People, Land, and Water: Participatory Development Communication for Natural Resource Management

People, Land, and Water: Participatory Development Communication for Natural Resource Management

People, Land, and Water: Participatory Development Communication for Natural Resource Management

People, Land, and Water: Participatory Development Communication for Natural Resource Management

Excerpt

This book presents conceptual and methodological issues related to the use of communication in order to facilitate participation among stakeholders in natural resource management (NRM) initiatives. It also presents a collection of chapters that focus on participatory development communication and NRM, particularly in Asia and Africa.

There are many approaches and practices in development communication, and most of them have been implemented in the field of environment and natural resource management. But, even when considering participatory approaches in NRM, communication is often limited to information dissemination activities that mainly use printed materials, radio programmes and educational videos to send messages, explain technologies or illustrate activities. These approaches, with their strengths and weaknesses, have been well documented.

Participatory development communication takes another perspective. This form of communication facilitates participation in a development initiative identified and selected by a community, with or without the external assistance of other stakeholders. The terminology has been used in the past by a number of scholars to stress the participatory approach of communication in contrast with its more traditional diffusion approach. Others refer to similar approaches as participatory communication for development, participatory communication or communication for social change.

In this publication, participatory development communication is considered to be a planned activity that is based on participatory processes and on media and interpersonal communication. This communication facilitates dialogue among different stakeholders around a common development problem or goal. The objective is to develop and implement a set of activities that contribute to a solution to the problem or the realization of a goal, and which support and accompany this initiative.

This kind of communication requires moving from a focus on information and persuasion to facilitating exchanges between different stakeholders to address a common problem, to develop a concrete initiative for experimenting with possible solutions, and to identify the partnerships, knowledge and materials needed to support these solutions.

This book situates the concept and its methodological issues. It has been produced through a three-step process. First, practitioners from Asia and Africa were invited to submit chapters that offer examples and illustrations of applying participatory development communication to natural resource management. Second, a peer-review workshop was organized in Perugia, Italy, in September 2004, in preparation for the Roundtable on Development . . .

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