What problem did it address, where?
Knowledge and information are essential for people to respond successfully to the opportunities and challenges of social, economic and technological changes, including those that help to improve agricultural productivity, food security and rural livelihoods. But to be useful, knowledge and information must be effectively communicated to people.
Communication for development encompasses many different media and approaches - folk media and traditional social groupings, rural radio for community development, video and multimedia modules for farmer training, and the Internet for linking researchers, educators, extensionists and producer groups to each other and to global information sources. Whether villages are connected to the outside world through modern telecommunications, learn about health care from folk proverbs and songs or listen to radio broadcasts on better farming practices, the processes are the same - people communicating and learning together.
The systematic use of communication can support livelihoods and development initiatives by: giving a voice to relevant stakeholders -- rural people, development workers, local authorities and national decision makers; fostering policy acceptance; mobilising people for participation and action; conveying information for education and training; and disseminating new technology. Communication methods and tools used for development purposes can help overcome barriers of literacy, language, cultural differences and physical isolation. Communication is essential for enhancing livelihood of indigenous people and rural communities. Development goals can only be achieved if knowledge and information are shared effectively, rural stakeholders and ethnic groups are actively involved and part of the decision making process. Communication systems can support field programmes by linking up research, training, extension and education efforts but they have to reflect the different cultural contexts and audience characteristics.
"In the Guaraní village, communications is life is the very essence of its people. They communicate in order to keep our values alive and relevant in a society that is constantly changing. Furthermore, they know that communications is the key to any type of development”.
For the Guaraní people, development issues are at the heart of fully exercising the rights of all individuals. For this reason, communication is extremely important and, therefore, they intend to adopt an alternative model that will combine all the systems and media (audiovisual, press, radio, etc.), ensuring that the model which emerges from this exercise will be useful for their people and will be managed entirely by them.
This was the objective that began our experience with communications through the “Unidad de Comunicación Guaraní”. Experiences are described throughout the publication entitled YASAREKOMO, the indigenous term for despertar” – to awaken. This term also refers to an awakening of consciousness and a new way of thinking that responds to the challenges which face us in today’s world. Importantly, the formulation of this publication has also involved the participation of the young Guaraní people, whom will be the real pillar of strength in its community.
Through this experience, we have:
- Identified key area topics and to exchange experiences the applications of communication methods and strategies for sustainable livelihood;
- Systematized methodologies and tools for communication strategy design and service delivery for sustainable rural livelihood to be used at different level;
- Facilitated information exchange and collaboration on the topic between development projects, institutions, organizations and communication centres and NGOs through existing networks and community of practice, and promote a regional platform and a plan of action.
Already existing communication networks, NGOs, centres and universities, can play a role in promoting effective and participatory communication methods and strategies to support sustainable livelihoods. To this end, regional communication platforms which enhance collaborative learning and sharing on livelihoods experience and communication approaches have been established in Central America and the Near East. Presently, a new platform of IP’s Communication & Sustainable Livelihood is being supported by FAO, IFAD, CIDOB and the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (UNPFII). (http://www.comunicacionparaeldesarrollo.org)