Marquise Blair Jersey  A gender focus to enable inclusive Rural Communication Services

Learning and sharing in communication
for rural development

join the community!

A gender focus to enable inclusive Rural Communication Services

NEwomenfarmersWritten by Katie Jarvis, University of Reading

Presented here are the results of a master's dissertation for the University of Reading that explored the institutionalisation of gender within Rural Communication Services (RCS).

Rural Communication Services (RCS) is a relatively recent concept that seeks to promote demand-driven, inclusive and collaborative communication systems through the strengthening of stakeholder relationships and institutionalisation (FAO, 2014). The aim of the study was to develop a definition and operational framework for institutionalising RCS for family farming, with special attention to gender issues.

Given the importance of women in family farming (e.g. over 70% of agricultural producers in Sub-Saharan Africa are women), it is crucial that they are consulted during the planning of communication interventions. The study developed a conceptual framework to include women and a gender dimension in the communication for development (ComDev) approach (Fig. 1). 

institutionalisingRCSThe concept of RCS was also redefined, taking into account the definition established at the Forum on Communication for Development & Community Media in Family Farming (FCCM) in October, 2014, as well as recommendations made in the FAO study 'Farming for the Future'.

The definition proposed by the study is thus:

Rural Communication Services are an inclusive, demand-driven, collaborative, agricultural information service system that seeks to promote capacity-building and institutional support to farmers and agricultural stakeholders. RCS achieves these aims through three functions: participation, access to information and knowledge sharing.

The paper determined that even if access to extension services and communication technologies were equal between the genders, problems such as limited funding, a shortage of trained extension workers and a lack of regulatory frameworks would still severely reduce their efficacy. Consequently, it is not always due to inefficiency or cultural norms that equal access to communication services is limited, but rather the existing limitations in regulatory frameworks and rural services targeting specific sections of society.

Institutionalising gender within Rural Communication Services is therefore proposed as a way of combatting all of these issues simultaneously. Governments must be willing to include key functions of RCS (participation, access to information and knowledge sharing) as components of any development policy. This will ensure the equal participation of women at all stages of the development process.

The study highlighted the need for local communication systems to serve communities, and the need to create linkages from national to local levels of governance. It is suggested that by mainstreaming gender as part of ComDev policies and programmes, rural services will become more inclusive and more effective.

Tags: comdev, family farming, gender, RCS, communication

Print Email

In the spotlight

Call for Expressions of Interest: FAO Communication for Rural Development Specialist

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Partnerships Division (PSP) is in need of a Communication for Rural Development Specialist which will be contracted for 11 months with a three-month probationary period. 

Read more ...

FAO and UPLB pledge to work together in promoting inclusive rural development

FAOUPLBA formal partnership agreement on promoting rural development in the Philippines was recently signed by FAO and the University of the Philippines Los Baños. The agreement focuses on developing tools. methodologies, and knowledge products to make agricultural systems more inclusive and efficient.

Read more ...

Online Course: Family Farming in Latin America and the Caribbean, a Key Sector for Food Security

Family farming course LACThe Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) offers an online, self-learning course on "Family Farming in Latin America and the Caribbean, a Key Sector for Food Security" (Course code: AF201409). This is in relation to its mandate "to collaborate with the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean in the formulation and adoption of policies and programs to increase the production of goods and services from Family Farming in a sustainable manner and, thereby, contribute to the well-being of the rural families of the Region."

Read more ...

Equator Prize 2019 awards local innovative climate solutions

UNDPEquatorPrizeTwenty-two (22) local and indigenous communities worldwide won in the 10th Equator Prize as announced by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and partners last 5 June 2019 in New York, USA.

Read more ...

RCS Blog

TV Series Helps Restore Rice Landscape Biodiversity in Vietnam

rice farmers in vietnamA TV series using entertainment-education principles helps change farmers’ beliefs and pest management practices in Vietnam.

Read more ...

Beyond the Playground - LEGO for Social Change

laura lego2In the University of Queensland, Master students in COMU7102, Communication for Social Change Foundations, were lucky enough to receive a visit from Laura Simpson Reeves, who shared her wealth of knowledge on LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, and proved that playing isn’t always just fun and games.

Read more ...

Erfan Daliri: Using art to orchestrate change*

Erfan 2017Erfan Daliri, a 2011 graduate at the Centre for Communication and Social Change, University of Queensland, is an author, speaker, artist, educator, mentor, event director, and agent of social change. The Centre had a chat with him about the Newkind Festival, as well as his events production company (with the soul of a social movement) UpUpTrampoline. In this article, Daliri’s lifelong interest in using the arts to orchestrate social change is uncovered. 
Read more ...

Educational campaign builds tsunami resiliency

Indonesia tsunamiTsunamis are frequent in Indonesia and more than 35% of them are deadly. The December 26, 2004 tsunami claimed 178,000 lives in the island of Sumatra. In hindsight, the weak tsunami resilience of the people contributed to the terrible catastrophe. Many people were unaware, unprepared, and lacked knowledge about tsunamis. The mass media reported on the December 26 tragic consequences but did not provide substantial information about tsunamis (Morin et al., 2008). 

Read more ...
Hakeem Butler Womens Jersey