drop us an email at 


technical papers

Use of mobile phones by the rural poor gender perspectives in South Asian countries

[2016] Mobile phones have contributed in various ways to rural development, from reducing information asymmetry, improving functional networks, to increasing access to services and finance. Yet a digital gender divide exists. 

The study examines gender perspectives on the use of mobile phones by the rural poor by identifying their information needs using gender disaggregated statistics gathered from developing economies in South and South East Asia. It suggests that there needs to be a more country specific policy with regards to reducing (and ultimately eradicating) the digital gender divide.

FFarming[2014] Smallholder family farmers and rural communities require access to information and communication to make their voices heard and change their lives for the better. This implies including ComDev as part of agricultural and rural development policies in order to promote dialogue and participation, harnessing the potential of new ICTs (such as mobile phones, the internet and computer-based applications) in combination with local media (such as community radio).

This document explores how communication for development (ComDev) approaches and community media can be successfully applied to support family farming. Prepared as an input for the Forum on Communication and Community Media for Family Farming (FCCM), it includes an analysis of examples of Communication for Development approaches applied to smallholder farming and rural development and the issues that they encompass: food security, natural resource management, rural livelihoods, agricultural innovation, and capacity development.

icts for agriculture in africa report[2014] This document is part of a flagship report – eTransform Africa – produced by the World Bank and the African Development Bank, with the support of the African Union, to identify best practice in the use of ICTs in key sectors of the African economy. 

ICT, when embedded in broader stakeholder systems, can bring economic development and growth as it can help bridge critical knowledge gaps. In particular African agriculture - which is predominantly rain-fed and has low-yielding production - lacks access to critical information, market facilitation, and financial services. The report assesses the strategic importance of ICT in agriculture to five main stakeholder groups: businesses; farmers; researchers; government; and citizens. 

TuningIntoDev[2013] Community radio stations are multiplying in numbers but legal considerations and fair regulatory provisions for them are a worldwide challenge. This report by UNESCO maps the complex legislative frameworks of community broadcasters in more than 30 countries and provides some insight on the linkages between local policy development and international standards.

By exploring a range of local approaches and advances in the legal recognition of community broadcasters, the report hopes to encourage partnerships and innovative measures that will facilitate the future sustainability of community media. It underlines international standards that need to be considered by legislative and regulatory frameworks to foster rather than inhibit the development of the community broadcasting sector.

c4d-un[2011] Since 1988, the biannual Inter-Agency Round Table on Communication for Development has been the primary platform for UN agencies and other organizations to exchange ideas and strategies on harnessing communication to achieve more equitable and sustainable development.

This publication illustrates how United Nations agencies, programmes and funds such as FAO, ILO, UNAIDS, UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF and WHO, integrate and promote Communication for Development through their work. It calls for the further incorporation of ComDev approaches into programme-planning instruments as well as the allocation of resources to strengthen communication and information as an essential tool for making development ‘people-centric.’
collchange[2010] This document was prepared in the context of theCommunication for Sustainable Development Initiative (CSDI), an FAO programme supported by the Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory that promotes the use of communication methods and tools to meet today's rural development challenges.

It provides a conceptual framework to participatory communication applied to climate change adaptation and food security. According to CSDI, the integration of ComDev into community-based adaptation approaches will provide the most vulnerable groups a chance to generate their own coping strategies, thanks to an equitable access to knowledge and information and enhanced local decision making. ComDev methods and tools are also instrumental to improve rural institution capacities to support climate change adaptation at the community level.

The document is also available in French and Spanish.
advadap[2010] Since 2006, FAO and the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII) have been collaborating to enhance indigenous peoples' capacities in the field of Communication for Development (ComDev).

The CSDI programme gives special attention to vulnerable populations and indigenous communities, focusing on ComDev application to sustainable natural resources management and climate change adaptation. ComDev efforts can help facilitating equitable access to knowledge and information, promoting dialogue and participation, and managing communication processes for a self-determined development.

The document presents the results of a series of initiatives implemented by indigenous peoples' organizations with FAO and UNPFII support, to promote ComDev as a key element for social change and a guarantee for a full achievement of their rights.
Developement Communication Primer[2012] What is Development Communication? As defined at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, it is the interaction of two social processes - development and communication - in any given environment.

In 1971 it was tentatively defined as the art and science of human communication applied to the speedy transformation of a country and the mass  of its people from poverty to a dynamic state of  economic growth that makes possible greater social equality and the larger fulfilment of the human potential.
effective rural com[2006] This paper is the result of an inter-institutional expert consultation organized by FAO and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) in October 2004.

The overall aim of the workshop was to identify key issues in research-extension linkages and explore communication approaches and tools that can provide effective linkage mechanisms in line with the Millennium Development Goals.

The document explores six critical success factors that are necessary to ensure effective design and implementation of rural development projects: policy, capacity development, monitoring and evaluation, farmers and other rural organizations, participatory methods and media strategy.
ME[2009] This background paper was prepared for the 11th UN Inter-Agency Round Table on Communication for Development, held in Washington from 11-13 March 2009.

UN agencies recognize ComDev as a central tool in supporting development, and in particular the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). As a consequence, much work has been carried out to understand and embed the principles of ComDev within the UN structure. However, despite an emphasis on results-based management within the UN, there are currently no commonly-agreed tools for assessing the impact of ComDev programmes.

This paper explores the key issues surrounding ComDev, considering case studies and best practice methodology in order to identify key questions and indicators to assess and demonstrate its impact.
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