Asian Farmers’ Association for Sustainable Rural Development (AFA)

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    Edmund Centeno

    Discussion Topic No. 2: Identifying key issues and priority topics

    Greetings from ComDev Asia!

    This is Stella and Kath, your coaching facilitators for the ComDev strategy plan of AFA.

    We shall now focus on the first step of the ComDev Strategy Design process. Step 1 is where we will identify key development issues and priority topics to be addressed in AFA’s ComDev plan. Before we start, let us review briefly Step 1.

    Step 1: Identifying the Key Issue or Problem

    Kindly take note of the following key messages about identifying the key issue or problem.
    • The identified problem must be a “real” issue or problem.
    • The problem should have been expressed by concerned stakeholders or members of your organization.
    • The problem must be prioritized because the ComDev plan should address one specific issue at a time for ease of planning
    and implementation.
    • The problem should be anchored on an existing or a new program or project of your organization.
    • A plan that is generic is not strategic.
    • Comdev planning is an evidence-based process; the decision to take is always defined by data obtained from the ground.

    Setting the Context and Topic for your ComDev Plan
    • Choose one existing development program or project of your organization, especially one that does not have a strategic communication plan. You may also opt to select a new development program or project which needs a ComDev plan.
    • Read and review the project document.
    • From the project document (as source of secondary data), get the list of development issues or needs being addressed or solved through the project.
    • Given the list, discuss among your concerned colleagues which of the three problems or issues is priority 1.
    • Based on the identified problem, think of a tentative title or topic for your ComDev Plan.

    Here are examples of topics or titles of your plan:
    a. ComDev Plan in Support of the Coastal Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project
    b. Strategic ComDev Plan for Resilient and Sustainable Aquaculture
    c. ComDev Strategy Plan for to Enhance Youth Involvement in Agriculture Cooperatives for Sustainable Development

    • Fill up the topic and column 1 on Main Issue of your ComDev Strategy Matrix (see attached file).

    To prepare you in identifying the priority issue and topic of your ComDev plan, post your brief answers to the questions below. Once you have posted them, we (your facilitators) will respond to your answer.

    Guide Questions:
    • What are the main development needs, opportunities, and possible solutions existing as perceived by local stakeholders?
    • Which of these can be addressed best by communication?
    • Identify one key development issue that you intend to address in your ComDev strategy.

    We are excited to read your answers and to assist you develop the priority issue and topic of your ComDev Plan. Let’s engage in Topic 2 Discussion! Your output will be the statement of your priority topic and main issue.

    You must be logged in to view attached files.
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Edmund Centeno

Associate Professor College of Development Communication University of the Philippines Los Baños