‘Voice of Coastal People’ Tackles Climate Resilient Agriculture in Bangladesh

on Wednesday, 06 September 2017 04:35. Posted in News from the region

RuralRadioA network of rural radio stations in Bangladesh called “Opukoler Kotha” or “Voice of the People” has been addressing climate resilience among small farmers in southern coastal areas of the country. Composed of Krishi Radio, Radio Nalta, Radio Sundarban, and Radio Lokobetar, the network has established 100 listener clubs with at least 25 members each in their coverage areas.

Using transistor radio units and their mobile phones, members of the listener clubs learn and share agricultural technologies that enable them to cope with impacts of climate change. The areas are highly prone to increased salinity and more frequent floods and cyclone. The technologies shared include the use of saline tolerant crop varieties, organic fertilizers, floating cultivation, sarjan method, vegetable production along fences of fishponds, crop management during winter, and tree plantation in saline soil. The network regularly airs a 30-minute magazine program twice a week with replays also twice a week at 7:30 or 8:30 in the evening.

Supplementing the regular radio broadcasts are other communication media such as posters, leaflets, field demonstrations, visits, dialogue, and Facebook.

Members of the listener clubs give opinion and feedback via mobile text or call to ensure that radio addresses their information needs. They listen and sit together to critically assess the strengths and weaknesses of the radio programs. They also get involved in program production and broadcasting, hence, they have been trained on how to become an effective leader, communicator, broadcast producer and presenter.

The clubs assist in social mobilization campaigns to create awareness of the radio programs, increase listenership, and form new listener clubs in coverage areas of the station. Furthermore, they arrange and organize social development activities designed to address the common issues affecting them. Each listener club has a focal person who coordinates and monitors its activities that support the network of community radio. The radio stations for their part conduct quiz and essay competitions with modest prizes as a mechanism for sustaining and monitoring listenership and probable radio program impact.

Based on the preliminary evaluation of the project conducted last April, listeners found the program content motivating and useful. Among the benefits gained, they value their being able to use their idle or fallow lands because of the availability of saline tolerant variety and green manure they learned from radio  listening. There was, however, a still very low access to social media such as Facebook, and familiarity with youtube was almost nil.

The ‘Voice of Coastal People’ program  is being implemented under the Rural Radio Initiative of the Coastal Climate Resilient Infrastructure Project of IFAD, the Local Government Engineering Department through the Agriculture Information Service of the Ministry of Agriculture, Bangladesh, and the College of Development Communication-UP Los Baños in the Philippines. The Voice of the People started airing in March 2016. 

Source: cccomdev.org

Sarawak Communication for Development Centre to promote "data-driven thinking"

on Wednesday, 06 September 2017 04:25. Posted in News from the region

SDIThe Sarawak Development Institute (SDI), in collaboration with the College of Development Communication (CDC), University of the Philippines Los Baños, has set up the Sarawak Communication for Development Centre (SCDCentre).

The SCDCentre aims to provide capacity building on strategic communication planning for its stakeholders that include grassroots leaders, civil servants, and members and/or volunteers of community organizations.

In addition, the SCDCentre is being positioned to play a significant role in the Sarawak government’s initiatives to transform its economy into that of a digital economy. Sarawak is one of the states that make up the Malaysian Federation.

In his maiden address as Sarawak’s 6th Chief Minister at the 1st session for 2017 of Sarawak’s Parliament held in May this year, Abang Johari Tun Abang Haji Openg, referred to “Big Data” as  the basic core of the digital economy that Sarawak must leapfrog into. He announced that the “Sarawak Big Data” will “represent a small but first step in our journey of a thousand miles in the development of the Digital Economy of Sarawak.” 

To support the Sarawak government’s digital economy transformation initiatives, the SCDCentre will focus on content creation related to Sarawak’s development data. The SCDCentre will seek to compile, process unstructured data, and build up structured data on Sarawak’s development in the following areas: 

  • Climate change and disaster risk management;
  • Sustainable agriculture;
  • Governance and development management;
  • Biodiversity and biotechnology;
  • Digital economy transformation; and
  • Culture (unity in diversity) as x-factor for development.

In this role, the SCDCentre will develop and implement programs and provide communication-related services that will promote “data-driven” thinking among policy makers, civil servants, and the citizens of Sarawak, particularly the youth segment of its population.

Source: cccomdev.org

AMARC Launches ComDev Asia Initiative

on Wednesday, 19 July 2017 15:27. Posted in News from the region

comdev asia initiativeIn an effort to advance resilient family farming in the Asia-Pacific region, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters-Asia-Pacific (AMARC-AP) ventures into its ComDev Asia Initiative starting this mid year. The initiative aims to support ongoing development programs, rural institutions, and rural communities; enhance local capacities in communication for development; and foster partnerships with regional actors, farmer organizations, community media, universities, and governments.

Workshop on interactive radio for family farming and food security in Asia-Pacific

on Tuesday, 16 August 2016 15:46. Posted in Events

radiobangla cccomdevThe World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) will conduct a three-day workshop on interactive community radio to enhance food security and family farming in Asia-Pacific. It will take place in Bangkok, Thailand, on September 19-21, 2016.

FAO reported in 2015 that 490 million people are still suffering chronic hunger in Asia and the Pacific region, which is also home to almost 62 percent of the world’s undernourished. “The challenge facing the region is not only to produce more food from the increasingly limited natural resource base but also how to ensure more equitable access to food, while addressing various threats such as climate change.”

It is in this context that community radios have shown their effectiveness in supporting farmers’ organizations and development institutions to promote food security and food sovereignty. The flexibility and ability of community radios to reach the most isolated and poorest farming communities, who are often the most affected by food insecurity issues, make them a suitable tool to share best practices, disseminate scientific and indigenous knowledge, and promote multi-stakeholder dialogue.

Agenda and learning objectives

The workshop is meant to improve the capacity of community radios at the local level to provide inclusive information and communication services to farming communities and the rural population, with a focus on:

  • Communication and community radio as a driver for rural development (Day 1)
  • Enhancing information management and knowledge sharing for radio broadcasting on family farming and food security (Day 2)
  • Interactive radio programming (Day 2)
  • ComDev Asia: partnerships and networking for sustainable development (Day 3)
Participants are expected to:

1) improve their knowledge on specific topics related to food security/food sovereignty, with a focus on climate change, one health concept and family farming;

2) improve their capacity of working with radio as an interactive medium using ICTs in a participatory manner;

3) improve their capacities and reinforce their abilities to produce relevant programmes on food security/food sovereignty, with a focus on climate change, one health concept and family farming;

4) become more aware and sensitized to the gender sensitive dimension;

5) establish linkages and lines of work with FAO projects and programs to build synergies across AMARC and FAO work in the Asia-Pacific region through ComDev Asia.

The workshop will also bridge the gap between radio practitioners and experts on key regional development issues such as climate change, one health initiative, family farming, sustainability of the food system, and gender dimension of food security, among others.

Photo credit: amarc.org
Source: cccomdev