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July/August 2004

Ninth United Nations Communication for Development Roundtable

6–9 September 2004
FAO Headquarters
Rome , Italy

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FAO will host the Ninth United Nations Roundtable on Communication for Development, in Rome , Italy , from 6 to 9 September 2004 . The Communication for Development Roundtable is conceived as an interagency forum for the UN system. Over the years this has broadened to include participation from donors, non governmental organizations, universities and independent specialists working in communication. The forum enables emerging approaches to be harmonized, progress from field programmes shared and guidelines for good practice to be developed.

Communication for Development lies at the heart of the challenge to actively involve poor people in decision making procedures which affect their lives and to enable them to manage communication processes and media. When successful, Communication for Development is a powerful tool to mitigate poverty and hunger and to promote democratic processes and social change in many countries, especially in the agriculture and rural development sectors.

he objective of the Roundtable is to examine, discuss and assess current trends in Communication for Development activities, to set priorities for future directions in this field and identify areas for potential collaboration. Taking our lead from the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg 2003, the theme for this years Roundtable is Communication for Sustainable Development.

Objectives of the Roundtable

The objectives of the 2004 Roundtable are to:

Expected Outputs

The workshop is expected to produce the following outputs:

  1. A Steering Committee to oversee outcomes of UN Roundtable related to WSSD and MDGs will be established.
  2. A Status Report on Communication for Development in UN agencies and other organizations will be developed
  3. Reports from the three thematic areas discussed and improved
  4. Guidelines for UN wide system on Communication for Development to support follow up action on WSSD Plan of Action
  5. Recommendations for decisions makers in Government and Donors
  6. New initiatives in Communication for Development (project proposals, plan of action, joint activities) planned and promoted through strengthened collaboration among interested partners
  7. New partnerships and agreements will be ratified
  8. Funding opportunities explored


In addition to representatives from the UN, other organizations such as Universities, NGOs and independent consultants will attend from Africa , Asia and Latin America .

Presentations and Papers

The structure of the Roundtable will differ slightly from previous years; in addition to a background paper, it will provide three thematic papers which will be available prior to the meeting. Participants should be prepared to make their comments and suggestions on the papers.

A background paper on ‘Communication for Sustainable Development' will be prepared to highlight the relationship between communication and development. It will also underline new initiatives since the last Roundtable. The three thematic papers will enable the participants to address key issues and envisage proposals for joint cooperation and action to be discussed by each working group and in Plenary.

The themes are:

Prior to the Roundtable, a preparatory three day workshop on the use of Communication for Development in Natural Resource Management will be implemented. This “write shop” will be coordinated and funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada and will be attended by 20 practitioners from developing countries with the objectives of sharing views and preparing an overview paper to be presented and discussed at the Roundtable.

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