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.
FAO has been a pioneer in the use of communication processes and media to help rural people to exchange experiences, find common ground for collaboration and actively participate in and manage agricultural and rural development activities.
NRR provides advice and technical assistance to FAO Member Nations and client agencies in identifying communication needs in support of agricultural and rural development and in applying innovative, cost-effective communication strategies for specific audiences. Technical advice is provided on developing appropriate communication policies, methodologies, multimedia approaches and messages. Training is provided in communication skills and participatory processes essential for strategic, targeted communication activities that address specific audience needs and in monitoring and evaluating communication outcomes and impacts.