Sustainable Development Banner


Communication for development



Research and technology







About SD


Ensuring food security - the basic right of people to the food they need - is one of the greatest challenges facing the world community. Meeting this challenge will require new technologies and new ways of collaborating. But technologies will be fully exploited only if the knowledge of how to put them to use is widely disseminated and applied. FAO's Sustainable Development Department helps to strengthen the capabilities of national and regional research, extension, education and communication systems so that rural people have the knowledge and skills they need to improve their productivity, incomes and livelihoods, and manage the natural resources on which they depend in sustainable ways.

Communication for development

"Report of the sensitation workshop on rural radio for policy and decision makers in East and Southern Africa" This workshop follows findings of two studies on training needs for rural radio in Africa carried out by Inter-African Center for Rural Broadcasting Studies of Ouagadougou and The South Africa Development Community Centre of Communication for Development.

The first "World Congress on Communication for Development (WCCD)" jointly organized by FAO, World Bank and The Communication Initiative will be held in Rome from 25-27 October 2006 at FAO headquarters. The focus of the Congress is to effectively promote the mainstreaming of communication into development policies and programmes and to promote strategic partnerships and alliances in this field. A "Background paper on Communication for Sustainable Development" has been prepared to serve as the basis for discussions.

"Rural radio transmissions and rural youth in Cameroon. Communication for development case study 28" The conclusions of this study confirm the strategic importance radio plays in communication for development campaigns and strategies in Africa.

"Rural radio transmissions and rural youth in Mali. Communication for development case study 29" Within the context of the project GCP/MLI/020/NET “The relaunch of rural radio in Mali”, a series of studies on the needs of youth regarding information and communication were carried out in collaboration with the four radio stations of Bla, Bougouni, Kolondiéba and Koutiala. These studies were based on the production, the transmission and the evaluation of radio programmes for young people.


"French NGOs and the FAO/UNESCO Programme Education for Rural People (ERP)" The FAO/UNESCO Education for Rural People programme invited 70 French non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to participate in a survey in order to better analyse the partnerships that have developed between ERP and French NGOs.

On June 17, in Pristina, "A Strategy for Education for Rural People in Kosovo (2004 – 2009)", prepared during 2003 – 2004 by the Ministry of Education Science and Technology and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development with the technical support of FAO was officially launched and presented to the donors’ community.


"Modernizing national agricultural extension systems: A practical guide for policy-makers of developing countries" This publication addresses an increasing demand for practical, action-oriented guidelines which policy-makers could use in reforming extension systems.

Enhancing coordination among AKIS/RD actors, An analytical and comparative review of country studies on agricultural knowledge and information systems for rural development (AKIS/RD) Ten country studies on agricultural knowledge and information systems for rural development (AKIS/RD) were conducted, covering all regions of the world. Later, the country studies were analysed and synthesized for drawing lessons learned and for making recommendations aimed at better coordination among the key knowledge producing institutions for the benefit of farmers.

"Empowering extension managers through participatory learning" The article is based on case study research method conducted on the experiential methodology followed by the Indian National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management.

"Facing the challenge of an HIV/AIDS epidemic: agricultural extension services in sub-Saharan Africa" The very survival of rural human resources development aimed at improving agricultural production, both within the extension organization and among the clientele, is currently at stake due to the HIV/AIDS menace.

"Agricultural extension, rural development and the food security challenge" The purpose of this publication is to highlight the important role of agricultural and rural extension in the fight against hunger.

Research and technology

"A History of agricultural research in tropical francophone Africa. Volume I – The beginning of African agrigulture – from Prehistorical Times to the Middle Ages" This publication describes for us the patrimony resulting from millenia of experience. It illustrates the path followed from the creation of technological innovation, leading us toward the organized and scientific reasearch already underway by the end of the 19th Century, and its related, ultimate objective: the ability to satisfy the food requirements, economic needs and social and cultural aspects of mankind.

"Assessment of Information and Communication Needs of Institutions and Stakeholders of the National Agricultural Research Systems of the Ukraine" The objective of this study is to identify the information and communication needs of relevant institutions and stakeholders from the national agricultural research system, extension services, NGOs, farmers’ associations, representatives from rural men, women and youth, and larger agricultural enterprises in the Ukraine.

"The Role of Biotechnology in exploring and protecting agricultural genetic resources" The book aims to provide an updated overview of the current status of the world's genetic resources for food and agriculture, of the use of biotechnology tools for characterizing and conserving these genetic resources, and of the many specific issues involved in applying them in developing countries.

"The status of agricultural biotechnology and biosafety in Ukraine" Ukraine was a major food producer as part of the former Soviet Union and it retains tremendous agricultural potential. Ukrainian agriculture was founded on collectivised agricultural enterprises that have, since independence in 1991, largely been replaced by more modern ventures that increasingly take sustainability into account.


"Agricultural biotechnology for developing countries - Results of an electronic forum" FAO Research and Technology Paper 8, presenting a report of the first six moderated e-mail conferences hosted by the FAO Biotechnology Forum in 2000 and 2001, is now available in Chinese. The first four conferences dealt with the appropriateness of currently available biotechnologies in the crop, fishery, forestry and livestock sectors, while the remaining two dealt with the implications of agricultural biotechnology for hunger and food security and the impact of intellectual property rights. The publication includes the background and summary documents for each of the conferences, as well as providing an introduction; information about participation in the conferences; general conclusions and, finally, additional references. The 111-page Chinese translation is available on-line, as are the English and Spanish versions or contact for more information. The book was co-published by the Scientech Documentation and Information Center (SDIC) of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences under FAO's Chinese Publishing Programme.

The FAO "Glossary of biotechnology for food and agriculture", published in 2001 as FAO Research and Technology Paper 9, has now been translated into Arabic, in a co-publishing partnership with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) University and under the patronage of H. H. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, the UAE Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Apart from a translation of the over 3,000 terms and definitions contained in the English glossary, the 434-page publication also contains an additional English-Arabic vocabulary of biotechnology-related terms. The original English version of the glossary was co-authored by A. Zaid, H.G. Hughes, E. Porceddu and F. Nicholas and the Arabic translation was carried out by A. Zaid with editorial assistance by A. Abdeltawab. Please see the electronic version or contact to request a copy.

The SD-Dimensions "Publications page" makes available hundreds of full-text publications related to issues of gender, population, HIV/AIDS, extension, rural development, land tenure, sustainable livelihoods, communication for development, education, research and technology, energy, geoinformation, and environmental policy. These full-text electronic publications are available on-line free of charge in html and pdf formats. Browse available publications for the entire department, or under the following areas: Environment, Institutions, Knowledge, and People.

More from Knowledge

SD Homepage Back to Top FAO Homepage