The International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) is the main worldwide professional organization in the field of media and communication research. IAMCR has 15 thematic sections and 18 working groups, where members can join up to three groups.
Sections and Working Groups manage the content of most of the IAMCR conferences. Some of these groups organize events or publish books or journals outside of IAMCR conferences. In addition, several Sections and Working Groups host web pages on social media such as Facebook, or send bulletins or newsletters to group members.
Launched in 2018, the Rural Communication Working Group is one of the 18 working groups of IAMCR. It aims to provide a platform for scholars and professionals who are working in the field of rural communication. Beyond providing services in rural areas, the working group addresses key areas of communication in rural areas such as focusing on rural innovations and interventions, and social change and development that responds to the communication needs of rural populations in a sustainable and inclusive manner.
The working group adopts a broad understanding of rural communication that includes multi-stakeholder platforms, rural radio and other ICTs, agricultural extension services via farmer field school, SMS services, and other channels that improve access to rural telecommunications infrastructures.
Topics that are discussed within the Working Group include:
- innovative methodologies and new technologies for rural communication and extension;
- interdisciplinary multi-stakeholder actions and social learning;
- innovation system approaches and knowledge brokering;
- monitoring and evaluation for learning and institutional change;
- research and transdisciplinarity in rural communication for development theory and practice; and
- mainstreaming communication in rural development policies.
The working group was initiated by the Global Research Initiative for Rural Communication (GRI-RC), which aims to bring communication for development into the wider development agenda and practice. Initiatives of GRI-RC include incorporating and improving communication processes and services involved to strengthen rural policy frameworks. The group believes that communication is key to addressing important problems related to agriculture and food, and health and the environment in rural areas, in addition to the work of scientists who focus on technical innovations, sources, and distribution.
In partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), GRI-RC hopes to collaborate in education and lead research into rural communication for development and social change. GRI-RC is composed of the following institutions from around the world: The Centre for Communication and Social Change, The University of Queensland, Wageningen University and Research, Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences, University of Guelph, University of Reading, and University of the Philippines Los Baños.
The working group also works closely with the Participatory Communication Research Section of IAMCR as this section has historically provided a home for rural communication subjects, especially in the global South. It is currently co-chaired by Rico Lie and Sarah Cardey.
Source: IAMCR. (2021). Rural communication working group. Retrieved from https://iamcr.org/s-wg/working-group/ruc