Climate Smart Agriculture Sourcebook

Enhancing capacities for a country-owned transition towards CSA

Enabling Frameworks

Communication for development strategies and tools in community-based climate change adaptation in the Plurinational State of Bolivia

The aim of the FAO Communication for Sustainable Development Initiative was to strengthen and scale up participatory communication services by establishing communication platforms, conducting virtual consultations and preparing print publications to enhance dialogue and the exchange of knowledge. In Plurinational State of Bolivia, three pilot areas – Yapacaní and the Norte Integrado Region, Yacuiba and Chiquitanía – were identified based on the priorities determined by the National Institute for Agricultural and Forestry Innovation (INIAF). The local participatory process had three main components. 

  1. A Participatory Communication Appraisal: this assessment identified local problems and needs, as well as solutions, practices and opportunities related to agricultural production and social and communication issues. 
  2. A Local Innovation and Communication Programme: strategic guidelines, with a medium-term projection (3-5 years), were developed with local partners in response to the findings of the appraisal.
  3. Local Innovation and Communication Plans: these plans supported the management and implementation of priority communication activities in the field.

The Local Innovation and Communication Plans were developed within the framework of Espacios Locales de Concertación (local areas of agreement) that were promoted by INIAF as venues for dialogue and informed decision-making. Local stakeholders, including farmers’ organizations and small-scale producers, local governments, non-governmental organizations and media operating in the pilot area, participated in consultations.

The Local Innovation and Communication Plans are operational tools that involve different communication resources and include participatory methodologies. They support two-way learning processes, such as audiovisual pedagogy or training activities, to build local technical and communication capacities. To disseminate knowledge and facilitate learning processes, a set of systematized information and communication tools were produced, called Modules of Knowledge and Communication (MCCs), which included videos, printed materials and audio tracks. The MCCs constitute a tangible result of the Local Innovation and Communication Plans. They are developed based on the principles of the audiovisual pedagogy methodology, which are built on:

  • the recovery of farmers’ traditional knowledge and combining it with scientific knowledge;
  • direct reference to the producers’ reality, using their own language; 
  • practical learning designed for smallholder producers and rural families;
  • active participation of producers in the collective learning process;
  • no interference in productive activities, with training carried out where producers live;
  • the use of audiovisual tools to overcome literacy barriers in the transmission of knowledge; and
  • choices of technical information appropriate to the different groups.


At the local level, seven intensive training-of-trainers courses on the audiovisual pedagogy methodology and the application of the MCCs were offered to technicians, communication practitioners, extensionists and community agents. A total of 162 people were trained as operadores locales de la innovación (local operators of innovation), who acted in turn as facilitators and used the MCCs to train small-scale producers in their communities. This capacity development process involved 52 institutions and organizations in the country. At the community level, 26 training activities were implemented using the MCCs. In the pilot areas, the training activities conducted by the local facilitators have reached 489 producers from 54 rural communities.

Source: FAO, 2013b