This training sourcebook is based on the results of a capacity building program implemented in Cambodia from March 2002 to December 2004 within the framework of the technical cooperation project of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) "Information and Communication for Sustainable Natural Resource Management in Agriculture" (TCP/CMB/0165 and TCP/CMB73003). It aimed to strengthen institutional capability at the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (MAFF) and at the Ministry of Environment (MoE) to jointly plan and implement IC interventions for sustainable NRM in agriculture.
The specific objectives of the project were as follows:
1. Train MoE, MAFF, and other government and non-government personnel in the systematic design and use of communication strategies, methods, and materials to achieve specified objectives;
2. Coordinate MAFF and MoE efforts to address problems in sustainable NRM through integrated IC interventions;
3. Train NRM users in two pilot sites in alternative agricultural practices and technologies;
4. Upgrade MoE and MAFF capability to produce multimedia communication materials and implement communication strategies; and
5. Develop a strategy for MAFF and MoE to provide communication and training services on a cost-recovery basis.
This sourcebook draws from the training courses and modules implemented in the field by the project in Cambodia.
Participants in the capacity building initiatives included extension and communication staff of the central offices of the MAFF Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE) and MoE Department of Environmental Education and Communication (DEEC), and their local counterparts in Kompong Chhnang province and Boribo district.
These personnel from the two ministries, totaling 17 individuals, banded together as the Communication Team to carry out information and communication for natural resource management in agriculture (ICNRMA) initiatives in two selected pilot areas that are resource-poor villages in Boribo, Kompong Chhnang.
These two villages included Trapaeang Chan, a rice-growing lakeshore area; and Kra Chap, a low-lying area that becomes a floating village during the wet/flooded season. The Communication Team (CT) was supervised by a Project Coordinating Unit (PCU) composed of the respective directors of the MAFF DAE and MoE DEEC, with the Chief of the DAE Media Center as operations manager. Within this framework, the CT team implemented a complete IC strategy for NRM in Kra-Chap and provided support in communication to a community fisheries project and special programme for food security project both promoted by FAO.
This sourcebook is intended to be a ready reference material for communication specialists and similar facilitators to equip them to organize training and capability building in communication for development as a strategic component of any development initiative.
Communication is a social process that goes beyond the use of tools or media. It contributes to the sharing of knowledge and information and to achieving participation in development.
Sustainable rural development requires change, innovation and qualified field agents, especially in sectors like agriculture, environment, and health, who can competently manage and carry out communication activities and services that facilitate the participation of development stakeholders in a systematic and efficient fashion.
This sourcebook is hoped to contribute to a continuing learning and capacity building process in communication as a systematic/ strategic and participatory process in NRM initiatives. Facilitators who use this sourcebook are encouraged to add on and further improve the training process according to the characteristics of the specific development context and the needs of the communication for development practitioners and other actors involved in the process.
This sourcebook is organized into eight chapters including two chapters (1 and 2) on the strategic and participatory frameworks of information and communication in natural resource management in agriculture (ICNRMA) based on the results of the FAO IC project implemented in Cambodia; and five chapters (3-7) presenting the main phases of communication for development process applied to NRM: a) preliminary situation assessment; b) communication strategy design; c) message and materials development; d) management and implementation of communication programs for NRM; and d) monitoring and evaluation of communication programs. It closes with a concluding chapter on lessons learned and recommendations from project experience in Cambodia.
Aside from making up the content of training, the capacity building process presented by this sourcebook should be carried out as a participatory development communication process. It is not a training course by itself, but a training workshop where participants will develop concrete outputs such as: 1) a complete information and communication strategy (ICS) for NRM applied to the context of the participants; 2) a participatory rural communication appraisal plan and the related messages and results; 3) pretested messages for the ICS; and 4) prototype communication materials for the ICS.
The training workshop is thus a collaborative, experiential learning process, applying principles and guidelines developed in the field in Cambodia, that have relevance in the reality and experiences of the participants. The learning process is deliberate and straightforward, starting with presentations on principles anchored on facilitators' and participants' elicited experiences as change agents.
Principles discussed are then tried and practiced in team projects towards the four workshop outputs. To set each session on its right foundation, learning objectives and key ideas are presented as it begins. The day ends with a reflection on important lessons and insights gained by participants. One way of doing this is by presenting them an idea link or keepsake, which they can easily connect to key ideas or lessons they gained for the day.
The workshop tone emphasizes learning that, aside from building or strengthening participants' capacity, is a process that should also be fun as well as highly interactive. We hope you will enjoy the process.