La Ond@Rural: Follow-up activities
La Ond@ Rural: Radio, New ICTs and Rural Development was a regional working group held in Quito, Ecuador from 20-22 April 2004 organized by the FAO, in cooperation with the Latin American Association for Radio Education (ALER - Asociación Latinoamericana de Educación Radiofónica) and the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC).
In the workshop's final document, the 89 participants from 20 countries recognized the expanding role of information and communication in rural development initiatives.
However, they emphasized that: in order to be really useful, information has to be available in appropriate languages and formats and to be distributed via channels and media that are appropriate for and available to rural people.
Broadcast radio was singled out as a particularly powerful tool for closing the digital divide, especially in rural areas.
The workshop focused on three main themes:
i) public policy and practices in rural broadcasting and telecommunication;
ii) content for rural development; and
iii) training, including both the training needs of rural communities in ICT use and the use of ICTs as a support for more traditional training initiatives.
In addition to a number of specific recommendations related to the above themes, the declaration calls for the creation of the Latin American Initiative on Communication for Rural Development, to be known as La Ond@ Rural.
Furthermore La Onda Rural was presented at the 9th UN Roundtable on Communication for Development (Rome 9-11 September 2004) it got the interest of the participating institutions. At the present a Coordination Committee formed by ALER, AMARC and FAO is promoting the preparation of a proposal and the implementation of an e-forum among radio broadcasters and communication entities in the region to operationalize La Onda Rural. Envisaged as an inter-institutional platform, this initiative will work with existing regional and national networks, training centers, research institutes and governments to focus attention on the specific information and communication needs of rural communities in the region.
Check internet site: www.ond@-rural.net