Free FAO e-learning course on Communication for Rural Development

Communication for Development (ComDev) is about seeking change at different levels including listening, building trust, sharing knowledge and skills, building policies, debating, and learning for sustained and meaningful change. The free FAO e-learning course  entitled "Communication for Rural Development" provides an overview of the ComDev approach that aims to address the knowledge and information needs of rural stakeholders and to facilitate their active involvement in development initiatives. 

Food Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and Communication for Development :

FAO ComDev activities aim at supporting development policy processes, enabling rural people’s access to relevant information and fostering social dialogue through the design and implementation of appropriate ComDev strategies. 

To enhance experience sharing, advocacy and collaboration among practitioners and projects engaged in communication for rural development, a number of regional web based platforms have been created. Among them, it is worth metnioning the following platforms: YenKasa - in Africa, ComDevAsia - in Asia, CCComdev - in Philippines, Family Farming Knowledge Platform. All them facilitate the exchange around research activities, methodologies and learning resources in ComDev.

Following the results of the 2014 Forum on Communication for Development and Community Media for Family Farming, FAO is presently partnering with academia, research institutions, governments, UN agencies and farmer organizations to foster policy dialogue and collaboration in the field of Rural Communication Services (RCS).  

Participatory communication processes, community media, and local appropriations of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have proven to be essential to overcoming RCS limitations and increasing the self-reliance of millions of poor farmers worldwide.

Periodically, the FAO E-agriculture platform launches global e-Forums to discuss and complement the outcomes of the regional and (inter)national consultations about the role ICT and Open Data play in RCS as well as in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
[Register and p
articipate (till 14 July 2017) in e-forum on ICTs and Open Data in Agriculture and Nutrition running on the E-Agriculture Platform]. 

A recent study "Inclusive Rural Communication Services. Building Evidence, Informing Policy" (2017) - developed by FAO and five universities - provides recommendations on how to systematically build evidence that can orient governments, institutions and organizations in establishing and operationalizing inclusive RCS.

You are kindly invited to visit  and to take part in the free FAO’s e-learning course entitled: Communication for Rural Development (Duration:  5 hours): 

The course aims to guide users in designing and implementing communication strategies for agricultural and rural development initiatives, combining participatory methods with communication processes, media and tools, ranging from community media to ICTs, best suited for a specific context.

The course consists of 11 lessons, organized in three units. Lessons last approximately 15 to 50 minutes each:

Unit 1 Introduction to ComDev planning for agricultural and rural development

  • Lesson 1.1 What is ComDev
  • Lesson 1.2 Principles and applications of ComDev
  • Lesson 1.3 The ComDev Process
  • Lesson 1.4 Integrating ComDev in project design

Unit 2 Participatory ComDev planning

  • Lesson 2.1 The situation analysis
  • Lesson 2.2 The Participatory Rural Communication Appraisal
  • Lesson 2.3 Participatory communication strategy design
  • Lesson 2.4 Planning and monitoring ComDev activities

Unit 3 Implementing a ComDev initiative

  • Lesson 3.1 Implementing the ComDev plan at local level
  • Lesson 3.2 Developing ComDev materials
  • Lesson 3.3 Implementing ComDev activities in the field

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