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iCow: the agricultural platform for Kenyan dairy farmers


iCow is an agricultural platform that provides information services for farmers accessible via mobile phones: dairy farmers will be able to keep tabs on their cows and enjoy tips on best practice. 

The iCow platform has a series of dairy agri-products available over a menu system. Farmers dial a short code, *285#, and access a menu that guides them on how to subscribe to the various products.

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Mera Karachi Mobile Cinema: promoting citizen engagement in Pakistan


Video is a powerful Communication for Development tool to inform, educate and entertain, as it attracts people’s curiosity, overcomes illiteracy barriers and fits with the narrative culture prevailing in most developing contexts. Thanks to technical innovation it is now becoming more accessible and increasing numbers of people are producing their own materials (find out more about Video in Development).

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Award-winning animated video fighting the spread of cholera

The Story of Cholera is a four-minute animation produced by the Global Health Media Project in collaboration with the award-winning animator Yoni Goodman

Following evidence-based guidelines and consistent with messages already in place, it was developed in response to the outbreak of cholera in Haiti. Thanks to Translators Without Borders it is now available in fifteen languages and plays a key educational role supporting the activities of UNICEF, the Red Cross, Doctors without Borders and other international organizations fighting the spread of cholera in Thailand, India, Ghana, Cameroon, Zambia, Congo and other African countries.

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Winners of the Communication for Social Change Award

Since 2006 the Communications for Social Change Award recognizes significant contributions made by individual practitioners, field workers or scholars and organisations to the theory and practice of communication to facilitate social, economic and technological development. It is administered by the Centre for Communication and Social Change (CfCSC) at the School of Journalism and Communication, within The University of Queensland, Brisbane. 

CfCSC has just announced the winners of the 2013 edition!

  • Individual winner: Harry Surjadi 


Harry Surjadi (see his blog) has trained almost 200 indigenous people in West Kalimantan, Indonesia, as citizen journalists using RuaiSMS, a communication platform based on mobile phone (the only common communication tool available to indigenous communities) and FrontlineSMS. The program allows people to send their news directly to RuaiTV station and report on illegal logging and development. Thanks to this program, communities can maintain the accountability of public servants and have forced palm plantation companies to recognise indigenous people's rights.

In Surjadi's words "For the last 10 years, indigenous communities in Indonesia have been displaced from their ancestor lands as the government issues substantial concessions for palm plantation companies. The mainstream media receives advertising revenue from these companies and do not listen to the voices of these communities". 

  • Organisational winner: Cambodian Centre for Human Rights (CCHR)


The Cambodian Centre for Human Rights has developed an online human rights portal to provide information on media, human rights laws and civil society organisations in Cambodia. The project supports marginalised groups and communities by enhancing access to important information and highlighting violations of land rights. The Centre’s work enables communities to monitor violations and advocate for their own rights independently.


For more information and updates on the Award ceremony check CfCSC dedicated page

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Closing the gender gap with ComDev: Dimitra

dimitra1Rural women face challenges such as isolation, illiteracy and low social status. In occasion of the International Women's Day, we are glad to highlight a successful FAO initiative focusing on gender equality and communication for rural development.

Dimitra is a participatory communication project that aims to help close the gender gap in agriculture by boosting social dialogue and cohesion. Since 2006, it gives voice to rural women in various African countries and increases their access to information and knowledge resources, contributing to their social and economic empowerment. 


Named after the ancient Greek goddess of agriculture and harvests, Dimitra supports the exchange of information and good practices to make the role of both men and women producers equally recognized. Participatory communication processes give women more self-confidence and leadership, so they can play an active role in community life. 

Communicating Gender for Development is a valuable and comprehensive resource that Dimitra produced to illustrate why and how a gender perspective should be introduced in communication for rural development activities.

The project has given special attention to community radio as a powerful tool for awareness-raising, education and agricultural extension among highly disperse rural communities. Its unique experience in Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo is summarized in the publication Community listeners’ clubs. Stepping stones for action in rural areas.


Another interesting resource is Dimitra's on-line database profiling organizations based in Africa and the Near East whose development work involves or concerns rural populations, and in particular women.

Find out more in Dimitra's website and newsletters!

Photo credit: Dimitra

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