ComDev Stories

Mobile phones and the rural poor: gender perspectives from Asia

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.  The study is divided into two sections. The first section

FemLINKPACIFIC: media initiatives for women

FemLINKPACIFIC  is a feminist media organization that provides women with information and in advocating and raising awareness on women, peace and human security issues.  Its overarching development objective  is to address the imbalances caused by the traditional decision-making structures which impede women and young women’s effective participation, especially from the rural population and the poor, to communicate openly on common matters. Established in 2000, FemLINKPACIFIC has produced documentation and publications from

Supporting women entrepreneurs in Ghana

A recent study on street food vending in Ghana conducted by FAO showed that it is dominated by women.  The said survey showed that with the estimated 8000 to 10000 street food vendors in Accra, Ghana, at least 90% are women. Majority are between 25 to 45 years old and most of them rely on family or personal money to fund their enterprises.  This is a considered a time-consuming business since vendors

Restoring Ugandan forests through interactive radio

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has produced an award winning video and a new report detailing how radio is helping farmers and communities in Uganda build their knowledge and capacity for sustainable land use. The video, “Equipping Uganda for Restoration: Radio and Apps for Reforesting Landscapes” premiered as a winner in the GLF Partner Video Awards at the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) on the side-lines of UNFCCC COP21. The video is

Forum on Territorial Development, Innovation and Rural Communication in Latin America

From 12-13 November 2015, Brasilia will host the Latin America Regional Forum on Territorial Development, Innovation and Rural Communication. The Forum will provide an opportunity to share experiences and lessons learned, and will address the need to create institutional frameworks and services that can strengthen policies and programmes for family farming and rural development in the region. The Forum is organized in the framework of the Regional Initiative on Family Farming and Rural Territorial Development launched by the

Strengthening nutrition and education programs through communication

Written by Ma. Theresa H. Velasco, Dean, and Kabzeel Sheba Catapang, Assistant Professor, UPLB-CDC . Since 2014, UNICEF and the College of Development Communication, UP Los Baños (CDC-UPLB) have been implementing a number of communication initiatives for behavior change and empowerment. This is to strengthen nutrition and education programs as part of anti-poverty programs of selected local government units (LGU) in the Philippines.   Following the participatory development communication model, the project formed local core groups in each

FAO provides support to beat El Nino

The Food and Agriculture Organization is mobilizing resources to provide direct assistance to production and to support food and nutrition monitoring systems in regions where the El Nino phenomenon severely reduced this year’s cereal outputs. El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua have large number of farmers in need of agricultural assistance as the subregion tries to recover amidst the prolonged dry weather.This has been the second consecutive year that the

The Future of Farming: video and ICTs to promote agricultural practices

The MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) through Project Manager Kishor Jagtap is working on a novel initiative in rural Maharashtra, India. His team is working with Digital Green, an international non-profit development organisation spreading the use of clean technologies among women farmers in the Wardha and Yavatmal districts of the state. MSSRF rolled out the Digital Green model – video-based demonstration of the best farm practices – in 2013 across 30


As part of the Communication for Sustainable Development Initiative (CSDI), FAO and the National Institute for Innovation in Agriculture, Livestock and Forestry (INIAF) of Bolivia carried out participatory communication appraisals and consultative processes with farmer organizations, small-scale producers, local governments, NGOs and community media in order to identify local needs in terms of agricultural information. As a result, they developed four Knowledge and Communication Modules (Modulos de Conocimiento y Comunicación)

Communication for Social Change Award 2014

The Communication for Social Change Award was established in 2006 to recognize significant contributions made by individuals’ practitioners and organisations to empower marginalized communities. The award is administered by the Centre for Communication and Social Change (CfCSC) at the School of Journalism and Communication, University of Queensland, Brisbane. This year’s winners are