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

CCComDev Team at CDC, UPLB Holds Planning-Workshop

CCComDev UPLB TeamThe team behind the Collaborative Change Communication and ComDev Asia websites from the College of Development Communication, University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) conducted a planning-workshop on 25 July 2019 at UPLB. 

Read more ...

In Focus: Family Farming in Africa

rsz 24720 0341According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), about two-thirds of the African population depend on family farms, comprising of 62% of the land, for food and employment.

Read more ...

IAMCR 2019 Sets Record-High Attendance

IAMCR 2019The recently concluded International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) Conference on 7-11 July 2019 at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid had its largest conference ever with 1,785 registered participants coming from 83 countries and 5 continents.

Read more ...

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World Report 2019 Released

SOFI 2019The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), together with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP), and World Health Organization (WHO), recently released The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World Report 2019 (SOFI 2019). 

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