Written by: Lisa Cabrera, CDC Los Banos
Learning, sharing, and collaboration in communication for rural development is now possible through web-based global and regional platforms, www.cccomdev.org and www.comdevasia.org, respectively. Aside from the portal, CCComdev also maintains two social media accounts, Twitter and Facebook with followers consisting of Comdev organizations, professional, and graduate and undergraduate students.
Prof. Cleofe Torres from the College of Development Communication, University of the Philippines Los Banos shares how it all started and where it is going. These platforms were developed after mapping ComDev providers and training needs assessment. These activities were in line with Collaborative Change Communication, an FAO capacity development and knowledge sharing initiative to strengthen capacities, improve partnerships, and facilitate knowledge exchange in ComDev particularly in the areas of natural resource management, climate change adaptation, food security, and disaster risk reduction.
Since its launch in 2012, web-based platforms have facilitated virtual discussions in the recently held virtual consultations on Communication for development, community media, and ICTs for family farming. Networking and knowledge exchange among practitioners, scholars, organizations and projects, outreach of the Sourcebook and other ComDev resources have also been initiated.
There have been challenges along the way, including accessibility (internet connection), reciprocity, immediacy (fast exchanges of information in social media), and overcoming information overload, but the virtual community is growing, and reach is getting wider.