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Development communication

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Why development communication?

Effective communication is vital if development efforts are to succeed. It helps spread new technologies, multiplying the impact of a project many times over. It ensures that a project takes into account the knowledge and wishes of local people — the project partners and clientele. Sharing ideas and experiences is important if the lessons from a project are not to be lost.

Media

Without information on new technologies and market opportunities, the poor in developing countries are being left even further behind. Media can help bridge the gap: they range from simple pamphlets to video, from indigenous communication channels to the Internet. There are many ways to make information available to local people and project staff. These include traditional print and broadcast media, and computers and other new technologies.

Messages

Messages must be designed carefully to help people understand easily. Finding the information you need and deciding on an appropriate message can be very difficult. Skilful editing and clear illustrations can clarify complex ideas. Information materials can be produced in different ways, including through intensive writeshops. These approaches can reduce the time needed to produce information, as well as increase the value of the content.

Audience

The audience can include farmers, extensionists, scientists, policymakers... and a host of other groups. They are all actors in a knowledge system, each group interacting in various ways with other groups. Each group has its own unique characteristics and needs, so different media and messages may be required.

More information

  • Books you must have for your library on development communication, agricultural extension, science writing and editing, and more.
  • Courses (degree and short-term) at universities and training institutions
  • How to: Where to find online guidance on how to do development communication.
  • Jobs: Hints on how to get jobs and consultancy assignments in development communication and related fields; websites and free email newsletters with job vacancies.
  • Networks and organizations interested in development communication
  • Newsletters and journals devoted to development communication.

Note: Some of this information may be outdated. Please contact me with updated or additional information.


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