25-27 October 2006, Rome, Italy
The first World Congress on Communication for Development (WCCD) jointly organized by FAO ComDev Team, the World Bank and The Communication Initiative was held in Rome 25-27 October 2006 at FAO headquarters.
The focus of the Congress was to effectively promote the mainstreaming of communication into development policies and programmes and to promote strategic partnerships and alliances in this field. Its ultimate objective was to demonstrate that communication for development is essential for meeting today’s most pressing development challenges and, as such, should be more fully integrated in development policy and practice.
The Structure of the Congress
The Congress was structured around four broad thematic areas: Health, Governance and Empowerment, Sustainable Development, and Emerging Sectors and New Frontiers.
Each of these areas were divided into subtopics that delve into various aspects or dimensions of these challenges. The Congress also included a series of special events on particular areas of communication for development practice such as edutainment, documentary films and videos, music, and radio programs.
Communication for Sustainable Development Stream
FAO was responsible for the organization of the stream on Communication for Sustainable Development. The stream was structured around three main themes:
- Communication for Food Security, Rural Development and Livelihoods strategies;
- Communication for Natural Resources Management and the Environment;
- Communication for Poverty reduction and Equity Issues.
A background paper on Communication for Sustainable Development was prepared to serve as the basis for discussions.
Furthermore, a session on “Regional perspectives” was held under the first topic. The session was based on the results of a series of regional studies and consultations, which have been jointly implemented by FAO and the World Bank, in order to obtain views and proposals of local practitioners and institutions for mainstreaming Communication for Development into sustainable development policies. The studies and consultations were carried out in South East Asia, Near East, Sahel, Southern and East Africa, Latin and Central America.
The results of these consultations were synthesized in a compendium of Regional perspectives in Communication for Development, which was presented at the Congress under Communication and Sustainable Development Stream.
This three-day Congress brought together communication professionals engaged in development initiatives, policymakers, development practitioners, donor and NGO representatives, community representatives, and academics from around the world to share experiences and best practices in this growing field for a common understanding of what works, what doesn’t, and how impact could be best measured.